After a year-long debate in federal court, an Indiana ruling stands that cold beer can only be sold in liquor stores in the state, KHON2 News reported.
The Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association had sued the state of Indiana claiming the law violates their constitutional rights by denying them the ability to sell cold beer, a right held only by liquor stores.
A federal judge denied the convenience store association’s request for the federal injunction.
A convenience store has a beer dealer permit in Indiana. This means they can sell warm beer, it can’t exceed 25% of sales, anyone can enter the store, and clerks can sell alcohol at 19-years-old.
Meanwhile, Indiana liquor stores have dealer permits. There are fewer to go around, making them more expensive to acquire. Clerks must be trained and at least 21-years-old. Customers must also be at least 21-years-old to go inside.
Claiming it keeps competition fair, The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers is satisfied with the outcome. Patrick Tamm, president and CEO of the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers, told KHON2 News that if the convenience stores win, cold beer could go in everywhere, including stores like Wal-Mart.
“We can’t sell screwdrivers, we can’t sell produce. So, we don’t have that opportunity. We’re also regulated on terms of where we can locate,” said Tamm. “So, you pull and you change how that framework is, you’ll dramatically alter those small businesses throughout the state of Indiana.”
Indiana is the only state in the country to have an all-out ban on cold beer sales in convenience stores. IPCA has 30 days to appeal.