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Support For Cold Beer Sales Overwhelming At Public Study Committee Meeting

Several representatives from convenience store chains, gas stations, and other organizations back a push to allow cold beer sales at public meeting of the summer study committee

INDIANAPOLIS -- A study committee appointed by the Indiana General Assembly held a public meeting today at the statehouse to discuss the nature of Indiana's alcohol laws. 

Among the speakers at the meeting was Ricker's owner Jay Ricker. He was the one who brought to light the imperfections in the state's laws regarding the sale of beer. 

"My main request is that they look at the cold beer or warm beer issue," Ricker said the those on the committee. "Does it need to be regulated on temperature? (Indiana) is the only state that regulates licenses on cold beer and warm beer."

Ricker spearheaded a push from convenience stores to be allowed to sell cold beer for take out near the end of the legislative session earlier this year. He converted two of his convenient stores to include "restaurants", thus allowing him to apply for a license to sell cold beer.

Lawmakers in Indianapolis quickly took notice and looked to halt Ricker's push to sell cold beer, but were unable to do so because the loophole in state law Ricker used was air tight. Since then, Ricker has been granted a license to sell cold beer out of his two stores, but call for the summer study committee to look into state law before granting other licenses.

The liquor store lobby also launched a fierce campaign against the sale of cold beer from gas stations.

Matt Norris also testified before the committee on behalf of the Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, calling for lawmakers to pass legislation for gas stations and stores to be able to sell cold beer.

"In addition to the members we have here to speak, the IPCA Commission has surveyed this spring that Hoosiers support allowing all licensed retailers to sell cold beer by a 70 to 26 margin," Norries noted.   

The committee plans to make recommendations on overhauling state alcohol laws to the general assembly for the 2018 and 2019 legislative sessions.

(PHOTO: Eric Berman/WIBC)

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