Committee Ices Carryout Cold Beer Bill

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(Image courtesy of the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers.) (Image courtesy of the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers.)
INDIANAPOLIS -

The Senate Committee on Public Policy has voted down a bill that would've allowed carryout cold beer to be sold in additional locations like convenience stores, grocery stores and drug stores. The commission voted against Senate Bill 26 by a tally of 9-1 after three hours of testimony that mostly involved business owners and industry group representatives. Senator Tim Lanane (D-25) was the only yes vote, arguing passage so the full Senate could make amendments. Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers Chairman Jon Sinder, who also owns Indianapolis-based Crown Liquors, applauded the vote, calling the proposal a "misguided expansion of the sale of cold beer for carry-out."

Chuck Taylor is the chief executive officer of Evansville-based Chuckles Convenience Stores & Gas Stations, which operates nearly two dozen Indiana convenience stores and several more in Kentucky, employing 320. He says the current law puts businesses like his with stores near other states at a disadvantage. "Why should Indiana be the last to give consumers what they want," he asked?

IABR Chief Executive Officer Patrick Tamm says increased availability of cold beer would cause "irreparable harm" to the livelihood of the 1,000 package liquor store owners his organization represents. Further, he says selling carryout cold beer anywhere but package liquor stores would "be a calamity for local communities and significantly increase alcohol-related harms. This would create an unworkable situation for law enforcement and our existing alcohol regulatory and enforcement framework that -- as already mentioned today -- is stretched too thin."

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