Indiana Won’t Let You Buy Cold Beer In Grocery Stores… But A Challenge To That Law Could Be Decided As Soon As Early 2014
Just a quick update and some new information on the battle by grocery stores and convenience marts in Indiana to be able to sell cold beer (yes, they really can’t do that in Indiana). For a little more information, you can read my earlier post on the challenge that the grocers and convenience stores are mounting here.
The State of Indiana filed its answer to the complaint with no real surprises. The State has generally denied every allegation and argument. You can read the answer to this complaint here.
In an interesting development, another interested party has filed a request to intercede in the case. 21st Amendement, Inc., a self-described “locally owned package liquor store chain with nineteen stores in the greater Indianapolis area”. [Note: Packaged goods stores can sell cold beer in Indiana].
The packaged goods stores argue that the cold beer restrictions applied to grocery stores are a reasonable application of State authority over liquor regulation. The packaged goods stores want the court to either leave the law in place (because it helps packaged goods stores) or enforce the same restrictions that packaged goods face against anyone seeking to sell cold beer (e.g., a limit on the number of licenses available in the state, the inability to allow minors on premises, mandatory employee training, etc.)
A copy of the packaged goods stores’ petition to intervene can be found here.
This is quite a bit of fuss over cold beer. Unless there’s a scarcity of refrigerators in the state, I can only surmise that there’s some need for immediate consumption that makes this merited – otherwise Hoosiers could just wait a few hours while the beer chills in the ice box.
In any event, you won’t be waiting long for a decision. The schedule for this case puts a decision on the merits as a possibility as soon as early 2014.