Crack open a lukewarm one: State’s quirky rules about beer
INDIANAPOLIS | A gas station owner discovered a loophole in an Indiana law regulating the sale of cold beer, igniting a fierce legislative battle involving the state’s liquor store lobby.
Decades-old rules, closely guarded by elected officials who receive donations from the industry, strictly manage who can sell “iced or cooled” beer for carryout. It’s a right granted to package liquor stores and restaurants but denied gas stations and convenience stores.
So one owner installed seating and
served burritos, landing a restaurant classification — and the right to sell cold beer.
Liquor stores say they’re protecting what’s theirs, with store permits auctioning for as much as $500,000.
An Associated Press review found liquor store interests have spent at least $150,000 on lobbying while donating more than $750,000 to lawmakers since 2010.