Crack open a luke­warm one: State’s quirky rules about beer

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION -

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.

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