Indiana C-stores Prep Case for Cold Beer Sales

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Indiana C-stores Prep Case for Cold Beer Sales


INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana convenience stores will be in court Feb. 20 to push their case to sell cold beer.

In May, the Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association (IPCA) filed a lawsuit against the state in federal court, arguing that Indiana's law governing cold-beer sales violates the equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by favoring one class of retailer over another, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.

In Indiana, grocery and convenience stores are only allowed to sell room-temperature beer, while liquor stores can sell it cold.

IPCA is seeking an injunction, asking Judge Richard L. Young to rule that the state statute is unconstitutional. A hearing on the injunction has been set for Feb. 20 in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis. The hearing is expected to last two days, with the judge taking the matter under advisement and issuing a ruling at a later date, the news outlet reported.

Despite IPCA's push to sell cold beer, the Indiana Beverage Alliance, the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers and Indianapolis-based Monarch Beverage Co., the state's largest beer wholesaler, have filed briefs with the court opposing the move.

In addition, the 21st Amendment liquor store chain is expected to follow suit and file a brief, its lawyer, Michael Wukmer, a partner at Ice Miller LLP, told the Indianapolis Business Journal.

IPCA's took legal action after its efforts to get the General Assembly to change the law failed, said John Maley, a partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP who is representing the convenience stores.