Judge Says No to Cold Beer Sales in Indiana C-stores

INDIANAPOLIS – A federal judge threw out a lawsuit seeking to permit convenience stores to sell cold beer in Indiana. In his 34-page ruling, released Monday, Judge Richard Young upheld current state law that only allows package liquor stores to sell beer at "chilled" temperatures, while all other retailers must sell it at room temperature, reported The IndyChannel.com.

The Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association (IPCA) filed the lawsuit in May 2013, claiming that Indiana's alcohol law favors one class of retailers over another in violation of the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Judge Young rejected the IPCA's claim that the ban on cold beer is "arcane" and said that since the state legislature drew a line on what it would allow and made a case for it, it is not his position to act as a super-legislature and overturn it.  He also wrote that allowing c-stores and grocery stores to sell cold beer would increase alcohol sales within the state, making it more difficult for the Indiana State Excise Police to enforce liquor laws.

The IPCA stated that it will continue to try to overturn the law.

"Our members and Hoosiers are disappointed that the court did not rule to end an irrational, discriminatory and outdated law," said IPCA Executive Director Scot Imus. "There is wide support to modernize Indiana’s alcohol laws, and we will continue to fight for fairness in the marketplace."

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