July 17, 2009

Hoosiers seek cold beer in more stores

A group of Indiana businesses is lobbying officials to allow cold beer sales in more locations and to lift a ban on Sunday carry-out sales.

Hoosiers for Beverage Choices, a group that includes retailers Kroger, Thorntons and Marsh supermarkets, said it wants state laws to be changed to allow drugstores, grocery stores and convenience stores to sell refrigerated beer, the Indianapolis Star reported Friday.

The group said it also wants lawmakers to lift a ban on carry-out alcohol sales on Sundays.

Folks who want to throw a pack of beer into the cooler for a fishing trip or to have an evening get-together with friends should have the choice to purchase cold beer at their convenience, said David Bridgers, vice president and general counsel of Thorntons.

Bridgers said current law only allows for package liquor stores to sell refrigerated beer while Thorntons and other stores can only sell beer at room temperature.

Matt Norris, director of Hoosiers for Beverage Choices, said the restrictions create an invisible tax on cold beer sales. He said consumers shell out an average $1.07 more for a 24-can case of cold beer than for the same amount of room temperature brews.

This is an upward battle, but we hope to have the issue in consideration when the next legislative session begins in January, he said.