Indiana lawmakers drafting plans to close cold beer loophole

Indiana lawmakers are drafting legislation that would prevent stores from selling cold beer. (WISH-TV Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — After an Indiana convenience store found a way to sell cold beer, lawmakers are drafting plans to close the loophole.

The General Assembly sets policy when it comes to alcohol sales. It isn’t happy the Indiana State Alcohol and Tobacco Commission gave a license to gas station company – Ricker’s.

House Speaker Brian Bosma said legislation will be introduced this week to stop it. Right now, Indiana law prevents stores from selling cold beer. Restaurants are allowed to sell it.

Ricker’s gas station owner said legislation is unfair, and he plans to fight it. The owner said the company spent three months going through the process to obtain the license.

It has a made-to-order food section at two of its stores. The owner said a hearing took place, and a board issued the license.

Bosma disagrees with the decision. He wants it reversed and doesn’t think Ricker’s should be “grandfathered in.” He said his problem is with the board who issued the license.

“This is an agency that has ignored history, has ignored the will of the legislature and has inaccurately and incorrectly issued a license for something that the General Assembly – who sets alcohol policy – has said no to,” Bosma said.

The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers isn’t happy with the Ricker’s license decision. In a statement, the agency says:

“Ricker’s is flaunting Indiana’s policy and thumbing its nose at the General Assembly.”

As for the agency that approved the license, it declined to comment at this time.

The proposed legislation is up for vote on Wednesday.