INDIANAPOLIS (WTWO/WAWV) — A proposed bill sits inside the Indiana General Assembly waiting to go through committees that, if approved, would give Indiana residents more options for purchasing cold beer.
Under the current law, only liquor stores and restaurants offering carryout food can sell cold beer in bottles, cans or howlers. Other alcoholic vendors such as pharmacies, grocery or convenience stores strictly have warm beer.
Marketing director at Baelser’s Market, Kristine O’Hare said she’s aware of the law but doesn’t know its origin.
“To me, it kind of reminds me of how we used to not be able to sell alcohol on Sundays. It’s just kind of always been a thing,” O’Hare said.
As President of the Indiana Grocery and Convenience Store Association since the 1970s, Joe Buckley has seen the effect of this law, with grocery stores in Indiana losing potential revenue.
“It’s a combination of a lot of things. In a grocery store and a convenience store you have a lot of different products,” he explained. “Once you start alienating it and pulling products out, one percent, two percent, it’s all percentage gains. It gets to the point where you’re no longer feasible, and you can’t compete, is the problem, with the people right across the state-line with better price points involved and cost factors.”
O’Hare said if the law is changed, it could provide a good business opportunity for Baesler’s.
“We’re always looking for ways to differentiate ourselves. That’s the only way we can compete against these big box stores,” she said. “It’d definitely be something we’d like to do to differentiate ourselves, have a craft beer section, have a refrigerated beer section, become a more of a beer destination. That is something we would absolutely love to do.”
WTWO made several calls to liquor stores across Terre Haute about their opinion on this proposed bill, with all of them declining to comment