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Convenience stores challenge cold beer law

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Convenience stores say Indiana’s law regarding the sale of cold beer is confusing and contradictory, and now they’re launching a legal challenge.

Executives and members of the Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association (IPCA) have filed a complaint in U.S. District Court challenging Indiana’s law governing the sale of cold beer.

Under the current law, convenience stores, grocery stores and pharmacies have to sell beer at room temperature while competing package liquor businesses can sell cold beer. Bars and restaurants can also sell refrigerated beer, the group points out. The IPCA said the law violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution and favors one type of business over another.

The ICPA said the law is also confusing, pointing out that it doesn’t apply to wine. Convenience stores can, for example, sell refrigerated wine products but are required to keep beer warm.

The ICPA called for a more “common sense” approach to the state’s alcohol laws and said the cold beer rule puts them at a disadvantage. Indiana is the only state that regulates beer sales based on temperature.