Cold beer battle heads to federal court for hearing

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INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 20, 2014) – Indiana is the only state in the U.S. to regulate alcohol sales based on temperature—and some store owners want to change that.

They’ll head to federal court Thursday for a two-day hearing challenging a state law that allows liquor stores to sell cold beer but prevents places like convenience and grocery stores from doing so.

The Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association (IPCA) filed a federal lawsuit in May 2013 against the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission (ATC). The IPCA argues that the law preventing stores from selling cold beer costs them millions of dollars in sales. The group says the law violates the Constitution’s equal protection clause and defies common sense.

The Attorney General’s Office says the measure is in place to protect public safety.

The IPCA has also taken the issue to the General Assembly, but lawmakers killed the bill last year. The group has also pushed for Sunday alcohol sales.