Brickbats

Brickbat: Beer Run

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Beer
Richard Thomas | Dreamstime.com

Under Indiana law, convenience stores may not sell cold beer, only beer that has not been refrigerated. It's the law. But the Ricker's chain figured out a way around that law. Since it sells Mexican food in its stores it applied for restaurant licenses, which allow it to sell cold beer. Leaders in the state legislature have vowed to change the law to stop Ricker's from selling cold beer.

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  1. The move has prompted objections from the liquor store industry ? which has long been the sole source of cold beer for carryout ? and raised the blood pressure of some key lawmakers in the Indiana Statehouse who are vowing to pass legislation to make sure the convenience store beer stays warm.

    Bill of attainder or regulatory capture? You decide.

    1. The first, followed by the second.

      1. I prefer STUPID, then Unnecessary followed by Idiotic…how’s that for order

  2. They could supply CO2 fire extinguishers and a bucket.

  3. Testing.

  4. So they’re discouraging Americans from buying beer at their convenience stores, but Europeans come in all the time and chug it down by the case?

  5. Indiana — Republican state, or worst Republican state?

    1. I’d always thought Indiana was an alright place. When I lived in Illinois, many people moved there to avoid crazy high taxes.

      Didn’t know they had crazy puritanical bullshit like this going on.

      1. This strikes me more as protectionism than puritanism. Because how dare someone other than a certain group of licensees sell cold beer, amirite?

        1. Can’t blame the Republicans on this one. Plenty of dark blue states have wacko alcohol laws. Even Canada, the mecca of all things blue and proper, has weird ass beer laws.

      2. Of course Indiana is better than Illinois, but that’s a pretty low bar to clear. Indiana blue laws have been improving slowly, but we still have a long way to go. (At one point, liquor stores were supposed to card everybody who came in, and I mean everybody. If your very own little white-haired grandmother came in for a bottle of sherry, you were legally required to card grandma. A friend of mine once carded his own father. “Hi, dad. Can I see some ID?”) You still can’t buy carry-out booze (or a car) on Sunday.
        I still didn’t know it was this bad, though. When I noticed my local Ricker’s was selling cold beer and wine coolers, I assumed the law had finally changed. (There’s been at least a low-key push to change this for years.) I didn’t realize they’d just found a work-around.
        Oh, and speaking of crazy, convenience stores can’t see cold beer, while liquor stores can. But get this: liquor stores can’t sell cold soft drinks. Well, not inside or in multi-serving containers, anyway. They can maintain vending machines selling single-serving cans or bottles, as long as they’re outside the store. But if you buy a 2-liter of Coke or a bottle of soda water inside, it has to be warm. I swear I am not making this up.

  6. If the beer isn’t cold, they can hardly be called “convenience” stores, can they?

  7. Visited Oxford, MS a few years ago. They couldn’t sell cold beer there, either. Entirely coincidentally, the mayor, IIRC, owned an ice business.

    1. I visited Oxford, MS a couple of years ago and bought cold beer at the c-store.

      And chicken on a stick and pizza sticks and all kinds of ridiculous drunk food from those Chevrons just off the square.

      1. Did you try the fried pickles?

  8. I live in one of the cities where Ricker’s is selling the cold beer. IMO, the entire problem is driven by the liquor store lobby in the state. They have managed to protect their turf through constant lobbying which has created a patchwork of liquor laws in the state that is a complete mess. The liquor store lobby is even responsible for the fact that you still cannot buy booze on Sunday (not the puritans). Now along comes Ricker’s and they threaten one of the few remaining competitive features the liquor stores have (cold beer) and the lobby goes nuts again. The funny part is the congressman calling Ricker’s move a “loophole”. It’s not. They followed existing law and the Alcohol and Tobacco commission had no other option but to grant their requests. The initial proposed legislation that was being discussed to “stop” Ricker’s would have ended up putting a bunch of other businesses in jeopardy like golf courses and gourmet food/specialty stores, so the initial wave of “we’re going to fix this law” has at least been tempered. But the liquor store lobby is strong in this state (i.e. they donate a lot of money to the congressmen) so I’m sure we’ll all get screwed again.

  9. I miss Louisiana. Drive thru daquiri huts and you can buy liqour at the 7-Eleven until 2 a.m.

  10. In OK it was the reverse: only the Liquor Stores could sell 6 point beer, but it had to be warm.
    The convience stores could sell cold beer, but it could be 3.2.

  11. Just how much “extra training” is required to sell cold beer .vs warm beer???????? (maybe that will justify $15.00/hr)
    By the way, from the menu, it seems these are “sanctuary” convenience stores, and should be protected from legal scrutiny.

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