Cerveza Fria? Zimne Piwo? Grocery Stores challenge Indiana’s restrictions on selling cold beer.

Indiana has a law limiting the sale of cold beer.  Under
Indiana Code 7.1-5-10-11
, certain permitees allowed to sell beer cannot
sell cold beer:

. Sale of Cold Beer Prohibited. It is unlawful for the holder of a beer
dealer’s permit to offer or display for sale, or sell, barter, exchange or give
away a bottle, can, container, or package of beer that was iced or cooled by
the permittee before or at the time of the sale, exchange, or gift.

There are exceptions to the rule, but the rule keeps grocery
stores and convenience stores from selling cold beer.  Strangely, under Indiana law, grocery stores
can sell cold wine – which often has an alcohol content higher than beer.

The complaint (a full copy with exhibits is here) has an
interesting argument related to craft beer – that because some craft beer manufacturers
require cooling, facilities unable to sell cold beer cannot meet the requirements
or sell the beer and are kept out of the marketplace for craft beer.

The point to this complaint, and the tie-in to one of the
curious themes we’ve seen recently, is that the rational basis argument pops up
here.  We saw this recently in the
challenge to Kentucky’s
regulations prohibiting grocery stores and convenience stores from selling
liquor and wine
.  The broader point
is the recent push to challenge liquor laws alleging they have no rational
basis under the equal protection guaranties of the constitution.  As with Kentucky, we will watch the progress
of this suit to see where the Indiana court comes out on the issue.

Ashley Brandt

Hi there! I’m happy you’re here. My name is Ashley Brandt and I’m an attorney in Chicago representing clients in the Food and Beverage, Advertising, Media, and Real Estate industries. A while back I kept getting calls and questions from industry professionals and attorneys looking for advice and information on a fun and unique area of law that I’m lucky enough to practice in. These calls represented a serious lack of, and need for, some answers, news, and information on the legal aspects of marketing and media. I've got this deep seeded belief that information should be readily available and that the greatest benefit from the information age is open access to knowledge... so ... this blog seemed like the best way to accomplish that. I enjoy being an attorney and it’s given me some amazing opportunities, wonderful experiences, and an appreciation and love for this work. I live in Chicago and work at an exceptional law firm, Goldstein & McClintock, with some truly brilliant people. Feel free to contact me at any time with any issues, comments, concerns… frankly, after reading this far, I hope you take the time to at least let me know what you think about the blog and how I can make it a better resource.

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