Top beer distributor challenges state ban on liquor permit

November 30, 2015

Indiana’s largest beer and wine distributor is challenging a state law that bars it and other beer and wine wholesalers from distributing liquor.

Indianapolis-based Monarch Beverage Co. will argue its case Tuesday before the Indiana Court of Appeals after a Marion Superior judge ruled in favor of the state Alcohol and Tobacco Commission.

Monarch argues the statutory prohibition violates the Equal Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Indiana Constitution and is also an impermissible restraint of trade. The company also has lobbied lawmakers in recent sessions to change the law, permitting it to distribute alcoholic beverages in addition to beer and wine.  

The company in September lost a federal lawsuit challenging the prohibition on federal constitutional grounds.

Indiana Court of Appeals Judges Edward Najam, James Kirsch and Michael Barnes will hear Monarch’s appeal of the state court ruling at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Supreme Court chambers of the Statehouse.



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