Indiana panel OKs bill letting Ricker’s store sell cold beer

An Indiana House panel has approved a bill allowing Ricker's convenience stores to temporarily continue selling cold beer.

House Public Policy committee chairman Ben Smaltz said Monday that it's a short-term solution to a loophole in state liquor law. The Auburn Republican says the Legislature will address broader alcohol law issues at a later date. The bill was passed on an 8-4 vote. It would allow Ricker's to sell cold beer until their current permits expire.

Convenience stores can sell warm beer. But cold beer sales are reserved for liquor stores. Ricker's bypassed that by serving Mexican food at two locations, enabling them to obtain alcohol permits reserved for restaurants.

That irritated some powerful lawmakers who said it goes against the spirit of the law.

The measure now goes to the full House.

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