Liquor and grocery stores team up to support Sunday alcohol sales

Alcohol sales on Sunday may be coming to Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (RTV 6) - Alcohol sales on Sunday may finally be coming to Indiana, but it could come at the expense of another wish of convenience store chains if a new agreement between two major lobbying groups becomes law. 

The associations representing liquor stores and grocery stores now say they support allowing the sale of adult beverages on Sundays as long as the sale of cold beer any day of the week remains restricted to liquor stores.

The agreement between the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers and the Indiana Retail Council could prove influential in next year’s legislative session. 

Lawmakers have consistently turned aside attempts to legalize both Sunday sales and sales of cold beer outside of liquor stores under the heavy influence of lobbying money from liquor stores and distributors. 

“This agreement proves that we can work together to deliver results for Hoosiers without compromising on safety,” said Jon Snider, Chairman of the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers.  “The package liquor store industry along with our friends at the Indiana Retail Council are committed to working directly with legislators to successfully draft and pass meaningful and impactful public policy that will allow Hoosiers to purchase alcohol for carryout on Sundays for the first time since Prohibition.”  

Currently, you can buy alcohol in Indiana between 7 a.m. and 3 a.m. Monday through Saturday only.

Bills to allow Sunday sales have been introduced in the past three legislative sessions, but all three attempts have failed. 

“We are pleased to announce this agreement that strengthens the regulations as to how alcohol is sold in Indiana while also giving Hoosiers greater shopping convenience,” said Grant Monahan, President of the Indiana Retail Council.  “We look forward to working with the package liquor stores and members of the Indiana General Assembly to put Hoosiers first with common-sense reforms.”

The agreement isn’t sitting well with the group that represents convenience stores, particularly since it was partnering with grocery stores as recently as a few months ago to lobby for both cold beer and Sunday sales.


“How credible can these groups be when just six months ago each made opposite claims,” said Scott Imus with the Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association. “Frankly, this type of backroom gamesmanship and hypocrisy is exactly what the public despises and what has led to Indiana’s non-sensical alcohol laws.”

Legislators held hearings on revising alcohol laws over the summer after Ricker’s convenience stores attempted to circumvent the ban on cold beer sales by establishing restaurant space at one of its locations in Columbus.

Restaurants and breweries/brewpubs are allowed to sell cold beer for carryout.

The legislature hastily passed a bill to close the loophole, which led the convenience store association to commission a poll that showed that 71-percent of Hoosiers favor the sale of cold beer at convenience and grocery stores.

65-percent were in favor of Sunday sales, according to the survey.

In addition to Sunday sales, the two groups offered the following policy recommendations:

The IABR and IRC strongly oppose the expansion of the sale of cold beer in Indiana.


The IABR and the IRC believe that the sale of alcohol should be strictly regulated and that the existing regulations regarding cold beer are important safety measures.


IABR and IRC strongly oppose new restrictions on the type and variety of adult beverage products sold and displayed by drug and grocery stores.


IABR and IRC support significantly increasing the fines for sales to minors. Tripling the fines would generate funds that could be used to increase the number of excise officers.


The IABR and the IRC support strengthening and increasing penalties for adults who host parties and furnish alcohol to minors.


While the IABR and the IRC recognize that alcoholic beverages are now sold responsibly in Indiana, both organizations support changes that would require a mandatory age verification check for alcohol purchases; and require video monitoring or the presence of store employees in close proximity to the sale and/or display of alcoholic beverages.

“This agreement proves that we can work together to deliver results for Hoosiers without compromising on safety,” said Jon Sinder, Chairman of the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers.  “The package liquor store industry along with our friends at the Indiana Retail Council are committed to working directly with legislators to successfully draft and pass meaningful and impactful public policy that will allow Hoosiers to purchase alcohol for carryout on Sundays for the first time since Prohibition.”

“We are pleased to announce this agreement that strengthens the regulations as to how alcohol is sold in Indiana while also giving Hoosiers greater shopping convenience,” said Grant Monahan, President of the Indiana Retail Council.  “We look forward to working with the package liquor stores and members of the Indiana General Assembly to put Hoosiers first with common-sense reforms.”

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(This story was originally published on Nov. 10, 2017)


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