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Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb addresses cold beer proposals

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Indiana cold beer debate has caught the attention of Governor Eric Holcomb.

This month, a gas station started selling cold beer. This prompted a House and Senate committee to introduce amendments to stop it.

As lawmakers work on the loophole, Governor Holcomb spoke to 24-Hour News 8 at his residence Friday and said the gas station, and Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission did nothing wrong.

Ricker’s Gas Station was awarded a restaurant liquor license for its Columbus and Sheridan locations. The business has made to order food, and a cooler of cold beer for purchase behind the counter.

Right now, Indiana law prevents stores from selling cold beer. Ricker’s Gas Station owner, Jay Ricker said he did nothing wrong because he has a restaurant inside the gas station.

This week, a Senate committee passed an amendment that would change the definition of a restaurant license. A House committee is set to vote on an amendment Monday. It features several changes, including requiring a restaurant to make 90 percent of its profits from food and drinks.

Another idea, a summer conference to look into the alcohol issue further. 24-Hour News 8 asked Governor Holcomb what he prefers.

“The State of Indiana has followed the law, and if the general assembly seeks to tweak that law, it’s up to them on how they move forward.” Governor Holcomb said.

The Indiana Petroleum and Convenience Store Association said changing the law could impact other businesses, including theaters, salons, and bowling alleys.

The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers disagrees. It believes Ricker’s is thumbing its nose at the general assembly, and a gas station shouldn’t be allowed to sell cold beer.

In the meantime, Ricker’s had planned put cold beer in more locations, but the owner said he’ll hold off on that if legislators conduct a summer study.

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