(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Some Indiana distilleries could be allowed to sell bottles of alcohol directly to consumers if a new proposal gains support from Indiana lawmakers.
The Indianapolis Star reports House Bill 1293 passed the House on a 91-8 vote Tuesday and now heads to the Senate, where the vote may be closer.
The legislation establishes an artisan distillery permit which would be issued through the Indiana Tobacco and Alcohol Commission. As part of the proposal, distilleries could give visitors hard liquor samples or allow them to purchase a bottle to take home. Currently, Indiana law only permits distilleries to sell to wholesalers.
However, the MGP Ingredients-owned Lawrenceburg Distillery would still be restricted. The proposal only applies to micro-distilleries that produce less than 20,000 gallons of alcoholic beverage in a year. More than 28 million gallons of product can be produced each year at the Lawrenceburg Distillery.
Unlike Indiana, each neighboring state does allow distillers to sell alcohol to more than just wholesalers.
This bill is just one of a few being considered at the Statehouse that would roll back some of Indiana’s prohibition-era laws. The Star reported that the House Public Policy Committee had a hearing concerning a bill to allow carry-out alcohol sales on Sundays. It is the first time a hearing on repealing the Sunday sales ban has ever been held.
A representative of Kroger grocery stores said Indiana loses out on $25 million to $40 million in tax revenue each year because of the Sunday rule.
The committee could hold a vote next week on the proposal to repeal the Sunday alcohol sales ban.