Bill allowing state fair alcohol sales heads to governor

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Alcohol sales at the Indiana State Fair are one step from reality after a bill to repeal the ban passed the Indiana House of Representatives on Tuesday.

The legislation is now headed to Gov. Mike Pence to be signed or vetoed. The bill passed 75-20.

The bill, authored by Sen. James Merritt, R-Indianapolis, seeks to end a nearly 70-year old ban on beer and alcohol sales at the state fair.

Indiana is currently the only state in the nation to completely ban alcohol from its state fair. North Carolina, which has limited alcohol sales at its state fair, is the closest state to Indiana in terms of restrictions.

The House sponsor of the bill, Rep. Jerry Torr, R-Carmel, spoke Tuesday to encourage its passage.

“What the state fair proposes to do is have a confined area where you would have to be 21 to enter,” Torr said. “So it’s not going to be people carrying beers all over the state fair grounds. It’s going to be a confined area, like a beer garden, with controlled access.

“Nobody is going to be able to take anything out of there,” Torr said. “It’s their intention to highlight Indiana brewed beer and wine from Indiana wineries.”

Rep. David Ober, R-Albion, said a constituent was concerned about whether the bill could extend alcohol sales to county fairs. But Torr said the it only applies to the Indiana State Fair.


  • As long as it's INDIANA beer
    If the beer is going to be $6+ per cup, at least make it Indiana craft beer. Keep the big beer players out.
  • It's time
    When my wife and I lived in Milwaukee, we attended the Wisconsin State Fair. Great event and they served beer at beer gardens and there were no problems at all. Responsible consumption of a legal product - made in Indiana - is not at all going to destroy, much less disrupt, the otherwise family atmosphere at the Indiana State Fair. I hope Gov. Pence signs it into law. Cheers!

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  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.