Indiana’s largest beer distributor laying off 100 workers

Indiana's largest beer distributor is laying off 100 workers after losing a contract with a major supplier.

Monarch Beverage Co. expects the job cuts to occur by Sept. 1, when the Indianapolis-based wholesaler will pull out of the wine business by closing its $67 million-a-year wine distribution business.

The losses are a casualty of Monarch's long-running feud with state officials and liquor wholesalers over what types of products it can sell, The Indianapolis Star reported.

Company chief executive Phil Terry said state rules forbid it from selling hard liquor at a time when many wine companies are also producing liquor products.

Monarch's top wine supplier, California-based E&J Gallo Winery, notified Monarch in March that it's ending its ties with Monarch because it can't distribute its growing portfolio of liquor products.

Monarch has fought multiple legal battles over the years in an attempt to gain the ability to distribute both beer and hard liquor. Less than a year ago, its latest appeal was rejected by judges in the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

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