Beer exception: how to purchase cold beer in Indiana on Sundays

There are some businesses benefiting from Indiana’s no-liquor sales on Sundays law: breweries.

In 2010, brewers across Indiana celebrated the return of carryout beer sales on Sundays. Senate Bill 75 allowed Indiana breweries to sell growlers and bottles of beer if they are brewed on-site. Over the past four years the craft beer culture expanded across Indiana, meaning more brewery options for Hoosiers.

“There’s no limit and definitely on Sunday, the growler sales are more steady than normal,” said Barry Gerard of Bare Hands Brewery in Granger.

Faithful customers bring in 32 and 64 oz. glass growlers to fill with their favorite brew. Bare Hands accepts growlers from any brewery, and charges around $6 per refill.

“Sundays and holidays are definitely busier with fills on those days,” Gerard added.

Indiana residents have limited options when it comes to alcohol on Sundays. Those over the age of 21 can purchase drinks by the glass at restaurants and bars, but grocery stores, liquor stores and pharmacies are banned from selling booze on Sundays.

Sunday patrons at breweries can take home cold beers fresh from the tap.

Evil Czech Brewery in Mishawaka has a special window dedicated specifically for growler refills. Bartender Kelly Durrenberger said she recommends customers try a flight of beers before selecting one to take home.

“People don’t want to go over the border to Michigan to get their beer, so they just come here,” said Durrenberger.

According to Durrenberger, Sundays are a busy day for growler refills. Many people want to have the option to buy beer every day of the week, not just Monday through Saturday.

A federal judge upheld restrictions on the sale of cold beer in June 2014. Liquor stores continue to be the only locations—outside breweries—that can sell takeaway containers of cold beer, but even liquor stores aren’t open on Sundays.

“There’s nowhere else to go” said one Evil Czech customer.

The increased weekend business is good news for small breweries. Head brewer at Evil Czech, Scott Ciampa, said increased sales gives him the opportunity to try more recipes and brew more beer.

“Since we’re the only option on Sundays it pushes craft beer forward and gets people trying different things,” said Ciampa.

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