Sunday Sales of Beer (and other alcohol), let’s think about it

While this could be an opinion piece it is not intended to be.

My point here is simply to think before you buy your beer or wine.

What you already likely know:   Both beer and wine have been available on Sunday in Indiana for quite awhile since breweries with a taproom attached and wineries with tasting rooms have been selling products on Sunday under existing Indiana law.   Breweries and originally liquor stores actually fought a “Sunday sales” law as it removes some advantages for each.  Breweries already sell on Sunday and liquor stores feared higher costs (staffing ) but no real monthly gain. The grocery stores conceded cold beer sales, the liquor stores stopped opposing, and there is a new law starting Sunday, March 4. Sales are legal from noon until 8, but some locations will limit until 6 pm, some until 7 or 7:30. This means a local brewpub that is open until 10, 11, or midnight will still sell you a growler after the 8 pm close of other retailers!

What I think I will do:   I want to support (AKA drink from) my local breweries. I also want to support (AKA drink from) other craft breweries. I stop by a local brewery on Sunday and sometimes I carry out beer so I’ll continue to do that.  All those folks that I’ve gotten to know depend on people like me to buy their beer so they can keep making it.  The brewery makes the most profit when I buy directly at the brewery, of course.  I think I’ll continue to buy from the brewery when I can, when it is convenient, and I can plan ahead.

Remember, until now breweries could only sell beer on Sunday at locations that actually produced that beer.  Starting Sunday, March 4, other locations can now sell beer from noon until 8.  For example, Mad Anthony of Fort Wayne will sell growlers and six packs at their Auburn Tap Room, Warsaw Lake City Tap House, Angola Lakeview Ale House and Shigs In Pit Maplecrest Sunday noon until 8. CORRECTION:  Thr3e Wisemen, Broad Ripple, serves Thr3e Wisemen beer in growlers on March 4,  for $5, to celebrate.  An earlier version attributed the price to Scotty’s  as the email came from Scotty’s but this was limited to TW at Broad Ripple.

Check your local brewery for Sunday specials! 

One central Indiana mega-retailer, and a big local one for me,  Big Red, is offering 25% off Indiana craft beer on March 4.  Will that undermine the local breweries?  Likely.  Since I buy my cans of Taxman, Daredevil, Triton or other  beer or my further away Mad Anthony beer  from Big Red (rather than drive an hour or more from my house to get those) I don’t feel bad buying it on their sale.   When I am at Taxman, Daredevil, Triton, Sun King, and more I sometimes get a growler, crowler, or carry out!   I’ll keep doing that.

I am not against buying beer at Kroger or even CVS and there is evidence that craft beer has expanded in volume being in drug and in grocery stores.  Many craft breweries were thrilled to get product in those outlets, to gain sales. The same holds for many local wineries as well.  For me Lucky’s carries a good selection, I’ve met up with rep friends there and sometimes their price has attracted me — I was still supporting good craft beer.

So I won’t change what I do. I might, indeed, stop by Big Red on Sunday for a few Indiana beers that are so far away I would not be going to their brewery.

And I simply suggest you, too, think about who will benefit when you buy the beer you love.  That growler sale helps a lot of people and beer cannot get fresher.

And I will continue to support my local wineries, too, when it makes sense.

Cheers to good, craft beer!  Overall beer sales were down in 2017, and craft beer growth has slowed even as more breweries are opening.  I love the variety, I love the people, I love the beer.  I’ll keep them going if I can!