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Wholesale Liquor License Granted to Beer Distributor’s Subsidiary in Indiana

Law PicSpirit Sales LLC, an affiliate of Monarch Beverage Co., Indiana’s largest beer and wine distributor, has just been granted a wholesale liquor license by an Indiana court.  The ruling comes after years of denied requests instituted by the state’s Alcohol and Tobacco Commission.  The company’s competitors were also responsible, as they heavily lobbied for the denial of their requests.  Because Spirit Sales’ parent company has the same shareholders and executive management team as Monarch, the ATC and competition argued that giving Spirit Sales a license to sell liquor would threaten the three-tier system.  As a state that prohibits wholesalers from holding both a wholesale beer and liquor license, the ATC did have a basis for denying those requests.  A judge of the Marion County Superior Court saw it differently, though, and stated that “Monarch shareholders’ interests in the parent company do no create an indirect interest in the property of its subsidiary.”  In addition, the court found that the ATC had made decisions in the past where they “granted permits to companies in similar situations.”  Spirit Sales first applied for a wholesale liquor license in 2013 and after years of denials, the company has finally had their request granted.

Source: Indianapolis Business Journal