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Indiana governor will let territory law expire.

Indiana Gov. Frank O'Bannon has announced that he intends to let a long-standing state rule expire this year and let breweries establish exclusive territories for distributing their beer in Indiana. The move was announced last week, triggering a new round of discussion about Indiana's "beer baron" rule.

The rule bans brewers from distributing beer through exclusive territories, as is the practice in other states.

The General Assembly passed legislation in 1989 that would have overridden a 1979 Alcoholic Beverage Commission rule and allowed exclusive territories, but it was vetoed by then-Gov. Evan Bayh.

"Frankly I was hoping that this day would never come, because it is a very

controversial issue and it was nice to have 12 years of not having to deal with it," said John Livengood, a lobbyist for the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers told the Washington Post.

Supporters of the rule, including many retailers, say it lets them shop around for the best prices. Without it, they have argued, beer prices could go up $1 to $2 a case while helping a few distributors get richer.

If the administrative rule is allowed to expire Dec. 31, breweries could authorize one distributor or wholesaler to serve a specific territory.
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U3IN
Date:Jun 25, 2001
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