Monarch Beverage to lay off 100 employees

Crate with full beer bottles

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — 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 wholesaler will pull out of the wine business by closing its $67 million-a-year wine distribution business.

The Indianapolis Star reports 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.

Company chief executive Phil Terry says 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.

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