If you know me at all then you would know that I am not the biggest fan of pets. Some may assume that means that I didn’t have any growing up. It was quite the opposite, throughout my childhood we had dogs, cats, fish, lizards and birds. Not sure why, pets just aren’t my thing. As I visit breweries, I can’t help but notice that many enjoy bringing their pets (primarily dogs) along with them. Which made me ask the question, do dogs belong in taprooms?
For many, they feel very strongly about this topic. But even as a non-dog owner, I can see both sides of this argument.
Why Dogs Should Be Allowed In Taprooms
- People Love Dogs – Ok, not me but a lot of people genuinely love being around dogs
- People Consider Dogs Family – Craft beer is about community and dogs are a part of that
- Outdoor Drinking – A patio is considered an ideal place for man and man’s best friend
- Good For Business – Allowing dogs encourages dog lovers to visit taprooms
Why Dogs Should Not Be Allowed In Taprooms
- Safety – Dogs bite. Not usually but it does happen and some are not comfortable around them
- Noise – Dogs can be loud; no louder than “that one guy” at the next table but barking is annoying
- Allergies – This is a serious concern, lots of people have strong allergies to dogs and other animals
- Cleanliness – From dog hair to “accidents”, many worry about keeping the taproom clean
Should You Bring Your Dog To A Taproom?
This isn’t an easy question to answer. And like many questions there isn’t a clear or definitive answer.
While I am not a fan of comparing pets to children; this topic is similar to an article I wrote about kids in taprooms and the answer is not IF you should be bring your dog but rather WHEN.
Consider These Before Heading Out To A Brewery With Your Dog
- Dog Approved Brewery – Most breweries will let you know on their website if they are dog friendly
- Patio Details – Find out if there is a sizable patio space that is accessible without walking through the taproom
- Food & Water – Make sure you plan ahead to keep your dog fed and hydrated
- Leash Required – Be prepared to keep your dog close by and out of harms way
Reasons You Should Leave The Pooch At Home:
- Special Events – Unless it is dog focused, most events are too busy to accommodate pets
- Weather – If there is rain, snow or extreme heat; your dog will probably prefer to be at home
- Stranger Danger – Some dogs are not fans of strangers or other dogs
- Time – Consider whether you dog wants to be at the taproom as long as you do
I would highly recommend visiting a taproom a few times without your dog so you know the layout and expectations. If you think your dog would do well then consider bringing them along next time.
While I am not a pet owner, I do understand that many want to have their dog with them while they have a few pints. Just make sure that they are welcomed into the places you bring them and you are prepared to take care of them.
Related Post: Do Kids Belong In A Taproom?
Proposed Ohio Law
Much to my surprise, I recently found out that it is not legal in Ohio to have live animals in a food service operation or retail food establishments. This includes breweries/taprooms where food is served – which is quite common. The goal of this regulation is to maintain a clean, healthy environment for food service.
I was surprised to find this out because I always see dogs at breweries; especially in the outdoor patio areas.
From what I can tell, this regulation has always been in place but not always enforced. A few breweries have received letters telling them that pets are not permitted on their patios. As you can imagine, this was very upsetting news for the business owners and their dog loving customers.
Those in favor of dogs being allowed at breweries have already begun the the process to have a law put in place that would allow the owner of the restaurant, brewery, etc to decide if they want pets on their patios. The law would not allow pets (except service animals) on the inside of the business.
This law is being called the Companion Bill and is getting a lot of attention. As with any government process, I would not expect this to move quickly. So check with your local breweries to ensure that they are permitted to have pets on the patio before you head out for a drink with your dog.
Do Dogs Belong In Taprooms?
I know a good amount about breweries and the craft beer community but I don’t know much about dogs.
What I do know is people love their pets. And there is an increasing trend of owners bringing their pets with them just about anywhere they go. I am rarely bothered by dogs at taprooms so I lean towards the side that dogs are not prohibitive to the taproom experience (even as a non-pet owner). However, I do think that dogs and any other pets should be restricted to outdoor patio areas of the taproom.
With regards to health factors, I would prefer to eat in an area free of animals. But I also don’t think that animals automatically cause an unclean environment; especially in a patio scenario where there are many other factors that would cause health concerns.
Another factor to consider is other types of animals; do we allow all types of pets to be on the patios of restaurants and taprooms? Or just dogs?
My opinion is we do not need a law forcing businesses to ban or allow pets on their patios. Capitalism takes care of issues like this quite quickly. If people do not want pets near them while eating or drinking, then they will not go to establishments that allow it. And the opposite is true.
I don’t think this is an issue that is going away any time soon and I can foresee restaurants and breweries teaming up to get the law passed so they can welcome pet lovers back onto their patios and spending money at their establishments.