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Of Tykes and Taprooms: Do Kids Belong in Breweries?

Discussion in 'Article Comments' started by BeerAdvocate, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. BeerAdvocate

    BeerAdvocate Founders (17,679) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts

  2. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (10,602) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    I have no problems with children in a brewery if they're behaved, and only up until a certain time of day, but that also depends on the brewery/brewpub (8 pm might be good for some, perhaps a little earlier or later for others) - and in my opinion this applies to all restaurants and bars as well (I'm of course only speaking about the U.S., Europe and many other countries are different).

    I also have no problem with parents using it as a little respite from the kids - a "little" respite - but we all have our horror stories. I try to treat kids like adults and that usually works.

    What I appreciated about the article was that they mentioned the way alcohol is stigmatized in American society, and that hiding it is not an answer, and thus I think kids should see adults enjoying alcohol and behaving properly; and they're correct that when you go out into public you are exposing yourself to the 'elements', shall we say?
    #2 NeroFiddled, Sep 18, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  3. tone77

    tone77 Poo-Bah (5,643) May 20, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I personally think a drinking establishment is for adults only, and children being present may discourage me from returning. Now if it is a restaurant first and foremost that happens to sell beer, then that is a different circumstance.
    Mwidzinski, dirtyfab, dacubz and 27 others like this.
  4. Benish

    Benish Meyvn (1,029) Mar 13, 2013 Wisconsin

    I always contact the brewery beforehand to see if their establishment is family friendly. It’s really up to the brewery if children are alllowed. Unfortunately no matter what, someone on one end will not be pleased. Best thing we can do as parents is make sure kids are not out of control and that they have something to enjoy.

    Hats off to Fremont Brewing Company for providing one of the best family friendly breweries I’ve been in!
    #4 Benish, Sep 18, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
    sliv, yossle, kemoarps and 17 others like this.
  5. Celtics76

    Celtics76 Defender (679) Sep 5, 2011 Rhode Island

    I think it's somewhat selfish to take a child to a brewery for extended drinking sessions. Especially if you're going to more or less ignore your kid while he/she runs wild (because they're bored). Exception being breweries that have games available.

    Regardless, I'd rather take my son to the video arcade or mini golf and watch him have a blast. Worry about having a beer later.
  6. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Initiate (179) Aug 2, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Depends on the facility and culture of the brewery. Most places, no. Breweries that have a ton of dogs and young families, absolutely.
    yossle, rocdoc1, Readmorevols and 4 others like this.
  7. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,291) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    Any time anyone brings this up in the Denver beer community you can strap in for 500 posts of ranting from all sides.
    I've seen the good and bad, so I'll just stick to "it depends."
  8. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (3,197) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Society Trader

    Do kids belong in breweries? Yes and no.

    There are breweries in town that offer games and large patios where I can stretch out with friends, talk shit, and play games. Those places are fun in larger groups, even if kids are around. Then there are smaller breweries that I'll visit when I'm solo, where I may take an hour to slowly empty my glass. I don't think kids belong in those places. For me, it's about space availability within the brewery.

    Of course, I don't have kids, so I understand that brings about a certain bias.
    yossle, Rick760Sd, skiking70 and 2 others like this.
  9. Dragginballs76

    Dragginballs76 Poo-Bah (2,199) Nov 13, 2015 South Carolina
    Society Trader

    This I can take my son to our local brewery which has tons of games for kids or Sierra Nevada or even Wicked Weed. i would not take him to Burial, it is just a different atmosphere. I also would not take him if I am drinking for an extended period of time. If I am stopping in for a pint or two with the wife and maybe snacks I have no problem. If I am meeting friends for a share or hanging out I leave him at home. It is also very important to note he does not leave my side, if he plays games I am there, he bothered no one. Now that he is 16 he does not hang out with us as much so this is not an issue.
    yossle, cronimi, russpowell and 7 others like this.
  10. BeanBump

    BeanBump Disciple (375) Dec 14, 2016 California

    Weed is legal is CA. You cant bring kids into any dispensary despite it being illegal to consume on the premises. Alcohol has the same minimum age to purchase. Kids are not welcome at full-on bars but are welcome at breweries. Its always seemed odd to me to allow kids to bear witness to (potentially bad) adult decisions in some instances but not others.

    I dont personally mind seeing kids in breweries most of the time. The one exception is when mom and dad are both drinking beer and you realize that one of the two is driving that kid home.
  11. Smokee

    Smokee Initiate (149) Jul 23, 2009 Massachusetts

    The kids name is Sheffield. Discussion over.
  12. JohnnyChicago

    JohnnyChicago Crusader (795) Sep 3, 2010 Illinois

    Cubs fan fo sho.
    FBarber and Smokee like this.
  13. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (1,662) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Society Trader

    I can only say that I wish this were a thing when my kids were younger. Kids like adults need a little strange every now and then. I used to take them to Chucky Cheese on Saturdays and have a pint while reading thru my industry magazines. That got old for them and me after a while. If something like this could have gotten worked into the equation it would have been nice. I honestly have never had a bad experience with kids nor dogs at a brewery so I don't really see the issue with it. But as @BeanBump said above, someone has to behave on these excursions. Luckily for me my wife doesn't like beer so if it is a brewery weekend, she will be driving and if we stay downtown and go somewhere else, I behave and take over later in the evening.
    The only thing I have seen that was problematic was when I was in Florida this past vacation and a local brewery doing a doggie day. That my friend was a shitshow waiting to happen. All those dogs in one place, shit that was better than people watching. For the brief hour we were there there were almost 5 throwdowns with dogs getting their butts sniffed and wanting no part of it.
    rocdoc1, Shanex, KevSal and 6 others like this.
  14. tzieser

    tzieser Meyvn (1,026) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    Unless you're bringing your kids to the Children's Museum afterwards or something like that, get a sitter and leave 'em at home.
  15. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (4,017) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota

    The writer of the article had it perfectly right IMHO.

    If you're going to bring your kids to a brewery or brewpub, expect to act like a parent. If you choose not to, expect not to be welcome.

    We brought our kids to local places from the age of 8 or 9. They are both well-behaved to the impartial eye, & would sit coloring or talking or playing with one of our cell phones. No running around. No leaving the table. No shrieking (I just had this happen with a pair of kids in a place out in California, & those parents should have been kicked to the curb).

    If you have high energy kids who need to run or yell to be happy, or are unwilling to exercise parental oversight, leave them at home.

    Exact same thing goes for dogs.
  16. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (3,197) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Society Trader

    That's an... interesting point. There is a street here that includes a large bar, three breweries, and a coffee shop. Where's the one place patrons under 21 aren't allowed at any point during operation hours? The coffee shop. All because they serve alcohol and no food.

    I never thought about how backwards that was until just now. Kids can't stop in a relaxed coffee shop that also serves alcohol, however they could watch beer being made or consumed in large quantities at the higher energy bar and breweries all day*.

    *The bar starts IDing at the door at around 8 or 9 PM depending on the night of the week. The breweries do not.
    BeanBump and Amendm like this.
  17. Amendm

    Amendm Devotee (457) Jun 7, 2018 Rhode Island

    Some breweries and taprooms have a family friendly environment, that said misbehaving kids are a nuisance in any situation.
  18. GoatmanBrewsMD

    GoatmanBrewsMD Aspirant (240) Dec 16, 2010 Maryland

    Seems to be a hot topic button across the country. Union Brewing out of Baltimore just established a new policy that bans children after 6 p.m. This was in response to multiple incidences of people not watching their kids and property being destroyed and children running around.


    Personally, I do not bring my children to breweries because I don't want to parent when I'm at the brewery and I don't expect other people to do it for me. I find someone to watch them or I don't go. This may not be the best solution for everyone though.

    The only time I tend to bring them with me is if we're on vacation and we're just kind of visiting. I may go in and grab a growler/crowler, maybe do a tour if they're offering...and then we're on our way.
  19. HopsDubosc

    HopsDubosc Disciple (362) Apr 24, 2015 Vermont

    Do kids belong in breweries? Parents say yes. Non-parents say no. I certainly observed my own opinion changing after becoming a parent.
  20. rudiecantfail

    rudiecantfail Zealot (558) Aug 9, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I'd say that if the brewery is specifically set up for kids, then sure. They have made a business decision to go for folks with kids. If the place isn't set up for kids, then you're most likely talking about selfish parents who care more about getting their beer on than they do about their kids' happiness. That situation doesn't work out for the kids or the other patrons.
    beerindex, Jbuitron, meanmutt and 3 others like this.
  21. Laurie0

    Laurie0 Initiate (61) Aug 28, 2015 California

    Every time I go to a brewery and see kids, I feel two things: 1. jealousy that this wasn't "a thing" available to me when my kids were small (both are now in college); and 2. continued appreciation for the industry that feels inclusive rather than exclusive, as is the setup for the wine industry.
    cronimi, Jmorey, frozyn and 20 others like this.
  22. Smakawhat

    Smakawhat Poo-Bah (6,880) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland

    I agree it depends... certain places.. times.. atmospheres it works, and in others it doesn't.

    I grew up in a place where if you were just flat out underage of the drinking law you weren't allowed in, this means kids obviously, restaurants of course are different.

    Fun story back in the day. When I moved to the area down here, I used to hang out at a local Irish pub at nights. It had performers who were regulars. During the early evening hours parents would often be in the pub with their kids for dinner, and also some at the bar wanting to just have a good time while the bandmates played.

    So they would play the usual Irish like stuff. Then as they are just keeping it low key the guitar/singer behind the mic stand looks at his watch around 9:30.. then makes a judgement call.

    Goes up an says:

    Ok folks.. it's now after 9:30 so we're going to go on with our "usual" set so, if your kids aren't in bed by now, they will probably have a lot of questions for you by the time we are done. (ie. their songs were raunchy lets put it that way).

    Which got a good laugh out of everyone. Some stuck around, no harm no foul.

    Good times.
  23. Benish

    Benish Meyvn (1,029) Mar 13, 2013 Wisconsin

    Unless they walked? :wink:
    AlcahueteJ and pjeagles like this.

    DISKORD Aspirant (277) Feb 28, 2017 North Carolina

    As long as they're well behaved.
    chrismattlin and Jwale73 like this.
  25. Fireboy

    Fireboy Initiate (156) May 11, 2006 Maryland

    We go to Oliver's in B'More on Saturdays. They have an area for kids and corn hole, etc. My teens have a blast there. There are always dogs and young kids and I have yet to see an issue. When DuClaw holds releases they are also dog and kid friendly, hell, at the bigger events like pet-a-palooza (this Saturday) there are always tons of games for the kids and non-beer prizes to win.I think it's all in how it's managed and in the parents self policing.
    GoatmanBrewsMD likes this.
  26. bl00

    bl00 Disciple (381) May 13, 2013 Pennsylvania

    This article has funny timing with the new Union policy. Though the limits that they set seemed very reasonable from where I sit, I was surprised at the outrage they received. Strangely enough, I recall that just last year Union had pretty restricted hours (closing early, closed sunday, etc). There seemed to be little concern for this, yet such a strong reaction to essentially longer hours imposed on children being present than the brewery had as a whole open before.
    GoatmanBrewsMD likes this.
  27. PJ_

    PJ_ Initiate (164) Nov 13, 2014 North Carolina

    I didn't mind until I went to Resident Culture on a Friday for their Food Truck "fest". There were so many of them running loose that you literally had to watch your step to prevent stepping on a toddler. So I'm against them roaming free but I don't mind well behaved ones with responsible parents to curb them when needed. I'm also OK with breweries providing play rooms or areas for them to enjoy so they don't run into me trying to carry a few pints back to the table.

    ^same for dogs
  28. JeremyDanner

    JeremyDanner Aspirant (212) Dec 20, 2005 Missouri

    I have zero tolerance for this. Discuss the issue presented. Going after a kid for his name is way out of line.
  29. InfiniteJester23

    InfiniteJester23 Initiate (90) Apr 26, 2017 California

    Whenever these fights come up, I always think of Pizza Port. Only place I’ve ever witnessed both someone pass out on a table and a little league team awards dinner literally feet from each other. And God bless, everyone seemed to be having a good time!
  30. Soneast

    Soneast Champion (802) May 9, 2008 Wisconsin

    I used to hate seeing kids at drinking establishments. Now that I have an 8-year old daughter they don't bother me so much anymore. Assuming they're well-behaved of course. Dogs on the other hand...not a fan. But then I am allergic to them, so I'm biased against them, lol.
  31. GoatmanBrewsMD

    GoatmanBrewsMD Aspirant (240) Dec 16, 2010 Maryland

    Yeah I was surprised at the outrage that Union received for this as well. I think its because people don't like to be told they can't do something, especially if they have been able to do it before.

    I don't mind kids in the taproom, but I'll continue doing what I'm doing and going without. Its a much more pleasant experience knowing I don't have to ensure they are behaving in public. :grin:
    bl00 likes this.
  32. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (441) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    Come one, come all IMO.

    The more kids and dogs the better!!!
    Benish likes this.
  33. gueuzegeek

    gueuzegeek Zealot (576) Aug 11, 2003 New Jersey

    Largely, I don’t mind kids, as long as they are not screaming and/or tripping hazards!

    I also do not want to feel like I need to watch my language, even though I am far from foul-mouthed, as the occasional s or f may slip through!

    My dad did take us to bars when we were kids, and we just had to be good, since we did think of it as a treat to go, and enjoyed the times with my dad!
  34. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Site Editor (7,980) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I have a similar philosophy, if I am going out to enjoy a couple of pints I do not tend to bring the children with me... If I am going to a brewery that also has a restaurant and we are eating or am just trying a couple of samples and choosing something to go (generally when we are out of town on vacation or just finished hiking somewhere) I might have the kids along with me but I definitely parent them and do not linger for too long...and generally follow it up with a visit to the park/playground.
    tzieser and GoatmanBrewsMD like this.
  35. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (5,990) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
    Society Trader

    IMO no. Really kills the vibe and that's about all it comes down to for me.
  36. Alefflicted

    Alefflicted Initiate (78) Dec 2, 2017 Minnesota

    I can understand why some allow it. And I can understand why some people like that fact. But in my personal opinion? If I had kids, I wouldn't bring them to a brewery or bar. And I wish more people shared that mindset.
  37. Lahey

    Lahey Disciple (386) Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    I have a solution... put a kid and no kid section in breweries, like smoking and no smoking sections. Put a wall in between so no curse words or child screams make it to each other. I'll be in the no kid section relaxing while the other side is full of shitty diapers, bored kids and parents trying so hard to enjoy that beer.

    (Btw, haven't we already argued on the exact same topic in another thread? Come on mods, you guys sleeping? :wink:)
  38. Miles_in_beer_city

    Miles_in_beer_city Initiate (158) Jun 18, 2014 North Carolina

    Well behaved kids and dogs are not a problem. Misbehaving kids and dogs are.

    Of the 40 or so local breweries, none ban kids (to the best of my knowledge). Some have "kid free" areas, such as the roof top area. One very popular with locals has an 8 PM curfew on kids, and a sign that states kids and dogs must remain under control of parents and owners at all times, i.e. dogs on lease, kids withing 10 feet of parents.
  39. tzieser

    tzieser Meyvn (1,026) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    I agree with both of you guys, but I also agree with what most have said, there needs to be a balance. Bringing the kids for a quick growler fill and perhaps a tasting or two is one thing, but there is absolutely no need to be plastered on a barstool while your kids just sit there watching you drink like a dead beat whilst they pretend to play Jenga or cornhole or whatever. It's really depressing to witness. Far too many times I've seen "responsible" parents drink 4 or 5 beers (full pours) and then toss the kids in the car and drive away. Pathetic.
    kinopio, birdyone, meanmutt and 7 others like this.
  40. rodndtube

    rodndtube Initiate (142) Feb 24, 2007 Maryland

    Talk about the potential clash of parenting styles. I don't go to a pub or brewery to listen to yelling, screaming, acting-out kids. Parents need to be respectful of others or leave. Funny, I remember when we went to Union at the former location, and it had a few games and such, but the space was cramped and the kids were a nuisance and annoying. I did not want to return.

    On the other hand, the Ausgustiner Keller biergarten in Munich is huge and has space with a playground. The biergarten culture is a bit different in Germany than the USA, but in this mixed setting one hardly noticed the kids or could set a good distance away. The small biergarten at Schneiderweiss in Kelheim has a small game room with a teenage "babysitter/facilitator" and that arrangement worked out well. In Charlotte, a nice brewpub & biergarten, The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, has a playground area and lots of room for sound to disappear into the atmosphere.