AVL Beer Week 2019: Children and pets in taprooms

BRING THE KIDS: The Highland Brewing Co. Meadow is a popular spot for families. Photo by Stephan Pruitt/ Courtesy of Highland Brewing Co.

By law, patrons must be over the age of 21 to purchase alcohol at any Asheville-area taproom, but as frequenters of such establishments well know, individuals who don’t meet that requirement often accompany legal adults out for a drink. Local breweries are welcoming across the board to families who bring children with them, and big, sprawling lawns at New Belgium Brewing Co. and Highland Brewing Co. are particularly welcoming for little ones wanting to run around and have fun with friends.

At the same time, several taprooms offer safe havens for those who would prefer to enjoy their beverages without youngsters present, including Highland’s rooftop bar — limited to those of legal age — and Wedge Brewing Co.’s 8 p.m. curfew for underage guests and other guidelines for families to follow.

Also frequently in tow are pets, though the rules with them are slightly more complicated than with children. Because North Carolina taprooms get permits the same way as restaurants — basically for offering reusable glassware — pets are not allowed inside, with the exception of licensed service animals. Dan Rossow, taproom manager at Wise Man Brewing in Winston-Salem, is spearheading efforts to enact change in the legislation.

Outdoor spaces at breweries are legally fine, albeit at the business owners’ discretion. In the case of Brouwerïj Cursus Kĕmē, located on the banks of the Swannanoa River, the property is home to an array of wildlife whose preservation led brewer/owner Jeffrey Horner to reluctantly prioritize over his customers’ animal companions.

“It was a tough choice to make because everyone wants to bring their pets when they go relax and enjoy themselves, but the property can’t facilitate that,” Horner says. “I dragged my feet as long as I possibly could about making that decision, and when I made it, it was without joy.”


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for ashevillemovies.com and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

One thought on “AVL Beer Week 2019: Children and pets in taprooms

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.