Craft beer is exploding in popularity and the microbrewery business is booming. If you are a beer enthusiast and parent, you might be wondering if you can take your kids on a brewery tour or two. Taking your baby to a bar might raise eyebrows but you may actually have company if you take the entire family to a craft brewery or beer garden.
In a surprising trend, young parents are bringing babies along with them when visiting breweries. It should not be so surprising considering the main target for craft beer is adults in the age group of 21 to 40. It’s precisely the time when most of us start families of our own. Also it’s not always possible to leave babies with a sitter. What if you want to tour a brewery on your vacation or grab a growler on the way home from daycare?
Babies are a Great Way to Lighten Things Up!
Craft breweries are very different from a typical bar. Patrons usually visit to taste different types of beer, hang out with friends, and learn more about the beer making process. They don’t go there to get drunk and loud.
Most microbreweries offer educational and entertaining tours or at least have an area where you can grab a bite to eat along with beer. A few even have an attached beer garden where children can play safely. These places are rapidly becoming communal centers where the entire family can visit.
In case you’re wondering if it’s a good idea to bring babies long – don’t! We see young children and babies in breweries all the time and it’s never been an issue. In fact, the general observation has been that it’s a pleasant experience for everyone involved. To avoid any potential problems however, do your homework before taking your child to the next brewery visit.
Make Sure the Brewery Welcomes Families
Photography by Alysia Shoemaker
Just like any other type of business, not all breweries are family-friendly. It may even be illegal to bring children to places where alcohol is served in a few states. Some breweries go the extra mile and have family-friendly nights or specific tours for parents with kids.Others might have different policies. Call ahead and find out if the brewery welcomes kids or not. Ask if they have a play area or child friendly activities like coloring books, puzzles or games.
Check If They Have Food and Nonalcoholic Alternatives
Just because it is a brewery, doesn’t mean they only sell beer. Microbreweries that offer tours generally have an attached restaurant or an enclosed area with food trucks. You’ll be surprised at the number of breweries that have non-alcoholic drink options and even a kid friendly menu. A brewery can be a great place to visit even if you don’t drink beer, so why should having a small baby deter you from touring one?
Keep Some Entertainment Handy
source: Express illustration.
Unless you’re visiting a brewery on family night where there are other children, your baby may eventually get bored. While a brewery tour is exciting and entertaining for adults, you can’t expect one to hold the attention of a small child. Some babies will sleep through a tour while others don’t like having their nap interrupted. You know your child best, so schedule the tour accordingly. Make sure to pack a small bag with their favorite snacks, toys or small games to entertain them while you enjoy the great beer and conversation.
In short, babies are a wonderful addition to the crowd and add oodles of fun to any brewery gathering! It’s also a fantastic opportunity to acclimatize them to various environments, and get them to meet strangers and pets in a safe way. Who knows – it could become a family tradition and your children might just pick up your love for great beer. Get them started early!
As always, make sure to have a designated driver. It is vital when you have children in the car. Even if you take turns with your partner, have this conversation and confirm who gets to drive before leaving. Keep these tips in mind when you think of visiting a brewery with your baby. You’ll be surprised by the number of families having a good time there!