Minnesotans Debate: Do Dogs Belong in Taprooms?
Do you think dogs belong in Minnesota taprooms?
Minnesota's first ever dog park/taproom/eatery Unleashed Hounds and Hops opened just over a week ago in Minneapolis. But the concept of bringing your dog with you to your favorite brewery isn't new. People have been bringing their furry friends into taprooms ever since, well, ever since it was first allowed (which in MN was 2017)! Basically, as long as food isn't served in the space (like a restaurant or brewpub), the business gives permission and simple rules are followed, dogs are generally allowed inside a taproom.
Whether dogs belong in a taproom or not is a different matter entirely, however, and one of great debate. Minnesota food and drink publication The Growler recently dove in headfirst, asking opposing brewery owners and the public their thoughts on dogs in taprooms.
Liz Foster, who works at Urban Growler Company in St. Paul, makes a case against dogs in the taproom.
"I’ve witnessed a dog walking free in a taproom use the side of a bench to mark its territory -- to make matters worse, an unsuspecting woman’s purse received the bulk of the stream. I’ve witnessed a dog pull itself free from its parent and attack a senior dog resting at the feet of its owner. And then there are the ear-piercing bark fests. Two of the breweries I visited in particular, that are already popular without canine companions, created a maze of tails and low bodies to navigate and attempt not tripping over while carrying a full flight of beer."
Neil Miller, on the other hand, co-founder and head brewer of HeadFlyer Brewing Company in Minneapolis, makes a case for dogs in the taproom.
"Many people consider their dogs members of their family and seek out activities that the entire family can participate in together. Dog-friendly taprooms are more likely to be visited by these families and tend to enjoy a longer stay. By including their dogs, taprooms give owners the ability to stay longer and remove the need to head home “to let the dog out.” Active dogs are happier due to increased mental and physical stimulation. Dog owners seek out activities in which they can participate together."
The public are equally divided as well, with strong cases on both sides of the argument.
"Got the dog-friendly brewery pass for my birthday and it was awesome," says Brent Palm. "We went to several breweries we hadn’t visited before. Our dog loves all dogs and humans - otherwise we wouldn’t bring her along. Proud to support 'dog people' and their business."
"If the dog owners are respectable of others, what a great idea," says Hope Melander of bringing dogs to the taproom. "I have brought my pooch to our local taproom, if she is being a pain thinking everyone is there to pet her, we leave. I want to enjoy myself and not have to struggle with my dog and also be respectful of others, not everyone wants to pet my dog."
"Well behaved dogs should be welcomed in every tap room," suggests Gordon Wright. "They add to the character and enjoyment."
Tigg Orr makes a unique case for leaving dogs at home, asking "Anyone else deathly allergic to dogs (and cats)? I love dogs, but can’t be in the same room with most of them. As much as I’d like to say it’s a great idea to have them inside most establishments, it’s really not."
Chad Davis agrees, "I like dogs but am allergic to pet dander so I vote no inside dogs."
"If I know dogs are allowed, I simply won't go," Mike Liechty states plainly. "I love dogs but they don't belong in a tavern (taproom)."
Funny enough, the matter of dogs in a taproom brings up another hot topic of debate -- kids in the taproom. We're not here to debate that right now, though (you can read what other Minnesotans have to say here).