Is a Pet-Friendly Brewery Policy Right for You?

Combining man’s best friend with man’s favorite brew might seem like a natural step, but the fact is that having a pet-friendly brewery is a complex issue that requires much careful consideration, Beall Brewery Insurance reports.

Your brewery’s ability to legally admit pets on site is closely connected to your state, county, and city regulations.  If you are considering making the transition to a pet-friendly brewery, check with local authorities on the regulations are in your area.

Once you have all those regulatory ducks in a row, check with your brewery insurance agent. Pet-friendly status could impact your insurance coverage.

Pet-Friendly Brewery Points to Keep in Mind

Businesses treat service animals differently than other animals. According to a Department of Justice document about the Americans with Disabilities Act, “entities that have a ‘no pets’ policy gener­ally must modify the policy to allow service animals into their facilities.”

Other animals, however, present contamination and liability exposures. If you move forward with your pet-friendly brewery, be sure that the rules for animal guests are clear. Here are a few you might want to consider:

  • Dogs must be on-leash at all times, with the leash tied to the patron’s chair (not the table, since a big dog could pull a table over).
  • Animals cannot block aisles at any time.
  • If a guest’s pet becomes a nuisance, that guest will be asked to remove the pet from the brewery. Be sure brewery staff creates an incident report, even if there are no resulting injuries apparent.
  • Guests may only bring dogs into outdoor dining areas directly from the outdoors; the animal may not go through any other part of the facility.
  • The pet should stay on the ground (not in a chair, on a lap, or near the surface of the table).
  • If a guest’s pet makes a mess, the guest should clean up after it. Brewery employees must clean and sanitize accidents involving bodily fluids or waste, and then sanitize themselves afterwards.
  • Pets should not use brewery glassware or dishware. If a guest does not provide a water bowl for his pet, the brewery should provide a single-use disposable container.

Additional Pet-Friendly Brewery Points to Keep in Mind

There are other situations to consider, too. For instance, what if a guest who is allergic to dogs enters your brewery, only to find dogs on the premises? A sign posted outside the brewery, declaring its pet-friendly status, is a great way to alert  customers.

Of course, it’s recommended that the brewery post signage including the rules for animal guests. If a pet is barking excessively or behaving aggressively, the brewery will be in a better position to request the removal of that pet.

It’s also a great idea to post your pet-friendly rules on your website.

For more than 25 years, Beall Financial and Insurance Services, Inc., has been helping corporations and individuals protect their most important assets. The agency’s client base covers a spectrum of niche businesses, such as craft breweries, that require specialized insurance packages and knowledge. With California offices in Redlands and Newport Beach, Beall Financial and Insurance Services serves clients nationwide.