Hosting Four-Legged Guests at Your Craft Brewery

Service animals in the office. Comfort animals on the airplane. Tiny pets in handbags.

Sometimes it seems that the whole world is “pet-friendly.” And it may be your inclination to permit your customers to bring their four-legged friends to your brewery. But for a craft brewery, the situation is not always straightforward.

First of all, you must determine your brewery’s ability to legally admit pets on site. State, county, and city regulations could impact this.  If you are considering making the transition to a pet-friendly brewery, check with local authorities on the regulations are in your area.

And that’s not all. Remember that permitting animals on your business property could impact the insurance coverage you need.

But September is the American Kennel Club’s Responsible Dog Ownership Month. And Beall Brewery Insurance knows how fond people are of man’s best friend. So if you are able to become a pet-friendly venue, and you are so inclined, we’d like to offer a few points to ponder.

Pet-Friendly Brewery Points to Keep in Mind

  • 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.
  • Post clear signs outside the brewery noting that it is a pet-friendly venue.
  • Post clear signs inside and outside the brewery for animal guests, noting that pets who are unable to maintain decorum (by not barking and behaving aggressively, for instance), will have to be removed from the premises.

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.