Do babies belong in breweries?
You might not take your baby to a regular bar, but a craft brewery is a different story.
A craft brewery (also known as a microbrewery) is typically an independently owned brewery that produces a small amount of beer. Many of these brewpubs give tours or have places to sit and grab a bite to eat and a beer, but it's not your typical bar scene — in fact, parents are bringing their kids to hang out alongside them.
And it's really not a huge deal. "My baby is 17 months old, and she is our third, so we are a little more chill about her," shares Sasha Brown-Worsham, who recently brought her tot along with her to a brewery. "The grandparents took our big kids, so we thought nothing of bringing her along on our tour of Allagash in Maine. She enjoyed it and was far from the only kid in the place."
Image: Sasha Brown-Worsham
So what's the appeal? "We took Cassidy with us to this awesome place," says Maggie. "It's a throwback German pub. The kids love the high energy with the crazy singing and dancing they offer. I think these places are great for kids because they are less stuffy, and kids can be kids with more patron forgiveness."
Jana, mom of one, agrees. "Lots of the ones here make their own root beer, so it's a perfect fit for kiddos," she explains. "Plus lots are restaurants that also serve good beer, so if you go early, it can be family friendly."
Of course, if you're planning to head out with your kids in tow, you'll need to keep a few things in mind. First of all, you should verify beforehand if the place even allows kids — some breweries only permit those who are 21 or older to enter. Also, make sure that one member of your party abstains from drinks for safe travels home.
Visiting craft breweries or wineries can be a pretty cool family adventure — we've been to a few wineries with our kids along for the ride during our time as parents, such as the Stone Hill Winery in Hermann, Missouri, on the way home from a wedding in St. Louis.
Image: Monica Beyer
While alcohol may be the "main dish" at these businesses, so to speak, that doesn't mean a brewery or winery can't be family friendly. Often they have a kids' menu or special drinks for the little ones, and some even encourage families to bring their kids. And you never know — your local brewpub may become your new favorite place for your family outings.