Though I haven’t been drinking for long, I’ve come to know a thing or two about bars and breweries. One thing everyone accepts is that you must be 21 or older to enter. Unless you’re a child, that is.
Look, I get that this might come off as arrogant or exclusionary, but with breweries on the rise in the last few years, it’s becoming a little ridiculous when every time I go to one I’m invariably met with a toddler scurrying about my feet or a toy patiently waiting for someone to step on it.
These instances aren’t rare. “I walked into a brewery with a group of 10 to 12 children running around outside, with waiters dodging them. It was like daddy day care out there. It looked like lazy parenting,” said Foodbeast Managing Editor, Reach Guinto.
Kids get me and I get them, I know they just want to eat and play. Who the hell doesn’t want that everyday? But look kid, I just worked eight hours and half of that pay is going to bills and the other half is going right down my throat with these few flights of beers.
I walk into a brewery with the mindset of shooting the shit with some friends and casually getting day drunk and hoping nobody notices.
Now I’m not saying to ban babies from breweries — the alliteration is nice, sure — but that’s a terrible sentiment. However, there should be some rule or guideline that a parent should consider when visiting a local brewery.
I get that a babysitter will cost a dumb amount for a few hours and as a parent you need some time to chill out with friends and have a beer and go out sometimes. That’s perfectly fine. But after a certain hour there’s a time when a brewery becomes bar-like and a baby’s presence seems, for lack of a better term, weird.
I’m not the only one that shares this sentiment.
I miss the days when I can go to breweries/bars and not have to deal with children. But now, people bring their kids here and it ruins my happy place(s)…
— CPT Schmidt (@patty_mcdee) June 3, 2018
Around 7pm is right when a brewery takes on the vibe of a bar, that’s the beauty of a brewery. It’s the feeling of having drinks and being social but not having to pay $30 for two cocktails and hear, for the millionth time, how terrible our political climate is.
Although a fair point to bring up by parents is that it’s a great way to introduce children to casual drinking at an early age, I hardly doubt that little Tommy is going to grow up a better person because you brought him to a brewery. Kids don’t care where they are, they aren’t socially aware of what is going on. You could be drinking turpentine for all they care.
The general climate around children at a brewery isn’t hostile in the least bit. Most people will try to ignore the child or even play with them, it’s a mixed bag when it comes to these crowds. But generally speaking, people find drinking and smoking a little less enjoyable while a child is present, and for good reason.
A normal patron won’t say anything negative about the children there, that’s why it’s up to the establishments to figure out the best way to go about this minor dilemma.
This problem could be solved relatively easily. There’s no doubt that there are some breweries that have a vibe children can play and relax at, then there are some that aren’t so flexible.
Take Golden Road Brewing in Anaheim, CA for example, a perfect place to bring a kid right after a game at Angel’s Stadium. They’ve got cornhole, a great outdoor play area for kids, and an awesome menu that caters to children.
But Ballast Point at night? With the condensed crowds overlooking the ocean, a very specific menu, and no play area, that kid might end up in the ocean.
If these two breweries advertised some sort of “children’s hours,” or something that would more outwardly show how equipped they are to handle the toddler crowd, then us thirsty patrons can plan ahead. Maybe take it easy in the afternoon at Golden Road, play some cornhole, then head to Ballast Point and forget everything we came with.
Drinking is a simple thing really, but it’s also sacred. Any disturbance in the force is felt with great magnitude.
It’s 7pm, hide yo kids and lemme drink.