Honestly, I prefer our pet friends to most humans. I enjoy seeing support animals on planes. I like dogs in stores, potbellied pigs in the CBB offices and capybaras should be allowed to roam freely throughout our society. Sensing a similar importance for our four-legged friends, the great state of North Carolina just officially reformed an arbitrary law that disallowed pets like dogs and cats in N.C. breweries and taprooms, as part of an Alcoholic Beverage Control reform bill signed by Democratic Governor Roy Cooper.
The law goes into effect on September 1, but there is still a caveat: Pets are still not allowed into breweries that prepare food.
Over the last few years, supreme buzz killers from the NC Alcohol Law Enforcement agency (ALE) have been citing breweries for allowing pets on premise. According to the Beer Law Center, this was because the Tar Heel State classified breweries like restaurants because of the, um, sinks they used to wash glasses.
The N.C. rule (15A NCAC 18A.2656) does not allow dogs or cats from entering food service establishments. Even if the brewery does not serve food, the rule is based on the type of sinks that breweries use to wash the glassware. Breweries wash, rinse, and sanitize multi-use glassware, and that makes the brewery a food service establishment. Service animals are an exception to the NC rule.
The new ABC Regulatory Reform Bill (Senate Bill 290/SL 2019-182), which reforms many, many things (read it here), states: “Part XV would exempt breweries not engaged in the preparation of food on the premises from the health code regulations governing the sanitation of establishments that prepare or serve drink or food for pay.” These changes are aimed at cats and dogs, but maybe it’s allowing more than our canine or feline friends. Perhaps your sugar glider would be allowed. We say call ahead.
From The Charlotte Observer:
Andrew Monte called ahead to make sure he could take his dogs, Ernie and Elouise, on his first-time visit to Charlotte’s Birdsong Brewing Co. on Tuesday.
“I honestly didn’t know there was a law, because I’ve never had an issue,” Monte said. “Anywhere I’ve ever gone, any breweries I’ve gone to, I’ve never had an issue … And from a business standpoint, it’s a no-brainer to let people bring them in.”