Each brewery can make their own decision on where they fall on the "Children and Pets" in breweries/tap rooms debate. We have done our due diligence, we have set our policies and we are happy with them.
What we want to address is the fact that "children and pets" are lumped together in this sentiment. This is where the problem lies for us.
First and foremost, children are human beings. They are not and should not be spoken about with the same sentiment and/or in the same category as dogs, cats, bunnies or birds. The question "do you allow children and dogs in your brewery?" (which we have received many times) sends the message that children and dogs are in some way the same or at least have enough similarities that putting them in the same question makes sense.
It's completely acceptable to want to go out and be with adults only. Children can be loud, they can have a lot of energy and they definitely change the dynamic of the socialization. It's o.k. to want to socialize without children. No one is saying that you shouldn't want that.
Not wanting to socialize with children is not the problem. The problem lies in lumping children in with pets. Children are not the same as dogs. The question sends a very specific message about how children are seen; they are a nuisance, they should be quiet, they are in the way, they should "be seen and not heard", that they don't have a right to be in spaces that adults are in, etc.
These are prevalent and problematic ideas.
When we started our brewery it never occurred to us to exclude children. It never occurred to us that this would be a frequently debated issue. We asked ourselves why wouldn't children be permitted on site? This is a question we still can't answer.
We could see no logical reason why children would not be allowed in our brewery and so many reasons why they should be. So, our stance is that children are welcome here and this is why.
Descendants is family friendly. When we say everyone belongs here we don't just mean race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, skin tone, etc. we also mean age.
We often have family friendly events planned which includes children's specials and entertainment. We ask that small children be attended while on site. We have a change table in our yellow, accessible washroom, we have two high chairs, many games and colouring activities. Should you need anything for your children while you are here please ask our staff to assist you.
Children under 19 years of age are welcome to stay until 10:00 pm in the bierhalle and 11:00 pm for semi-private & private functions. Youth can attend our trivia and other games. They must be accompanied by an adult at all times. We ask that you use your best judgement but that children who would be out past their bedtime would be best left to get some sleep.
We want Descendants to be welcoming place for the community. We want families to enjoy the space for Weddings, Birthday Parties, Trivia, or Burger Night. We believe modelling responsible alcohol consumption is a good thing. Humans are welcome here and children are humans.
We can admit, when we started our brewery we had not thought about permitting animals either. When we were faced with the question we looked at the trend of many breweries permitting animals, we looked at other factors such as safety/liability and we asked many patrons and team members their perspectives.
There is a contingent of people who want to be able to take their pet to the brewery with them. It is a policy that many breweries and taprooms have adopted. That's great for them. We made the decision to have this specific policy for pets.
We understand that you love your dog and we agree, dogs can be super cool, fun pets. We do not allow animals to come to our brewery (with the exception of service animals, according to the AODA) in our building (not even our own animals) for the following reasons.
1. We are a beverage production facility.
2. You know, love and trust your dog but not everyone else does. Many people are allergic to animals, many people are not comfortable with dogs and other pets. For the felt sense of safety of all of our patrons we ask that you not bring your animals into our facility.
The key take away is that these are two separate policies. Even if both were permitted or both were not permitted we would have 2 separate policies because it is important to us not to be childist and to not frame children as the same as pets.
If you have any questions about these policies please feel free to email us at email@example.com or stop by and talk to us.