Everything you need to know about taking your dog to a brewery
Updated: Dec 4, 2022
We love to bring Bert and Ernie around to local breweries! It’s a great chance for us to support local businesses and try different beers, and the dogs can get some exposure to new people and practice being calm in new environments. Most of the breweries we go to have outdoor space that is dog-friendly, but only some of them allow dogs inside the buildings. Read on for some tips and best practices for bringing your dog inside breweries and a list of dog-friendly indoor breweries around the Twin Cities!
Step one is to come prepared with a bag of supplies to make sure your pup is a good brewery visitor! We’ll either carry a tote bag or Ernie will wear his backpack carrying these essentials:
Collapsible water dish (some breweries will provide a dish for you – a nice touch!)
Treats to practice attention and reward good, calm behavior
Kongs stuffed with peanut butter (we like to freeze them so they last a little longer)
Paper towels (handy for cleaning up spills if an enthusiastic tail or big dog noggin bumps the table)
Backup Masks (always want to respect whatever Covid protocols are in place at the breweries we visit)
We also toss a few sets of disposable hand warmers in our bag in the winter! You never know when you might want a little extra warmth if you find yourself sitting outside – and you can stick them inside your boots to warm up frosty toes too. We do our research ahead of time to ensure a brewery is dog-friendly indoors before we show up, but sometimes you need to be flexible and it’s good to be prepared to sit outside if needed.
It’s also important to be aware of the behavior expectations when you take your dog out to a brewery. No accidents, no barking, no reactivity should be the standard. Of course, accidents happen and dogs get startled, but be mindful of the other patrons at the brewery and make sure your dog isn’t negatively impacting anyone’s experience! We like to use “watch me” and other attention behaviors to drive focus and calm with Bert and Ernie, especially if we notice them starting to get stressed or amped up.
There’s also etiquette to consider regarding interactions with other dogs at the brewery. Make sure your dog isn’t staring at others as this could be seen as aggressive behavior and ask dog owners before your dog approaches another dog. It can be stressful for some dogs to meet other dogs while on leash (Ernie doesn’t prefer this).
Finally, to be prepared to bring your dog to a brewery, you need to know your dog’s needs. For us, this usually manifests in terms of space. Bert and Ernie are big dogs who like to lay down, so they need a decent amount of space at a brewery! We have a hard time in super crowded spaces because they tend to get in the way of busy walkways. We do best when we can commandeer a booth or a corner spot that is a bit more out of the way.
The other thing we take into consideration when we bring the dogs out is what else we’ve been up to that day. Ernie especially seems to do better and have more self-control when a brewery outing is his first or second activity of the day – if he’s tired from a hike or a training class, he’s more likely to have a hard time settling in at a brewery.
What to expect
Be prepared for visitors! No matter where you are - in the parking lot, ordering at the bar, or relaxing at your table - folks will stop by and ask to say hello to the dogs. We always take a break from our conversation or game of cribbage to make sure we manage these interactions well. Especially if children approach, we want to be sure that Bert and Ernie are calm, so we get down on their level and direct kids to good places to pet (usually B&E’s backs or sides).
It’s always ok to advocate for your dog if you don’t want the extra attention – some good phrases we picked up at obedience classes are “He’s not ready to say hi right now” or “No thanks, we’re training.” And remember - not everyone loves dogs, so maintain control over your dog as you move through the taproom and don’t let them greet other people or dogs uninvited.
Where to go
Here’s a list of some breweries where you can bring pups inside. We’ve certainly missed some, so let us know what other spots we should add to this list and we will update!
Minneapolis (North Loop)
Minneapolis (Loring Park)