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Archive for August 2013

Dogs in the Brewery

 

I love dogs and children. They are amazingly loving and want nothing more than to be a part of a loving family (your pack). Whether you’ve had a great day or a tough one, they are there to share your happiness or your sorrow. They are always there to give you strength, there to let you know you are loved.

Unfortunately, dogs and small children are also fairly delicate when it comes to the brewery environment. Most brewers would never let a small child run about barefoot and unsupervised in a brewery. Even supervised, most breweries exclude small children from tours for safety reasons. I feel for families that come for brewery tours, but then can’t take the whole family through the brewery area. It is for safety. There are caustics and acids that can result in a nasty burn or even death. There are excessively hot bits, very heavy things, lots of moving parts, and some sharp stuff as well. A small child, as wonderful as they are, could accidentally be seriously injured or killed in the blink of an eye.

So, with brewers understanding the need to protect small children, why do some let pets roam? I certainly don’t think it is my place to tell anyone what to do or not do in their brewery, but I just don’t understand this behavior. There are wonderfully trained dogs. There are dogs that just lie down and never move also, but every dog that I have known is prone to getting up and going where you don’t expect every once in awhile. If that area happens to have a little hot caustic on the floor, then the dog is going to be in serious pain. And what if that forklift happens to back up into that cool, dark corner where your best friend moved to get out of the heat?

Oh sure, I know people are saying, “But my dog is different, so well behaved.” Yes, I am sure your dog is smarter than most humans, but until your dog puts on brewer’s boots and knows how to run the eyewash station or dial 911 I still doubt that it is well prepared for the brewery environment. I am sure there are plenty of breweries that have had dogs, cats and other free roaming pets in the brewery for 25 years without a single incident. I certainly hope every brewery has been so lucky, but for me, I am unwilling to take that chance. Call me a curmudgeon or something worse, but we do not allow pets or small children in our brewery area.

It also happens that many states have rules about animals present in a food processing plant and many states (if not all) consider a brewery a food processing plant, so we’re just following the rules. Rules that make sense to me.

I think I’ll go give my dog a treat for being such a great part of our pack.