7 Ways Breweries Have Become More Dog-Friendly In

Sarah Buckholtz
Post by Sarah Buckholtz
May 13, 2022
7 Ways Breweries Have Become More Dog-Friendly In

Today, it seems like everywhere we turn we see dogs in new places.  We see them accompanying their owners into stores, work, coffee shops, airplanes, and everywhere in between. In an age where you can bring Fido just about anywhere, what does that mean for businesses, like breweries, looking to make their taproom more dog friendly?

Many breweries have taken simple steps to make their taprooms more dog friendly. There are a few obvious ideas. For example, setting out treats and water bowls. But if you’re a brewery owner, how can you take it to the next level, creating a comfortable place for both people and their dogs that meets regulations and standards?

Looking for more ways to cater to your customers and their pets? 

We’ve got the 411 for your furry friends.

Why Your Business Should be More Dog Friendly 

Three dogs sitting at bar with flight of beer in front of them - @skyliedoodle via @dogsontap  on Instagram
@skyliedoodle via @dogsontap  on Instagram

Dogs and breweries seem to go hand in hand these days. To us, dog-friendly breweries make better places to hang out, have a beer, and meet other pet lovers—and even make friends!

Head to just about any brewery or taproom and you're likely to find a furry visitor at a few of the tables.

69 million households in the United States reported owning at least one dog in 2021/22.

That’s a pretty large number. And with many pet owners bringing their pooches outside the home, to places other than the park, it’s time to make sure your business is ready to accommodate.

Being a dog-friendly brewery means you’ll attract more potential patrons, create an inviting environment for your guests, and earn recognition as a dog-friendly taproom in your neighborhood.

How can you help make your taproom a more dog-friendly place? First, you need to fill out some light paperwork.

First, Make Sure You Have the Proper Paperwork!

Three dogs sitting inside bar with a beer for each of them - @coalitionbrewing via @dogsontap on Instagram
@coalitionbrewing via @dogsontap on Instagram

Believe it or not, there are laws that regulate whether dogs are welcome in a brewery. City or state health departments often determine the rules and regulations regarding dogs in a public place outside of your home. Reach out to your local city or state health department to see what they require in your area.

Additionally, make sure you have proper verbiage/signage easily accessible for customers. Post that you’re a dog-friendly brewery on your website, across social media, and on your storefront door to cover all your bases.

Once you’ve been approved as dog friendly, now comes the fun part. You can add small (or big) touches around the brewery to truly turn your establishment into a dog-friendly taproom.

Let’s show you how.

7 Ways to Make Your Brewery More Dog Friendly

Little dog sitting at outdoor bar with beer - @princessbuttercupdumptruck via @dogsontap on Instagram

Treats Made of Spent Grain

Spent grain dog treats are great for your pooch. Low in calories and fat and high in protein (twelve to twenty percent depending on the grain used), vitamins, minerals and fiber, these tasty morsels provide healthy digestion and provide your pup with amino acids that are essential for good health.

Plus, since spent grain is a byproduct of the brewing process, handing out these dog treats makes your business a bit more sustainable.You can certainly be adventurous and make them yourself. But an awesome alternative would be to support a local dog-friendly bakery by selling their treats at your brewery.

Improved Dog-Friendly Patios

There are a lot of things to consider when making your patio more dog friendly. A word to the wise—dog-friendly patios have the capacity to attract large groups of people. Be sure you plan accordingly when designing and creating flow on your patio.

Consider floor options like turf or cement for easy clean up in case of pet accidents. Offer plenty of shade via awning or umbrellas to help keep those canines cool during warmer summer afternoons.

And don’t forget to keep those water bowls full!

Dog Bowls

Dogs deserve their own bar—water bar that is! Keep fresh water dishes outside as an easy amenity to offer customers and their dogs. These don’t have to be anything fancy, but you could consider creating custom branded dog bowls for your patrons to purchase as a great marketing opportunity.

Don’t forget! Be sure to assign a staff member to maintain those water bowls throughout the day.

Four dogs sitting at outdoor bar table - @pawsintheparkmn via @dogsontap on Instagram
@pawsintheparkmn via @dogsontap on Instagram

Unique Drinks For Dogs

While we’re on the subject of liquids, if you and your team are feeling creative, try offering a dog-friendly drink besides water. Play around with different reliable recipes made with spices, herbs, vegetables, and water.

Or find a company that's already made canine cocktails. For example, Good Boy Dog Beer in Houston, Texas, created an all-natural brew just for dogs. Inspired by their dog who struggled with digestive health issues, co-founders Megan and Steven Long created a custom non-alcoholic / hops-free drink to help give their dog an extra boost. (It’s safe for humans too, in case you’re curious.)

Also check out Bowser Beer. More of a brothy treat with real human-grade USDA meat, this brew has barley high in Vitamin B that helps create a shiny coat for your pup. Plus, they added glucosamine for their joint health. They even let you customize bottles with your dog's photo when you place an order.

Brewer Beware: Never give a dog alcohol or hops.

Since dogs don't have the enzymes required to break down alcohol in their system, any amount of alcohol or hops can be very dangerous to your pet. If your dog ingests any type of alcohol or hops, call your vet immediately.

Adoption Days

What better way to show up for your community than with a dog adoption event. Invite the local animal shelter over to set up playpens on the patio where folks can meet and adopt animals while enjoying a pint.

Events like this offer a great opportunity to show your business’s love of animals while also potentially giving a dog a new home and a better life.

Consider tying one of your brewery’s bandanas on every adoptable pet for a quick way to get them noticed!

Offer Dog Accessories

Humans love merch, but so do our furry friends. Consider creating branded dog-related items like collapsible water bowls, bandanas, chew toys, and collars, just to name a few. These offerings are a great opportunity for social sharing and brand presence and could even present collaboration options with local animal rescue organizations.

Dog perched on outdoor bar table with beer - @welly.brews via @dogsontapon Instagram
@welly.brews via @dogsontapon Instagram

Puppy of The Month

Puppy parents will never turn down a chance to share fun photos of their dog (have you seen all the amazing pictures in this piece?). Ask fans of your brand to post a photo of their dog enjoying the patio and ask customers to vote for their favorite. The winning dog gets a bandana and its owner receives a four-pack of their choosing. Holding an online contest will generate amazing social content for your brewery as well as show off your dog-friendly business.

See Why Breweries Like You Are Making The Change

Ollie is the affordable, easy-to-use software to manage your brewery and operations. See why breweries like yours are making the switch.

Schedule a demo today!

Sarah Buckholtz
Post by Sarah Buckholtz
May 13, 2022
Sarah Buckholtz is a Content Writer and Editor for Untappd, Oznr, and Hop Culture. For more than a decade she has interviewed everyone from artisan makers to Grammy nominated musicians to Jefferson Award winning preservationists. She is a former blog writer and marketing manager for American Pickers creator and host, Mike Wolfe, covering stories about heritage tourism and preservation coast-to-coast. Sarah grew up on the shores of Lake Erie in Pennsylvania and is currently drinking a Jackalope Thunder Ann in Nashville, Tennessee.