I love beer. I’m married to a home brewer. I’m the mom who took my kids to the Breckenridge Beer Festival (while I was pregnant, no less) and who held our 4-year-old’s birthday party at the local tap room (per his request). I’m the mom whose son has been on the New Belgium brewery tour more times than his own dad.
So when I came across this post being shared on Twitter—why kids shouldn’t be brought to brew pubs—I couldn’t help myself. I had to respond.
Yes, our kids are at the brewpub, and here’s why.
We Love Beer
This goes without saying. We didn’t suddenly stop enjoying breweries or beer festivals or craft beer simply because we became parents. We love visiting tap rooms, talking to the brew masters, smelling the deliciousness of the brewing, and well, having a life outside our home.
We Love Good Beer
One point made in that article was that parents who want beer should take their kids to restaurant breweries—places that focus on beer and food. But let’s face it. The beer at places that focus on both isn’t always the best. Typically it’s subpar. It’s fine for when you want dinner, and decide to get a beer on the side. There are exceptions (Tommyknocker in Idaho Springs, Colorado, for example) but when I want a beer—a good beer—I’m going to be looking at the local breweries, tap rooms, and smaller hole-in-the-wall places that offer snacks or small appetizers (if they offer food at all) and put most of their effort into their beer making.
We Aren’t Made of Money
Yes, we can afford a few pints or a flight, even the gas to get to the brew pub. But babysitters? Those of you who don’t have kids may not realize how absolutely, insanely expensive it is to hire someone, and to pay that on top of whatever you spend while out. Even if you have the money for a sitter, you then have to find someone you trust to watch and care for your sweet babies. Not all of us are blessed to live near family—and really, if we’re honest, how many of us actually want to live that close to our families (no offense, mom and mom-in-law). We may have friends willing to swap sitting services, but sometimes it’s just easier to take the kids with us for those few hours.
We Aren’t Crap Parents
Now, some might think we are crappy parents, because our kids are at a brewpub, but whatever. It’s not like we’re dragging our kids with us to brew pubs after 10 p.m. and subjecting them to the questionable and quite possibly vulgar antics of pub-goers. No. We’re doing what most parents do: meticulously planning our outings to fit nicely into that time between meals, naps, and bedtime. That usually leaves that sweet spot of 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., which is the dead time for most establishments.
We also use this as a chance to teach our children how to behave in situations and locations that aren’t all about them. Sure, we could limit their outings to restaurants with play places and toys in their kids’ meals. We could also never take them to museums where they have to be quiet and not touch things, or movie theaters where they need to sit still and not bother other people, or weddings, funerals, graduations, or any number of other life events where kids aren’t the center of attention. But that’s a disservice to them, and not much of a life for any of us.
It’s a Free Country (for Now, Anyway)
We don’t take our kids where they aren’t allowed—like Denver’s Brew at the Zoo—and we don’t bitch and moan about it being unfair. If the children are allowed and we want to go, we’ll probably be there—if there’s good beer. If you don’t like it and you don’t want to risk other people’s children ruining your mojo or killing your buzz or annoying you, then how about you not leave your house. I mean, I don’t particularly like being subjected to other people’s cigarette smoke when I leave home, but I don’t tell them they have to stop or stay home for my comfort.
Now, I do expect others to be considerate, and we try to be as well. If our kids start acting up, we don’t stay long, even if that means one of us taking the kids back to the car while the other downs the rest of the beer. Maybe that goes back to my last point above and earns us the title of “good parents,” which the article so graciously deems “okay” for pub attendance.
Stop Being Silly
“But don’t parents want a date night? Adult conversation? Time away from the kids?”
Of course not. Having kids ruins marriages to the point where we can’t stand each other. All these years talking to toddlers has rendered us useless in an adult conversation. Wait, you mean you don’t want to talk about going potty? And once someone has been blessed with children, they cannot bear the thought of ever being away from them… ever. When our kids aren’t with us, we find ourselves in the fetal position unsure of what to do with all the quiet.
Okay. End sarcasm.
But really. Really? These may be some of the most ridiculous questions ever posed to parents. Of course we want a date night. Of course we enjoy adult conversation and would love a bit of time away from the kids now and then. But it’s not feasible for everyone. Ideal? Sure. Possible? Not as possible as you might think.
So if we must choose between (a) not leaving the house, and (b) risking annoying you by having our kids at the brew pub, I’ll choose (b).
Sorry. Not sorry.