Joymongers has spent much of the first quarter of 2019 working with NC House Majority Whip, Rep. Jon Hardister, and NC officials at all levels, to create a solution to the lack of differentiation between brewery taprooms and food service restaurants across the state.
DOGS BANNED FROM TAPROOMS
The discussion to update the legislation was introduced after posts on both our Facebook pages (in Greensboro, and our Barrel Hall in Winston-Salem) announced that the Guilford and Forsyth County Health and Human Services departments had issued Joymongers warnings stating that dogs could not be in our taprooms.
Under County law, because our taprooms serve beer in glassware that must be washed in dishwashing machines between uses, we are classified as a food service establishments. Meaning dogs may not be inside unless they are a properly licensed service animal. The Facebook posts quickly caught the attention of our local community, causing over two thousand “reactions” and over 500 comments. Many expressing an urgency for this food service law be updated to differentiate brewery taprooms from restaurants where food is actually prepared and served.
HARDISTER GETS INVOLVED
The post also caught the attention of North Carolina House Representative and Majority Whip, Jon Hardister, who proposed setting up a meeting with us to discuss updating the legislation. On the evening of February 18, representatives from Joymongers ownership, Hardister’s office, County Commissioners and the Health and Human Services Department met to determine a common sense solution that allows dogs in brewery taprooms with their owners, statewide.
The proposed new legislation would put taprooms in the same category of regulation as wineries, which would create consistency and clarity in the law. It gives individual taprooms the power to decide whether or not they wish to allow pets inside their establishment. This would resolve the issue that was recently raised by Joymongers and other taprooms that were told they could not allow customers to bring pets inside the building.
Hardister worked with the Guilford County Health Department, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the Craft Brewers Guild and the chairman of the N.C. House ABC Committee to draft this legislation. All of these stakeholders have agreed on language to define taprooms, create clarity in the law and resolve the issue.
“It should be up to taprooms to decide whether or not they want to allow pets inside their facility,” Hardister said. “This is a matter of promoting the free market and allowing business owners to do what is best for their customers. Now we will begin the process of working to pass this legislation into law.”
WHAT COMES NEXT?
Now that new legislation has been drafted and agreed upon, Rep. Jon Hardister is working with Rep. Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson, House ABC Chairman) to advance this legislation.
We look forward to it being passed so that the issue is resolved not only in Guilford and Forsyth county, where Joymongers operates, but for millions of dog lovers and hundreds of brewery taprooms across the state of North Carolina. Joymongers plans to keep the public and their patrons updated on our Facebook page as well as this post, as more information becomes available! In the meantime, we’re grateful to the following for helping us raise awareness for the changing legislation:
- North Carolina to vote on legislation allowing dogs in taprooms (Shout out to Joymongers)
- Is Hardister dogs best friend?
- Hardister wants health department (rather than dogs) out of taprooms, Health Department agrees
- Taproom Loving Dogs Wagging Tails Over New Bill
- Proposed bill would allow pets inside North Carolina breweries and taprooms