Politics & Government

Dogs and cats allowed again in NC breweries, taprooms. Gov. Cooper signs bill into law

Dogs and cats will be allowed again in North Carolina breweries and taprooms starting Sept. 1, as part of an Alcoholic Beverage Control reform bill that Gov. Roy Cooper signed into law this week.

The same right to allow in pets is already granted to North Carolina wineries, Charlotte Five previously reported.

The bill signed by Cooper Monday allows for pets if the brewery “is not engaged in the preparation of food on the premises.”

“We are very excited about the law changes and look forward to having the dogs back in the taproom, our four-legged best friends,” Suzie Ford, owner of NoDa Brewing Co. in Charlotte, told the Observer on Tuesday night.

Her brewery plans a “big party” on Sept. 1 to celebrate the new law, Ford said. “It was really hard telling people, ‘No, you can’t bring your dogs, when we approve of that, especially since we do not serve food” and she and her husband own and love dogs.

Andrew Monte called ahead to make sure he could take his dogs, Ernie and Elouise, on his first-time visit to Charlotte’s Birdsong Brewing Co. on Tuesday.

“I honestly didn’t know there was a law, because I’ve never had an issue,” Monte said. “Anywhere I’ve ever gone, any breweries I’ve gone to, I’ve never had an issue ... And from a business standpoint, it’s a no-brainer to let people bring them in.”

Chris Harker, founder of Triple C Brewing Co. in South End, told CharlotteFive in March that he opened the brewery with dogs in mind.

He said health inspectors told him it was OK to let dogs in his taproom and that he was shocked when Charlotte breweries began to be cited in 2017 for letting dogs inside, according to CharlotteFive.

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Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.