Local breweries are one of Colorado’s most beautiful assets. They represent a wonderful spirit of creativity and entrepreneurship. Breweries create a beautiful environment to taste a brewer’s vision and creation. Local tap rooms are a great way to meet new people, play games, and unwind after a hard day of work or enjoy the great outdoors on a weekend that only Colorado can offer. But there is an aspect of the taproom scene that goes, not unnoticed, but rather is taboo to talk about: kids.
We need to remember that tap and tasting rooms are still serving a product that is only legal to those of age. Why children are allowed to be present in these establishments is very confusing. Would you bring your child to a bar downtown and let them run around? No. It is not a place for kids. Taprooms should have the same persona, but somehow, this type of activity has gained acceptance; or at least a level of complacency.
I see kids that are not well-supervised as they are using steel railings and concrete patios as their personal playgrounds. I see parents drinking pints while little junior is off doing who-knows-what. I see little Johnny sitting at the table just inches away from an alcoholic beverage; a beverage that looks eerily like his cup of apple juice. I can only imagine the outcome if he mixes them up—or heaven forbid, dad takes a big sip of Mott’s.
I see kids walking around barefoot, or crawling around on the ground only then to be scooped up and placed on the table. I see them sneezing, wiping their noses on their hands only then to put their cute little fingers on the tables, chairs, and games provided by the establishment. I have even been told of parents changing their baby on the counter in the bathroom (while there was a changing station in the unused stall) and left without a single wipe down of the sink or even hands being washed. I see mom and dad down the last gulps of their pints, and then pack up the stroller, the diaper bag and toy trucks, pile them all in the car and drive off into the sunset. Does anyone else see a problem with this? When did the practice of alcohol and small children become so frequent and popular?
Kids are more aware than you think: they hear what you say, the see what you do and if they grow up learning that this behavior is acceptable, then they are doomed to repeat it. There are plenty of parks around for kids to run and play at and there are plenty of baby-sitting services in the area. Bottom line: there are plenty of places where a kid can be a kid—A brewery taproom is not one.