Drinking with your dog in Denver breweries is getting tougher

5 min. read
Faye the bulldog at the Denver Pet Expo. Aug. 21, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver pet expo; animals; pets; dogs; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;

Faye the bulldog at the Denver Pet Expo. Aug. 21, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

In Denver, you can buy your dog wine. Heck, you can take your dog to work every day if you work in the right place.

But you can't drink with your dog on a brewery patio unless that patio is at least 400 square feet and there's signage dictating which part of the patio is for dogs, among other things.

Almost six months ago, the city was in an uproar over the newly enforced regulations that keep dogs out of the indoor portion of breweries. Six months since Kyle Clark implored people to use discretion when bringing their dogs and hoped government officials might simply look the other way.

Well, Clark, no dice. Perhaps recognizing the delicacy of the situation, Denver Environmental Health spokesperson Kerra Jones said the department is focusing on education around the regulation.

Alright, so how much education has been happening across the city?

Of the 43 Denver breweries inspected this year, 25 breweries had inspection notes about dogs. (More on methodology here.) Most of them, 60 percent, were simply instructed about the rules. No one has been ticketed under the new enforcement regime.

Most breweries simply were instructed about the regulation.

For breweries without a sufficiently big patio, that means no dogs. Cerebral Brewing, for one, has simply instituted a policy to no longer allow dogs. Others have ignored the rules and later come into compliance, like Renegade Brewing.

Hey, but if you're forced to stay home, you can always buy your dog a $12 bottle of wine and get yourself a bottle of something nice.

Here's the full regulation regarding dogs in dining areas:

*8-106 Prohibiting of Animals D. Dogs permitted in outdoor dining area

1. Eligible Outdoor Dining Areas c. If the patio is 400 square feet or larger, wait service may be provided if at least half of the patio space is designated as not allowing dogs and the part of the patio allowing dogs has direct and unobstructed access from the right-of-way or other outside area: Has not been determined to have violated paragraph C of this section.

2. Conditions a. The retail food establishment shall have signs posted stating that dogs are allowed in the outdoor dining area. One sign shall be posted in a conspicuous location visible upon entrance to the interior of the retail food establishment, and another sign shall be posted in a conspicuous location visible upon entrance to the outdoor dining area. Patios which are greater than 400 square feet and allow dogs must also provide clear signage indicating which portion of the patio is dog friendly and which is reserved for dining without dogs. Such signage shall also inform patrons that problems with dogs on the premises be reported to the proprietor and may be reported to the Department of Environmental Health. b. The retail food establishment shall not permit preset food or tableware in the outside dining area. c. Dogs must be kept at least 15 feet from any outdoor food or drink handling areas and wait station areas at all times. d. The retail food establishment’s chairs and tables located in the outdoor eating area shall be easily cleanable. e. Sanitizer, equipment, and cleaning supplies shall be provided in the outdoor dining area for use in that area only and shall not be co-mingled with sanitizers, equipment, or cleaning supplies for use inside the establishment. f. The retail food establishment shall provide supplies in the outdoor dining area for clean-up and removal of dog waste. g. The retail food establishment shall provide a refuse container that complies with Part 5-3 of these regulations located outside for disposal of all waste generated from the outside dining area. h. While on duty, employees shall not touch, pet, or otherwise care for or handle any dogs in an outdoor dining area. Employees shall wash hands as specified in Section 2-401 thru Section 2- 405 of these rules and regulations. i. All chairs and table surfaces shall be cleaned and sanitized with an appropriate product after use by any customer accompanied by a dog. j. Spilled food and drink shall be removed from the floor or ground between seatings of all customers. k. All dogs are prohibited from entering the interior of the retail food establishment and customers accompanied by dogs may only access the outdoor dining area directly from the right-of-way or other outdoor area. l. All dogs in the outdoor dining area must have current vaccination tags affixed to their collars. m. All dogs must be on a leash, cord, or chain and held in a manner that complies with chapter 8 of the Denver Revised Municipal Code. Customers accompanied by dogs shall also keep their dog under control at all times. n. Dogs are not allowed on a seat, chair, table, countertop, or any other furnishings within the outdoor dining area. o. All dog waste shall be cleaned up immediately and the affected area shall be sanitized with a disinfectant.

Additional methodology notes: According to the state, there are 72 breweries and brew pubs in the city. Some of these are so new that they haven't yet been inspected. Some of them are actually distribution centers or do not serve beer to people in their establishment.

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