There's tempest in a pint glass brewing over pint-sized patrons being brought to breweries and taprooms, as a social media flare-up reignites the debate over parents who bring their kids into drinking establishments where minors are legally allowed.

It is not uncommon to see Skee-ball, Jenga, and other games at San Francisco bars, which can largely be attributed to how San Francisco is full of Peter Pan types who never grow up. But some taprooms and breweries use these games to actively woo the parent-and-kids patron class. And there is nothing illegal about this — a California Type 47 ot Type 75 liquor license classifies an establishment as an “Eating Place” or a "Brewpub-Restaurant," and you are absolutely allowed to bring kids there, just as you can bring children into an Applebee’s that serves Dollaritas.


Though this has become a point of contention in the craft beer community, as many beer snobs and/or drunks just don’t want kids around during their drinking experience. The tweet below has brought this discourse back into the conversation, and the Chronicle reports on the reignited debate over whether kids should be brought to breweries, with some arguing that the taprooms are becoming too kid-friendly.  


“STOP BRINGING YOUR KIDS TO BREWERIES IM TRYING TO RELAX,” says the post from @tapptastical (which is not a particularly beer-focused Twitter account), and it’s racked up 3.5 million views as of press time. The 1,100 quote-tweets are a pretty fair mix of pro-kids and no-kids responses. But toddlers in bars and restaurants have been a contentious issue in SF for years, likely because the adult population here skews so strongly toward people without children.


And really, taprooms are uniquely well-suited for bringing the kiddos. They’re large, spread-out spaces, often with many outdoor tables, and menus full of kid-friendly items like cheeseburgers and pizza. Many taprooms have even chosen to install games and features that can occupy children while their parents drink. As Bernal Heights’ Barebottle Brewing Company co-owner Lester Koga quipped to the Chronicle, “When we opened, people would call us Babybottle.”

And Koga defends how parents pack the joint with their wee ones. “That’s what at its core makes brewery taprooms great — they’re meeting places,” he added. “You’re not going there to get plastered and find somebody to hook up with. It’s an environment that feels safe for your kids.”

Not to mention, brewery taprooms tend to be open during the daytime — which is nice when everybody needs to be home and tucked in by 7 pm.


There is also the simple economics of how a four-top party with two kids is probably just going to spend more money than some individual beer nerd, or two of them on a date. And in these “people don’t go out anymore” days, families may be a more financially reliable demographic than the childless.

We see this in the Mission District’s Monk’s Kettle announcing their move to Rockridge. The craft beer crowd is aging, becoming more likely to have kids and live in the suburbs, while the younger generation seems to prefer White Claws and other seltzer drinks, and not procreating.

And to those who can’t stand kids being around, there's no shortage of options to drink at bars that do not serve food, or allow minors inside.

Related: Zazie Owner Vents Frustration About Small Children In Restaurants [SFNews]

Image: Xinyu L. via Yelp