Tips for Being Half Pint Friendly

I often get asked by breweries what they can do to make their establishments more family friendly. Beer and kids doesn’t always go hand in hand, but many breweries really want to cater to families, and many of them have kids themselves!

Here are my top tips for “kid proofing” your brewery:

TOYS:
Seems simple enough, but this is a great way to keep the kids busy AND keep the parents happy. This does not mean that you have to go out and buy fancy, expensive new toys.My son LOVES playing with old school toys: lincoln logs, legos, dolls missing their heads…Most kids are this way.

With toys keep it easy on yourself to. If you have an area that specifically houses all your toys people will make sure to put them back.

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The half pint drawing with chalk at Freemont Brewery in Seattle. 

BOOKS:
My son LOVES when breweries have books. He thinks it’s great when he can go over to a shelf, pick something out and bring it back.

GAMES:
Games are another great idea. These can be yard games (corn hole, etc) or just simple board games.

SNACKS/DRINKS:
We love when we go to a brewery and they have something special for the kids. Pacific Brewing in Tacoma for example has juice boxes and many breweries offer root beer.

Also, having water and glasses out is great! It saves you time from having to constantly fill little kids (and parents) water glasses.

SIGNAGE:
Make it obvious that you are family friendly. Often times we will slowly pull up to a place, kind of check it out and if it doesn’t look like kids are allowed we don’t go in. Something as simple as a family friendly sign, or even mentioning it on your website, can make people feel comfortable being there.

Finally, if you don’t want kids in your brewery then don’t let them in! Nothing is worse then when we go to a family friendly place and are treated like we aren’t wanted. It’s completely fine to not allow kids in (heck, we sometimes go to place when we have date night BECAUSE they don’t let kids in)–but once you have decided half pints are allowed, make sure they are welcome!

Cheers!

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Buoy Beer Company-Astoria, OR

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We just got back from a wonderful spring break, and we FINALLY had a chance to stop at Buoy Beer Co. in Astoria. It seems like lately when we have headed down to the Coast we are passing through Astoria a little to late to stop, so we were happy to get to stop for lunch!11146266_10155366028325324_3226330018039049170_n

When we pulled up to the brewery we were greeted with the barking sounds of Sea Lions. So we had to take a little detour and go look the lions that were lounging under the pier. Little did we know that once we got inside we would be able to see them louning under the restaurant! One of the very cool and half pint friendly thing about this place is the glass floor where you can see through to the water below (only bad part was we couldn’t tear our son away!). Untitled-3

When we got there (around 1) they were really busy, and it was about a 20 minute wait to sit out in the main restaurant, or no wait to sit in the tap room…so we opted for the tap room. The hostess told us that if you want to get a seat in the restaurant it’s best to get there right when they open at 11. I actually liked it better because there was a little more room to move, and with a kid in tow you always want to eat as soon as possible.

They were out of a lot of their beers while we were there, so we didn’t get to try a few that I was really looking forward to trying–but I liked their pale.

The food was your normal coast bar food, and I would have liked to see a few non-fried seafood options…but it was a nice menu. I really wish we had tried more appetizers, because as we saw them coming out to tables around us I was getting jealous!! This place is super kid friendly however, and I recommend it to families if they are passing through.

Mom’s Favorite Brew: The Pale

Dad’s Favorite Brew: The Pale (wow…we agreed!)

Hopworks Urban Brewery-Portland, OR

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Wow, am I behind on updating you all on some great kid friendly breweries! They are popping up faster than I can keep up; and I’m not complaining!! As always, follow me on twitter for more up to date information—but now I’m going to get a little more in detail about some of the places we’ve visited.

First up!—Hopworks. Despite what it looks like from the front this is a HUGE brewery and restaurant located in Portland. All you have to do is drive around back and you will see all the big tanks, gorgeous hops and LOTS of parking (take note of this, so you don’t try to squeeze into the front parking lot).

Best of all this place was MADE to bring your kids to. First there is the play area. With books, chalkboards, toys and everything else you can image to keep your half pint happy until their food comes. We were lucky and they sat us RIGHT next to the kid’s area (some may not find that lucky, but for us when we can sip our beer and still see our kid playing with trains it is a win).

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The kid’s menu is another highlight of this kid friendly establishment. It’s very reasonably priced (only 4.75 per meal) and your kids can choose from the standard pub fair AND also get apples, veggies or our fries and apple juice or milk. Along with this they have BABY food on the menu (how cool is that?!).

Along with the menu and play area they also have kid friendly events throughout the year at both this pub and their “BikeBar” also located in Portland.  You can visit http://hopworksbeer.com/families to find these events.

The adult food and beverages were also good. The sampler platter is HUGE so if you get that I highly recommend sharing.

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If you are in the Portland area I highly recommend checking this place out whether you have half pints in tow or not.

Mom’s Favorite Brew: Survival Stout

Dad’s Favorite Brew: Secession CDA

Seaside Brewing Co.-Seaside, OR

I wanted to update my review on this because we visited again recently and they have added a few more kid friendly things!

The food was pretty good (which I think is probably why the reviews were lower). It was your normal “by the ocean” brewery food with Fish and Chips, Hamburgers and Oyster shooters. We enjoyed it, but we enjoyed the atmosphere and beer even better.

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Our server, Nicole, was great. She was super nice—offered to take pictures for us, was very attentive, and our son loved blowing her kisses. They only had 3 of their beers on tap when we were there, but we really enjoyed all of them. For the sampler you got to have their beers and then select one of the guest taps they had also.

The brewery itself is an old jail. It’s a big building with lots of room so you and your half pints won’t feel cramped. There are also lots of fun things for kids to look at, and they can even have their picture taken in a jail cell. They also had a great looking outdoor seating area (that had a few dogs bowls…so possibly dog friendly!? I’ll check and get back to ya).

For kids they have high chairs and boosters, and a great kids menu! It’s a coloring menu which are always our kiddos favorite. Flynn had the grilled cheese and fries and what kiddo doesn’t love that! **Update on this, they also serve the kids food in a sand bucket now!! It’s cheaper to get a sand bucket and pale with the food then it would be to buy one at the local store:)image1

If you have half pints (or don’t) we recommend this place when you visit Seaside. It’s a great change from the chain type restaurants that have taken over this great beach town. Check this place out!! You won’t be disappointed.

Cheers!

Mom’s Favorite Brew: Red Ale

Dad’s Favorite Brew: The IPA

Crux Fermentation & Worthy-Bend, OR

It has been way to long since I’ve had a chance to blog!! We took another great trip to Bend in January and once again had a chance to hit up some great new half pint friendly venues: Crux and Worthy. Along with this we visited some other favorites that just keep getting better and better (I’m looking at you Deschutes!).

Crux Fermentation Project

Wow! That is all that came to mind when we walked in this place. Gorgeous copper kettles line this amazing brewery. Their craft brew list is huge, and they had some of the best beers I’ve had in a long time.

We didn’t have any food, but it looked great.

The only bad part if  you come with your half pint is (even though this place is huge) it is packed! They have great long family-style tables to sit at…but it might be a little crammed if you have a mobile half pint. I wouldn’t hesitate to go however because it’s great. They also have a great outdoor area—so if you come in the summer your kiddo will have lots of room to run around.

Cheers!

Mom’s Favorite Brew: The Snow Cave
Dad’s Favorite Brew: Pleated Scotch Ale

This place is a HUGE new brewery in Bend. I have never seen anything like it. They are growing hops outside, have a green house, and  have a huge brew area and a restaurant.

**Update on this! We ate food there this time and it was GREAT! The pizza was some of the best I’d had in awhile, and the people we had with us thought it was the best place we took them in Bend.

I think their food and beer just keep getting better, so this has moved to the top of my list of places you should check out in Bend if you have kids with you.

This place is very family friendly with coloring menus, running around space and a HUGE outdoor seating area.

Cheers!

Mom’s Favorite Brew: Lights Out Stout
Dad’s Favorite Brew: Lights Out Stout

Old Mill Brew Werks-Bend, OR

One of the places that we visited for lunch while we were there was Old Mill Brew Werks in the Old Mill District. They have recently moved to much larger and spacious location…which was really nice. Because of the recent move they were still working out a lot of kinks (they were out of a lot of things, server wasn’t super knowledgeable of the beer) but everything was great.

First, they are kid friendly! They don’t have a children’s menu yet, but they said they are working on it and they still made our little half pint a rockin’ grilled cheese sandwich. Everyone there is super nice also. They have an open kitchen, and the people in the kitchen kept waving and making faces at Flynn so he loved it!picstitch

The food is wonderful here. They have homemade chips (which I’m obsessed with), great sandwiches and most importantly great beer. I tried their pear cider actually because the waitress thought that they made it, I couldn’t find it on uptapped so I went to ask the bartender and he informed me that it was not their own. My husband and his dad had the sampler though and it was a great sampler with yummy beer (I loved the red and the stout).

This place also has a great view. If it is nice out I would highly recommend sitting outside because they had a porch that over looked the river toward the stacks at REI. Definitely check out this off the beaten path place. The food really is great and so is the atmosphere!

Mom’s Favorite Brew: The Blonde
Dad’s Favorite Brew: The IPA

Pelican Brewery-Pacific City, OR

If you find yourself on a vacation down to Pacific City, Oregon chances are you will find yourself stopping at the Pelican Brewery. This is a wonderful place to stop for a pint and some quality beach time with your half pint.

This brewery is located right on the beach which means it has great views and huge crowds. We visited this summer with our son during a three day stay at Pacific Beach.  At the time that we went Flynn was not yet ready to order off the kids menu, but I did notice that they had one!

The best part is after you eat you and your kiddos (and pooches if you have them) can go play in the ocean and on the sand.

They have pretty decent food and really good beers. I ordered a sampler and my favorite was the Tsunami Stout.  Prices are a little high here, but that’s to be expected when you are right on the beach.

Cheers!

Tips:

  • It’s sandy and it’s the Oregon Coast. So bring towels, flip flops and a windbreaker:)
  • If you are on a budget (which those of us with half pints sometimes are) pack a fun picnic and grab a growler of their beer to go!
  • If you go during tourist season, be ready for a wait…this place is very popular

website: http://www.yourlittlebeachtown.com