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.

IMG_0032

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!

Advertisements

Buoy Beer Company-Astoria, OR

buoy

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!)

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.

IMG_1382

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

Icicle Brewing Co.-Leavenworth, WA

icicle-brewing-company-logo

Last week we took a trip over to Lake Wenatchee for a camping trip with some of our good friends. Since we were so close we of course had to take the opportunity to go into Leavenworth to visit one of our favorite breweries, Icicle Brewing.

We first discovered Icicle during one of our visits over to Oktoberfest, and we quickly learned that hanging out on their great patio was much more fun than paying $20 to get into the overrated tents of Oktoberfest. First, it’s free to get in there; second, they have MUCH better beer and finally I’m the reigning champion of the stein holding contests: women’s divisionJ

This time we got to take our half pint with us there and we had a blast. We hung out outside with all the kiddos, and our furry babies were also allowed on the deck. As always with pooches make sure they are well behaved and leashed!

This place has great beer, nothing (and I mean nothing) can beat sitting in the sun enjoying a Bootjack IPA. We had an added bonus this time with the construction going on right outside. Some people might see this as an annoyance, but for a mom with a toddler boy it was a plus!!

535770_10153070335325324_906742395_n

Cheers!

Mom’s Favorite Brew: Colchuck Citrus Wheat

Dad’s Favorite Brew: Bootjack IPA

http://www.iciclebrewing.com

Our Trip to Canada (No-Li, Kootenai River, Arrowhead)

his summer we had a great trip up to Panorama, BC. Along the way we of course stopped at some great kid friendly breweries including Kootenai River Brewing in Idaho, Arrowhead Brewing Co. in Invermere, BC and No-Li Brewing in my old stomping grounds of Spokane!

276560_117557528276633_955020687_n

First up Kootenai located in BEAUTIFUL Bonners Ferry, Idaho (yes, it’s not Washington or Oregon, but trust me; this place is worth a trip! Not only did they have wonderful beers but they also had great food! It was a nice warm day and we got to sit outside, which when you have a half pint is always idle. They can make a little more noise and it doesn’t echo quite as much. They had a great kids menu with all the normal treats, high chairs and crayons. What more could two craft brew loving parents ask for!

brew_15983

Next on our trip was Arrowhead Brewing Co. in Invermere, BC right where we were staying. This brewery was a nice surprise because before leaving I checked online for breweries and came up short. We learned when we got there that they had just opened so they don’t have a website yet. They have no food menu but great beers and a fun little brewery. They have a great assortment of retro 50’s style clothing (yes clothing) along with your normal brewery swag. They also serve their beers in flights and had one of the coolest growler fillers we had ever seen! We really enjoyed their stout, but they also had a Rhubarb Rye-PA.

no-li-brewhouse-logo-square

On our way home we stopped at No-Li Brewhouse in Spokane to have lunch with my brother. This place used to be a Cajun restaurant back in my college days, and it still has the same great environment. It’s a little odd to find you have to walk all way the back in a warehouse type building, but once you follow the cobble stones you come to a great restaurant with wonderful beer.

A super bonus is they still have one of my favorite outdoor eating/drinking locations along the Spokane River. You can watch the hops grow out there and listen to the water (and pooches are allowed out there). Unfortunately for us our fair skinned Irish half pint had had enough sun for one week, so we opted for inside. We enjoyed a great variety of pub fare (from clams to tacos to Reuben sandwiches) and our little man enjoyed the color menu and grilled cheese. My favorite beer here was the Summer Ale, but as far as beers go that they always have I like the Born and Raised IPA.

If you take the trip up to Panorama or Radium Hot Springs in Canada we suggest stopping at all three of these places.

Cheers!

Spring Break on Lake Chelan

Last week we had the great fun of taking our little half pint on a week long trip to Lake Chelan. Joining us were our friend Derek, his sister Tera and her daughter Reagen (Who is 9).

Most places were closed or had limited hours because it was the off season, but we still found LOTS of great half pint friendly places (And one brewery which we will post about next!)…and wanted to share them with you since we know this is a popular destination. We spent most of our time in Manson (Which is where we stayed). Below is some info on some of the wineries and restaurants we went to. I will be posting about wht is really important (The brewery:)) in an upcoming blog! Cheers!

WINERIES:
We visited several wineries while we were there and they all let our son and our friends daughter in and were VERY accommodating to them.

1.) The Blending Room (Mason): Great place with great wine. This is a very small tasting room but has a great outside area. I think if you came in the spring or summer and your little one could run around outside you would be fine–but if it is busy in the tasting room it could get pretty crowded. This was one of my favorite places because the owner was very knowledgeable but not too over the top (sometimes at wineries I want to say…stop talking, let me taste). The owner also had two great pooches which made our half pint VERY amused!

blendingroom blendingroom2

2.) Wapato Point Cellars (Manson): Great wine, but not as inviting as The Blending Room. I felt like we were bothering the lady while we were tasting and she spent most of the time tying ribbons to cards (not sure what she was making), and not paying attention to us. Also LOTS of breakable things in the tasting room. The HUGE HUGE HUGE plus of this if you have a little one is they have great grounds that even include a play area!!

3.) Firehouse Winery (Manson): This place had a great set up and lots of fun things to look at, but they carry wines from other wineries(which was interesting). They didn’t have our favorite wines and the guy that showed us the wines was VERY chatty–but they did have my new favorite summer treat…a wine slushy! They were also very kid friendly, the guy who was showing us the wines also gave us a grape starter and showed Reagan how to tie a knot with a giant rope:)

slushy

4.) Lake Chelan Winery (Chelan): Definitely our favorite of the wineries. The wines were amazing, the man that showed us the wines was great and they had lots of stuff for the kiddos to look at. They also had a cheese tasting place that had AMAZING cheese and the man that was running that was great too. When traveling with kiddos it’s always nice if they have a cheese tasting place because then they feel important also! We didn’t get to try one of the meet and cheese plates that they had but boy did they look yummy! HIGHLY recommend this place whether you are with or without the kids!

RESTAURANTS:
Westside Pizza (Chelan): This little place in Chelan had ok pizza and very kid friendly. They have by the slice you can get right away which is nice with the little ones! A pretty small place (which you will hear me say about most of the places in Chelan and Manson)–but still kiddo friendly (our son yells when he gets excited about eating, and no one seemed to mind). One point (that my husband and Derek were NOT happy about) no alcohol here at all…just soda.

Local Myth Pizza (Chelan): LOVED this pizza place. We happened to run into the owner when we were tasting at the Blending Room and so we stopped by. Once again, pretty small joint but AMAZING pizza. They have a great lunch special too where you get one of  their daily slice feature (2 to choose from) and a BIG salad (a real salad…not some dinky one: Greek, spinach or Caesar) all for only 8 bucks. They also had great beer on tap, lots of 22oz beer options, lots of wine (including one on tap!), and great kid options. Our friends daughter ordered a cheese pizza and loved it AND they gave her a sucker as she left.

Sunset Grill (Manson): We really liked this place a lot…but could see how if it was a busy time of year it wouldn’t be great if you had kids–but for us it was great. Their was a bartender/waitress working and she was so nice to us–she came over and visited with our friend about her snake since he has one too. They do have a kids menu and high chairs which is nice, the waitress also brought out part of our sons meal early since he was hungry! Lots of wonderful beers on tap and the food was AMAZING.

All and all we had a wonderful trip there and LOVED the sun. We are already planning a trip back this summer so we can try more open places and of course enjoy more sunshine!