Saturday, January 23, 2016

NO DOGS ALLOWED: Cranky jackass food critic ruins a good thing at St. Louis brewery

The craft beer world is a dog-friendly world. It just is. Anyone who has toured more than a few breweries will have encountered some friendly rovers hanging out with the public. Sometimes they're with guests. Other times they're with the brewery.

Most recently, I visited Stoneface Brewing in New Hampshire (try their porter, it's excellent), and they had two lazy ol' dogs just chillin' out. Pet them, ignore them, whatever works for you. They won't approach you; you have to go to them. The point is, they are part of the brewery.

This is pretty typical.

And most people like it that way, because in many ways the craft world is a huge, nation-spanning clubhouse of like-minded people.

Except for the St. Louis Post Dispatch's Daniel Neman, I suppose, whose recent rant about a dog at a brewpub -- not to mention a dozen phone calls he made to the local health department -- caused the brewery to withdraw its open door policy for dogs.

(Seriously, dude, a dozen calls, plus multiple calls to the brewery itself? Get a life.)

The owners at the place, Urban Chestnut Brewing Co., had no choice, of course, because they were technically in violation of local ordinances, despite it being well known and clearly advertised that it was a dog-friendly establishment.

But it's a shame they were forced into it by a smug old crank who clearly has no idea what the craft beer experience is all about.

The brewery is taking it fine. In a letter by co-founder David M Wolfe:
Personally, as a dog owner, it’s been a lot of fun watching fellow dog-lovers accompanying their ‘best friends’ over beers & food at Urban Chestnut, and I’m disappointed that we have to make this change. However, it is always our intention and practice to abide by the law, and thus I hope those of you who have brought your dog(s) by in the past will understand this decision.
Naturally, Neman doesn't take responsibility for being the stick-up-the-ass that he is, instead claiming that he was doing it for The People:
I am not the sort of person who gets freaked out by such things. I have been to bars where there have been worse things on the floor. But most of my fellow revelers at the birthday party — and probably most of my fellow humans — get a little queasy at the thought.
Right. Sure thing, dude. How very selfless of you. Thanks for falling on your sword for our benefit.

I'm not even a dog guy. Don't have one. Don't plan to. I'm fine without one. But I'll be the first to tell you that the dog-friendly nature of the craft world is a nice example of the scene's casual, bro-less, "we're all in a collective backyard together enjoying this common interest" nature. It's different than the corporate beer and dining scene, and we like it that way.

So basically, screw Daniel Neman.