Amanda is following up with her previous episode on starting families while working in the heart of Maine’s craft brewery culture. This week she is at Novare Res with Christie of Foundation
Brewing, who has a daughter that is growing up at a brewery. So strap a few beers into your kiddy-kangaroo pouch and eavesdrop on their discussion about kids making appearances at bars and family friendly breweries.
The Rise of the Brew Kids:
As a kid, the adult world can be a mysterious veil that is often composed of babysitters while the parents go for a night out. But Maine’s craft beer scene is notorious for its hospitality and welcoming vibes, which has spawned the advent of the brew kid.
For those like Christie, being able to have a child at work has multiple benefits. For instance, exposing your kids to new experiences, like the Willy Wonka-esque fermenting tanks and large shiny tanks. Letting them see how adults interact with one another and hear the kinds of conversations they have is another. Lettings kids dip into an experience which is often held away from them is a great way to gradually raise their overall maturity, but also set the stage for beer maturity. Because no parent ever wants to see a Facebook photo of their college-age kid surrounded by cans of mass-produced light beer, or projectile vomiting out of an Uber.
Bringing kids into taprooms and bars requires a certain amount of situational awareness on the parent’s end, however. Adults like to have adult conversations. While talking about what postmodern philosophies most accurately describe Big Bird’s social interactions with the rest of Sesame Street, you might also run into conversations about the birds and the bees–something I have yet to see on a children’s program. What time of day you decide to go to the brewery and the overall culture and aesthetic of the taproom is crucial to feel out before you decide to just roll up with a stroller, for your sake and the sake of the other patrons.
Raising kids to have a healthy respect and knowledge of beer can only be a good thing. For one, craft beer is generally heavy on the wallet. Drinking less and enjoying more is a bit of the direction the craft beer scene has gone in. Hence the colloquial acceptance of the “Craft” in craft breweries winning out over Micro breweries. The people that make these beers are creative and take pride in what they do. Being able to share that with adults is great, and creating an environment that lets kids share in that a little is better.
With mutual respect and understanding both the Kidded and the Kidless can enjoy the same beer, so long as a dialogue is established and everyone is heard. Which, hey, is another great thing you kids might pick up on.