New Jersey's 23rd Legislative District

Senator Michael Doherty

Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty Introduces Legislation to Allow Dogs at Microbreweries

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Measure Would Permit Dogs in Sampling & Tasting Areas

Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) has introduced legislation that would allow dogs to accompany their owners during tastings at microbreweries.

Sen. Mike Doherty has introduced legislation that would allow dogs to accompany their owners during tastings at microbreweries. (©iStock)

“New Jersey’s microbrewing industry is growing at a rapid pace, but it needs our support to continue expanding,” said Doherty. “We’ve heard from brew pub operators that many customers who stop in for a tasting have their dogs in tow, which creates conflict with public health officials who don’t like pets in establishments where food or drink is consumed. It’s possible to meet the demands of customers without sacrificing the cleanliness we expect when we visit our microbreweries.”

Doherty said his legislation would allow dogs to be present in areas of licensed microbreweries where brewed products are consumed, but not in areas where items produced for consumption might be contaminated.

Similarly, dogs would be prohibited from areas where they risk contaminating clean equipment, glassware, or related articles in the area designated for the consumption of brewed products.

Areas where dogs are present would be required to be kept in a clean condition, with any messes promptly cleaned and sanitized.

Further, staff members would not be permitted to have direct contact with dogs while on duty, and would be required to immediately wash their hands should direct contact occur.

“As microbrewing has grown nationwide, a number of states have begun to address the challenge of how to handle the dogs that are frequently brought to taprooms,” Doherty added. “We can be among the leaders in addressing this issue in a way that’s good for customers, good for business, and good for public health.”

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