You’ve seen her. That woman and her husband at the brewery you frequent. You know, the ones taking turns watching their child while the other grabs a pint from the bartender. The table is covered in snacks, sippy cups, and tons of tiny toys and they’re hogging an extra chair for their diaper bag. Perhaps their child wandered across the lawn into your game of ladder ball or corn hole or maybe your dog is loving all the spilled crackers on the floor. You feel like shaking your head at these people, but it’s only 2pm on a Sunday so what’s the harm in having their child out and about, really?
Well friends that women is me and that child and husband are mine. We’re the ones who bring our baby to a brewery.
And we love it.
Colorado has no shortage of breweries, but throughout the past 3-years of my daughter’s life, I’ve learned some are better than others to frequent with your child. We also bought a trailer for our bike when she was around a year and a half and started spending Sunday’s biking to breweries with our kid. I’ve ranked for you, the beer connoisseur, the top five breweries that I’ve found to be child friendly and accessible by bike. This is by no means a complete list, but rather my go-to spots for not only myself, but for friends joining us who have kids, as well.
Mockery Brewery – RiNo
If you haven’t been to the River North area of downtown, you are missing out. This area is a diamond in the rough and Mockery not only has both a nice patio and indoor seating, but they also have a game room in what looks like a detached garage. The best part of the game room is that all the games are free, leaving your child occupied for hours. The staff is friendly and they have a large beer selection, plus it’s close to the Source, if the food truck they have on site for the afternoon isn’t appealing.
Joyride Brewing – Edgewater
Edgewater has grown in popularity thanks to its proximity to downtown, as well as the amount of yoga studios, shops, and restaurants popping up in the area. Joyride has a back patio open in the summer with large garage doors they open on nice days, which makes inside seating feel like you’re outside. While I’m not a fan of the amount of high top tables they have, they do offer a large board game selection and the restroom has a changing table. There are a lot of young families in the area, so you can’t walk into the place without bumping into a stroller or baby, which makes you feel right at home. While they don’t have the largest beer selection, the location is also nice because you can take a stroll around Sloan’s lake after, to watch the sunset.
Odell – Fort Collins
If you don’t happen to live in Fort Collins, it’s a great place for a weekend getaway. While you can ride your bike between multiple breweries here from the Fort Collins Brewery to Fat Tire, I happen to like Odell the best. Not only is their taproom large with in-house brewed sodas for the little ones (and loud enough to drown out a screaming toddler), but they also have live music, depending on the day, and food trucks daily (weather permitting). Kids are welcome to come on the brewery tour and it’s shorter than New Belgium’s, which is always a plus when traveling with small children.
Strange Craft Beer Co – Denver
We lived in a rental house in Villa Park for almost a year and discovered Strange Craft on one of our biking adventures. Located 5-minutes from downtown, they are near the 10th and Osage Light Rail and ½ a block from the bike path. There’s homemade root beer, free wifi, food trucks, a loyalty card (get your 10th pint free!) and a 2,500 hundred square foot Biergarten. We would find ourselves biking here many Sunday afternoons the summer we lived in the rental house and when Charlotte became fussy, we’d just bring a growler home. I fell in love with the bartenders who were welcoming to our family and always took the time to ask us about our child and make us feel at home.
Declaration Brewing – Denver
My first experience with Declaration brewery was for a Friday night Paws Co Event one of my friends was hosting. When we arrived, I found ample outdoor seating, as well as indoor space that flowed into one another, a large lawn for corn hole (which my daughter delighted in playing with the bean bags), live music, and a taco food truck. My daughter spotted the large bags of local kettlecorn popcorn on the wall (game over!) and I was blown away with the beer selection. There were enough kids running around to give the place a back yard BBQ vibe, rather than spending the night inside a dark bar. As a bonus, the brewery isn’t on a busy street, so noise and traffic were at a minimum, making the outdoor patio even more enjoyable. The place is only open until 10pm on week nights and 11:30pm on weekends, which is just early enough, in my opinion, to not make me feel like an old lady who’s missing out when I leave at 7pm.
When we encounter people at the breweries, they often comment about how well behaved she is. While we feel alone time is important as well, having no built in babysitters means we spend a lot of time adventuring as a family. Children will only learn how to behave in public by being taken out in public, so what better venue to start than a crowded place with food, games, and adult beverages?
Great topic and list — loved Joyride esp. when we lived closer.
One thing I’ve made a note of (and mentioned to some brewer’s/new breweries) is that, along with games, free pretzels and/or popcorn are a huge hit with toddlers as well. When I tell my toddler we’re going to a brewery, he’ll often say “pretzels!”
I’m missing the baby part, but its nice to know a bit about the breweries! Good work!
This is great. We love joyride with our kids, but only in the winter as my children are runners/explorers and it’s right on 25th and Sheridan with garage doors wide open in nice weather! I’ll look out for days that the garage doors are closed and bring my kids during those times.
Great list of breweries. When in the mountains check out South Park Brewing in Fairplay. Since opening in September of 2014 they have had two kid tables for the little ones to enjoy themselves with coloring and playing while the parents have a few minutes to themselves to enjoy a beer and a light bite.
The one place that should child free is the place you go to drink (to get away from your children).
Selfish, entitled and a GREAT example to the kids……not that you drink, but that they’re just as entitled as you think you are to be anywhere.
When don’t I expect to see anybody under the age of 21 at a bar or brewery? Any time it’s open. Because it’s a bar. Or a brewery. Not a daycare.
Newsflash: you knew what you were getting into when you had a kid. Now go take care of it and let me drink my beer in peace.
You bring up an interesting question as to whether or not children belong in our local breweries . . . From what we’ve seen around town AND heard directly from those breweries, they are actually THRILLED that parents are patronizing their establishments, and in many places are providing activities for children in order to encourage parents to come. If one of these establishments had asked our author not to bring her child or not welcomed them as a family, they obviously would not be included on this list. Many bars are in fact 21+ for entry, and we absolutely are not encouraging parents to break the law with their children.
The author is not suggesting that these breweries are daycares (there was no mention of dropping children off at the brewery in order to go run errands or go to work, and none of these breweries were included because of their curriculum, childcare training, or philosophies on childhood development) — we were just offering a resource on some of the many establishments around town that have great beer and welcome families.
Furthermore, many of us believe that being a parent should not make one subject to being homebound and missing out on the many wonderful things the metro area has to offer (breweries included). We also believe that taking our children out in public helps us teach them to be tolerant, kind, well-behaved, courteous members of society.
We understand you want to drink your beer in peace, so we’ll try to keep the noise to a dull roar and avoid any unnecessary scenes (though let’s be honest, we usually see more bad behavior at these places from adults than kiddos).