AHS nixes microbrewery’s pet-friendly tasting room
CALGARY It was an idea that had beer lovers smiling and pooches wagging their tails.
But after allowing dogs to join their owners in the tasting room at Inglewood microbrewery Cold Garden Beverage Company, Alberta Health Services has put a red-tape leash on the practice, which had been in place since the brewery opened in February.
Dan Allard, co-owner of Cold Garden, said because no food was prepared on-site, health inspectors had originally allowed four-legged patrons. But after the brewery began encouraging visitors to bring in food from other restaurants to eat while sampling brews, AHS clamped down on the business, which will now have to apply for a special exemption if they want to continue allowing dogs at the bar.
“That’s the frustrating part — the province has an overarching rule, which is totally illogical,” Allard said, adding the notice from AHS came two weeks ago. “It’s a very pedestrian-oriented neighbourhood and we wanted people walking by to come in and try our beers. It’s just kind of silly to chain your pooch up outside while you do it.”
Allard said the idea took off with patrons, with the brewery setting ground rules for pooches on the property and setting out dog dishes.
AHS stated it must grant approval for animals in public venues where food is allowed.
“Cold Garden brewery was not originally a food-permitted facility. Because the scope of its operations have changed/expanded from what was originally approved by AHS and the City of Calgary, it is now considered an operation requiring a food permit and, therefore, the allowance for any live animal must be approved by AHS,” it read.
“It is our duty to ensure the presence of live animals in a commercial food establishment must not pose risk to health.”
Allard said AHS officials have been working with him to prepare his application for an exemption, which he expects to file next week.
Cold Garden Brewing in Calgary got approval from AHS to allow dogs in its tasting room back in February. The health system has since reversed its position, arguing the brewery now permits food in the tasting room, something not included in the original...