AHS nixes mi­cro­brew­ery’s pet-friendly tast­ing room

Edmonton Journal - - CITY - SHAWN LO­GAN slo­gan@post­media.com

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.

DAR­REN MAKOWICHUK

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...

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