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This question keeps coming up from my brewery and distillery clients. As a Commercial Insurance Agent specializing in the craft beverage world, I'll tell you that your brewery or distillery's insurance policy most likely does NOT specifically exclude pets at your facility - essentially, allowing them to be there.
Now, does your dog really want to be there? Maybe, maybe not. There's loud noises, as you know, a dog's ears are way more sensitive than a humans. In addition, there's numerous smells and tons of people that can put even the most docile dog on edge.
That said, let's consider a scenario. It's a sunny day, you're sitting at your favorite local craft beverage spot, and your dog is laying at your feet in a very relaxed manner. A new patron arrives with his dog and as they're walking passed your table and into the tasting room for a bubbly beverage, one dog sniffs another the wrong way and off we go. Now every dog there is on alert. Maybe there's a fight, maybe there's just growling, maybe there's blood, maybe a table is knocked over and glass falls and breaks, maybe someone cuts themselves on the glass... your fun, relaxing day has just been turned upside down.
One owner now has an injured best friend and wants to press charges on the other pet owner. Who's at fault? I'm sure we'll have 3 stories: one dog owner's, the other dog owner's and the real story. So it goes. (Shouts to the late Kurt Vonnegut.)
Now... The local township is alerted, the brewery owners are alerted, maybe fined, maybe sued... maybe not. As a dog owner, you're responsible for the care, custody and control of your pet --- says your Homeowner's Policy! This may fall back to the liability coverage on your own personal Homeowners Policy... and guess what, the company insuring your home may or may not be aware that you even own a dog. Furthermore, your dog may be on the BANNED DOG LIST and you'd have no coverage on your policy. Therefore, tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars comes out of your pocket to pay legal fees and medical bills.
So, you tell me, is it worth it? From a brewery or distillery owner perspective, it's best to avoid allowing pets on premises - and tell your patrons that the reasoning is coming down from the local township that no pets are allowed in/near food or beverage manufacturing facilities. This will push away any negative thoughts toward you and your business.
Here's a typical list of Banned Dogs on Homeowners Policies and here's an article from Andy Sparhawk of CraftBeer.com discussing this same topic. https://www.craftbeer.com/craft-beer-muses/should-you-bring-your-dog-to-breweries
Protect your Guests. Protect their Pets. Protect your Employees. Protect your Business! Hope this helps. Cheers!
Kyle C. Rheiner - CraftBrewingInsurance.com -
Insuring 100+ Craft Beverage companies in the United States.
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