Chocolate stout? Meet chocolate milk.
Idaho breweries, long an adults-only haven for craft beer enthusiasts, are allowed to welcome children beginning July 1.
That’s when a new law allowing minors into licensed breweries takes effect. House Bill 649 was passed on the final day of the Idaho legislative session and signed by Gov. Butch Otter in April.
The law treats breweries the same as wineries, which are able to allow minors on the premises.
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Breweries that also are restaurants — such as the two Sockeye Grill and Brewery locations in Boise — already can welcome families. But many breweries do not offer food service.
Letting minors into tasting rooms and on brewery tours is important if Boise wants to nurture its local beer scene, said Sheila Francis, executive director of Idaho Brewers United, the state’s brewers guild.
“We might not think of it as a big deal in Boise, but there’s a ton of breweries that rely on tourism traffic,” Francis said. “And having to turn away families with children ... is really challenging.”
Conversations about amending state law started last summer, Francis said, and most Idaho breweries support it.
Garden City’s Powderhaus Brewing Co., which opened in 2015 at 9719 W. Chinden Blvd., is among those. Co-owner Lisa Schmidt considers Powderhaus a family business, but she couldn’t involve the entire family.
“I have three sons and five grandsons,” Schmidt said. “My grandkids wanted to help unload boxes, cut grass and assist with other tasks around the brewery, but legally they just couldn’t.”