This conversation started in February after Joymongers Brewing Company in Greensboro posted on social media that dogs wouldn't be allowed inside anymore after they recieved a written warning from the County health department. In March, Guilford County representative Jon Hardister drafted a bill to clearly define what a taproom is. Hardister says taprooms shouldn't be held to the same standards as restaurants, if they don't prepare food. "Let’s promote the free market and allow people to enjoy craft beer while spending time with their dogs," Hardister posted to Facebook.
Thanks to this bipartisan effort, the bill was signed into law last week by Governor Roy Cooper. The new law, known as Senate Bill 290, changes the way breweries and taprooms are categorized with regards to the preparation of food. Taprooms and breweries have previously operated under the same rules as a restaurant when it comes to pets: no pets inside, only service animals.
Additionally, the new law includes provisions that would support growth of NC distilleries. They'll be able to sell alcohol drinks on-site, including mixed drinks, wine and beer.
The new law will go into effect on September 1st.