My wife jokes that you know you’re a Fleisher if you bring a booster seat to a brewery, writes Chris Fleisher for Kidsburgh.org.
It’s funny because it’s true. My son has been to more breweries in his first six years of life than I had visited by age 30, and my daughter saw her first brew kettle before she could drink milk from a bottle.
Before you judge, consider that many breweries nowadays not only tolerate children, they welcome them with family-friendly entertainment and accommodations such as changing tables and high chairs. It is a concept of the brewery as “community gathering space” rather than “watering hole.”
Below are five Pittsburgh area breweries that I consider among the more welcoming to people with kids. They may not all have stroller parking or a private nursing room, but each has features that make them a bit more inclusive for families, he writes.
I can’t think of a local brewery that is more accommodating to families than Spoonwood in Bethel Park. The spacious restaurant is easy to navigate with a stroller. There are high chairs for younger kids, a children’s menu, a separate family restroom with changing table, and a fenced outdoor yard where kids can run around or play corn hole.
Co-owner and head brewer Steve Ilnicki acknowledged Spoonwood’s kid-friendly reputation but said he never consciously aimed to become Pittsburgh’s go-to brewery for families.
“Ultimately, I expected to attract the ‘late-20s to early-40s crowd because that’s who I am,” he told me. “That’s my demographic, craft beer lover with young children in tow.”
For grownups, Spoonwood offers a rotating menu of around a dozen beers that range from pretty accessible cream ales to the more adventurous chili pepper and smoked beers. There’s wine, cider, mead and spirits, a good portion of which are made locally. The food menu is anchored by a lot of specialty wood-fired pizzas, and includes burgers, meatloaf, fish tacos and mussels, as well as a few desserts.
Read the rest of the article and the remaining four breweries at Kidsburgh.org.