My recent attempts at organising an event for Tryanuary has led me to dust off my keyboard and do a blog. (Or re-download WordPress and spend half an hour trying to remember my password!). I am in the process of arranging a ‘crafty babies’ event where parents who love beer can meet up along with their children and talk about what all parents who love beer talk about – poo and beer.
This got me thinking about the much discussed topic of children in pubs.
So here goes….our generation are pretty fucking awesome! We are from a time when playing involved knocking on your friend’s door to see if they were lecking then riding your bikes or going to the park. Not sitting in your bedroom drawing on your eyebrows and taking selfies, trying to see how many likes you can get on social media. With the passing of time we are now at an age where some of us are procreating and luckily for us this has coincided with the emergence of a wealth of amazing child friendly bars/taprooms.
With this has come the debate as to whether children in pubs is a good idea.
I grew up with Grandparents who were publicans so I spent a lot of time in the pub as a child! The smell of fresh furniture polish and stale cigarette smoke is the most comforting smell in the world for me. Spending all this time in the pub as a child taught me some essential life skills:
1. Always check the coin tray on the bandits! Drunk people are very careless.
2. An abundance of swear words and the correct context within which to use them.
3. How to play five and three’s (a skill I still possess if anyone is ever up for a round of doms).
5. Most importantly how to talk to grown ups and how to behave in an adult environment.
So when my husband and I decided to make our own little people one thing we both agreed on was that the children would fit into our lives as well as us fitting in with theirs. As such one of the first places both of my daughters went to as babies was Friends of Ham. We don’t think twice about taking them to the pub with us and as a result they know how pubs work (Matilda is 4 months old so her pub behaviour involves sleep/looking around in amazement at all the new things she can see). My eldest, Jessica is 4 and we always go armed with entertainment (often in the form of Simon and Leanne @leedsbeerwolf and @leannegirt). I like taking my children to the pub, not only because it means they learn how to behave in such environments but because I like going to the pub! There has been more than one occasion where a beer has been released that I’ve wanted to try and I would have had no opportunity to do so if I didn’t go out with my family with me. Some months due to our lack of babysitters the only time I get to go to the pub is with the bin lids in tow. In my day I would have been plonked in the beer garden with a Panda Pop and a packet of Seabrooks but times change.
Now don’t get me wrong I fully understand why people don’t like children in pubs. In the absence of alcohol all children have it in them to act like that pissed up arsehole you try to avoid on the late bus home. They can talk too loud, they can’t sit still, they are completely unreasonable and are prone to erratic and unprovoked outbursts! That being said I still enjoy taking my children to the pub with me and importantly they enjoy going. In my defence I will add that if my daughter starts to run around like a lunatic and is beyond reasoning I’ll be the first to down my £5 third of one off DIPA and bundle her into the car to return to the safety of home and Doc McStuffins.
So in conclusion I do get why people aren’t keen on the idea of children in pubs but as I see it I’m raising the next generation of craft beer drinkers. What’s to say Jessica won’t be the first ballerina brewer? She already shows an interest in the brewing process and is desperate to do the Magic Rock brewery tour….so watch this space!