It’s not only official, it’s been officially celebrated – dogs are allowed in taprooms that don’t prepare food.

A celebratory bill signing was held at Joymongers on Thursday, Nov. 7 with Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford) and Rep. Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson) signing the bill that revised the state law to make it clear that pets are allowed in taprooms.

McGrady, who is the co-chairman of the House ABC Committee, said, “We couldn’t understand why some counties were fine with dogs and cats and some weren’t.”

Hardister said that it all started back in February when he saw a Facebook post from Joymongers that said the Guilford County Health Department had determined that dogs were not allowed in Joymongers or other taprooms.

At the time, Hardister said he didn’t think it would be a difficult problem to solve and he was right – the bill had widespread bipartisan support. He said, “When it comes to craft beer and dogs there is a lot of harmony in the legislature.”

Hardister noted that in his job as House whip, he traveled a lot and had seen dogs in taprooms across the state. He said one reason for the new provision is to make enforcement equitable all over the state.

According to Hardister, the issue of whether or not dogs were allowed in businesses other than restaurants should be up to the business owner not the state. He said, “It should be driven by the free market.”

Hardister noted that the official signing of the bill was done by Gov. Roy Cooper at a brewery in Raleigh in July.

This provision is in a 30-page omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Control bill that according to Hardister, “Attempted to modernize and update the ABC laws in North Carolina.”

And if there were any doubt that this was not the official bill signing, if you looked closely at the large poster-sized bill it read, “Sponsors – Dogs and Cats Across North Carolina.” There is also a paw print at the bottom.

A good number of Joymongers customers participated by bringing their dogs in for a beer.