Minors will be allowed in [the pub] starting just in time for Labor Day.
When we introduced food to [the pub] last year, we had to make some necessary changes to our policy, namely, unwelcoming dogs and keeping outside food, well, outside. While some of you shared concerns, most of you indicated that you understood our reasoning. Or at the very least, you pretended to understand, which is probably good enough. We can’t really know what you are thinking, can we?
Fast forward to approximately 6 months ago when the subject of minors was brought up by fellow cousins and you, our beloved customers. We heard from quite a few of you that it would be nice to allow minors in the pub, especially on the weekends like “when family comes into town and we want to take them to our favorite brewery, but can’t because people under 21 aren’t allowed in”. We also heard from some of our regulars that they like having [the pub] without minors; that [the pub] is like an adult sanctuary, where they are free to banter about without fear of offending little ears.
We get it. And we completely understand both points of view. Internally, we had a very similar dialogue.
In listening to these anecdotes, we did what any responsible business should do;we sought more feedback. Keep in mind, this is kind of a departure from our typical, full-steam-ahead-approach to most things. In this case, we felt we owed it to you and the cousins to collect as much data as possible before proceeding.
In June, we sent a survey to the community. Approximately 77% of the responses indicated they would favor a change in our minor policy. That’s a pretty telling number. If we relied on that number alone, it would be, as Dane would say, a No-Brainer. Oh, if only it was so easy but there are other factors in this equation.
Perhaps the biggest factor to consider is the Iron Horse Brewery company purpose:
“To spread the magic of indie craft beer”
The most logical question after reading that is: How does allowing minors help this purpose, considering minors are not allowed to consume IHB products?
This is the question we have to answer. After numerous conversations, phone calls, emails, text messages and carrier pigeon deliveries with the cousinhood, it became clear that the answer wasn’t easy to come to, but we did manage to arrive at a general consensus that I will outline here.
- Allowing minors means allowing their parents/guardians in, which means reaching a different audience, one who might not have had our beer before.
- Part of the “magic” of indie craft beer is the deep commitment it has to building and fostering “community”. In allowing minors, we get to include more of the community into our space, events and culture, all with the end goal of creating an interconnectedness with fellow humans, regardless of age.
Fundamentally, that’s it. I could go into more detail, but for brevity’s sake, I won’t.
Fast forward to now, taking the advice from our regulars, the data from the survey, and the internal feedback from the cousins and blending it all together in a Vitamix, we are left with the following outcome:
[The Pub] will allow minors until 8:00pm everyday. Last call for food, or tiny cups of water will be 7:15pm.
And here’s what you can expect to see at [ the pub ] to help welcome this change to the establishment.
As you can see, we will have a menu tailored for kids, with some fun activities. We’ll probably build on the activity book as we figure out what makes the most sense.
There was some concern as to how our marketing/culture would shift if minors are allowed in the pub. Our response was, it won’t. In fact, if anything, we have a moral responsibility to teach irreverence without coming across as an a$$hole. It’s a fine line; one that we don’t always get right, but we feel we can help teach minors how to navigate these tricky waters.
We will post these signs in obvious places around [the pub].
So there you have it; listening to our community, listening to our customers, and listening to our company purpose kind of drove us to this conclusion. Boy was this long winded and probably completely unnecessary.