It's a trend that's becoming quite popular in microbreweries around New Jersey. People bring their dogs with them as they stop in on their afternoon strolls to sample beer. This has created conflict with public health officials who don't like pets in places where drinks and food are served. But one state lawmaker wants to change that.

Senator Mike Doherty, R-Warren,  is introducing a bill that would allow dogs to accompany their owners during tastings at microbreweries in New Jersey.

"Everybody loves dogs and they should be able to bring their dogs into a microbrewery. It's a fun spot. It's a casual spot and as long as the dog is under control and cleanliness standards are maintained, I see no problem in allowing dogs in microbreweries," Doherty said.

In Virginia, a law was passed to allow dog owners to bring their pooches with them to microbreweries and Doherty feels it's important to have the same law passed in the Garden State.

The bill would allow dogs to enter microbreweries and not allow health departments to have an outright ban on allowing dogs in microbreweries in the state of New Jersey.

The law, however, would require that the dogs remained leashed and they would not be allowed where the beer is being prepared. Employees would not be allowed to interact with the dogs for sanitary reasons.

The bill would also have a requirement for single-serve containers to be used if the dog is going to drink water inside the microbrewery.

"The bottom line is, it's all-American to love your dog and bring your dogs on walks throughout the community. So if you happen to duck into a microbrewery you should be able to bring your dog in there and sample some beer in there. It's about freedom. It's about liberty," says Doherty. He adds it's about supporting this rapidly growing industry in the state.


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