Unleashed Brewing Company needs help from the Kelowna community to continue having dogs allowed in the taproom.
Through an approved trial period by Interior Health, Unleashed was able to host dogs in its taproom for five months.
That trial period comes to an end Feb. 15 and Unleashed has started a petition to have the approval reinstated.
Co-owner Ashton Sykes says the trial to have dogs in the taproom since in August 2022 has been overwhelmingly successful.
“We’ve had outstanding people come in with really great dogs. Everyone has been really well-behaved and we haven’t had any issues. We’ve had zero issues and zero complaints.”
The petition has been filed on Change.org and has over 1,600 signatures as of Sunday afternoon (Jan. 29).
“We would like the health authority to allow us to continue that trial period as they work towards creating a policy.”
Sykes says other provinces has implemented policies to allow dogs in taprooms at certain establishments.
Unleashed has been the guinea pig in B.C.
“We utilized the policies that were in place in other provinces, we used some of the concepts and ideas that other places have used and had success with in the past. We built our proposal and our business around that idea. We know that it can be successful. We know that other jurisdictions have a good blueprint in place and this is an opportunity for us in B.C. to help move that innovative process forward.”
Sykes expects some challenges in having the trial extended by Interior Health.
If the brewery isn’t able to reinstate the trial before the Feb. 15 deadline, Sykes says they’ll abide by the rules but continue to operate.
“I truly want to say thank you to the people that support this and have shown up with great dogs. It just goes to show that there are some great people with great dogs and there’s a really great community of dog loving individuals out there.”