Isaac Sanchez has three dogs in his Sacramento home, but it’s usually Dallas the Bichon that he takes out on the town.
Dallas, a fluffy white pooch small enough to fit in a grocery basket, is the most socially skilled of the bunch, Sanchez said. He’s confident Dallas won’t lunge at people or other dogs, especially if he reinforces the training they’ve done together with a firm tone and a short leash.
On a recent evening at Track 7 Brewery near Curtis Park, the lap dog drew attention from other patrons, who often extended hands for a nuzzly hello.
While he usually doesn’t bring his dogs to restaurants, Sanchez said he feels comfortable taking Dallas to Track 7’s concrete-and-metal warehouse space.
“It makes a big difference to me when I’m choosing where to grab a beer,” said Sanchez, a craft-beer enthusiast and home brewer. “I try to bring the dog everywhere. If he’s been in the house all day, he should come have a beer with us.”
Sacramento is fast becoming a dog-friendly city, with a dozen off-leash parks and a long list of restaurants allowing pooches on patios. For wineries and breweries, which typically don’t have the health complications of having food preparation on the premises, courting canines seems like a no-brainier.
Many drinking establishments with outdoor areas easily accommodate pet lovers without degrading the experience for those with allergies or fear of dogs. Others have created special playpens to accommodate animals. All stress that owners are ultimately responsible for their dogs’ behavior.
For those ready to lap up the last of summer socializing, here are a handful of regional drinking spots that welcome four-legged friends.
Track 7 Brewing Co.
3747 W. Pacific Ave., Suite F, Sacramento; and 826 Professor Lane, Suite 100, Sacramento
At Track 7’s industrial location, the open-air feel and concrete flooring make the space casual enough for canine companions. The brewery recently hosted a “yappy hour” to benefit the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at its Natomas location.
Track 7’s ales and lagers are hand-crafted and often have a seasonal ingredients. For a sweet treat, try the Imperial Peanut Butter Chocolate Cream Porter.
Bike Dog Brewing Co.
2534 Industrial Blvd., Suite 110, West Sacramento
This craft-beer hub was named by staffers who love riding bikes and hanging out with their dogs, said owner AJ Tendick. Welcoming canines into his tasting room has helped give the place the community feel he was hoping to achieve, he said.
“It really sets the atmosphere to something completely different than if you’re going to go to any old bar,” he said. “You’re hanging out, enjoying a beer, you’re having a conversation. It’s not just an excuse to go get drunk or watch the game or something like that.”
Bike Dog’s beer offerings include Milk Stout, Pale Ale, Spring Saison and Russian Imperial.
Oak Park Brewing Co.
3514 Broadway, Sacramento
A recent addition to the Sacramento beer scene, Oak Park Brewing Company is already popular with dog owners.
Its large back patio is dog-friendly and has two openings where dogs can comfortably exit and enter. Wait staff will bring water bowls for visiting dogs, who should be tethered or otherwise kept near human companions’ tables.
Oak Park runs a full kitchen and its taps change weekly; its brewers are earning recognition for their Belgians, porters and IPAs.
Lagunitas Brewing Co.
1280 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma
Lagunitas’ dog mascot is a good indicator that the brewing company is pet-friendly. Its “beer sanctuary,” a 350-seat patio area between the brew house and the restaurant, is always open to dogs, as is the adjacent grassy area.
The staff has a herd of about 15 dogs roaming around on an average workday, said Jack Alger, the brewery’s digital culturalist. “We discourage the dogs from getting intoxicated, but they sneak off a beer for lunch once in a while,” he said.
The brewery, which has a counterpart in Chicago, is known for its IPA and Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale.
David Girard Vineyard
741 Cold Springs Road, Placerville
This picturesque Placerville winery features a special shaded playpen for dogs a few hundred feet from the tasting room. The owners installed it to prevent human companions from letting their pets run free in the fields.
The pen allows patrons to enjoy their wine without worrying about a dog trapped in a hot car, said Cara Sather, winery manager. Dogs are permitted on the winery’s patio, but not in the tasting room.
“There are times when people think it’s a dog park, but it’s actually an agricultural area,” she said of the winery.
David Girard features Rhone varieties, including viogniers, grenaches and syrahs.
11000 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth
Andrew Friedlander designed his 17,000-foot, energy-efficient Shenandoah Valley winery with dogs in mind. A outdoor pouring bar connects to the indoor tasting room via a window, allowing visitors to sip in comfort and interact with winery staff while Fido sits at their feet.
Allergic or dog-wary customers need only to stay in the tasting room or sit on a different part of the patio to avoid unwanted furry encounters, he said. Dogs are not permitted in the indoor tasting room.
This winery specializes in zinfandels, and also produces barbera, grenache and malbec wines.
Bartholomew Park Winery
1000 Vineyard Lane, Sonoma
Patrons can do more than just day drink at this Sonoma winery, which spans 37 acres and includes a museum, a park and a network of dog-friendly hiking trails.
Bartholomew is one of few wineries that permits dogs in its tasting room, and dog owners also have the option of sitting on the winery’s terrace or picnicking with pets in the park.
Though winery staff do see the occasional scuffle, dogs are usually well behaved, said Liddy Parlato, sales manager. She said she can’t remember any significant problems from visiting pets.
“There are some very good looking dogs that come in here,” she said. “It’s a fun way that our guests connect … just a new way of socializing. It’s a fun vibe for everybody.”
This winery produces boutique quantities of reds, whites and rosés made from organic grapes.
9050 Windsor Road, Windsor
Located northwest of Santa Rosa, this winery boasts the motto “bark less, wag more!” It’s a perennial on lists of the Bay Area’s most dog-friendly wineries, largely due to its dedication to donating portions of its revenue to local animal rescue organizations.
Mutt Lynch also is known for hosting “yappy hours,” as well as ugly holiday sweater contests and Halloween parties for dogs. Customers can also reserve seating areas for pup birthdays and “bark mitzvahs.”
The dog theme carries all the way to the bottle labels for Mutt Lynch, which sells products such as “Unleashed” Chardonnay, “Chateau D’Og” Cabernet Sauvignon and “Portrait of a Mutt” Zinfandel.
Members of Mutt Lynch wine club receive a selection of bottles, plus a special dog toy or gourmet treat, each month.
“Your dog is always a part of the tasting experience,” said Deborah Halbert, marketing director for the winery.