Babies and Beer

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent
(From left) Nathan Hermiller, Lennox Hermiller, Herb Hovest (dad) and Lane Hovest.

On a recent Tuesday during happy hour, a lady with a beer in one hand used the other to pat the butt of a napping baby bouncing in a BabyBjörn sling. One woman chased her toddler through the bustling patio's fence ("Nope, you can't leave."), while a nearby man rocked an infant on his chest while sipping an IPA whenever possible.

Everywhere else, smiles. Lots of smiles.

While parents and children are always welcome at The Ohio Taproom, event organizers said the "Beer & Babies" event was created to let parents commiserate over a pint.

Or, as Laura Oldham, one of the event's organizers, told me in a Facebook message, "I have a 5-month-old daughter, and I love beer, so part of the motivation is purely selfish. John (Evans, Taproom owner) has three children, and while they're all a lot more grown up, he empathizes with new parents who want a comfortable place to get a good craft beer without being worried about the child being fussy."

Anecdotally, at least, from the in-person response at the happy hour to the post-event Facebook comments, it was a smash hit. Parents loved it.

And even if, duh, they still had to parent ("No, you can't take that rock in there"), it was clear most, if not all, were thrilled to be among peers. Many used the chance to catch up with longtime friends who are also new parents, and anytime strangers were involved, the children, most of whom loved the attention, made for great icebreakers.

Aside from wanting to know when the next one was going to be ("We are looking to do it again," Evans said, but no date has been set), the most pressing question of the night was posed by one mom, who wondered aloud: "Do they kick the babies out at 7?"

To which another mom responded: "Nah. Most will be ready for bed by then."

And, I wanted to add - totally not speaking from experience, no way - the parents, too.