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Brewery Cats? Brewery Cats!

No, not Love Cats, although yes, also love cats.

In an effort to keep it positive in the new year, DC Beer is proud to bring you… The Brewery Cats of DC!

Breweries have large quantities of grain; we shouldn’t have to explain why. Mice like to eat grain. Cats like to kill mice. And so here we are. Thus, cat pics!

Hellbender Harvey
All together now: Awwwwwww!

That’s Harvey, from Hellbender, but let’s back up and start at the beginning, with Right Proper Brookland’s Prima. “She looks cute but she is a murder machine,” notes Right Proper co-founder Thor Cheston. Prima is the grand dame of DC brewery cats, having been a valued employee since 2018. “We have found that death is certain and swift to any mouse that makes its way into the facility…. one day this past summer she went out the front door to kill a rat on the sidewalk and drag it up the the front door. She is a total badass,” says Cheston. Don’t worry, brewery staff cleaned afterwards. Give it up for Prima!

Prima, hard at work
Prima, hard at work

Next up, we have Nigel, a summer hire at 3 Stars.

Stunning pic via JamieBrad90. Werk!

Unlike Prima, Nigel, as so many cats do, adopted his people. He just wandered into the brewery one day this summer and has been hard at work since. Here he is guarding the grain, and you can follow along with his adventures over on Instagram, @nigelthebrewcat. Not pictured on social media is the time Nigel stole Co-founder Mike McGarvey’s sandwich during a Zoom call, in which the other participants tried to discourage the cat and let McGarvey know, too late, he was about to lose his lunch.

What a handsome fellow!

Not to be outdone, please say hello to Hellbender’s newest employee, Harvey! “She [yes, she] was adopted from A Cat’s Life Rescue to patrol the brew house and protect our grain from rodents. Harvey was adopted about two months ago and is fitting in nicely at Hellbender,” says brewer L.T. Goodluck.

Harvey!
Dapper af

Like her neighbor Nigel, Harvey has an Insta. Check her out @hellbenderharvey. “We’ve trained her to come running when we shake her bag of catnip treats. We’ve also noticed that she’s becoming more vocal everyday and loves scratches, but dislikes photos,” adds Goodluck.

There are other area breweries that also employ cats as mousers, but the legality of having animals in breweries outside the District is, ahem, fel-onious. “Most jurisdictions work on a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy for these animals in breweries,” notes one brewery owner from a neighboring state. Please do not blow up their spots.

So what’s next? We were thinking of an account to rival the might of Bodega Cats, or at least Giant Military Cats, but we’d settle for enough cat photos to make a 2022 Brewery Cats of DC calendar. We leave you with this pic of Nigel yelling about something.

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