When Brad Thomas Parsons, author of Bitters and Amaro, first learned of “working cats” – cats that historically kept ships and stores mouse-free – he was fascinated; when he learned about distillery cats, he knew there was a story to write.
As the craft beverage industry boomed, Parsons noticed that several producers gave their cats a presence on social media. Of course, the felines were still keeping pests at bay, but they also started to play a role in the business.
“They’re friendly, they’re cute, they’re fun to hang out with, and they’re a familiar face,” says Parsons. “People were coming to see the cats specifically. Instagram had a lot to do with that.”
Each profile in the 112-page book recounts a cat’s history – most are adopted or rescued – and highlights their distinguishing characteristics, such as any favorite snacks, toys, or hobbies, as well as lifetime mouse K-Os and any notable features or superpowers (e.g. “ability to melt hearts of so-called people who don’t like cats”).
Included in the chapters are “employees” of Albany Distilling Company, Newburgh Brewing Company, Olde York Farm Distillery & Cooperage, Orange County Distillery, and Rushing Duck Brewing Company.
For Parsons, the book combines two of his favorite things: spirits and cats. In keeping, Distillery Cats also includes cocktail recipes, all of which pair excellently with a fellow feline.