Welcome to Thirsty Thursday, a weekly column where we pick a beer from our fridge and review it, because in a world where two new breweries launch every single week, sometimes we need some help sifting through all of the hops.
I have this great beer store not too far from me that sells mostly just singles. It looks like a hoarder’s paradise in there but it’s perfect for selecting new beer – and finding limited releases from other areas. While sifting through an aisle with brews posted on the store’s social media accounts, I came across a brewery I had heard of but never tried. I’ll be perfectly honest, the main reason I got this particular beer was because of the can art, well that and my love for New England IPAs. This week’s Thirsty Thursday selection, fresh out of my fully-stocked refrigerator, is Fat Orange Cat Brewing Company’s Remove The Beer From The Bottom Of The Ocean.
Based out of East Hampton, Connecticut, Fat Cat Brewing Company was founded by homebrewer Mike Klucznik in the summer of 2016 and named after “brewmaster” Billy, a larger-sized orange cat. The company began out of a barn and is considered a small, seasonal brewery, focusing on high quality small batch recipes but there are large batches made as well. To create those, the brewery is part of a collective called Twelve Percent Beer Project, which enables Fat Orange Cat to use its own kitchen to make beer and then partner and contract brew on a large scale. This is perfect for brewing and distributing, while still maintaining the feel of an intimate, higher-end brewery.
It’s difficult to tell what beers are in the brewery’s constant arsenal, as Fat Orange Cat produces a ton of smaller efforts and is constantly producing new beers, both large and small batch. Remove The Beer From The Bottom Of The Ocean is definitely a rotating effort. It’s brewed using Eureka and Mosaic hops to create a “cornucopia of stone fruit and berry flavors” and is 7.5 percent alcohol by volume, perfect for a beer of this nature. But as I said to you before, it was the label that I was completely drawn to on this occasion and I did a little research on that.
This particular beer features an orange cat trapped in a bottle floating in the ocean. Fat Orange Cat has several different artists that it reaches out to for unique can art and The Beer From The Bottom Of The Ocean’s label was created by Leslie Herman. The Virginia-based illustrator and part-time adjunct professor at Virginia Commonwealth University has had works appear in The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal and more, while also creating album covers and posters for bands such as Phish, The Southern Belles and Spoon. It’s some very cool stuff, if you ask me. But let’s get back to the main focus here – the beer.
When I popped this open, I quick snuck a sip from the can before anything else. As for the smell, it was a strong one that featured some citrus notes and a light, peachy aroma. It definitely made my mouth water. When I poured it into my tulip glass, I noticed that there was very minimal off-white head accompanying this abundantly hazy and cloudy golden-colored beer. Sure, there might not have been a ton of head, but I thought the carbonation throughout this beer was very solid, as evident from the lacing – and it’s certainly a smooth beer.
The taste was good but I was honestly a little disappointed in it overall. It had a slight oat and maltiness to it, while encompassing a variety of fruits like blueberry, peach, mango and other citrusy stuff. The back-end is where it lost me a little bit, as it provides a strong bitterness at the end of the sip and while I love bitter, I really do, I just didn’t find the taste to leave me wanting more. It’s almost as though Fat Orange Cat was trying too hard to stick the landing. Having said that, it’s not a terrible beer by any stretch, it’s more or less in the slightly above average category, though I’m not sure it’s one I could drink more than one at any given time.
Since I bought this as a single, I’m not sure what the price typically runs for a four-pack, though I did see on the company’s Instagram that four-packs are $16 at the brewery, which isn’t a bad price. According to BeerAdvocate, the average score for Remove The Beer From The Bottom Of The Ocean is 4.04 but I would go lower than that on my 10-scale, giving it a 6.9. Every palate is different and I just don’t feel as though this hazy offering grabbed me as I would have hoped. I will absolutely try other efforts from Fat Orange Cat because some of their stuff looks stellar.
Stay tuned for next week, because I might just try something from your favorite brewery.