Beer of the Week: El Gato

Jacked Up Brewery's Mexican-style lager is the cat's meow and a tribute to a fond feline friend

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Felines have a long history of utility in breweries, warding off vermin that would run amok amid barrels and bar staff were it not for these furry suds sentries. Effective as a line of defense and darn cute to boot, that duality has led to many a brewer-cat friendship. There are numerous beers out there that – whether you know it or not – are named for brewery cats. The most popular local example being Mongo, a double IPA sharing the handle of past-tense Port Brewing’s four-legged brewery commando. But there’s another such liquid tribute in North County, and it’s this week’s featured beer, El Gato from Jacked Up Brewery. This Mexican-style lager pays homage to that family-run Escondido operation’s brewery cat, not just in name, but with can-art designed by Tasting Room Manager Torry Castelo. That vibrant label depicts her kitty colleague on a beach, sporting a glare that’s likely struck fear into the hearts of many a would-be brewery intruder, allowing Torry and her family to establish Jacked Up’s warm, friendly vibe. It’s nice to see a friend celebrated through a beer, particularly one that’s proven such a hit with a brewery’s patrons. This light-bodied yet full-flavored, slightly sweet lager has become one of Jacked Up’s best-sellers, enough that they struggle to keep it on tap. It’s truly the cat’s meow!

El Gato’s name and can design are tributes to Jacked Up’s brew cat, Dakota, and we debuted it last year for Cinco de Mayo. It took us a few years to move forward with a lager that we all loved enough to put it in cans and self-distribute. El Gato is brewed with premium Pilsen malt selected by our brewing team. It’s maltier than most lagers and has a smooth mouthfeel. It’s the kind of beer that most people can enjoy at any time with any meal. El Gato has been a great hit for us. Every time we run out, our customers start asking us when the next batch is coming out.”

Michael Poulson, Co-owner & Head Brewer, Jacked Up Brewery
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