21 and Over Club: Kat Daddy Brewery

Richard Lin/HIGHLANDER
Richard Lin/HIGHLANDER

Kat Daddy Brewery has been making interesting and unique beers since they first opened their doors. The brewery is located in Moreno Valley off the 215 freeway and Elsworth Street, and Marcus “Kat Daddy” Cole has been brewing here since 2009. Kat Daddy Brewery is still a very small location but has a dedicated crew who truly love the work they are doing and the product they are selling: delicious beer!

The building itself is fairly simple, situated within the confines of an industrial area. When you enter through the massive garage door with the Kat Daddy Brewery insignia above (a lion’s head), you are greeted with a massive whiteboard indicating the 18 beers. The main complex is divided into two smaller areas: the bar and storage room and then a decent-sized seating space. One can’t help but also notice the two massive 55-gallon bourbon barrels waiting to be filled with upcoming beer. Kat Daddy Brewery normally has four to five beers on tap at any one time, but they rotate among their selection weekly.

The slogan for Kat Daddy Brewery is “selective beers for selective palates” and it definitely shows in the craftsmanship and dedication that goes into their beers. No two beers are that similar in taste and you never know what will be on tap the next. The Kat Daddy beers available on tap this time were the Karl’s Bad Ass Ale (5.7 percent ABV), the Vanilla Nut Coffee (5.6 percent ABV), the Warthog Belgian Strong Ale (7.8 percent ABV) and lastly the Black Rye Oaked (8.0 percent ABV). I started with the Karl’s Bad Ass Ale, which was a fairly simple pale ale with a light orange color. Like most pale ales, it tasted and smelled ever so faintly bitter, however, it was still sweet enough to balance everything out.

 The Vanilla Nut Coffee was an interesting beer as it was an ale brewed with coffee. Normally a beer with coffee flavors is made as a porter or stout — darker beers that are more fitting in terms of color and richness with coffee. But the Vanilla Nut Coffee works well as an ale as it gives the beer a slight sweetness and provides those subtle hints of vanilla. This beer will also have a different taste depending on which coffee was used during the brewing process.

The last two beers were the better offerings available on tap that day. The Warthog Belgian Strong Ale was poured using a nitrogen (or nitro) tap instead of a conventional carbon dioxide tap feed. A normal beer is carbonated with carbon dioxide, but sometimes that creates harshness in the beer. To smooth out the beer, brewers will use nitrogen as it is a much more stable gas (Guinness on draft is poured on nitro) and the result is a creamier consistency. For a beer such as the dark brown Strong Ale, which can have an intensely alcoholic taste, the nitro contributes a very light mouth feel for the beer, with hints of bitter and malty notes to it.

The Black Rye Oaked beer was a typical rye beer but was aged in oak barrels. A lot of breweries use oak, bourbon or wine barrels to age beers for various timeframes (which can range anywhere from three months to more than a year) to add flavor and complexity. The Black Rye had a jet-black color and produced a milk chocolate-colored head. The look would indicate a sweet and heavily malted beer, but that was not the case. The beer smelled strongly of oak and tasted slightly sour. It is very difficult to make a balanced oak-aged beer as the oak flavors can become very overwhelming.

In the future, Kat Daddy Brewery will be going through some changes in ownership. The new owners will continue to keep the current rotation of beers but will also add their own beers to the mix as well as more nonalcoholic beverages. Also in Kat Daddy Brewery’s near future is collaborations between different breweries such as Sons of Liberty (a small brewery in Corona, Calif.). But for now, Kat Daddy Brewery keeps brewing new beers and going every week is an adventure to see what they will have on tap next.

 

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