Distillery Cats

Profiles in Courage of the World's Most Spirited Mousers

Now Available!

Many of the world’s greatest spirits have a secret ingredient, and it’s one you’d never guess: the tireless protection and loyal support of distillery cats. In this charmingly illustrated book, James Beard Award-winning author Brad Thomas Parsons chronicles the historical role of these spirited mousers and their evolution from organic pest control to modern-day brand ambassadors. With profiles and illustrations of thirty adorable distillery and brewery cats, plus fifteen cocktail recipes to enjoy while you page through, this book is an essential addition to any cat or spirit lover’s bookshelf.


“Cats + Booze! Brad Thomas Parsons has channeled his inner cat lady to discover the ultimate formula for happiness.”
—Kerry Diamond

Editorial Director of Cherry Bombe

“Brad’s reporting on distillery cats actually moved me to take a tour of Scottish distilleries, microphone in hand, to meet some of the mousers in person. (And sample some of the product.) It was a hardship assignment, and I couldn’t keep at it for long. I am relieved to know that Brad has remained committed to the mission.”
—Ari Shapiro

Host of NPR's All Things Considered

“Cats! Cool illustrations! Great stories! Cocktail recipes! What’s not to love about this book? Did I mention cats?”
—Andy Ricker

Chef/Owner of Pok Pok

“From shipyards to book-stores, there’s a storied tradition of employing cats in the workforce. In his new release, Brad Parsons sheds light on the distillery cats, charged with the safe-keeping of expensive grain at craft distilleries and breweries across the country. Nowadays, they’re more than mere workers–the felines have evolved into social media darlings, at times amassing a larger following than the distillery.”

The Local Palate

“The Best Food Book of the Year […] Award-winning drinks writer Brad Thomas Parsons put together a collection of the country’s most distinguished cats in a hilariously illustrated book that belongs on your shelf next to the Modernist Cuisine box set. […] So do yourself a favor for once and pick up this book. It has everything! Cats, beer, whiskey, love lost and found, journeys of self discovery and redemption, heroes and villains, tabbies and gingers, hell, even a few scratches on the head. If you’re looking for more than that in a book, good luck finding it.”

—Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit

“At BevCon in Charleston this year, the most buzzed-about new book among spirits professionals was Distillery Cats by Brad Thomas Parsons (AmaroBitters), which is darn cute, yes, but there’s plenty of history behind the practice as well as important reasons for having a cat live at your bar, brewery or distillery.”

—Amy Cavanaugh, Plate

“Parsons, the sharp author of Bitters and Amaro, clearly understands that the conceit is what it is, but he’s slyly found meta-stories behind the various cat profiles: brewers and distillers, mensches that they are, are not only willing to adopt strays and shelter cats but could also teach Andrew Lloyd Webber a thing about naming of cats (Daryl Hall, Old Horatio). And you’ll likely discover a lot more distilleries around the country (Port Chester, N.Y., Nashville, Tenn.) than most of us know. Beyond that? Look, it’s a book about cats. But Parsons throws some not-obvious cocktail recipes to sweeten the pot, rendering this a new classic of a very particular genre.”