Brewery toasts life and times of Kipper, their real-ale loving cat
CASTLE Rock Brewery has lost one of its most important unofficial staff members.
Kipper, the cat, who lived at the Vat and Fiddle pub attached to the brewery, in Queens Bridge Road, has died.
She first turned up at the pub nearly 16 years ago; her exact age was unknown.
Castle Rock commercial manager Charlie Blomeley knew Kipper well from the years she spent working at the Vat.
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"The image I keep seeing of Kipper is her looking, very sternly, at me as I open my eyes in the morning," Charlie recalled.
"This is 2004, when I stayed upstairs and she slept with me every night."
In 2005, when Kipper seemed a bit poorly and needed to go to the vet, Castle Rock brewed a beer to cover the costs of her medical bills – naming it Kipper in her honour.
"Kipper has been described in our beer brewed in her honour as dark, complex, and sassy," Charlie said.
"Yet, sitting on my knee watching television, following my every move, even down to lounging in the bathroom as I got ready for work, she was my furry, purring companion."
Oddly enough though, she was named after another brewery's beer.
"When she first came in, like she owned the place, the manager at the time named her after the only guest beer on the bar the day she arrived – Kelham Island Pale Rider which was known as "Kipr" -or "Kipper".
Pub regulars soon got to know her quirks.
Charlie said: "The regulars' favourite past time was watching unsuspecting newcomers try to tickle her or, God forbid, pick her up.
"There would be a collective sharp intake of breath around the pub and then silence as a clawed swipe was expected.
"The Vat never really belonged to Castle Rock, it was hers."