A cat's vigilance means no vermin for local brewery

10 months 3 days 8 hours ago Saturday, March 16 2019 Mar 16, 2019 Saturday, March 16, 2019 11:22:00 AM CDT March 16, 2019 in News
By: Stephanie Hamann, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - For one cat, Bur Oak Brewing Company is both a home and a workplace.

As a mouser, Clyde keeps the brewery's grain safe from hungry rodents.

Taproom Manager Jordon Postlewait said he's aware of Clyde's abilities.

"Personally, I've never seen any mice here," Postlewait said, "but I've heard he's caught a couple, so he's definitely doing his job." 

Clyde has been with the brewery since 2013, shortly before its opening. 

Craig Stichter, Bur Oak's president and founder, said the decision to get Clyde came after a mouse tore a hole in a bag of grain. The brewery adopted Clyde from the Central Missouri Humane Society.

"He has been a valuable asset to our organization in so many ways," Stichter said.

With Clyde in the building, mice don't bother going inside, he said. 

While Clyde won't hesitate to approach people these days, he used to hide behind a wall, Stichter said.

The allure of treats gives Clyde an incentive to be more outgoing, Postlewait said. 

"If anybody brings in food into this area, he's gonna gravitate towards the food," he said. "Sometimes when we have big events we gotta keep him in the office, otherwise he's going to harass the buffet people and stuff like that."

For Postlewait, Clyde's presence is part of his routine.

"Pretty much every day when I walk into the front door, he starts meowing," he said. "And I turn off the security alarm, open the door and he's right there, he's ready to be pet."

The brewery named an ale after the cat, called Clyde's Caramel Cream. When Bur Oak put out the ale around Halloween, it made sense for a black cat like Clyde to be the face of the beer, Stichter said.

Clyde is the brewery's longest-serving employee, other than Stichter and Kraig Bridgeford, the head brewer, Stichter said.

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