40 Years in Beer, Part Eleven: The Fat Cats Deli & Pub was short-lived but inspirational

Previously: 40 Years in Beer, Part Ten: When friends actually did let friends drive drunk.

My consciousness was forever altered by Europe. The obsessions engendered during the summer of 1985 have defined me ever since, and while at first beer was only one piece of a complicated jigsaw puzzle, it slowly rose to prominence amid my ruminations.

I began asking myself all sorts of questions: Which beers did I like the most, and why? Where might I find them in America? What sort of venue was best for enjoying these beers?

I’d been hanging out in bars since my late teens (don’t ask), but hadn’t ever considered to any great extent what I liked and didn’t like about area watering holes, beyond their willingness to serve beer and food to me, and to tolerate antics that I now find uniformly regrettable.

College-era favorite Mario’s Pizza, where I’d never consumed a single legal beer, had long since ceased operations by 1986. I loved the K&H Café in Lanesville and Sam’s Tavern in New Albany, where we also often found refuge in the bar at Tumbleweed Tex-Mex restaurant, which had yet to go zombie corporate.

Gradually my pre-conceived paradigms about beers and bars changed. Personal preferences had...Read more