3/13/2020: "Man cannot live on beer alone."  So we made mead!  We have been working hard to nail down a reliable process to consistently make mead the way we like it... sweet and sparkling.  Our first batch came out really well, if a tad too sweet.  We have our base recipe down though, so the boys (and girl) at Mad Cat will be producing some nice small batch meads for those of you with a sweet tooth.

2019: We took this year off from competitions and to do some "simplification of life".  Here is just a little of what has been happening behind the scenes at Mad Cat.
- We have slowly been stepping back from our roles in the Lake Arrowhead Brewfest, letting new and very capable people over.  The event changed dates, and moved to a beautiful location this year, and we look forward to future years of growth and improvement.
- We have been working on refining recipes, retiring some that were just not great, and developing new ones.  The highlights of these efforts are a truly fantastic Sunbeam Session ale, a vastly improved Honey Pale Ale, and an upcoming Belgian Quad.
- We have been watching and encouraging the owners of two new local brewery start-ups... Three Marms Brewing in Crestline, and Lake Arrowhead Brewing in Lake Arrowhead.  Both should be open before the end of 2019, and we welcome them to the community.

Who knows, once 2020 rolls around, we might be in the mood to crank out our best and start taking some more ribbons and medals again.  As long as there is good beer on tap to drink though, does it really matter?

3/11/18: Competition season heats up again.
With competition season in full swing, we received the results of the first competition we entered, the California State Fair.  Much to our surprise, our Sprawled On The Bed Red, a recipe still under development, took 3rd place in its category. To our even greater surprise, our stout, porter, saison and sour all failed to place. We knew there was stiff competition from the bay area clubs, but we expected to do better.  Well, that's why we enter... to get the feedback from the experienced judges on our beers.

6/6/17: Barrels and Medals and Brewfests, oh My!
As we come into summer (finally), us Mad Cats have been looking back and noticed that we have been up to quite a bit since our last post.  It's been a busy season, with no sign of slowing down.
Barrels: Thanks to the kind folks at J Riley Distillery, we now have two used bourbon barrels.  One is currently aging 10 gallons of imperial stout.  The other is about to be filled with a sweet imperial red ale. In about three months we are going to be swimming in incredible beer.
Medals: Competition season has been busy.  So far this year we have taken two ribbons at the state fair, three at county fairs, and an assortment of medals. Scratching Post Imperial Porter remains the biggest winner, but Zuur Poes and Chartreux are proving to be favorites too.
Brewfest: We have been working hard to organize this year's Lake Arrowhead Brewfest.  It's going to be a great year! Find the event page on facebook for more details.
Oh My! Ya, it's been a busy year so far.  So much great beer going on.  Hope to see you at our tasting room soon!  (just kidding, we are still just homebrewers.  :)

10/4/16: Could this season get any better?
One last award for the season. Seems the beer Gods felt we needed one more competition medal here at Mad Cat. While our new saison didn't fare nearly as well as we hoped, out Scratching Post Vanilla Imperial Porter took yet another gold... This time in the Pre Prohibition Porter category.
It Is Alive!!! After nearly a year hiding away in a zinfandel barrel, Zuur Poes (Sour Puss) has now seen the light of day. This Flemish red, flavored with pounds of black cherries, then soured in a 15 gallon zin barrel is a big, in your face, west coast sour.  After a year of researching, planning, brewing, and aging, we are incredibly relived and proud of the finished product.

8/1/16: It's not over until it's over.  It seems the end of the competition season is being kind to the boys at Mad Cat than the beginning was. This weekend's National Orange Show Brewfest and Competition rewarded is with a silver medal for our Orange Tabby Wheat, and a gold for our Farmyard Cat Belgian Saison. Inspired by the recognition, took the time to carbonate or brand new Chartreux French Saison, a much more traditional dry saison flavored with herbs inspired by Stone's collab Saison du Buff... And it rocks! Wait till you taste it!

7/19/16: Another season of competitions comes to a close.  We didn't do so well in competitions this year.  While there are still two that we are waiting for results on (Natl. Orange Show and Longshot), we have only taken one award so far. On the bright side, it is the second year in a row that our Scratching Post Vanilla Imperial Porter has placed in the Hangar 24 Homebrew Competition.

7/4/16: A new saison in town. After a couple years of getting knocked down in competition judging for being too sweet, the boys at Mad Cat have realized we just need to rename the FarmYard Cat what it really is... a beligian.  Coincidently, we have stumbled upon a fantastic new saison recipe. So FYC will get the new recipe, and the old FYC recipe will be renamed as a belgian.

6/1/16: Things don't always work out... Well, not only did the "Big Cat" barley wine experiment not work out (couldn't get the yeast to live beyond 13% abv) but a second experiment, a "Declawed" gluten free ale, also didn't work out.  I'll keep turning over ideas for these in my head, and maybe try again. On to new things though.

2/8/16: Another experiment in the works! Know how to ensure an absolute mess?  Let a cat get bored!  And so it was, out of boredom, that we decided to try something new to us... a barleywine.  As it turns out, it takes a whole lotta grain to make a barleywine, and more sugar on top of that.  So we crammed our mash tun full, and boiled our wort extra long, and ended up with wort that was so thick our hydrometer couldn't even measure it (1.182). We are starting with english ale yeast, following with high gravity yeast, and shooting for 20% ABV!  Looking forward to finding out if it makes it that high, and what it ends up tasting like. Thinking of naming it Bad Cat Barleywine.

11/25/15: Learning the art of patience:  Thanks to the encouragement of my friend Steve and his award winning sour beers, I have recently acquired a 15 gallon oak barrel from the fine folks at Sycamore Valley Ranch Winery.  Starting this weekend we'll be filling it with a flanders-style red and introducing little bugs that we normally try to keep out of our beer.  Yup... Mad Cat is going SOUR!  Watch for initial tasting notes this time next year.  Watch for Zuur Poes (Sour Puss) to be available in bottles.

7/1/15: Like our Beer?  Now you can like us and log your drinks on

6/29/15:  We are stoked to have been awarded a gold medal in the 2015 Hangar 24 Homebrew Competition for our Scratching Post Imperial Vanilla Porter!  Ya, we knew it is great, but validation is always nice.  Also want to give a shout out to the Mountain Brew Club for taking four medals, and the Bear Valley Homebrew Club for taking... ummm... I lost count (it was a lot), including Best Of Show!!!

Welcome to the beer information site of Mad Cat Brews, a proud founding member of the Mountain Brew Club in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California and an annual participant in the Lake Arrowhead Brewfest. 

Mad Cat beers are the efforts of Jim and Theresa Grant, in regular collaboration with Brian Grant (Jim's brother) and Andrew Grant (our son), and frequent co-brewing with any number of Mountain Brew Club members. 

We have been brewing since December, 2009, learning as we go, teaching as we learn, and experimenting with different methods, styles and techniques. Theresa's focus is on the quick and convenient partial mash method that allows home brewers to create great tasting quality beers in the comfort of their kitchens with a minimum of muss and fuss, and on flavored hard ciders. Jim and Brian purchased an all-grain equipment kit in 2014 (thanks to the guys at Skyland Ale Works) and have since been enjoying the additional control and creativity that comes from brewing with nothing but the raw ingredients. 

All of us at Mad Cat, and many of the Mountain Brew Club members, are firm believers in sharing the art of home brewing. If you think brewing is something you want to do, we invite you to come to one of our club meetings and let us hook you up with a club member that will help you select ingredients and brew with them on their gear before you invest in all the equipment yourself.

Mad Cat Brews and its' brewers are proud members of the following organizations: