Have you ever wondered how much of an impression you make on casual acquaintances or even strangers?
The sad truth is that we will never know.
Katharine Mary Gallagher never knew how much of an impact she made on her family, close friends, her colleagues at Tustin Brewing Company, or to all the regulars. Her untimely passing is continually honored at TBC on her birthday, the day of her passing, and now with a beautiful Irish dry stout named after her: Katharine Mary’s Irish Stout.
Katharine (Kat) was a bubbly, intelligent young woman who loved beer and the brewing industry, had a strong personality and stance in her beliefs, and was proud of her Irish heritage. Apart from being a server at TBC, she strived to become a Certified Cicerone. In fact, she had taken a couple of sensory training classes facilitated by yours truly! But alas, she left us too soon only weeks before her 28th birthday.
This stout is full of subtle flavors, just like Kat’s personality: Not too delicate to be forgotten, but not intense enough to push you away. Flavors of chocolate, roasted grains, and dry finish. Jet black in color, but some ruby highlights are present. Served on nitro to ensure a silky mouthfeel, and a dry finish. Low strength with only 4.5 percent ABV. A beautiful stout with a beautiful name.
Although TBC plans a celebration of a very popular Northern California brewery this week, I’d implore you to not forget about the amazing house beers available. The popular Old Town IPA, multi award-winning Portola Breakfast Stout, and of course, Kat’s Dry Stout. Jerrod Larson is undoubtedly one of OC’s underrated brewers.
Personally, I’m not sure what happens after we leave this realm. I’m not convinced there is something after we pass, but I sure as hell am glad I got to be part of Kat’s life. It brings me great joy to know I was able to be her friend. I celebrate her short but great life, and each sip of this beer will remind me of her. That’s as close to immortality as you can get. I can only wish to have an impact on someone’s life like she did to so many.
Hey, Kat! This stout has your name on it. Pretty cool, huh? I’ll leave one in the counter for you.
As long as I breathe, you live.
Katharine Mary Gallagher
Dec. 27, 1989 – Dec. 5, 2017
Tustin Brewing Company
13011 Newport Ave., No. 100
Editor’s note: Charlie Perez is an Advanced Cicerone® who covers the Orange County beer scene for the Booze Blog.