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The Fat Cat, Ipswich

288 Spring Road
Phone: 01473726524

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Quinno _ left this review about The Fat Cat

An odd location really, a long hike up a hill through a fairly unassuming residential area though passing under the impressive viaduct was a highlight. An unassuming exterior, you could almost walk past it if it wasn’t for the flash of orange and the ‘free mouse’ (ho ho) sign. Fairly small inside with a plain main bar, a side room with (COVID-constructed?) booths and a rear conservatory. Fairly rustic, bordering on the spartan, not much in the way of cosiness unlike its cousins in Norwich. Things started to look up as we discovered the long and pleasant beer garden and got chatting to the licensee who was very engaging and genuinely interested in our three day extravaganza around Norwich and Ipswich. Onto the beers then; a large selection via pump or stillage in the cool room. I went for Bishop Nick 1555 (NBSS 3), Crouch Vale Brewers Gold (4) and North Riding Peanut Butter Stout (3.5) as well as a very nice (if not cheap) chilli scotch egg. Ciders and some crafty stuff also available. Easily the best of the Ipswich pubs I did that day but its location means you need to either do it first via bus, or do it last with a pre-ordered taxi. It doesn’t really compare to the Fattus Cattus outlets in Norwich but in a town that’s hard to love, this is a winner. 8.5
Visited early August.

On 12th September 2021 - rating: 8
[User has posted 4401 recommendations about 4387 pubs]

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Blue Scrumpy left this review about The Fat Cat

Having been to the three Fat Cat pubs in Norwich, I was expecting this to be the highlight of my day in Ipswich. It was the only pub where reservations are compulsory. There were tables available when I arrived and after I left. So, I'm not sure if I would have been accommodated if I had not booked. I do hate having to book, as my day had to revolve around the booked time for this pub.

After initially being shown to the "wrong" table, I was moved to the correct one. Although, most were undercover, in any case.

As was expected, the ale and cider range was good - Crouch Vale Brewers Gold & Yakima Gold, Adnams Mosaic, Vocation Heart & Soul, Woodforde's Wherry & Norfolk Nog, Black Sheep Best Bitter, Sharp's Doom Bar, Mighty Oak Oscar Wilde, Lilley's Mango Cider, Saxby's Plum Cider & Celtic Marches Cracklin' Rosie Perry & Slack Alice.

This is undoubtedly a good pub, but the experience did not match that of the original Fat Cat in Norwich. It may have been due to a more limited beer and cider range than normal or perhaps due to the outdoor drinking arrangements, but I was slightly disappointed.

On 1st May 2021 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1317 recommendations about 1317 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about The Fat Cat

Located a good 15 minute walk to the east of the town centre, the Fat Cat is a destination ale house where the beer is the undoubted star. The pub has a fairly simple two room set up, with the front door leading you into a bare boarded, C shaped room which runs around a well worn looking servery on the right hand side. There are a few seating options in this bar area, although most customers on my visit were perched on stools around the back of the bar. A Fat Cat mirror hangs in the rear corner and the walls have been decorated with a few bits of breweriana including several enamel beer signs. There is a separate room off to the left which has red half panelled walls and a red and black checked tile floor. One bench runs along the left hand wall, with low stools making up the remaining seating options. There are more brewery signs on display here as well as partitioning ledges which double as book shelves for the pub's book swap scheme. To the rear of the pub, there is a conservatory style space with a reasonably large garden beyond, with plenty of benches which were proving popular on a warm spring afternoon. There was no music playing during my stay and I didn't spot a TV screen either, with the buzz of conversation creating a decent atmosphere.
There were only two ales on handpull when I arrived, but a quick check of the beer board hung above the servery, confirmed that the majority of the ales were poured straight from the barrel in the taproom next door. The options on this visit were Crouch Vale Brewers Gold (£3.20) and Yakima Gold, Sharps Doom Bar, Fullers London Pride, Woodfordes Wherry, Box Steam Tunnel Vision, Green Jack Orange Wheat and Rising Sun, Oakham JHB, Exmoor Gold, Brains Little Sipper, Red Fox Mild, RCH Old Slug Porter, St Peter's Golden, Fat Cat Number 8, Humpty Dumpty Swallowtail and Maudons Suffolk Pride. Two real ciders were also available and the boards also listed a good range of Belgian bottles. I decided to try the Crouch Vale Brewers Gold, which was okay, but not quite in the sort of sparkling condition I had hoped for.
This is clearly one of the best pubs in Ipswich for ale drinkers and the lack of modern distractions should also please traditionalists, although I'm not sure the pub has the wider appeal of the nearby Dove Street Inn. An essential addition to any crawl around town, but equally tempting to stay for a while and work through that beer list.

On 23rd May 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2795 recommendations about 2795 pubs]

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Old Boots left this review about The Fat Cat

A permanent beer festival type pub, or “Free Mouse” as it calls itself, about a mile and a quarter from the Tower Ramparts bus station, it's near the hospital so buses are frequent if you don't fancy a long publess walk uphill from the Dove or Lilly's Bar. A very basic drinking house, a disappointing two handpumps on the bar but you may have noticed some racked barrels in a side room as you entered. This so called Tap Room holds about 15 beers on gravity, details of which are naturally given on boards above the bar counter, all normally from smaller breweries including Kelham Island as it appears to be linked to the Sheffield and Norwich Fat Cats. The main bar is a large square room with one corner walled off to form the counter and tap room, painted in garish yellows and with red tongue and groove. To one side is a wide corridor room with benches, tables and chairs and at the back a shed like, flag floored but still a little posh, drinking / eating room. You may have take-away food delivered for consumption on the premises and the pub will provide cutlery and crockery as well as fine ale to wash down your curry, pizza or Chinese, this service is quite rightly not available Friday and Saturday nights. In addition the pub does pub-like food of its own. Décor is enamel brewery signs, mirrors and other beer advertising ephemera, the staff are great and the punters certainly not as CAMRA like as I expected considering its GBG listing and range of excellently kept beer. No dogs or children are allowed in.

On 24th March 2010 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2592 recommendations about 2360 pubs]

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Nigel Sheppard left this review about The Fat Cat

In my opinion, this is the best pub in Ipswich, it has the edge on the Dove as both the staff and locals are really friendly and you get a real warm welcome when you walk in. It seems to look after its locals and has lots of events going on. There is a large selection of beers all gravity fed from an air conditioned Tap Room at the back of the bar. We had the most perfect pint of Oakham Inferno and all the other beers we tried were in top-top condition, why can't more pubs be like this, really focussed on providing a great service to its customers and really focussed on top quality beer at a reasonable price. If you like beer, you must try this place!

On 22nd May 2009 - rating: 10
[User has posted 192 recommendations about 192 pubs]

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train man left this review about The Fat Cat

Ok, I'm moving to Ipswich & buying a house somewhere between the Fat Cat & the Dove. Only Adnams on single handpump BUT, an eclectic selection (yesterday) of 13 on stills in the ‘tap-room', all for less than £2.50. Plain bar, wood floor, bar stools, tables & seating area to the left, conservatory with bleached wood tables to the rear, garden beyond. Friendly barman, apologies for being a twat & moaning drunkenly about my missing scribblings – yes, they were in my pocket! Notice suggests they will supply you with a plate if you want to eat a takeaway (not fri/sat). Belgian selection & Thatchers bottled Perry, but here's the important stuff – FatCat TopCat & HoneyCat, Wolf – Straw Dogs & In Sheeps Clothing, Crouch Vale Essex Nights & Brewers Gold, Oakham Inferno, RCH Hewish IPA, Woodforde Wherry, and that's where my decipherable notes for the day end. This was my first FatCat, verdict – marvellous.

On 18th January 2008 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 411 recommendations about 410 pubs]

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john mcgraw left this review about The Fat Cat

Great pub serving about 15 real ales.A must for the real ale drinker.

On 15th September 2006 - rating: 10
[User has posted 2044 recommendations about 2025 pubs]