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Picture of The Fat Cat
Image posted by Alan Winfield
Submitted on Monday, 14th June 2010
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The Fat Cat, Norwich

49 West End Street
Phone: 01603624364
Correct details
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The Fat Cat Pub The Fat Cat Pub Beer Hatch is open today 3pm-6pm with a world class range of award winning ales. All only £3 a pint. And we have to… about 8 hours ago from Twitter for Android
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Reviews of The Fat Cat (Average Rating: 9 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Thuck Phat left this review about The Fat Cat

Mr PSM's review below is excellent on the detail and it hadn't changed on my visit.
The place was fairly busy, even on my late Thursday lunchtime visit, largely with gents of a certain vintage. It was a fairly miserable day but the pub didn't feel especially warm and cosy which may be because the fire wasn't lit or perhaps it was just that there wasn't a huge amount of laughter at that time of day. Whichever, it wasn't as atmospheric as some I visited in Norwich.
That's a very small point when set against the ale riches on offer:
Hand Pump: Fat Cat Bitter, Honey Ale and Cat's Eyes, Crouch Vale Yakima Gold, Oakham Citra, B&T Sheffords Bitter, Adnams Bitter, TT Landlord, Champion the Wonder Horse, Larcons Encore, Tydd Steam Stargazer and Burton Bridge Golden Delicious.
Gravity: Fat Cat Wild Cat and Marmalade, Oakham Bishops Farewell and Green Devil IPA, Adnams Broadside, Green Jack Manseer, Hop Back Summer Lightening, GK Abbot (why?), Little Valley Organic Blonde, Marble Earl Grey IPA, Derby Big Bad Hop, Burton Bridge Stairway to Heaven, Fat Cat Porter and Burton Bridge Bramble Stout.
A few of these were priced at £2.50 with no apparent pattern, so perhaps they were just the barrels which needed finishing, and the highest price was £4.00. An enormous selection and very good value. I didn't find a wider range available in Norwich and would be very surprised if there is one. Staggering for what is effectively a street corner local.
Fat Cat have clearly led the real ale charge in Norwich and all power to them.
An absolute must visit.

On 23rd November 2016 - rating: 9
[User has posted 670 recommendations about 669 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Fat Cat

Converted from a failing back street boozer called The New Inn back in 1991, well ahead of the real ale resurgence seen in recent years, the Fat Cat has been a bastion for great beer for the best part of 25 years now. The pub's achievements in promoting good ale have been recognised by CAMRA who awarded them the prestigious National Pub of the Year award twice, first in 1998 and then again in 2004, becoming the first pub to win the award for a second time. There's no sense of these being former glories though, with the pub scooping the Norwich and Norfolk Pub of the Year awards in 2012 and 2014. The owners have expanded their empire by opening the Fat Cat Brewery in 2005 and two more pubs (Fat Cat Brewery Tap and Fat Cat and Canary) elsewhere in the city.
It's not hard to see why the place is popular with the discerning drinker, as the ale range is quite breath-taking. On my recent visit I was already sold when I saw the row of handpulls offering Fat Cat Hell Cat, Bitter and Honey Ale, Oakham JHB, Taylor Landlord and Boltmaker, Greene King Carnival Ale, Growler Bitter, Green Jack Summer Dream, Crouch Vale Yakima Gold, Adnams Southwold Bitter and Panther Pink Panther. However, the delights didn't end there, as blackboards on the bar canopy listed a whole load more on gravity available from the tap room. These were Adnams Broadside, Greene King Abbot Ale, Dark Star APA, Green Jack Masheer, Oakham Green Devil IPA, Phoenix Struggling Monkey, Kelham Island Pale Rider, Woodfordes Craft Lager and Nelson's Revenge, St Peter's Grapefruit, Old Worthy Wee Blonde and Hop Back Summer Lightning. Quite a remarkable selection, topped off with numerous cider and perry options and a large bottle beer range including many of the classic Belgian beers. I tried the Hell Cat and Honey Ale, both of which were in near perfect condition with the Hell Cat in particular being very enjoyable. I also sampled one of their tasty pork pies with a generous dollop of Colman's Mustard to accompany it.
The pub is a classic example of a back street ale house, with the front doors taking you directly into the check-tile floored main bar with the servery running down the right hand wall and high stools along a drinking ledge opposite. There is some lovely stained glass in the partitioning screens along the left hand wall, denoting Smoke Room and Bar Parlour - an indication of the pub's previous multiple room layout. At the front of the pub there is a cosy seating space in front of a small fireplace, whilst to the rear is another very comfortable looking area with bench seating, dominated by a large 'Half Moon' pub sign. The whole room is decorated with tankards, jugs and the like which hang from the ceiling, beer bottles which run around high shelves and lots of old photos, brewery mirrors, enamel adverts and other bits of breweriana, leaving virtually no wall space uncovered. Closer to the bar, there is another old pub sign, this time for the 'Queen's Head'. A small side room (possibly an extension?) with a sloped plastic roof, acts as a sports bar of sorts, with a large TV screen, turned off on my visit, and red tongue and groove panelling. The customers, mostly football fans enjoying a few quiet pints before Norwich City's Saturday afternoon fixture, were friendly, welcoming and courteous, as were the well drilled team behind the bar.
This has been a pub I have wanted to visit for many years now, often a sure-fire guarantee of an underwhelming anti-climax, but I absolutely loved this place and had I not needed to work my way back towards town in anticipation of the afternoon's kick-off at Carrow Road, I would have gladly stayed here all day. This is a must do, destination pub that deserves its reputation as one of the country's finest. I eagerly await my next visit to Norwich and hope to also take in visits to its two sister pubs.

On 24th September 2014 - rating: 10
[User has posted 2429 recommendations about 2429 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

John Bonser left this review about The Fat Cat

Update – April 2013

A revisit to this CAMRA National Pub of the Year ( 1998 and 2004 ) found the pub as superb and welcoming as on my previous 2009.

The interior abounds with old brewery memorabilia – enamel signs, photos, framed prints etc – mainly from former local breweries such as Lacons, Bullards, Steward and Patteson etc. A fine collection of beer jugs hangs down from the boarded ceiling.

12 handpumps on the bar ( 3 banks of 4 ) were virtually all in use on my visit and included 3 Fat Cat beers – Bitter, Hell Cat and Honey Ale. 6 additional beers were on stillage in the tap room behind the bar, including 2 more Fat Cat beers. Beers on were too numerous to record in full, but included a green beer – Stonehenge Sign of Spring – which really does resemble a lime cordial in colour. As expected, all beers sampled were in excellent form.

Fat Cat Anniversary Ale ( 20 years ) was on sale as a limited bottled beer offering - 7.4% alcohol at £ 5.95p per bottle.

Even allowing for the pub’s fame and reputation, I was staggered at how busy it was on my Monday evening visit in April, particularly bearing in mind its out of town location.

Norwich is not exactly short of decent traditional real ale pubs, but this is still a “must visit” pub in my book.

I do hope it isn’t another 4 years before I get to come here again.

Original review – April 2009

The John Bonser roadshow inaugural pub tour of Norwich ( in town for the SWFC game the following day ) could only start at one place if all the hype and reputation ( and earlier postings here !) are to be believed, so on an early Friday evening - 3 April 2009 - my initial pilgrimage to this pub took place.

It's a bit of a trek from the City Centre - 15/20 minutes for the average speed walker and thirsty drinker, crossing the Norwich ring road on the way.

It's twice been CAMRA National Pub of the year - most recently in 2004.

Inside, the pub is quite compact, with a number of different seating areas, but it quickly filled up. There's also limited seating space on the pavement outside.

As well as the pubs own range of Fat Cat beers ( brewed in a side street nearby ), there's an excellent selection of other real ales and continental beers.

Both the Woodforde's Wherry and the Fat Cat Best, the latter at only � 2 per pint were on good form.

What really made the visit for me was the splendid collection of brewery posters and enamel signs, particularly featuring old Norfolk breweries such as Bullards, Steward and Patteson and Morgans. Note also the large Watneys Red Barrel sign hanging down from the ceiling and an old enamel sign proudly proclaiming "Watneys Sparkling Ales - London's Finest" ( hmm....? )

This is a classic example of how a backstreet pub in a normal otherwise quiet and unremarkable quiet street doesn't necessarily have to end up being turned into either a curry house or a Chinese takeaway.

I must try and get to the sister pubs in Ipswich and Colchester, if they're even only half as good as this.

Perhaps tellingly, a people - carrier taxi was dropping off half a dozen or so CAMRA types outside the pub's front door as I eventually made my departure.

30-odd pubs a week are closing, so we're told, but this certainly isn't going to be one of them.

A must visit pub, undoubtedly

On 22nd October 2013 - rating: 9
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

View more reviews of The Fat Cat (15)
This pub features in the following crawls:
Norwich Crawl 29 May 2010 by Alan Winfield
External web links for The Fat Cat

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Will Larter
Norwich, 1.59 miles, 30 min walk (show)
Brundall Gardens, 6.75 miles, 2 hr 10 min walk (show)
Salhouse, 6.76 miles, 2 hr 10 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Fat Cat, Norwich
23rd Nov 2016, 12:02
Review submitted by Thuck Phat amended by Thuck Phat
23rd Nov 2016, 12:01
Review submitted by Thuck Phat

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : No last updated 24 September 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 24 September 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • Beer Garden : Yes last updated 24 September 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • Car Park : No last updated 24 September 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • Dog Friendly : Yes last updated 24 September 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • Jukebox : No last updated 24 September 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • Live TV Sports : Yes last updated 24 September 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • Pinball : No last updated 24 September 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • Pool Table : No last updated 24 September 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Dave McNally
  • Real Cider : Yes last updated 24 September 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • WiFi : Yes last updated 24 September 2014 by Pub SignMan
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