Skip to contents
Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park

Empirical Brewery’s ‘Nine Lives’ Beer Benefits Tree House Humane Society, Where The Brewery Got Its Shop Cats

Proceeds from the beer's sale will benefit Tree House's Cats at Work program, which pairs unsocialized cats with businesses.

Empirical Brewery's "nine lives" benefits Tree House Humane Society.
  • Credibility:

RAVENSWOOD — Empirical Brewery’s latest beer is a nod to the brewery’s shop cats, and proceeds from its sale will benefit the humane society that paired the animals with the business.

The Ravenswood brewery this month debuted its Nine Lives beer, sales of which will benefit Tree House Humane Society in West Ridge. The proceeds will aid Tree House’s Cats at Work program, which pairs unsocialized outdoor cats with businesses or residences that can care for them — and employ — the animals.

Tree House has found homes for 1,000 cats through the program, and two of them reside at Empirical. Venkman and Raymond came from the Tree House program in 2017 and have helped keep the premises free of rodents.

Credit: Facebook/Empirical Brewery
Empirical Brewery’s shop cats, Raymond and Venkman.

“With this special Nine Lives beer collaboration, we wanted to raise a glass to our feline team members and celebrate the organization that made it possible for us to welcome two cats into our brewery family,” Jacob Huston, Empirical’s head brewer, said in a statement.

Nine Lives, a pilsner, is available at retail locations throughout Chicago. It is also available on draft at Little Bad Wolf, Fat Cat, Small Bar, First Draft, Gretel and Bitter Pops.

The beer will be available on draft at Empirical, but the brewery is closed to the public due to flooding.

Tree House and Empirical have also partnered with Gateway to Learning to make natural cat treats with spent grain left over from the beer’s brewing process. Gateway to Learning provides work experience for adults with intellectual and developmental challenges.

Tree House Humane Society, 7225 N. Western Ave., is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Earlier this year, the organization debuted its low-cost vet clinic for cats and dogs.

Subscribe to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Already subscribe? Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation. 

Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast” here: