Big Nose Kate Whiskey Gets a Companion Lager


August 30, 2023

Big Nose Kate Brave & Adventurous Saloon Lager

The mash bill of Big Nose Kate Whiskey has been cloned by Tumwater, Wash.’s Matchless Brewing for a special beer release aptly named Brave & Adventurous Saloon Lager. The brew, which is 35% Vienna, 18% Rye and 47% Pilsner, was designed to be paired with a shot of the Santa Fe-produced spirit, a blend of straight ryes and American single malt. 

The beer is a nod to Kate herself, an unsung hero of the Wild West who was a strong, industrious, and fiercely independent self-made woman generations ahead of her time. Each bottle of Big Nose Kate is also adorned with “A Brave and Adventurous Blend.” Matchless brewed the beer with three different specialty malts and hopped it with Hallertau Tradition and Willamette for a crisp and mild Vienna-style Lager.

The extraordinary life of Maria Izabella Magdolna Horony, also known as Catherine Elder, and later feared and revered everywhere simply as the inimitable one-and-only Big Nose Kate, is a tale for the ages. A Hungarian aristocrat”s daughter turned immigrant and orphan, she was drawn to the wild American west through chance, rebellion, opportunity, and a deep curiosity in people, places and ideas. Kate was Doc Holliday’s “partner in crime,” butted horns with Wyatt Earp, and ran a number of gambling and entertainment operations.

Historians agree that in the Old West, there was no better friend, and no worse enemy than Big Nose Kate. Yet the Docs, the Wyatts, the cowboys, and the rangers always commanded center stage. Until now.

“It was fun to be able to build a recipe for a beer that plays with and complements the unique flavors of BNK whiskey,” added Grant Bolt, president of Matchless Brewery. “The result is what we are calling a Saloon Lager, a beer that highlights the rye malt character in both beverages while providing a lighter contrast that only a lager beer can bring to the table. It’s a perfect pairing that keeps you sipping on.” 

The beer + a shot collaboration is available at 70+ saloons, pubs, watering holes and bars throughout Washington and Oregon. 

To help celebrate the collaboration, a kick-off party in Oregon will be held at Portland’s Leisure Public House on August 31st from 5-9pm. In Washington, the celebrations will be held at Thirsty Sasquatch in Vancouver on September 6th from 5-9pm. 

Big Nose Kate is produced in Santa Fe, New Mexico, one of several towns in the Old West where Kate ran enterprises and wreaked havoc. A key contributor to the whiskey production is Caley Shoemaker of Santa Fe’s As Above So Below, herself an industry luminary, and like Mel Heim, one of the first female Head Distillers in the United States. Also playing a key role in Big Nose Kate in various capacities are Kevin Burke, a highly experienced beverage industry leader; and Paul Earle, an entrepreneur and branding aficionado.