Saturday 23rd August 2014
If you can imagine a typical small American brew pub transported to the centre of Cork City then you have created a very good impression of this brand new watering hole.
All the major ingredients are there, the burnished copper brewing vessel viewed beyond a glass screen located behind the bar. And there's the low lighting, bench type wooden furniture and a pizza kitchen on the opposite side of the room.
This is the brainchild of local pub owner Benny McCabe and his family who operate a number of pubs in the city under the Cork Heritage Pubs banner. If I have this right, this particular location is owned by his daughter Cliona McCabe who is assisted by her daughter Saoirse. I am pleased to say that this BeerVisits report is being written just three weeks after the grand opening on 31 July 2014 and already it seems to be very popular.
The brewery was constructed in Germany by the BräuKon company, one I must admit I have not heard of before.
If my maths are correct it produces around 15 brewers' barrels of beer per brew. This is based on the fact that they state that there are 50 kegs each brew and I am assuming that these are of the standard 11 gallon capacity.
This is considerably more than what is needed for this pub and the others in the PubCo's estate now all take its beers.
The brewer is Shane Murphy who started in home brewing and subsequently studied the subject. He still brews on a plant located in his shed and is developing new tastes for future beers. One interesting facet of this is that in July 2014, one month before opening, they were advertising for beer tasters, now that's a first!
The brew pub is housed in a large building that was the former printing works of Guy & Co. who at one time printed all of the cheque books in Ireland; there are not so many of them around nowadays. Once entering the pub I had to wait a time for my eyes to adjust to the low lighting. Unfortunately this is reflected in my photographs but I hope there is enough detail shown to get an idea of what it is like.
To my left was the bar with brewery behind and on the right is the kitchen. The end of the room was dominated by a very large screen used for showing sporting events, there are many more flat screens around the room and apart from the brewery you would think you were in a normal sports bar.
One quirky artefact is a stuffed fox cub located between the mash tun and the copper which is staring down at the clientele being served at the bar.
Before this brewery was established the company was having two bespoke beers made for them at the Franciscan Well brewery. These form two of the four brews in the core range. They are: Sunbeam Pilsner (4.3%) made with 100% Pilsner malt. It's in the Bavarian style and uses Magnum and Tettnang hops. The other existing beer is Mi Daza Stout (4.0%) which is brewed in the Cork style and is made with four different malts and is hopped three times.
The two new beers are Steeple Hemp Amber Ale (4.5%) which is made with a mixture of US hops, namely Cascade, Columbus, Centennial, Chinook and Citra. This was nice, not a bit like an Irish Red Ale which I thought it would be. The other new boy is Handsum IPA (5.0%) which was also very good, being an understated version of the West Coast style. It is made with three different US aroma hops.
There was also a seasonal beer offered: Grainú (4.0%), a wheat beer using Belgian yeast. This was the summer beer. It is intended that there will be six of these beers each year.
Expected next, at the end of August would be Cherry Kölsch (4.5%), to be followed by Oatmeal Porter (5.0%) in October and Spiced Ale (6.0%) in December. Of course, by the time you read this, these beers may have finished, yet there will be more!
These beers are also available in other city pubs within the Cork Heritage Pubs empire and these are: Sin É, the Mutton Lane, the Oval, Crane Lane Theatre, Bodega at St Peter's Market, the Vicarstown Inn and the Arthur Main. However I would think that here at the source is the best place to sample them as it has the greatest range.
The Rising Sons Brewery, 4 Cornmarket Street, Cork. Tel: 087 649 2426
Open: Monday-Sunday 12.00-24.00 (earliest closing time)
I would guess that beers cannot be sold until 12.30 on Sunday afternoon
The pub is in the middle of the city, just a few minutes walk from St Patrick's Street, its main thoroughfare.