Showing posts with label Franciscan Well. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Franciscan Well. Show all posts

Monday, April 10, 2023

Craft Delight With 13 Brewers At Franciscan Well Easter Fest. CorkBillyBeers #22.

CorkBillyBeers #22

Craft Delight With 13 Brewers At Franciscan Well Easter Fest

Busy days for Sean at the Black's of Kinsale taps.

A baker’s dozen of Ireland’s craft breweries set up camp at the Franciscan Well and turned their well and truly revived Easter Beer Fest into a convivial carnival featuring the best of craft over the holiday weekend. Hard to resist some of the stars here, some beautiful pours over the two days, including a debut for the delicious Locavore Spring 2023, a Honey Hefeweizen, by Wicklow Wolf.

I did have a Plan A when I arrived in the busy venue on Saturday afternoon but that didn't last long. Nor did Plan B or indeed any notion of a plan. No seat available but I did get my aging back up against a solid object and relaxed.

Spot the difference? One of these is a lager, one's a stout. Answer at end.

Lots of chats too of course, none of it too serious. We were here for the craft and the craic. Actually, black (rhymes with craic!) was on Plan A and I did get a couple in. Had a good chat with Sean from Black’s of Kinsale. I was familiar with all three of his taps, including the marvellous Red Rye Redemption. 

My eyes wandered to his right and I spotted a dark lager at Lineman. Enjoyed their Schwarzbier last year so I tried the Undertone - a Czech Dark Lager (4.5%), dark with hints of red in the depths, smooth caramel, a touch of toast but all smooth and clean just like a lager should be! The Undertone, a little less roasty than a Schwarzbier, is making a return to the Lineman portfolio and is sure to get a terrific welcome.

That goes on to my shopping list for Bradley’s. In fact, all the beers mentioned here will be going on to that list. Some good weeks ahead then!

My first real black came from Phil, at the Kinnegar stand.  He poured me a glass of their long-standing favourite Yannaroddy (4.8%). Long-standing maybe but you never get tired of class and this rich and creamy porter, made with love, has Donegal expertise in every sip.

Keith McCarthy at the Wicklow Wolf taps and his Lough Gill colleagues.

My second black came later on, the Chocolate Truffle Stout from Porterhouse. This limited edition (4.2%) surprised me - I’m always a little suspicious of nitro - but very few can say no to chocolate. Very smooth of course and delicious but not too sweet at all.

More potential sweetness next, but very well balanced. Wicklow Wolf tell us their Locavore Spring 2023 is “a Honey Hefeweizen brewed with heather honey supplied by our friends at @openhivehoney. The bees worked hard in the Wicklow mountains to gather the nectar to make beautiful heather honey for this brew.” Their 2022 edition, a barrel aged ale, was one of my beers of the year and, being a big honey fan anyhow, I’ll be looking at this one more closely soon! ABV is 6.0%.

Original 7 Red
Had been hoping to try the Cutback New England IPA by Lough Gill but it wasn’t available at the time I called. So I switched to next door to the “home” brewery, the Original 7, who have been expanding their range and availability in local pubs since their relatively recent founding and their Steve Guiney says they will have a beautiful surprise for fans late in the summer.

While looking forward to that, I absolutely enjoyed their Wonderland Red Ale. Quite a mix here, according to their notes - caramel, blackcurrant, raspberry and cherry - but a well judged balance and a lovely red and a truly session-able beer with an IBU of 22 and 4.2% ABV.

So we moved from Keith (at the Wolf stand) to Simon at Galway Bay. Started with their classic Helles, the Slow Lives (5%). Next from the west was the Sister Cities (6.2%), a Sour IPA with citrus, apple, a touch of elderflower and a balancing acidity. Very drinkable indeed and looking forward to a few in a the garden in the better days ahead! Thanks Simon! And thanks to all the people we met and sorry we missed out on a few. Next time!

Pompeii Pizza: Feeding the troops

Picture quiz above: stout (Porterhouse) is on the left, Lineman  is the lager.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

A Quart of Ale± #90. On the craft journey with Franciscan Well, Killarney Brewing, Trouble, Whiplash,Hope, and Wicklow Wolf.

A Quart of Ale± #90

On the craft journey with Franciscan Well, Killarney Brewing, Trouble and Wicklow Wolf. 

Killarney Scarlet Pimpernel IPA 6%, 500ml bottle Bradleys

There is a statue of a priest, dressed in an older fashion, at an entrance to Killarney National Park. He is striding out, a man in a hurry. They seek him here, they seek him there - he is O’Flaherty, the Scarlet Pimpernel. And this IPA is named in his honour.


It has a deep red colour. “Best served with a thick frothy head so pour with vigour.” I missed that bit of advice so my head, a bit like the Pimpernel, didn’t hang about. Got “rough” with the second one and a better longer-lasting head was the result.

Built “on a smooth malty base”, it is not a million miles away from our Franciscan Well. Aromas are moderate, citrus and pine. There’s a light caramel sweetness on the palate. Overall, a good balance is found, hop bitterness is moderate, and they boldly recommend it as “a perfect partner for full flavoured dishes”.

During WW2, Rome based Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty  saved over 6,500 people by hiding them in monasteries, farms, and other locations. After the war, he was awarded the US Medal of Freedom and Commander of the British Empire.


Franciscan Well Chieftain Irish Pale Ale 5.5%, 330can O’Donovan’s

Franciscan Well Chieftain IPA, then described as “a great stepping stone into the land of big and bitter”has proved quite a popular beer since launched by the Cork brewery. Colour is amber, not a million miles away from their Rebel Red. Indeed, when I posted an early photo of the IPA, a reader challenged me saying I got it wrong, that is the red in the pic.

Certainly hoppy in the aromas, a burst of tropical.There’s a malty theme there too and both continue onto the palate. Citra, Tettnanger and Magnum are the hops and they make their presence felt here, with Pine and Citrus, but the malts (Ale Malt, Crystal Malt) ensure a flavoursome balance, meeting the brewer’s aim of “casual enjoyment” for the drinker rather than the “intense hoppiness” that some IPAs deliver, sometimes to the consternation of the casual craft drinker.

Serve at 6 degrees and pair with fried chicken. Mature Irish cheeses and cured meats are also recommended.

By the way, Franciscan Well is looking forward to the coming year. ‘ It’s been a long road for everyone over the last couple of years. Our focus has been on surviving but now we want to bring memorable moments and experiences back to the centre of what we do, ’  says Kate Clancy (right), marketing manager of the Franciscan Well bar. More details here, even the promise of a beer festival.

Trouble Brewing Nocturne Milk Stout 5.5%, 440ml can Bradleys

This limited release looks well in the glass. Black with a creamy tan head that is unhurried. A big whiff of coffee in the aromas. And the coffee again, with sweet chocolate notes now, on the smooth palate. Sip away all that delicious creaminess to a very satisfactory ending. Smooth and easy all the way. No Trouble at all!

Ingredients – Water, Malt, Oats, Wheat, Lactose, Cacao Nibs, Hops and Yeast

Founded over 10 years ago Trouble Brewing is a 100% Irish-owned and independent brewery, located in Kill, Co Kildare. “Everything we do is driven by the desire to produce the highest quality, best tasting beer for our fellow beer lovers. …We mainly brew hop forward, session beers to be enjoyed by all, but we’re always happy to experiment — only a few ideas are too dumb.”

Wicklow Wolf Moonlight Non Alcoholic Hoppy Ale 0.5%, 330can Bradleys

The search for a really good Irish non alcoholic beer continues.

Geek Bits

Hops: Cascade, Hallertau Blanc, Citra

Malts: Melano, Cara Gold 

Brewery News

Fidelity's Back

Holy moly it's actually happening! Fidelity, our beer festival, is returning to Dublin's Round Room at the Mansion House this July and tickets are flying out with the Saturday session just about sold out. 

The first brewery announcement is landing next week and we don't expect tickets to last once that killer lineup drops so now if you want to join us in July, grab those tickets!

The festival takes places on July 15th & 16th and each session will have a completely different lineup of beers. Tickets are €69.61 and includes all your beer and your festival tasting glass. 



Hope Tours Return!

With restrictions lifted we're excited to announce our brewery tours are back.

Come visit our state-of-the-art German brewhouse where one of our team will cover all aspects of the brewing process and at the end you'll enjoy a tasting of our beers in the tap room.

A tour is €18 per person and requires a minimum of 6 people and a maximum of 15. Tours are available on Thursdays and Fridays at 5pm and Saturdays at 4pm.

Book a Tour

Wicklow Wolf

Joining the Pack as number 24 and 25 in the Endangered Species Series are Apex Cherry, a Black Cherry Oatmeal Stout and Canis Rufus, a Red Rye IPA. Available nationwide this week in all good independent off licences and at the Wicklow Wolf Taproom! 

Sunday, January 23, 2022

A Quart of Ale± #88 Craft journey with Whiplash, Brehon, Porterhouse and Journeyman. + Brewery News

 A Quart of Ale± #88

On the craft journey with a session of Whiplash, Brehon, Porterhouse and Journeyman

Whiplash Dry the Rain Double Decoction Dunkel 5.2%, 440ml can Whiplash Online

Dry The Rain sees us lightly decoct a more complex grain bill to produce our first Dunkel Lager.” Maybe not my favourite Whiplash lager but a good one.

Highlight here is the beautifully balanced bitterness towards the end.

At first glance, it is black but look longer and closer and there is an amber in there (from the Munich Malt) with a short-lived tan head. The aromas are modest, a sweet caramel and bread. And there’s more caramel on the palate, right through to the finish.

They say: We .. incorporate a traditional double stage decoction to produce a natural melanoiden that lends a rich dry and mellow caramel flavour throughout and binds this beautiful wort together. Hopped in kettle exclusively with German Magnum for a soft and unobtrusive bitter balance; this wort is cast off to meet our house German Lager yeast WLP833 in tank and is lovingly cold matured for over a month before packing - and your enjoyment.

Geek Bits

ABV 5.7%

440ml Cans

Artwork by @izzyrosegrange


Hops: MAGNUm

Yeast: WLP833

Brehon Brewhouse Red Right Hand Barley Wine Beer 11%, 500ml bottle Bradleys

The Red Right Hand, a bourbon-aged barley wine, has a dark red, close to black, colour and is crowned with a coffee coloured soft head. Despite the high abv, it is rather gentle and easy to drink, clean, mellow and smooth. 

Really good but this bourbon-aged beer, earthy and sweet, good and all as it is, isn’t quite at the same level that their Oak & Mirrors Cask Aged Imperial Porter reaches, perhaps because the bourbon influence is very very subtle here.

Brehon have made a name for themselves with barrel-aged beers, beginning with their Crann Beatha barrel-aged stout. This one is well up to standard and, by the way, is a terrific match with Christmas pudding, with the Dunnes Stores Simply Better 12 month matured in particular. Yum on the double.

They say: The red right hand is symbolic of the historic clans of Ulster. It embodies strength, unity and character just like our Bourbon Barrel Aged Barley Wine. 

Porterhouse Renegade New England IPA 5.3%, 440ml can O’Briens Wine

Lots of hops here in the Porterhouse’s take of a New England IPA. So no shortage of flavours such as passionfruit, mango and peach, plus hints of resin. Still, in the end it is not very hoppy at all, underlined by an IBU count of 10.

It is a light orange colour, a fairly dense hazy one, with a soft white head that sinks slowly enough. Aromas are modest, citrus notes showing. It feels quite soft on the palate. The straightforward fruit flavours are pleasant enough as is the finish. Very drinkable, even more so if you’re not too pushed about the lack of hop bitterness towards the end (and that could apply to quite a lot of us).

They say: Renegade is our take on a NEIPA. With an extended whirlpool at lower temperature for a smooth soft finish. Unfiltered and heavily dry hopped with Amarillo, Galaxy & Mosaic…  This NEIPA is fermented on traditional East Coast yeast.

Journeyman India Pale Lager 5.2%, 500ml bottle, X-Mas present

I like the amber colour of this hybrid and the bubbly head that hangs around for a bit. Aromas break out with citrus, a hint of pine too. Citrus also plus tropical flavours feature on the palate where the hybrid features show themselves, the refreshing lager crispness and the punch of the new world hops. The lip-smacking lager style refreshment is the welcome quality here.

Journeyman is one of the beers made by the Pearse Lyons Brewery in Dundalk. The brewery is known as the Station Works and is one of the largest in the country. It produces beers under different brand names - Foxes Rock is another one - for various supermarkets.

Geek Bits

Malts: Ale, Oats, Cara, Wheat

Hops: Magnum, Galaxy (passionfruit, peach, citrus), Mosaic (tropical, berry, stone), Amarillo (grapefruit, peach, resinous)

IBU 10


Brewery News

John and Phill....delighted to be back at the bar counter!
We are delighted with tonight's announcement. We are all looking forward to getting back to normal .
Keep an eye on our social media for our entertainment schedule .Don't miss out , book your party early

A fresh batch of Pale Ale kegged and ready to pour! After a very tough time for the hospitality trade the kegs are moving again, great to see normal bar service resume.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Franciscan Well Bar bringing it back to basics for ‘22

Franciscan Well Bar bringing it
 back to basics for ‘22


Mary Crilly, resident on North Mall,
Peter Lyall, master brewer in the Franciscan Well
and, right, Kate Clancy, marketing manager in the Franciscan Well Bar

The home of craft beer in Cork city since 1998, the Franciscan Well bar has launched their 2022 plans and the community is nestled right at the heart of it.

‘ It’s been a long road for everyone over the last couple of years. Our focus has been on surviving but now we want to bring memorable moments and experiences back to the centre of what we do, ’  says Kate Clancy, marketing manager of the Franciscan Well bar.

One regular and resident of North Mall, Shane McCarthy commented ‘ I love the Fran Well, tasty beer, fantastic pizza and the buzz of chat and fun is such a welcome relief after the isolation blues of 2021.  Full of people from many countries and different backgrounds yet it's a warm cosy local and our favourite spot by far.’

The bar has played host to some of Ireland's longest running beer festivals. The year 2022 will see a return in one popular festival, with some slight changes to comply with regulations.  

Kate. Bouncing back on the North Mall

‘ The core of what we do lies in our beer festivals, not only for bringing other Irish craft breweries together but to bring the beer community in Cork together, ’ continues Kate.

Other events in the lineup include; community book swaps, singles night, weekly trad sessions, open mic nights for local artists, and tasting sessions from local distillers.

The Franciscan Well’s, MONK, cocktail bar will also be getting in on the theme with a new menu that will be promoting ‘ Retro Serves’ with a twist.

‘ We want a nostalgic appeal in our new menu. It will contain all the classics such as cosmopolitans and martinis but with a twist of only using local spirits that can provide a story to the cocktails giving them a sense of place’ says Kate.

The Well will also be kicking off their tourism season in February, focusing on brewery driven travel with Brewery tours and beer tastings running daily at 5pm.

Open 7 days a week, the bar serves up an array of local craft beers, spirits and cocktails. Food is provided by Pompeii Pizza who serve a unique thin based pizza using the finest Italian type-00 flour in the dough while also milling their own flour on site.

Beers and pizzas are available for local and national delivery via

For more information or to book a table, email and to keep up to date on their upcoming events follow @franciscanwellbrewery.

media release

Friday, February 26, 2021

Cheers on beer, whiskey and wine. With O'Briens Wine, Franciscan Well, Waterford Distillery, Wines of the World, JJ Corry, Blackwater.

Cheers on beer, whiskey and wine. #212702.

With O'Briens Wine, Hopfully, Treaty City, Franciscan Well, Waterford Distillery, Wines of the World, JJ Corry, Blackwater Distillery.


This week Paul Barry takes a look at some new craft beer additions to our fridges in O'Briens. We have some great new beers to liven up dreary February with two Irish breweries joining our range this month. Each bringing a line-up of great core range beers, not just great beers for February but all year round!

Hopfully Brewing


Hopfully are a Dublin based gypsy brewer, meaning they contract brew in other breweries, that was set up in 2017. All their craft beer cans feature artwork from up-and-coming artists. Their mission as they see it is to “create a series of craft beers that introduce distinctive flavours and give emerging artists a platform to showcase their work.”

Treaty City began in the spare room of a two-bedroom apartment in Vancouver, Canada. Here, husband and wife team Stephen and Treasa perfected some of their recipes on a home brewing kit before deciding to make the move back home and set up a full-scale brewery in Limerick city. This month Treaty City launched a new craft beer can range.


 Franciscan Well Bar's
 Online Easter Beer Fest
Online Event
Apr 2 at 3 PM UTC+01 – Apr 3 at 9 PM UTC+01
Price: Free · Duration: 1 day
Public Anyone on or off Facebook
"We couldn’t not run our Easter Beer Fest two years in a we've moved it online....all information to be announced soon! #WatchThisSpace"



We have been accused of many things, but being short of insightful content is not one of them.

When we say we bring the same intellectual drive, methodology and rigour as the great French winemakers to single malt whisky, what does that actually mean?

In our new podcast series, award-winning whisky communicator Barry Chandler has unfettered access to the Facilitator and our people, as well as those behind our landmark peer-reviewed study on terroir in whisky. In addition, Barry interviews a number of people from around the whisky community to get their insights on the processes and perceptions of terroir in the wider world.

He breaks down each step of the production process from growing the barley to bottling the whisky so that you, the curious whisky connoisseur, can see what the possibilities are when a distillery chooses to obsessively explore that prime raw ingredient of single malt whisky: barley.

Subscribe now on your preferred platform of choice to follow all episodes.



Wines Of The World Exquitite Mixed Cases

Are you more of a white wine lover or red wine lover?


Did you know we have mixed cases of our top selling white and red grape varieties?


Checkout out below our top 3 whites - Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay and the top 3 reds Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Each case an exquisite mix from Around the World!

Check Them Out Here


Behind The Gates: J.J. Corry St. Patricks Day Live Virtual Tour 🍀

This year, we wish to invite you behind the gates of the
J.J. Corry Farm for a LIVE virtual tour on
Sunday 14th March at 8PM GMT / 3PM EST.

Guided by our Founder and Whiskey Bonder, Louise McGuane,
we will take you through our library of whiskey flavours in our Rackhouse,
a detailed behind the scenes look into our Bonder's Blending Room
(the room where the magic happens), followed by a live Q&A session with
Louise in our 17th Century Barn and Tasting Room.

Tickets available now. Places are limited. Sláinte!

Buy Now


Blackwater Distillery are proud to support the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival for the third year in a row and are very excited at this year's line up of films.

To celebrate we have a fantastic prize to giveaway which includes an online festival pass to over 60 films and a Blackwater goodie bag which includes a bottle of our Blackwater No.5 and Wexford Strawberry Gin along with 2 highball glasses. Details on their Facebook page here