Andy has perfect mix for work/life balance

The man behind Cask, Andy Ferreira talks about making it the best cocktail bar in the country, spending time with family and this weekend's LitFest
Andy has perfect mix for work/life balance
Andy Ferreira of Cask,who takes part in LitFeset this weekend.

TELL us a little bit about yourself.

I live in the countryside in east Cork with my wife, Gráinne, and our kids, Luka and Ruby. We live in a beautiful cottage surrounded by woodland and nature with our two dogs and a cat.

Raise the Bar is a cocktail events and consultancy company we run together. Gra works for Jameson and I also manage a bar in Cork called Cask.

It’s a hectic lifestyle but a lot of fun. The cocktail industry globally is an exciting business to work in and I’d love to have my own bar one day. The industry is just relentless and you can’t stop for one minute and get complacent.

In Cask I’ve put together this amazing team of bartenders and we plan on making it one of the best cocktail bars in the country. Cork deserves it.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

Andy has perfect mix for work/life balance

My ideal way is on the couch watching a family movie with the kids.

In reality, this rarely happens on a Friday.

If I’m not in Cask I generally have an event somewhere. Weekends is our busy time in the bar game. It’s just the reality of the job.

Lie ins or up with the lark... which is it for you?

Up with the lark isn’t really an option when you get home at stupid O’Clock. You do get better at managing your time when you have kids though.

I take them swimming and hang out for the day before work in the afternoon.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

Yes. Lots!

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

San Francisco with Gráinne. I lived there for a good chunk of my 20s and it’s just an amazing city. Huge Cork contingent too. Amazing food and drink scene.

Andy Ferreira and his wife Grainne.
Andy Ferreira and his wife Grainne.

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

I adore east Cork. West Cork obviously gets a lot of praise but east Cork is just as stunning and not as well known.

Where I grew up we are surrounded by woods and the sea so I’ve always been drawn to it.

Walking the dogs with Gráinne and the kids at Ballybranigan beach is about as perfect as it gets.

Ballycotton, Inch beach, Ballymaloe, and Killeagh woods; I’ve lived all over the world but nowhere can offer the nature and hospitality of east Cork.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

We always try. We have an amazing group of friends around us who are also busy but we all try and make time for each other.

I’ll try and hang out with my mum and step-dad, especially in the summer when the kids are off school.

Do you get to indulge any hobbies, even as a spectator?

I love sport but my work is my hobby. Cask is attached to Greenes restaurant which is one of the best out there.

There’s a huge crossover between the food in Greenes and the cocktails in Cask in the way we source products.

The head-chef, Bryan, is an amazing character who I’ve learnt a lot from and in turn taught him a bit about flavour combinations in cocktails.

We’re both very passionate about traceability and we share our knowledge and contacts religiously.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter do you have a signature dish?

Entertained, to be honest. When you work six days a week focusing on serving others it’s nice to be spoilt by others.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork — where are your go-to spots for coffee/lunch/special meal?

SOMA for coffee, White Rabbit for lunch and the Black Pig in Kinsale for a treat.

Sunday night comes around too fast... how do you normally spend it?

I do some yoga and then box off my VAT returns. No I’m kidding. Generally broken on the couch with my kids torturing me.

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

7am. Start of another manic week.

Andy Ferreira will be taking part in LitFest 17. The fifth annual Ballymaloe LitFest runs from today until Sunday, May 21. For a full programme or to book any events see

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