Brewing a career that I really love

In our My Career section we chat to Kate Clancy, of the Franciscan Well
Brewing a career that I really love
Kate Clancy of the Franciscan Well Brew pubPic: RD Photo

My Career: Kate Clancy, marketing manager at the Franciscan Well

Name: Kate Clancy.

Age: 29.

Lives: Cork city.

Job title: Marketing Manager, Franciscan Well Brew pub.

Salary bracket: It pays the bills!

Education background: I hold level 6 in Art & Design which I received from CSN College, a BA Hons in Fine Art-Ceramics and Digital Media from GMIT, Hdip in Public Relations from CIT and a level 6 in Digital Marketing from the Cork College of Commerce.

Hobbies: Travelling would definitely be my number one hobby (when I can afford it!) I’ve travelled all around Europe, America, Fiji and even landed myself in Papua New Guinea for a short time!

I also love photography. I wouldn’t say I am technically very good at it but I like to play around with shutter speeds and take abstract photos! I also love to go home on Friday nights and watch the Late Late show with my mam! Shhhhhh!!!!!!

Describe your job in five words: Fast- paced, exciting, challenging, people-orientated and community!

Describe yourself in five words: Creative, outgoing, loyal, an over-thinker and easy-going!

Personality needed for this kind of work? You need to be energetic; events and tours can be extremely demanding so you need to be full of energy. Being creative and able to think outside the box always helps.

Being organised is also very important (I’m constantly creating spreadsheets!) Last, but not least, is being passionate about what you do. I think this inspires those who work with you and of course the customers.

How long are you doing this job? I’ve been working with the Franciscan Well about a year, and there’s always so much to learn about the craft beer industry.

How did you get this job? It’s been an interesting journey getting to where I am. I’ve always been a creative person (school for me was daydreaming scribbling pictures down at the back of class). I loved art and completed a fine arts degree at Galway University in 2011. Galway is such a great city for embracing the arts and when I finished my degree, I worked in an arts studio there for another year, where I created ceramic pieces and took part in exhibitions around the city.

My love of traveling then took me abroad where I camped across the coast of Spain. Initially, it was supposed to be over the summer, but a year and a half later, I was still on my adventures, traveling across Europe. Along the way, I took part in a few more exhibitions and worked in some design centres.

During my travels, I realised I was good with people and had a good ability to organise exhibitions and events, so on returning to Cork, I took a course in Event Management at the College of Commerce and became a fundraising and events co-coordinator for a Cork based charity.

I then went on to do a HDip in PR at CIT before completing my level 6 in Digital Marketing in the College of Commerce. It was great to get an insight into these areas of business, but event management was the area I most enjoyed.

The opportunity came up with the Franciscan Well, when they were looking for a tour guide as well as someone to support their social media platform. Craft beer was really taking off and the bar was at its busiest, and it still is of course!

The craft beer industry was totally alien to me before I started (I knew I liked to drink it but that was about it). Now I am extremely passionate about craft beer. I can see the love and dedication that goes into each brew and there’s a real community amongst the breweries in Ireland, I’ve found it one of the most rewarding industries to work in.

I am constantly learning here, which is also a real bonus for me; I recently finished the first stage in being a beer sommelier. I will let ye know how that one goes!

Do you need particular qualifications or experience? Yes, I would say that you definitely need to have great interpersonal skills so the ability to talk and listen to others is very important.

Also, good time management experience; you must be able to prioritise.

In terms of qualifications, a qualification in any related field such as event management/marketing and PR is an advantage.

A passion for craft beer is paramount!

Describe a day at work: First thing when I come in is to flick on the kettle for that all important first coffee of the day.

I am a serious list writer so next up is writing out my list of ‘things to be done today’ before going through all the emails for tours, bookings and any other enquires.

I also look after the Franciscan Well’s social media pages including the new Stave & Chime ‘Craftail’ bar upstairs, so it’s important to keep these updated.

There are always plenty of events and meeting clients in between phone calls and hopping in behind the bar when needed.

When we have a tour, I prepare the tasting room.

We are also getting ready for our 18th annual Easter Beer festival, which runs from April 15 to 16.

How many hours do you work a week? 40 hours.

What do you wear to work? Anything that is comfortable but, as we like to say here in the Franciscan Well, ‘Smart Cas’.

Is your industry male or female dominated? It’s male dominated but I also work quite a lot with a girl called Dee and we regularly have chocolate mornings!

Does this affect you in any particular way? I really had to think about this one. I grew up in a family of all girls but I was always a little tomboy! I had a Man United baseball cap I wore until I was about 16! So working with men doesn’t really affect me too much and all the guys here are really amazing to work with anyway, though I do feel that sometimes I might need to speak up!

Is your job stressful? How? Rate it on a scale of 1-10: I would go with a 4, just because I catch myself worrying about work-related matters when I am in bed! But as I said, I do tend to over-think things!

Do you work with others or on your own? The majority of my job is working with others but obviously there are days when those spreadsheets need creating!

When do you plan to retire or give up working? I really haven’t thought about it!

Best bits: Working with amazing people. Working in the craft beer industry and feeling like being part of the shift in how Irish people drink alcohol. We used to have this notion of quantity over quality but it is great to see people really appreciate the craftsmanship of the drink they are consuming. Michael Jackson, a famous beer critic’s famous quote, is ‘Drink Less but Drink Better’.

Worst bits: The Franciscan Well was always my favourite place to go for pizza and a beer on a Friday night but I can’t do that any more because I can’t stitch off!

Advice to those who want your job? Persistence is key!

Any other comments? My favourite saying ‘What’s for you won’t go by you’!

The Franciscan Well Brewpub is set to host its annual Easter Beer Festival in Cork from April 15 to 16,.

Over the two days, the Franciscan Well welcomes 20 Irish craft brewers to the festival and will feature some great live music. Now in its 18th year, the Easter Beer Festival will showcase the latest and finest contemporary craft brews from around the country.

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