My Weekend: I'm still discovering the local beauty spots... there are lots of them!

Rising Sons Brewery on the Coal Quay has once again been busy glowing in the recent accolades bestowed on them at the World Beer Awards. Here Shane Murphy, Head Brewer, talks about his passion for his job, camping with the family, and his love of mountain biking.
My Weekend: I'm still discovering the local beauty spots... there are lots of them!
Head brewers Kieran Foley and Shane Murphy at the Rising Sons Brewery on the Coal Quay.Picture: Michael O'Sullivan /OSM PHOTO

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’m a Wexford man, I moved to Cork close to six years ago to become Head Brewer in Rising Sons Brewery. Initially I was sort of commuting a week at a time but soon enough we made the move and my wife and four sons joined me here. We’ve since bought a house here and call Cork home now.

The project wasn’t long started when I joined. What is the Brewpub now was a building site and our Brewhouse was bits of stainless steel and copper on a workshop floor in Germany.

The first six months had a bit of a surreal feel to them; we were very busy but there were so many unknowns at the same time. Eventually after many 18-hour days and seemingly endless to-do lists we got the doors open August weekend 2014, a huge team effort.

So we got down to the everyday jobs of making and selling beer. It was at this point that I realised what a crew we had, the work ethic and passion that each person had really became apparent.

Our beer was starting to become popular in Cork, the customer feedback was good, so in 2015 we entered two prestigious international beer competitions.

We have entered both these competitions every year since and have had some really good results to date.

In the International Beer Challenge we have taken 21 awards, with the highlight from this competition coming last year when we won “Best ale in the world up to 5%” for our Changeling pale ale.

The second competition we enter is The World Beer Awards. In this, we’ve won 18 gold medals of which 14 were also declared country winners and this year our Dreamcatcher won “World’s Best Golden Ale”.

These results are something I’m very proud of and they are a testament to both the team we have working here and our customers who provide us with excellent feedback.

Picture: Michael O'Sullivan /OSM PHOTO
Picture: Michael O'Sullivan /OSM PHOTO

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

My ideal Friday night involves loading up the car with the tent and family and heading west, don’t do it nearly often enough though.

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

I’m an early riser. Morning is my favourite part of the day. So much so I enjoy going to bed early!

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

It will sometimes, but to be honest if it needs doing I don’t mind.

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

Jacqui my wife would always be my travelling companion of choice. Can we have an extra long weekend? Grand so, we’ll go to Vancouver, our favourite city in the world.

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

Being relatively new to Cork I’m still discovering the local beauty spots and there are plenty of them. If I was to pick one it would be Gougane Barra, summertime, in the rain. The place is fantastic, the rain brings out the colours and keeps away the crowds. Walking up the source streams of the Lee when they are bursting their banks with flood water is a great place to get lost in nature.

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

Our extended family is all back in Wexford and we don’t get back there often enough. Weekends tend to be about getting some air and chilling out in equal measure.

Do you get to indulge in any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

I’m an avid mountain biker, I’ll get out to some of the local woods after work during the week and most weekends I’ll squeeze in a spin as well. There are some beautiful woodland and mountain areas in Cork to explore by mountain bike and a welcoming community of bikers to show the way to newcomers.

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

I do enjoy a good barbecue I guess that would be as close to a signature dish as I get. It has to be a proper open fire though, gas just isn’t right!

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

I don’t really do coffee, I much prefer beer. As for lunch, I’ll stick with BBQ and head to the White Rabbit on MacCurtin Street, love the place! For something a little more special I will go for Bodega on the Coal Quay, the building is fantastic with luxurious leather armchairs and a cracking steak, served with good beer, it doesn’t get any better.

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

I’ll often stroll around town of a Sunday evening, maybe have a pint or two but come Sunday night the feet are up for a bit of TV or a book!

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

Same as every other day 6.50!

Any other news?

Hot off the trail of Rising Sons Brewery being awarded further accolades at the World Beer Awards in August 2019, this home-grown and truly Cork business is at it again with another win as Cork Regional Winner as Best Innovative Pub of the Year, as part of the National Irish Pub Awards in association with Vintners Federation of Ireland and Licenced Vintners Association.

The Best Innovative Pub of the Year award, sponsored by Bank of Ireland, rewards a pub who demonstrates how innovation has significantly improved their business, and Rising Sons Brewery shows all the signs of pure innovation, Cork-style!

Listening to their customers, this brewing team have delivered a plethora of award-winning ales, stout and lager with consistent new flavours and recipes constantly being at the forefront of their ethos.

In its five years of life, Rising Sons Brewery, has far exceeded its team’s expectations.

General manager Judy Wilkins said: “To be nominated and then to win the Regional of this prestigious Award, we’re yet again humbled by the acknowledgement by these large bodies and of course the true acknowledgement by way of the ever-growing customer base for our products both in our Rising Sons Brewery Pub and our sister bars . The brewing team are under severe pressure to fulfil an ever-growing demand, and we are seeking innovative ways to meet this demand.”

Head Brewer Shane Murphy says: “Rising Sons is family-owned, quality-focused, traditional but imaginative, and a mix of the old and new. We won’t stop creating and bringing our unique flavours and offerings to the local community and further afield. These recent wins are just constant reminders that we’re doing something right but more importantly it’s our customers who are consistently supporting us and have us brewers working harder than ever before.”

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