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Interview with the brewer

So today we awoke in Cork city. The room we had stayed in (more about that later) was an absolute sauna and the munchkin voiced her protests late into the night.

We had opened our windows for a bit of air and were rewarded for our efforts at 6am the following morning by the sounds of the construction site right below our window.

The munchkin was especially impressed.

Starting from that especially early morning, we took the opportunity to wander around Cork city, enjoying the charm of Ireland’s “real capital” until I finally got the call I’d been waiting for: Russel from The Franciscan Well Brewery rang and set up an interview appointment with me for 3pm.

The wifey and I arrived early to get some shots of the outside of the brewery, only to have arrived at the same time as a storm. We thought that by shooting from across the canal, we could get some beauty shots of the otherwise plain awning that was the Franciscan Well’s entrance. Thing is, the opposite side of the river had no path (that’s “sidewalk” to you, Mr and Mrs USA). Picture us there, the wifey and I standing in the road, splashed from behind every time a car went whizzing past behind us, her leaned over the rail with her big, fancy camera and me with my arms outstretched over her head, holding my waterproof shell above her to keep the rain off the lens.

Classy.

As it turns out, Russel is from Brooklyn.
It was a bit of a shock to be finally sitting across from one of the only Irish microbrewers and to be having him relate to me in a thick, New York accent. Russel was extremely well-spoken. Seriously, if you could type fast enough, this guy’s speech was like reading a book. He related the story of The Franciscan Well to me (he was involved in setting the brewery up) and we chatted about Irish brewing (or the lack thereof) in general. Russel knows just about everyone in the brewing industry in Ireland and told me about several microbreweries that are currently under construction – more research! Looks like there’s one running close to home and up in Donegal as well. Looks like we’ll be doing quite a bit more travelling before this is over. The wifey ran all over the pub, snapping fancy pictures with her big, fancy camera. It was a good start to the research for my book.

We lingered after Russel had left, sampling the brews on tap. I have to say the stout and, most especially, the Pale Ale were amazing beers. The interview went really well, the wifey got some great pictures and the beer is inspiring, to say the least. What a superlative experience.

Below is a photo of Russel and I having the chats in the Franciscan Well beer garden.

Russel, brewer at The Franciscan Well in Cork