The Story of Gilligan’s Beer

The Gilligan’s name honors two ancestors of Joe Mumper, co-founder, West Side Brewing. Martin Gilligan was born in Cincinnati in 1881, approximately 30 years after his father emigrated to the United States from Ireland during “The Great Famine.” Martin became the head gardener for German brewer Christian Moerlein, founder and CEO of Cincinnati’s largest brewery at the time. Martin adored his boss, but always longed for the exceptional beers of Ireland.

In 1914, Martin (Sr) and Mary Gilligan welcomed their 4th child, Martin T. “Bud” Gilligan. Bud grew up in Northside before studying at St. Gregory Seminary in Mount Washington. He later moved to Rome, where he was ordained as a priest in 1939. Monsignor Gilligan spent several years in China, where he saved thousands from persecution by creating fake passports to get them out of China to pursue a better life. Monsignor Gilligan later held leadership positions in Catholic churches in Dayton and Cincinnati. The Gilligan’s name honors both Martin Gilligans and all Cincinnatians of Irish descent. Slainte!