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J.J. Coppinger

He was friend and foe to the Indians. Recommended by the infamous American Civil War commander General Custer. Leader of the brave. A gallant soldier belonging to one of Cork’s most renowned families. Midleton’s hero. His name? J.J Coppinger.

Wounded and survived the second Battle of Bull Run, appointed Major for the Battle of Trevilian Station, made a Lieutenant Colonel after the Battle of Cedar Creek, and finally honoured the highest rank of General for fighting thirty of the fiercest conflicts. From the smoky Appalachian mountains of Virginia to the wild west of Idaho, J.J Coppinger carried the fertile valleys and distillery and brewery dotted boulevards of his homeland close to heart as he travelled across the treacherous terrain of America.

Born in Cork, November 10th, 1834 to Midleton’s dynasty of brewers, bishops and bankers, John Joseph was reared on the spirit of comradery. The Coppinger family brewery was the toast of the town, supplying the people with the finest of beer. But good times in Cork couldn’t sway J.J from adventures calling across the ocean. After all, legends don’t make history by staying home.

First a Captain in the Papal Army – where he fought in the war against Victor Emmanuel II – J.J secured a commission to join Union ranks in the American Civil War. From there, his story becomes thick and rich – littered with folklore, seductive mythology and a quick Irish wit still heard on the streets of Midleton today.

Yarns were shared around campfires, detailing J.J’s heroism in Gethysburg, Cold Harbor and Five Forks. The San Francisco Chronicle splashed details of his outrageous flirtations across inky front pages. Accounts of colourful confrontations in the corn strewn state of Kansas spread like wildfire. J.J married sweetheart Alice Stanwood Blaine in Washington in 1883, the wedding attended by an illustrious D.C. elite including none other than Chester A. Arthur himself – the 21st President of the United States of America. He was blessed with two sons Blaine and Connor and a sailboat he named the Jackdaw which was rumoured to have sailed down the Grand River, Ohio in spectacular fashion.

Not bad for a small time boy from Midleton with brewing in his blood.

But like all great stories, comes the curtain call. J.J Coppinger died at the ripe age of 75 at his home on 18th Street in Washington, D. C. on November 4th, 1909 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery right near the graves of his old war comrades. On that cool fall afternoon, the sound of a lone trumpeter could be heard honouring the spirit of this intrepid soldier who sailed violent oceans from County Cork to the shores of New York for an adventure that spanned a lifetime.

Today, J.J Coppinger’s stands in celebration of our hometown hero. Located at 55 Main Street, Midleton in a stately historic building, this elegant cultural bar retains its old world architecture whilst punctuating antiquated charm with streamlined style and contemporary edge. An eclectic mix of aged mirrors, timber floors, marble fireplaces and exposed brick complements an extensive selection of whiskeys, wines and beers, and memorabilia honouring the fearless Irish who fought in the American Civil War.

We’re a spirited venue where great friends can gather to share tipples and tales, trade war stories, be wined and dined, catch up over a coffee, witness heroic sporting feats on game day, soak up live retro tunes full of style and swag, and raise a glass to the legend himself.

There’s history in every sip.

Three cheers for the General.