It’s all hands to the pumps as Scotland’s biggest summer beer festival kicks off its 10th anniversary celebrations from tomorrow.
The Midsummer Beer Happening in Stonehaven promises three days of brilliant beer, stunning street food and marvellous music… and hopes to smash through a charity fundraising milestone.
Robert Lindsay, organiser of the Happening, said: “In the 10 years we have been running the beer festival in Stonehaven we have raised more than £125,000 for charity. This year we are confident we can get over the £150,000 mark… and then some.
“Which means the 5,000 plus people who will join us at the marquee will not only be having a good time, they will be doing good, too.”
Robert said the emphasis is very much on having fun and people enjoying the more than 120 beers on offer, the award-winning food vendors who will be at the al fresco food court at the Happening’s purpose-built marquee and the rich range of local musical talent who will provided the soundtrack to the event.
He said: “We have stepped things up for our 10th year and we are sure people will like what we’ve done with the place. Rather than having a massive central bar, brewers will have their own pop-up bars round the marquee.
“It will create a special atmosphere, almost like a marketplace for great beer. It also means you can find out more about the beer you are drinking from the people who brew it.”
On special beer will the The Hoppening, a delicious north-east IPA created for the Happening’s 10th anniversary by Stonehaven’s own six°north brewery.
Robert said there will be outstanding bites to go with the beer, with award-winning fish and chips, melted cheese sandwiches, pizza and burgers, as well as a seafood stall, plus ice cream on the Saturday afternoon.
Music will be central to the event, too, with local bands and artists lining up to play everything from soul and blues to rock and jazz.
Things will get colourful on Saturday, too, with the return of Hawaiian shirt day.
Robert said: “This was so popular last year, when everyone turned up in the brightest and most colourful shirts we’ve seen, to be greeted by flower garlands at the entrance to marquee. It was great fun and we’re delighted to bring it back.”
Robert is also looking forward to seeing a record-breaking entry of 1,000 riders in the Happening’s Sportive start off from Baird Park on Saturday mornings to take on three different but equally challenging routes around the Mearns and over the Cairn O’ Mount.
Robert said: “We’ve pulled out all the stops to make this a Happening to remember and we can’t wait to welcome old friends back to the marquee and make many new ones – all 5,000 plus of them.
“In our 10th year we have never forgotten where we started. A bunch of mates who like beer deciding to hold a beer festival in the Town Hall in November 2009 and wondering if anyone would show up
“Fast forward 10 years and we are now staging one of the biggest and most popular events in the north-east and one that raises so much money for good causes.
“None of that would have been possible without the support of our volunteers, our sponsors and, of course, the people who turn out to support us every years.
“So come along and help the Happening celebrate 10 wonderful years.”
The main charities being supported by the Midsummer Beer Happening this year are Stonehaven’s Men’s Shed, Stonehaven Youth Football Club, Stonehaven Sea Cadets and the town’s Rhythm Nation Dance And Fitness, made up of local children who share a passion for dance and friendship.
To find out more and to buy ticket visit www.msbh.co.uk