Scotland's biggest summer beer festival has kicked off in Stonehaven, and is set to attract around 5,000 visitors to the North-east town in a three-day celebration of the craft of brewing, which started yesterday.

The Midsummer Beer Happening in Stonehaven will offer 140 different beers, hand selected from the best breweries across the length of breadth of the Britain, Ireland, Belgium and the Basque.

The event, running from until Saturday 17th June in a purpose-built marquee in the town’s Baird Park is now a highlight in the North-east’s calendar and a major draw for visitors.

Beer festival

Picture: The Midsummer Beer Happening, supplied

Organiser Robert Lindsay said: “The Midsummer Beer Happening is now recognised as one of the best beer festivals in the country.  You would be hard-pressed to find such a large and diverse range of beers and ciders in one place at any other event this summer.”

“Not only that, the Happening has the cream of local musical talent playing over the three days, plus an al fresco street food court, with award-winning producers offering fish and chips, burgers, pizza and even ice cream.”

“We strive to put together the right ingredients to offer a magical three days for our visitors – and given the previous two Midsummer Beer Happenings have each attracted almost 5,000 people, we like to think we are getting the mix right.”

Also in the mix is the Happening’s infamous cycling sportive. It offers three routes, the Undo at 52 miles, the Redo at 70 miles and the Dinnaedo at 100 miles – all of them with some challenging hill climbs thrown in.

As a sporting event it is growing in popularity and this year will see some 500 riders taking on the course, which includes the Cairn O’Mount.

Midsummer beer festival

Picture: The Midsummer Beer Happening, supplied

The Midsummer Beer Happening has established a reputation for its friendly, vibrant, but still laidback atmosphere with a real sense of fun and excitement, said Robert.

He added: “It’s the people who come along who make the festival a success, so we are looking forward to welcoming thousands of beer fans to enjoy great brews, cool tunes, fabulous food and, hopefully, all in glorious midsummer sunshine.”

The Midsummer Beer Happening is not only about offering a good time, but doing good for the community. As a not-for-profit event it ploughs profits back into charities and good causes in the town.

As a result, the Happening hopes to raise thousands of pounds for three local charities this year. They are Stonehaven Sea Cadets; Stonehaven Tennis Club and the Stonehaven fundraising group for Guide Dogs For The Blind.

Robert said: “We are delighted to be helping such great causes. In particular, we hope to raise enough money to help pay for a guide puppy’s training and be given the honour of naming that puppy.”

“We thought we’d get visitors help by asking them to choose from a shortlist of three names – Summer, Topaz and Zeus, all types of hops used in beer making.”

“At the festival, we will have three barrels with each name on them. Visitors can vote for their favourite by popping in any leftover beer tokens at the end of the night.”

“The name with the most tokens wins and all the revenue generated from the barrels will go to the Guide Dog fundraising group.”

Robert praised the volunteers who make the Happening happen. “Everyone working at the event, from the folk welcoming you at the door, to those pulling pints and saying goodbye to you at the end of a great night are freely giving up their time to make the Happening a success. I can’t thank them, or our many sponsors, enough.”

“Many months of work have gone into getting us to this point where we can welcome back old friends, make new ones and put on a party people will never forget.”

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