North Hop, the Highlands and Islands’ largest craft beer festival is offering festival goers some of the finest Scottish produce the country has to offer. With over 60 craft beers and ciders available, a selection of artisan gins and creative cocktails, as well as an abundance of street food from all over Scotland, the festival has something for everyone.
Here we give you an exclusive look into the festival and the top ten things you have to try at North Hop:
1. The exclusive Festival Brew and Festival Gin
This is THE must try at the festival, as the Festival Brew has been carefully crafted by top Scottish brewers, Cromarty Brewing Co, using fresh raspberries to create an fruity, summer ale, exclusively for the festival.
The Festival Gin, a new concept to this year’s festival, has been distilled by the distillers of one of Scotland’s top gins of 2015, however you’ll have to come along to the festival to sample this limited edition tipple as the producers of this exquisite strawberry and rhubarb concoction will be revealed at the event.
A sample of the Festival Brew is included in the festival ticket, as well as a festival programme and a branded festival glass.
2. 10 Dollar Shake cocktails
If you like creative cocktails then be sure to pay the guys at 10 Dollar Shake a visit. Offering up some of the finest cocktails from their pop up bar, the team at 10 Dollar Shake have pushed the boundaries in the industry, offering up some interesting new cocktails and gins.
3. Something sweet…
For those who like to indulge in something sweet, the craft beer festival has a few delights that simply can’t be missed. Chocolatier Stacy Hannah Chocolates will have delicious handmade chocolates and marshmallows, Poporopo gourmet popcorn will have a number of unique flavours available, including; peanut butter, sweet ginger, chilli and lime and sea salt, and Highland baker Bad Girl Bakery will have gourmet brownies and cocktail cupcakes for all to enjoy.
4. Dirty cooking at the Adelphi Kitchen
If you don’t already know about these guys then you’ll definitely want to try out the Adelphi Kitchen’s unique style of cooking, dirty cooking. These meatheads love to use traditional cooking techniques, and have adapted these prehistoric cooking styles into the traditional market.
Teaming up with AK is hot sauce demons, Angus & Oink, allowing the AK team to offer up some of the hottest sauces to accompany their tasty dishes, you’ll be dying to get your teeth into these!
5. Giant Paella
La Tortilla Asesina, one of Scotland’s oldest tapas bars, will be serving up some monstrously delicious paella bringing the spirit of Spain to festival goers. This tapas bar is one of Inverness’ most popular restaurants to date and is passionate about bringing the very best of the Spanish tapas culture to the area.
6. The oldest brewery in the world is coming!
Yes, that’s right; the oldest brewery in the world will be the first guest brewery from outside Scotland to attend the North Hop festival. Weihenstephan, a German brewery, which is just under 1,000 years old, will be offering festival goers a real taste of German beer, and will be the only exhibitor at the festival who isn’t Scottish.
7. Scotland’s very own Limoncello
Caithness Scottish fruit infused spirits business, Berry Good, has created Scotland’s very first Limoncello. This exciting product, which is new to the drinks market, will be available for festival goers to get their hands on, as well as many other Scottish fruit infused spirits and a prosecco bar.
8. First timers…
Glasgow’s very own creative craft beer enthusiasts, Drygate Brewing Company, the UK’s first experimental craft brewery, will be at the festival for the first time as well as other newbies you won’t want to miss, including; Fyne Ales, Barney’s beer, all female brewery, WooHa Brewing Company and Weihenstephan.
9. Cider – it’s not just for boys
Craft beer and cider have historically been related to as a man’s drink. Not any longer, the creative team behind Thistly Cross Cider have something for everyone’s tastes buds, offering up some of the freshest, flavoursome ciders Scotland has ever seen. Gone are the days of traditional cider, as appealing as it is, the Thistly Cross Cider team have come up with a number of new flavours for festival goers to get stuck into including; elderflower, strawberry, jaggy thistle, whisky cask and ginger.
10. Gin’s the word
Scotland’s second most popular gin of 2015, and one of the most in-demand gin’s of 2014/15 is hitting North Hop this August, bringing a mammoth supply of gin with them to the popular festival.
Caithness gin distillers, Dunnet Bay Distillery, will be showcasing their award-winning Rock Rose Gin to the Inverness market for the first time. Brand Ambassador, Jody Buchan, will be on-hand to give expert advice on how to garnish the gin, creating not only the perfect gin, but the perfect festival.