North Hop festival set to return to Glasgow

Festival season is upon us, and the new kid on the block in Glasgow is the North Hop food and drink festival

Published 2nd Jun 2017
Updated 18 th Sep 2023

Enjoy the best of Scotland's burgeoning food and drink scene at the North Hop Festival, which is set to kick off in Glasgow on the 16th and 17th June.

Taking place at SWG3 over three sessions, the festival will present a feast of new drinks, street food and music, as well as a one-off live brewing demonstration by Great British Bake Off star turned brewer, James Morton.

James, who is an NHS doctor, as well as a partner in Glasgow-based Out of Town Brewing, will be showing craft beer lovers how they can brew their own beer, from mashing to fermentation.

North Hop
Picture: courtesy of Martin Shields

Out of Town Brewing's Richard O’Brien explains: "We are very excited about the live brew demo. It's a lengthy five hours long process so James will be doing one demo on the Saturday afternoon session and a show-and-tell during Friday and Saturday night's sessions.

"We'll be brewing a smash beer and James will talk people through the process, giving top tips on technique, necessary equipment and how to do it without breaking the bank."

Great new music is always on the North Hop menu and the Glasgow festival will feature a number of emerging acts, including Saturday night headliners, Foreignfox, and alternative rock favourites We Came From Wolves headlining the Friday evening session.

North Hop was started up three years ago by Highland-based Michelle Russell. Since the first festival took place in Inverness, Michelle has turned her passion for craft beer, ciders, gin and street food into a series of indoor festivals and events in Inverness, Aberdeen, Aviemore, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

North Hop
Picture: Michelle Russell, director of roving food and drink festival, North Hop. Photograph by Martin Shields

One of the festival's trademarks is introducing specially made festival drinks to each festival.

For North Hop Glasgow, the all-new Dog Days Gin (fruity and spicy, with a tang of juniper and orange) has been made by Perthshire-based Persie Distillery.  Another summertime sensation comes from St Andrews Brewing Co. Their Festival Brew will be a Bramble Saison, made using local brambles from around the town of St Andrews.

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The Festival Cider is made by Thistly Cross Cider. The Dunbar-based brewery's Farmhouse Cider has been a huge hit at previous North Hops and is back by popular demand.

North Hop favourite, The Hop Sessions, will involve Aelder (also from Dunbar), as well as St Andrews Brewing Co, Out of Town Brewing and The Glasgow Distillery Co. These tasters sessions are free-to-attend at festival but spaces are limited.

There will be a number of new beers from the breweries at the festival with something to suit everyone. Eyeball Brewing, a microbrewery from Cockenzie in East lothian, is showcasing a new beer, Eyeball Orange, a 6.5% dark orange lager which offers a different perspective on the coffee and chocolate flavours of the dark malts.

The growth in the Scottish gin market is reflected in a raft of new gins. Jindea Single Estate Tea Gin is a new line from Aberdeen's 10 Dollar Shake. The Glasgow Distillery Co will also be serving up a selection of different editions of Makar Glasgow gin.

drinks Glasgow
Picture: Makar Glasgow Gin Facebook

Social enterprise companies, Brewgooder and The Common Grind will also be setting up stalls at SWG3. Brewgooder is an initiative which sees funds from sales of their craft beer going towards funding clean water projects in Africa. The Common Grind, a catering company based in Kilbarchan serves coffee and cake, providing training and employment opportunities in the catering industry for people struggling to find work.

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North Hop
Picture: Brewgooder Twitter

True to form, the North Hop Glasgow street food offering is diverse, featuring everything from Loch Fyne oysters to Indian nanwiches. As always, there are plenty of options for vegetarians and vegans too.

North Hop Director, Michelle Russell, said: "We are delighted to be hosting the second edition of North Hop Glasgow, introducing yet more new tastes and flavours to a discerning Glaswegian audience.

"I am really excited to be bringing a host of local and Scotland-wide producers to North Hop Glasgow. We have seven different breweries, five bars, five street food vendors, four market traders and the usual combination of unique North Hop experiences, such as our live photo booth, with some special summer accessories."

North Hop
Picture: Martin Shields

"I always describe North Hop as a blend of cocktail lounge meets beer hall with a unique atmosphere. North Hop is rustic yet refined, and has the feel of an outdoor festival with indoor conveniences, and luxuries. We’re passionate about introducing new tastes to new audiences and Scotland has so much to offer in terms of its food and drink.

"It's a great time of year to host this kind of event because everyone is getting into the summer vibe. Tickets are selling fast so I'd advise everyone thinking about attending to buy now."

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