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North Hop set to bring a new food and drink festival to Aviemore

A travelling festival which showcases the pick of Scotland’s burgeoning craft microbreweries, artisan distilleries and food producers is set to bring a dash of winter warmth to the mountain resort of Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands.

Published: November 24, 2016
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North Hop Aviemore will take place at the Macdonald Aviemore Resort in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park on Saturday 25th February next year.

As a nod to its mountain setting and the fact this is a special destination-led North Hop, the Aviemore festival will have an après-ski theme.

For one day only, the resort’s Osprey Arena will be transformed into a quirky combination of beer hall meets cocktail lounge meets barn dance, complete with live music and DJ sets.

North Hop is the brainchild of Gairloch-based Michelle Russell, who dreamed up the concept in early 2014, having noticed a proliferation of craft beer festivals and gin festivals springing up in the US and parts of the south-east of England.

Since the first North Hop took place in Inverness in the summer of 2014, this travelling festival has set up its stall in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

The North Hop Aviemore action will kick off with an eve-of-festival taster event on the Friday night in the resort’s Spey Burger bar following which food and drink lovers will be treated to two Saturday sessions: one in the afternoon and one in the evening. They can even partake of a special Festival Brew, Festival Cider or Festival Gin.

Another element of North Hop Aviemore is The Hop Sessions, which will see short tastings delivered for small groups held during the main festival sessions in an additional room.

Michelle said: “We are really excited to be able to bring North Hop to the mountain resort of Aviemore.

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“We’re passionate about introducing new tastes to new audiences and Scotland has so much to offer in terms of its food and drink.

“North Hop is constantly evolving and trying out new things and for North Hop Aviemore, we’re excited to be bringing a host of local and Scotland-wise producers to the party.

“There’s breweries such as the Nairn-based Wooha Brewing Co, Dunbar’s own Thistly Cross Cider and the St Andrews Brewing Co.

“On the distillery side, there’s Caithness’ Dunnet Bay Distillers, who produce Rock Rose Gin and Holy Grass Vodka, and Tomatin Distillery, which is based just a stone’s throw away from Aviemore with a pop-up whisky cocktail bar hosted by Inverness bar specialists Bars R Us, with more still to be announced.

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“It’s not all about sampling the new drinks. We go all out to bring the finest food to the North Hop table.

“On the North Hop Aviemore menu is; Edinburgh-based ShrimpWreck, who make wonderful fish tacos, Aye Love Real Food from Kilwinning with tasty Scotch eggs, sausage rolls and hot dogs, paella from Inverness’ favourite tapas bar, La Tortilla Asesina.

“Then we have teppanyaki from Macdonald Aviemore Resort and salads, fritters, cakes and gluten free treats from Aviemore’s Mountain Cafe. Folk can also pick up goodies from the likes of Linton & Co, Buddy Bear Designs, Loch Ness Gin and Caithness Chocolate throughout the festival sessions.”

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Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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