Spirit of North Hop Festival to bring Scotland’s top food and drink producers to Dundee

Aiming to become one of Scotland’s top tourism destinations following the opening of the V&A museum, Dundee is now set to host a popular Scottish themed food and drink festival which will bring some of the country’s top producers to the city this month.

Published 14th Nov 2018
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

Preparing to take up residence inside a giant pop-up marquee at Apex City Hotel, Spirit of North Hop Dundee will run over two ticketed sessions on Saturday 24 November.

The festival, which celebrates Scottish spirits and began life in its original format – North Hop – in Inverness in 2014, will offer ticket-holders the chance to enjoy a wide variety of drinks, street-food vendors and live music, whilst sampling complementary 5ml tasters from 18 of Scotland’s most exciting drinks producers.

As well as brands like St Andrews Gin Co, Mothership Scotland, LoneWolf Spirits, Electric Spirit Co, The Garden Shed Drinks Co and Arbikie, Spirit of North Hop Dundee will also host pop-up bars from The King of Islington, Abandon Ship Bar and 71 Brewing.

Festival director Michelle Russell said: “This is the first time North Hop has put on an event in the Tayside area and we’re so excited about putting on a really fun event focused on bringing together great food, drink and music with a strong local influence.

“We have some fantastic extras too such as themed pop-up bars, a carefully curated makers market from Tea Green, street art and an ‘Urban Lounge’ from Urban Quarters.”

The distiller behind Tayport-based spirits brand Never 25, Kecia McDougall, stated that she is excited to be involved with the festival once more, saying:

“Our first experience was in March of this year at Aberdeen. The event showcases new and exciting brands in a great atmosphere – good food, live music and great drinks. The North Hop Festival of Discovery is great timing as part of the new renaissance of Dundee – expect something different."

Indoor ‘street-food’ stalls will offer a variety of foods including Mexican, Indian, Spanish Tapas, Canadian ‘comfort food’ and plenty of veggie and vegan fare, rounded off with sweet treats and locally brewed coffee from Angus businesses Artisana and Sacred Grounds.

Ms Russell added: “Spirit of North Hop Dundee takes place at Apex Hotel next Saturday within an amazing marquee that’s been set up to host large-scale events over the winter season. At the festival we’ll have a selection of Scotland’s finest distilleries serving up tasters, serves and cocktails. Under one roof expect to see the likes of Orkney Distillery, Arbikie, Kingsbarns Distillery, The Garden Shed Drinks Co, Never 25, Lindores Abbey Distillery and so many more who are all creating special drinks menus for the occasion.

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“Alongside the distilleries guests can expect lots of delicious street food, local makers within the market traders area, live music and a whole room dedicated to special themed pop-up bars adding something a little bit different to the mix.

“71 Brewing will also be showcasing their range of craft brews all brewed on home-turf in the Blackness area of Dundee along with a selection of guest beers.”

Cocktail bar Bird & Bear, which is situated nearby, will be the setting for a whole weekend of celebrations around the festival.

Tickets for Spirit of North Hop Dundee are £25 and can now be purchased online at northhop.co.uk/festivals/spiritofnorthhop or picked up from venues in Dundee.

Each session lasts four hours (1-5 pm or 6-10 pm), and the ticket price includes festival access for specified session, one 5ml taster from each distillery, a Spirit of North Hop glass and festival programme.

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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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