The Banchory Beer Festival takes place this weekend at the Deeside Rugby Club pitches in Banchory. Over 4,000 beer-lovers are expected to attend over the festival’s three days. Mearns Matters spoke to the brothers behind the festival.
The festival, now in its fifth year, runs from Friday 10 – Sunday 12 this month.
Its first appearance in August 2014 was the first time its organisers, brothers Mungo and Guy Finlayson, had set-up such an event.
Since then they have been joined by another organiser, Eoin Macdonald, and the festival has gone from a two day event to a three day one.
Their aim in setting up the festival was to bring something a bit new and interesting to the area — a change from cows and sheep, they said. Since the success of the first one they have continued to run it and it has grown in size each year. They have also gone on to found a number of other festivals in the area.
Preparation for the next year’s festival begins almost as soon as this one ends.
The festival this month is the second run by the brothers in Banchory this year. A smaller beer festival was held at the Woodend Barn back in February.
Apart from their events in Banchory, they run two more beer festivals in Inverurie. A smaller one takes place in April at Lochter, while the larger summer festival takes place in September at Thainstone. The first was held in 2015 off the back of the one in Banchory and they have run it every year since along with the Banchory one.
In November last year the brothers held a gin festival in Duthie Park in Aberdeen featuring live music, food from places like Pizza Geeks, and gins from across Scotland. They hope to bring the festival back again and say their next steps are moving forward with that brand.
This year’s festival will take place in one large marquee where, in previous years, two were used.
At this weekend’s festival a selection of 30 beers from across the UK will be on offer each day as well as a range of Scottish gins, rum by Dark Matter Distillers (based only half a mile from the site), ciders including from Thistly Cross, and prosecco.
In case you need some food after all that, the award-winning Shri Bheemas will be there, as will Pizza Geeks, and Screaming Peacock (a gourmet burger bar).
For entertainment, there will be live music from bands including Tidelines and Starsky
While the Friday and Saturday are strictly for those aged 18 and over, Sunday is a family day with variety of fun activities for children, including face painting, balloon artists, magicians, and bouncy castles.
A partnership between the festival and Stagecoach is in place to make sure it is easy for people to reach the festival. Extra buses run on the 201, 202, and 203 routes at peak times and there is a bus stop just five minutes from where the festival is held.
As the brothers’ other plans, there is the possibility of starting a music festival in the North East, but their main hope is that this year’s Banchory Beer Festival is even better than the last and that they continue to improve.
You can buy your ticket online at https://www.banchorybeerfestival.com/tickets. All tickets are e-tickets so must be either printed out or brought on your phone.