Wednesday, 25 June 2014

North Hop Festival, Inverness & Brewdog #PunkAGM2014

A guest post on the blog today. I met Michelle online (not on a dating website as has been suggested!) and we bonded over a shared love of gin, food and the highlands. She answered my tweet for an accomplice to attend the Kingussie Food Festival and I generously offered my services to be her plus one at the recent Brewdog shareholders AGM. 
Over to you Michelle...
Hello there foodie friends, I’m Michelle from Snow Marketing and call me completely insane but I am just in the process of organising the Highlands biggest craft beer festival, North Hop, due to take place at Eden Court in Inverness on the 29th & 30th August 2014.  North Hop was born out of, well, a number of factors…a new found love of craft beer, an ongoing love of gin and the realisation that it was about time Inverness got with the times and embraced something new! 


From running my own marketing and events management company in Inverness for the last 4+ years I am well aware that folk in the Highlands sometimes require a bit of persuasion to try something new. Change isn't always welcomed with open arms but with North Hop I decided to take the risk and jump in, feet first and I am delighted to say that the response so far has been immense.
So what is North Hop all about you might ask…well put simply it is a brand new project for Inverness celebrating craft beer, artisan gins, creative cocktails, Scottish food, homegrown music and more, the Highland Way! This is being done through a number of special intimate tasting events, being classed as ‘A Taste of North Hop’, regular monthly ‘Hop’Up’ meet ups, which will begin in August and of course the main festival itself.
The first festival, North Hop 2014 has already got a pretty impressive line-up and there is still more to be added. 10 breweries within the beer hall, over 30 live music acts spread across the main stage and an acoustic stage, a cocktail lounge featuring creative cocktails, artisan gins and refreshing non-alcoholic options, street food stands from across Scotland, and a few additional surprises too!
The 10 breweries confirmed for North Hop 2014 are as follows…Windswept Brewing Co., BrewDog, Cromarty Brewing Co., WEST, Eden Brewery, Inveralmond Brewery, Loch Ness Brewery, Thistly Cross Cider, William Bros Brewing Co. and Fallen Brewing Co…pretty damn tasty eh!? Within the cocktail lounge we have got the super talented guys from 10 Dollar Shake shaking up a storm on the cocktails and gin front, with a strong focus on craft beer cocktails, gin cocktails and Scottish gins. Joining them we will have Summerhouse Fizz with their delicious range of lemonades and Super!Natural with their natural energy drinks.
Foodie wise…well this line-up we are keeping under wraps…for the moment, but we can confirm that you will not be disappointed with the selection of Scottish street food that will be on offer. North Hop will consist of two sessions, Friday 29th August 2014, 4pm till midnight (£15), Saturday 30th August 2014, 12pm till midnight (£20) or you can purchase a weekend pass for £30. Ticket price includes a branded glass, a sample of North Hop beer and a festival programme.
So with lots of exciting plans still brewing up make sure you check North Hop out on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and then visit www.northhop.co.uk or call the Eden Court Box Office on 01463 234234 to book your tickets.

This blog post was written whilst on the train enroute to Aberdeen to meet up with Foodie Quine to hit up the BrewDog Punk AGM 2014! 

It's probably a good thing that the above post was written by Michelle on the way to the AGM rather than on the way home. A great time was had by us both but some people were more fragile than others the morning after the night before...
With in excess of 4000 people at the event Its fair to say that there were some issues early on with the time taken to get served. 50 minutes is a long time to wait for a beer. Even a quality one like Brewdog. With drinks finally in hand we sat down to watch the AGM presentation. The highlights of which included details of new bar openings, rebranding of bottled beers, outtakes from Brewdogs TV show and a guest appearance from Simcoe the dog.

The Brewdog artwork being created at the event was awesome. Particularly loved Mr Beardy Bloke. Reminiscent of Roald Dahls Mr Twitt but with cans and bottles instead of scraps of food lodged in his hairy face. We attended the Brew By Numbers and the Cromarty Brewery meet the brewer and tasting sessions. Great beers at both but the funniest moment of the whole day was Cromarty's Craig regaling his story of a pine martin in his loft. I reckon Michelle should book him for a stand up set at North Hop. Much hilarity and great banter from my fellow Black Islers in the audience.


Brewdog will of course be one of the breweries at North Hop. Fab wee video below to give you more of a flavour of what to expect. Brewing up the perfect festival takes time.

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