A guest post on the blog today from my friend Michelle Russell, owner of Snow Marketing and organiser of North Hop. Over to you Michelle... but don't forget to save me a bottle of North Hop Strawberry & Rhubarb Festival Gin. It sounds amazing!
As North Hop 2015 draws closer we thought we’d give all you Foodie Quine followers a short guide to what it’s all about, what’s on offer, and what not to miss…
What is North Hop 2015?
North Hop 2015, the Highlands and Islands’ largest craft beer festival offers festival go’ers some of the finest Scottish produce and best music acts the country has to offer. With over 60 craft beers and ciders, a selection of artisan gins and creative cocktails, as well as an abundance of street food from all over the region, and to top it all off, 24 live music acts, the festival has something for everyone.
When is it happening?
It is taking place on the 21st & 22nd August 2015, at Eden Court Inverness across three festival sessions. Tickets (individual sessions or weekend passes) are on sale via the Eden Court Box Office. More information can be found at www.northhop.co.uk
What makes North Hop different?
With so many festivals and events taking place across Scotland these days we wanted to create something that not only appealed to everyone, but also gave people the chance to meet the actual brewers behind the beers and ciders, distillers behind the gins, and the opportunity to discover new products and businesses.
North Hop is all about creating an outdoor festival vibe without the need for ponchos, wellies and midge repellent, as all the festival venues are predominately indoors, something which has proved to be a complete bonus this ‘summer’ in Scotland! We love festival go’ers to have fun so photo booths, selfie stations, market traders and live art are just some of the extra activities on offer at the festivals. North Hop does a pretty nifty job of combining a traditional ‘Beer Hall’ set up, and a ‘Cocktail Lounge’ with cosmopolitan vibes into one awesome festival.
Food/Drink Highlights not to be missed…
• Limited Edition Festival Brew and Festival Gin
For North Hop 2015 collaboration is key and we have teamed up with two fantastic Highland businesses to bring something a little bit different to this years festival! First up we have our Festival Brew in the form of a fruity, session IPA with raspberries from Cromarty Brewing Co, with unique artwork designed by Rebel Tattoo. And then, a new concept to this year’s festival, our Festival Gin, which has been hand crafted by Dunnet Bay Distillers (Rock Rose Gin), an exquisite strawberry and rhubarb creation, which will be available to sample and buy at the festival. Both products are limited edition though so make sure you get in there quick!
• Introducing the oldest brewery in the world…
The oldest brewery in the world will be the festival’s official first guest brewery. Weihenstephan, a German brewery, which is just under 1000 years old, will be offering festivalgoers a real taste of German beer, and will be the only exhibitor at the festival who isn’t Scottish.
• Creative Brewing…
Glasgow’s very own creative craft beer enthusiasts, Drygate Brewing Co, the UK’s first experimental craft brewery, will be at the festival for the first time this year, as well as all female brewery, WooHa Brewing Company with their exciting new range of bottle conditioned ales and lagers. Go visit their bars, chat to the brewers, and most importantly sample their excellent beers!
• Cider Galore
Thistly Cross Cider will be once again returning to North Hop with some of the freshest, flavoursome ciders Scotland has ever seen. Their exciting flavours include elderflower, strawberry, jaggy thistle, whisky cask and ginger. Cairn O Mohr will also be joining us this year from their winery in Perthshire with their fruity range of wines, sparkling wines and ciders.
• Crafty Cocktails
If you like your cocktails made with craft spirits and a bit of flair then be sure to pay the guys at 10 Dollar Shake a visit. These guys have pushed the boundaries in the industry, and will be offering up some interesting new cocktails, gins and craft spirits at North Hop 2015.
• Scotland’s very first Limoncello…available at North Hop 2015!
Caithness Scottish fruit infused spirits business, Berry Good, has created Scotland’s very first Limoncello. This exclusive product, which is brand new to the drinks market, will be available for festival go’ers to get their hands on, along with a fantastic selection of their Scottish fruit infused spirits served with mixers or as prosecco cocktails at their colourful bar in the Cocktail Lounge.
• For those with a sweet tooth…
Fancy indulging in something sweet? Well this craft beer festival has got you covered with a few delights that simply can’t be missed. Chocolatier Stacy Hannah will have a delicious selection of handmade chocolates and marshmallows, don’t miss Poporopo gourmet popcorn with their weird and wonderful flavours, and visit Highland baker Bad Girl Bakery for some gourmet brownies and cocktail cupcakes.
• No dirty dishes with this dirty cooking!
If you don’t already know about these guys then you’ll definitely want to check out Adelphi Kitchen and their unique style of cooking, dirty cooking at North Hop 2015! Teaming up with AK are hot sauce demons, Angus and Oink, and we can guarantee you’ll be dying to sample these seriously hot street food delights!
• Giant Paella
La Tortilla Asesina, one of Scotland’s oldest tapas bars, will be serving up some monstrously delicious paella on the festivals outside terrace bringing the spirit of Spain to festival goers. This tapas bar is one of Inverness’ most popular restaurants to date and is passionate about bringing the very best of the Spanish tapas culture to the area.
• Delightfully Artisan
How about some fresh, artisan coffee from Ovenbird Artisan Coffee Roasters, or maybe some rare breed, free-range Scotch eggs from Aye Love Real Food? Or perhaps you fancy taking some artisan gins home with you from our friends at The Storehouse at their pop-up bottle shop. Or if that wasn’t enough how about cocktails to your door from the craft cocktail box legends Tipple Box? We love artisan producers and think you should too!
So now that you’ve seen what will be on offer at North Hop 2015 what you waiting for? Go grab those tickets and get ready to end your summer in style…
See you there!
Michelle Russell, Festival Organiser