The May Day holiday weekend saw us heading to Northhop Aberdeen thanks to our press passes from Michelle Russell at Northhop. We wanted to get the most out of the weekend so we split up, Michelle and I heading in Saturday afternoon to sample gin, cocktails and food, sending our husbands in on Sunday afternoon to sample the beer.
The event took place at the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre over two days, with each session featuring craft beer, cider, gin & rum tastings, cocktails, food and live music. We were at Northhop last year and the thing that differentiates Northhop from other beer festivals we’ve been to locally is that at Northhop you are talking with the vendors themselves and not waiting staff drafted in for the day. You get to talk to vendors and sample what they have on offer, something that is essential if you want people to take an interest in what you’re selling – try before you buy. It’s also more interesting talking to the vendors and producers as they have a vested interest in what they are selling. Although not a huge beer drinker I do like beer and found a new liking for Williams Brothers Joker IPA, I’ll be buying this again.
Our first stop was to the Dunnet Bay Distillers stand where we had an excellent Rock Rose Gin cocktail (so nice in fact that we did return later in the afternoon), this gin is a big favourite with us both. After some dirty mac & cheese at Cue BBQ to line our stomachs it was time for more gin tasting. We both enjoyed Porter’s gin and picked up a bottle of their pre-mixed drink “Spring Fix” which mixes Porter’s Gin with fino sherry, elderflower and lime. At Eden Mill we sampled the “Chilli & Ginger Gin” and both bought a bottle for sampling later with some Ginger Ale. It was then time for a coffee at Brew Lab, albeit an alcoholic one in the form of the best Espresso Martini I’ve tasted, sickly sweet this was not – simply delicious. Next stop was The Crema Caravan for dessert perfection of Crema Catalan topped with rhubarb for me and salted caramel chocolate brownie for Michelle.
Sunday was a slightly more enthusiastic affair as far as beer was concerned, our husbands sampled plenty and had a great afternoon. Sadly trying to get much sense out of them as to what they had enjoyed was a little more difficult. The wheat beers at Windswept Brewing, West Beer and 6dNorth all getting a mention as being very good and was the porter from Barney’s Beer which was lush apparently! By Sunday afternoon Dunnet Bay Distillers had run out of their Holy Grass Vodka, much to my husbands disappointment, but we’ll now go and order a bottle. All this to the background of music with Best Girl Athlete bringing a real festival vibe to the afternoon.
For those of you who haven’t been to a beer festival then Northhop is worth a visit as there is something for everyone with a real focus on the quality and variety of vendors. If you fancy a great afternoon/night out, Northhop Glasgow runs 18-19 June if you happen to be in the city. Big thank you again to Michelle for inviting us along.