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Midsummer Beer Happening: Everything you need to know about the beer festival in Stonehaven

Misdummer Beer Happening returns. Picture by Kenny Elrick.
Misdummer Beer Happening returns. Picture by Kenny Elrick.

Beer fans are gearing up for a weekend of fun at Stonehaven’s Midsummer Beer Happening (MSBH) this June.

The not-for-profit event, which is organised by local beer enthusiasts, will make its return to the north-east and will welcome thousands through its marquee doors over three days.

Robert Lindsay who is also the managing director of local beer firm Six Degrees North is the main man behind the event.

Well attended every year since its inception in 2009, Robert says there is something for everyone at this year’s festival and he hopes to see around 6,500 people attend across the weekend.

Midsummer Beer Happening in 2019.

When and where does Midsummer Beer Happening take place?

The MSBH three day celebration is run entirely by volunteers and is held in a specialty-built marquee in the town’s Baird Park.

It will run from Thursday June 16 to Saturday June 18.

  • Thursday: 4.30-11pm
  • Friday: 4.30-11pm
  • Saturday: Noon to 11pm

How much are tickets?

Tickets to each of the days cost £27 and include a commemorative glass plus one pour of the festival beer.

A weekend pass is priced at £43.

The beer festival in 2017. Picture by Kenny Elrick.

A beer dinner event will take place on the Thursday from 5.30pm at the Marine Hotel in Stonehaven. It features a five course beer dinner with each course matched with beers and will be presented by a beer sommelier. At 7.30pm the group will make their way to MSBH. Tickets cost £63 and include entry to the festival.

What brewers will be there?

More than 120 different beers will be available to try out.

There will be seven local brewers in attendance from Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. They include Six Degrees North, Brew Toon, Fierce Beer, Burnside Brewery, Reid’s Gold Brewing Company, Mad Bush and Big Fish Brewing Co.

A refreshing brew. Picture supplied by Barry Howie.

Seven other breweries from across Scotland from Edinburgh to Cromarty are making the trip to Stonehaven. Included in the line-up is Overtone Brewing Co, Vault City, Newbarns, Tempest Brewing Co, Cromarty Brewing Co, 71 Brewing and Five Kingdoms.

Other firms involved are Seine Vallee, Wylam Brewery, North Brewing Co. Polly’s Brew Co, Track Brewing Co, Pilot, Brasserie de la Senne, Boon Lembeek, Schofferhofer and many more. These businesses’ brews will be at the keg and cask bar.

What’s the festival beer?

Six Degrees North will be making the festival beer which is a dry-hopped pilsner.

It comes in at 5.1% ABV and everyone will get the opportunity to taste it.

Any other drinks than just beer?

While MSBH is a beer festival, those going will also be able to get their hands on kombucha and cider.

There will be flavoured cider and there will also be fruit beers and vegan and gluten-free ones, too.

Will there be food?

Festivalgoers need not to worry about the food offering as there will be plenty different options available to tuck into.

Stonehaven’s award-winning chipper The Bay will bring their The Bay On The Road food truck with them to the event, serving up delicious chip shop favourites. The town’s Seafood Bothy will also be present offering a range of dishes made from freshly caught seafood.

Haddock and chips from The Bay. Picture by Scott Baxter.

Aberdeen’s barbecue heavyweights Smoke and Soul will also be in attendance with their pulled meats and popular dishes. Castleton Farm and Wark Farm Pies from Aberdeenshire will serve up a range of tasty treats and the highly sought after pies.

There will be chairs and tables for around 30% of the capacity.

A weekend of live music

Numerous local artists and bands will perform across the festival weekend.

Like the volunteers organising the festival, they are performing voluntarily.

Thursday

  • 6.45pm Marisha Addison Quintet
  • 8pm Broken Creels
  • 9.30pm Richard Hannay and the 39 Steps

Friday

  • 6pm Los Acousticos Bandidos
  • 7pm. The Struttin’ Futrets
  • 8.15pm Voodoo Vibe
  • 9.30pm Funk Connection

Saturday

  • 2.15pm Jazz at the Blue Lamp Community Big Band
  • 3.45pm Ray Moore
  • 5pm Scottish Quo
  • 6.30pm The Kymatiks
  • 8pm Further On
  • 9.30pm Reloaded

Cashless operation

This year the festival is using a new cashless system called TicketCo Wallet.

Looking to become more sustainable, it will allow the event to reduce the amount of plastic tokens on-site.

Festivalgoers will need to download the TicketCo Wallet app on their phones in order to purchase any beer or food.

Once the app has been download and  you have signed into it, select the ‘Cashless’ button then ‘Find Cashless Event’. Search for ‘MSBH Cashless Beer & Food’ and then add cash to your wallet by buying virtual beer tokens.

When ready to purchase goods press ‘Use’ which will generate a unique QR Code to present to the bar before ordering beer or food.

Below is a useful video which outlines how to download and use the app.

Can I bring my children?

Children under 18 are permitted to attend the event on Saturday June 18 from noon to 5pm only.

They do not require a ticket for entry but must vacate the premises by 5pm due to licensing laws.

What about my dog?

The festival site is usually very busy but attendees are welcome to bring their dogs along with them. They must be kept on a lead at all times.

Supporting local charities

MSBH supports a range of charities every year

In 2019 the event raised £52K for good causes and has generated more than £170K since it started as Stonehaven Beer Festival in 2009.

Volunteers pour beer. Picture by Kenny Elrick.

As a not-for-profit event, the organisers believe the money raised in the town should stay in the town.

Youth groups to Stonehaven’s world famous Fireballs ceremony will be supported this year.

The main beneficiaries of this year’s event will be:

  • Stonehaven Fireballs Association
  • Stonehaven Sea Cadets
  • Stonehaven Air Training Corps
  • Caronhill School which is for pupils with complex additional support needs

Also being supported this year will be:

  • Stonehaven Folk Festival
  • Stonehaven Men’s Shed
  • Stonehaven Yacht Club
  • Rhythm Nation Dance and Fitness
  • Stonehaven Cricket Club

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