IT WOULD be a crime to miss the Stonehaven Beer Festival, as best-selling Scots thriller writer Stuart MacBride will officially open the event.
Stuart, the award-winning author behind the successful Logan McRae detective novels set in Aberdeen, will officially kick off the three-day celebration of brewing at Stonehaven Town Hall today (Thursday).
The writer and beer fan said he was looking forward to attending the festival, which attracts some 2000 people and raises money for local charities.
He added: “What could be better than beer and stovies on a cold autumn evening? Well, how about knowing that enjoying them helps support local producers, the community, and charities?
“So get yourself down to the Stonehaven Beer Festival and enjoy some fine beer. Cheers!”
To mark the occasion, organisers have named their special festival ale after Stuart’s new novel, A Song For The Dying. The book, which will feature the return of Stuart’s character, DC Ash Henderson, is due out in January.
Organiser Robert Lindsay said: “We are delighted to have such a popular North-east writer as Stuart come along to officially open the fifth Stonehaven Beer Festival.
“We’re sure he will have a great time along with the hundreds of other beer fans who will flood through the doors over the three days.
“This year’s festival offers more than 60 of the finest beers and ales from Scotland, south of the border and Belgium, so there’s something to please everyone.
“Over the years we have built a reputation as a fun, friendly, fantastic event. We’re looking forward to welcoming old friends and making some new ones.”
The festival also features a range of local musicians to ensure the beers and beats go together in style.
They include acts such as The Trybe, Voodo Vibe, Head Rush and No Hot Ashes.
The festival’s entertainment director, Iain “Skirlie” McFadden, said: “We have some skilled entertainers lined up to make sure that everyone at the festival has a fantastic time.
“It’s the blend of music, good ale and good craic that have helped make the beer festival one of the most popular events in the North-east calendar.”
And visitors to the festival will be drinking to the health of three local good causes: Stonehaven Sea Cadets, the Stonehaven Fireballs Association and the local fundraising drive for The Sandpiper Trust, which provides communities with lifesaving emergency equipment.
Organiser Robert added: “The fireballs are an iconic part of our town, with images of this traditional ceremony beamed around the world every Hogmanay.
‘‘The the Sea Cadets do so much to help give young people a great start in life and deserve every help they can get.
“The Sandpiper Trust equips medical staff in local communities with emergency equipment and training that saves lives.
‘‘What better use for the money raised through people having a great time at the Stonehaven Beer Festival.”
The festival will open from 5pm to midnight today and tomorrow (Friday), and from 1pm until visitors drink the event dry on Saturday.
This year’s festival is sponsored by Stonehaven’s brewery, Six Degrees North.
Other sponsors are Harviestoun Brewery (www.harviestoun.com ) and The Bay Fish and Chips, Stonehaven (www.thebayfishandchips.co.uk)
Further info at www.stonehavenrealalefestival.co.uk