West End Beer Festival

WEBF

The first annual West End Beer Festival is pitching up in Glasgow from July 31 – August 1.

Situated in Hughenden grounds – at Hillhead Sports Club – the festival will be sheltered from the elements, and include bars by Cafe Source Too and Good Spirits, as well stalls from visiting breweries.

West End Beer Festival organiser Conor McGeady said: “Some of the best Central Belt breweries will be attending, including three Glasgow companies only one year old!”

The Event will run in three sessions over two days; launching from 5-11:30pm on Friday, then reopening from 12 – 4.30pm on Saturday family day, before concluding 5-11:30pm that night.

Entry to the festival is £6, or £4 for members of CAMRA and Hillhead Sports Club; all guests get a free festival glass.

Yet drinking isn’t the festival’s only feature, it will also host folk music (by Babbity Bowsters’ bands) and family- day face painting by Lisa Good.

While being entertained guests can enjoy BBQ food, with a choice of beer from nine Scottish breweries.

These breweries include: Stewart Brewing, Jaw Brew, Ayr Brewing, Monolith, Floodline Brewing; Williams Brothers; Tryst; Fallen Alechemy and Fyne Ales.

McGeady said: “You never know what crazy collaborations Fyne Ales will pull out of the hat!

“And our three new Glasgow Breweries are sure to turn heads; Monolith Brewing with their outstanding Belwether IPA; Floodline with their Fearless Nadia IPA; and Jaw Brew with the impeccable Wave Wheat Beer.”

He added: “We also have great guest beers on our bar and a selection of beers from America, England and Europe at and Good Spirits bar.”

McGeady explained that Café Source has been serving cask ales and craft beers for around four years; instilling a passion that birthed the West End Beer Festival.

He said: “As Glasgow demand for craft beer grew I started to organise meet- the- brewer tastings that showcased different Scottish breweries.”

From there McGeady noticed a gap in the market for bigger events in Glasgow’s West End.

He explained: “There was the Paisley Beer Festival, as well as the Glasgow City Centre events: CAMRAS Real Ale Fest, and Hippo’s Great Scottish Beer Celebration; but there was nothing of the sort in the West End.”

So McGeady set out to create a West End Beer Festival. However, he knew it would have to meet Scotland’s high hospitality standards.

He said: “I have been attending Scottish drinks events over the last couple of years and the standard is amazing.

“Having enjoyed many well informed tastings – at events like Fyne Fest – I have found there is a thriving beer scene in Glasgow.”

And to prove McGeady’s point the West End Beer Festival has sold over 700 tickets.

He concluded: “Scotland is pushing to the fore of a global beer movement, the likes of which we have never seen. So people should come down to the festival and support the innovative companies making this happen.

“Visitors can have a beer and some fun.”

West End Beer Festival tickets can be bought at Cafe Source Too bisto, and Good Spirits Co shop.

Fyne Fest

FyneFestpic

Breaking the cycle of clichéd festivals, Fyne Fest returns for its sixth year of beats, beer and bites.

The boutique festival, running June 12 – 14, is hosting 2000 attendees, over 30 live acts, and 150 craft beers.

This is a long way from its humble roots, as Festival Marketing Manager Chris Black explained.

He said: “Fyne Fest started as a bit of a party around Fyne Ales brewery; celebrating its new and bestselling beers. However, as time passed, it has grown and become a full scale festival with music, entertainment, food and drink.

“The festival is held beside Glen Fyne River, in a site surrounded by hills. It is really stunning; there is nothing like it.”

Black added: “Every year Fyne Ales adds more features to Fyne Fest.”

New features of Fyne Fest 2015 include a Tap Stage in the brewery courtyard, which will host chilled music and a Fyne Fest Pub Quiz.

As well as this, 2015 sees the scenic Walker’s Bar open longer hours, with a bigger area, acoustic music, and food.

Foodies can also catch a break at Fyne Fest’s many stalls.

Black said: “The festival site will have eight different butchers selling their wares, as well as stalls with seafood fresh from Glen Fyne”.

And to compliment this food, craft beer tastings are being held in the Wee Tent (a new sheltered seating area).

Black explained: “Fyne Ales will be showcasing its world-class beers at Fyne Fest; however it will also be working with staff from Good Spirits Glasgow, to run a cocktail bar within the site.

“The cocktail bar is new to Fyne Fest 2015; it will feature an amazing list of drinks all served in a cool setting.”

Once refreshed, guests can dance the weekend away to the many featured acts.

Black said: “On Friday night we have a ska band called Bombskare, who are returning to the festival for their third year running. Bombskare have always been such a massive hit that we had to ask them back for 2015.

“Then we have a Glasgow band called Federation of Disco Pimp playing on Saturday night; they are really funky and bound to get everyone dancing.”

Dancing can continue on Sunday, when the acoustic area hosts the under-16s- jam, handing the stage to young musicians.

Any hangovers the music fails to soothe can be tackled at Zen in the Glen, where Glasgow charity Yogability will run free yoga and meditation sessions.

Further R&R can be gained at Sephora Health and Beauty’s stand, where massages will pamper adults and face-painting amuse children.

Black said: “Fyne Fest welcomes guests of all ages; kids under 16 go free, and this year we have special entertainment for them.

“The atmosphere is great; everyone brings their kids and dogs, and just has a good time. The vibe is really friendly and there is never any trouble; this is something the festival has become famous for.”

He added: “Fyne Fest has a reputation as one of the best small festivals in the county; last year 99.5% of its patrons said they would return. This year is testament to that because we have sold out.”

For information on this or next year’s festival, visit the Fyne Fest website.