As Deeside brothers Mungo and Guy Finlayson go into their 5th year in the events and festival industry, successfully running 15 festivals around the North-East of Scotland and creating three festival brands (Banchory Beer Festival, Inverurie Beer Festival & OriGINs – The Scottish Gin Festival), they learnt they were nominated and now have been shortlisted for the finals in the Scottish Hospitality Awards 2018 for “Best Scottish Festival”.
Mungo Finlayson said “I received a phone call a few weeks ago telling us we’d be nominated as finalists. I was absolutely delighted to receive this call, even more so as someone (we still don’t know who) had nominated us, making all our hard work building the festival up over the last few years worthwhile”.
The brothers will attend an awards night on May 29th at The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow. They are up against some tough competition with their fellow finalists consisting of; Southside Fringe Festival (Glasgow), MugStock: A Festival of Music & Merriment (Glasgow), Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival (Beauly), Borders Book Festival (Melrose), Glasgow Science Festival (Glasgow), Piping Live (Glasgow), Eden Festival (Raehills Meadows), Loch Lomond Food & Drink Festival (Balloch) and Knockengorroch World Ceilidh (Carsphairn).
Over the last five years the brothers have built Banchory Beer Festival up to be a ‘must attend’ within the North-East of Scotland event scene. The focus is on introducing high quality small batch beers, ciders, gins and rum, some for the first time on the UK mainland e.g. Isle of Harris gin within a few months of it being first produced. Dark Matter rum is extremely local being made less than a mile from the venue although now it is widely available. For those who prefer Prosecco there is also a choice of these too. Mixers are very important so as to enhance the gins rather than overwhelm them. With this in mind Mungo and Guy have worked with Summer House Drinks (based in Rosehearty) who have developed a range of tonics and lemonades to suit the different gins. These also make an alternative non-alcoholic option for those who might be driving although the locality was picked to enable easy access by public transport.
Each year something new is brought to the festival to keep attracting the festivalgoers back. They’ve featured bands big and small over the years including; Tide Lines, The Mad Ferret Band, Skipinnish, Sea Bass Kids, Two Thieves & The Burning Wood and Dougal’s Jumper to name a few. Food vendors are sourced to match the quality of the drinks on offer including Aberdeen’s FreshMex, Wild & Smokey, The Bay Fish & Chips and lots of others. Guy Finlayson added “On our second year of the festival we decided to bring in a family friendly day with free activities for kids, which allowed their parents to come and enjoy a couple of drinks while not having to worry about getting a babysitter or the constant nagging from their children for money for activities.”
Banchory Beer Festival is a biannual festival occurring in February at The Barn Arts Centre and the larger summer festival in August on the Deeside Rugby Club Pitches which has panoramic views south to Cloch na Ben. Hard to beat sitting outside enjoying good music and food whilst sampling a variety of drinks watching the sunset.
Prizing themselves as “so much more than a beer festival” and offering something for all ages and genders the 2018 Summer Banchory Beer Festival will take place on 10th-12th August.