ROVING artisan food and drink festival, North Hop, which is setting up its stall for the first time in Aviemore on Saturday 25th February, has announced a dazzling line-up of food, drink and music.
There’s an On-The-Road feel to North Hop Aviemore, which is being staged at the Macdonald Aviemore Resort.
Channel 4’s 2015 Shed of the Year winner, Walter Micklethwait, is launching his brand new, locally-distilled First Edition Inshriach Speyside Dry Gin at the festival, inviting festival go-ers to sample it in perfect serves and cocktails from a rustic gin truck fashioned from a vintage horse box.
The transport theme continues with the arrival at the Poco Prosecco, a cute vintage Italian Piaggio Ape van parked up in the resort’s Osprey Arena all set to dispense fizz on tap.
Another four-wheeled friend in the shape of a black Citroen H van called Bernard, from Edinburgh-based Linton & Co will be serving up artisan coffees, Scottish teas, and brownies, to name but a few goodies.
Rolling in from Edinburgh, ShrimpWreck will be serving up seafood delights from their colourful food truck, and vintage vehicle lovers will need to check out Two Thirsty Men’s quirky Land Rover bar set-up.
On hand to record memories of the day and night’s action is a renovated 1960s caravan called Audrey from Inverness-based Betty Booth, which doubles up as a mobile photo booth.
The festival will have its own bespoke range of craft beer, gin and cider created for festival go-ers.
These limited edition collaboration products include a new Festival Brew from Fife-based St Andrews Brewing Co, a Festival Cider from Dunbar’s own Thistly Cross Cider and a Festival Gin from Dunnet Bay Distillers in Caithness.
North Hop Aviemore will take place at the Macdonald Aviemore Resort in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park for one day only during two separate sessions; one in the afternoon and one in the evening.
Reflecting the great outdoors on the doorstep, there will be an après-ski theme, advancing on the previous North Hop festival concept of bringing the outdoors indoors.
The Osprey Arena will be transformed into a quirky combination of beer hall meets cocktail lounge meets barn dance, complete with awesome food and live music.
Music is always a key ingredient in the North Hop recipe for success and on the bill at North Hop Aviemore is a line-up of up-and-coming Scottish talent in the shape of Dr. Wook & The Voltaic Disorder, Hollie Atkinson, Josephine Sillars, Carma, Footerin’ Aboot, Nicky Aiken and Moteh and Friends.
Local hero, Spud the Piper, who has played for Madonna, Ashley Judd, Jamie Lee Curtis and a host of other celebrities, will also be on hand to pipe festival go-ers into North Hop.
Gairloch-based Michelle Russell dreamed up the North Hop concept in early 2014, having noticed a proliferation of craft beer festivals and gin festivals springing up in the US and parts of the south east of England.
Since the first North Hop took place in Inverness in the summer of 2014, this travelling festival has held pop-up events in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
The Hop Sessions will offer discerning food and drink lovers short tastings delivered for small groups held during the main festival sessions in an additional room.
Michelle said: “North Hop is for anyone who is passionate about discovering new food and drink, as well as new music. We’re excited that it’s all happening in a location like Aviemore because it means people will get to appreciate the surroundings as much as what’s happening indoors.
“Our exhibitors come from all over Scotland but there’s a real buzz around the Highlands at the moment in terms of exciting new food and drink products.
“We have breweries such as the Nairn-based Wooha Brewing Co, the nearby Tomatin Distillery, who are bringing a pop-up whisky cocktail barrel bar to the party, hosted by Inverness bar specialists Bars R Us and Caorunn Gin, based just along the road from Aviemore in Cromdale.
“I’m also delighted to have local breweries such as Cairngorm Brewery, Loch Ness Brewery and a new venture called Two Thirsty Men, which brews small batch beer in nearby Grantown-on-Spey.
“The Festival Gin from Dunnet Bay Distillers is shaping up to be something special. It has been created by distilling Dunnet Bay’s Rock Rose Gin with Scottish cream making it very creamy, silky, and light in flavour – a slightly sweeter version of Rock Rose Gin with the cream notes coming to the fore. All presented in an old-fashioned milk bottle!
“There must be something in the water in Caithness because we have Caithness Chocolate; alcohol-laced chocolates in an exciting range of colours, shapes and sizes.
“It’s not all about sampling the new drinks. We go all out to bring the finest food to the North Hop table. Unsurprisingly, tickets are selling fast so I’d advise anyone thinking of coming to book now to avoid disappointment.”
Notes for editors:
Saturday 25 February 2017 – Afternoon Session – 12pm till 5pm
Saturday 25 February 2017 – Evening Session – 7pm till 12am
Wristbands will be issued to allow re-entry during sessions.
All bars and stands at the festival will be worked on a cash (some may have card facilities) basis and no token system will be in place. Strictly over 18’s only.
Breweries on tap
Thistly Cross Cider, Dunbar
Wooha Brewing Co, Nairn
St Andrews Brewing Co, St Andrews
Two Thirsty Men, Grantown-on-Spey
Beehive Brae, Wishaw
Cairngorm Brewery, Aviemore
Loch Ness Brewery, Loch Ness
Bars on tap
Dunnet Bay Distillers, Caithness
Tomatin by Bars R Us, Tomatin
Poco Prosecco, Edinburgh
Inshriach Gin, Aviemore
Caorunn Gin, Cromdale
Food on demand
Aye Love Real Food, Kilwinning
Macdonald Aviemore Resort (Teppanyaki), Aviemore
La Tortilla Asesina, Inverness
Caithness Chocolate, Wick
Linton & Co., Edinburgh
House of Harris Tweed, Inverness
Dapper & Co, Inverness
Betty Booth (Audrey – Retro Caravan)
Spud the Piper
Dr. Wook & The Voltaic Disorder
Moteh and Friends
£17.50 + booking fee per session.
Each session lasts five hours, and the ticket price includes festival access on the specified days/times, a North Hop glass, festival programme, and one Festival Brew/Festival Cider token.
Late nights buses back to Inverness and accommodation deals in Aviemore are available.
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