WHAT: The Midsummer Beer Happening in Stonehaven is ready to welcome thousands of visitors to one of Scotland’s largest and most loved outdoor food and drink events… some of whom might have spotted it on Google Earth.
WHEN: The Happening is a celebration of the craft of brewing, along with great street food and top musical entertainment held from Thursday, June 16, to Saturday, June 18.
WHERE: The Happening will be held in a purpose-built marquee in Stonehaven’s Baird Park.
WHO: The Midsummer Beer Happening in Stonehaven is a not-for-profit event organised by local beer fans.
One of Scotland’s largest and most-loved outdoor food and drink events will return when the Midsummer Beer Happening bursts into life on Thursday, June 16
Thousands of visitors are expected to flock to the purpose-built marquee in the town’s Baird Park for a three-day celebration of the best in brewing, food, and music, which draws people from across the north-east, Scotland and further afield.
Festival organiser Robert Lindsay said: “The marquee is up, the beers are here, the street food vendors are prepping and the musicians are warming up… this is going to be a great ‘welcome back’ party for visitors to the Happening after the pandemic.
“We know the many thousands who have enjoyed the festival over the years can’t wait to get back along to Baird Park to enjoy its very special atmosphere and we can’t wait to welcome them.”
The festival even has global status for its return this year, said Robert.
“We discovered recently that if you put Baird Park, Stonehaven, into Google Earth, the video fly-over shows our marquee and the event in full swing from 2019, the last time it was staged before the pandemic,” he said.
“It’s nice to know the Happening is up there with the Great Wall of China and the pyramids,” joked Robert, founder of Stonehaven-based Six Degrees North brewery.
The Happening – staged entirely by volunteers and not-for-profit – will offer 150 different beers and ciders during its three-day run, carefully curated to offer the best finest range in breweries and styles.
Robert said: “There is a strong Scottish presence for the return of the Happening with many local brewers coming along to showcase what they do, as well as breweries from across the UK and even France.
“There really will be something for all tastes, some beers people will already know and like and some new discoveries to be made.”
Good beer demands good food and the Happening has lined up award-winning street food vendors for its popular al fresco food court.
These include The Bay Fish And Chips, Smoke And Soul, Castleton Farm, Wark Farm Pies, Giulianotti Ice Cream, and Stonehaven’s Seafood Bothy.
Music is a key element to the Happening, with the finest local musicians and performers adding the event’s soundscapes in a rich range of styles from rock to jazz, funk to folk.
The Happening will also welcome hundreds of cyclists taking part in its hugely popular Sportive event on Saturday, with four challenging routes across the rolling Mearns countryside and, for the first time this year, a gravel bike course.
Robert said: “Since it was launched five years ago, the Sportive has become not just a key part of the Happening but also one of the most popular events in the cycling calendar. And why not – what could be better than cycling 100 miles then having a great beer afterward?”
Underpinning everything the Happening does is the money it raises for good causes in Stonehaven, with the not-for-profit event following a firm ethos of helping those who need it most.
To date the Happening, and its predecessor the Stonehaven Real Ale Festival has raised more than £170,000 for good causes.
Robert said: “We are so lucky to have so much support from visitors that allows us to extend a helping hand to others in Stonehaven. We very much our guests will be as generous this year as they have in the past.”
The main beneficiaries of this year’s event will be the Stonehaven Fireballs Association, Stonehaven Sea Cadets, Stonehaven Air Training Corps, and Carronhill 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, Stonehaven Lions and Mackie RFC Youth.
Robert also paid tribute to the army of volunteers who come forward to make the Happening work from setting up, to pulling pints, to clearing up after the three-day event.
“We cannot do this without them or without our generous sponsors who give so much every time we ask,” he said.
“But the most important people are the folk who come along and support us over the three days of the Happening. They create such a special atmosphere, one that helps make precious memories.
“This Happening one is both special and precious – a way to put the pandemic behind us, to just enjoy ourselves for three days, then look to the better days ahead.”