2017 - Looking Back on a Hop Filled Year
Sunday 31st December 2017
It's been 6 months since we last looked back on our 2017 festivals and events. Since then we have had some summertime fun at North Hop Glasgow and Crossing The Rubicon a few weeks earlier for the launch event. We've launched the second Aviemore festival of the year in style at The Old Bridge Inn, held the very first Spirit of North Hop festival filled with awesome distilleries from across Scotland at the AECC. And then rounded off proceedings with our second North Hop Aviemore showdown in the Cairngorms.
So what were our favourite bits of 2017 you ask? Ok then, here goes...
We couldn't have asked for a better start to 2017 than a sell-out for our very first North Hop Aviemore festival! With an unbeatable atmosphere and some of the best food, drink and music from across Scotland with the backdrop of the stunning Cairngorms it really was something special!
One of our Festival Director, Michelle's favourite bits was creating her own little wonderland for the Mad Hatters Gin Tea Party at Velocity Cafe, Inverness back in March. The venue looked adorable, the food, drink and cakes were delightful and it was great to see so many folk make the effort in dressing up as their favourite Alice in Wonderland characters.
Our 2017 Festival Cider from Thistly Cross Cider - Having been hardcore Thistly fans from day one of North Hop we knew this festival special (which featured at all main festivals this year) would be a good'un and judging by the feedback from festival goers the farmhouse style Cider was a huge hit, just a shame it was limited edition!
Another limited edition hit from this year was our Aviemore 'Festival Cream Gin' by Rock Rose Gin creators, Dunnet Bay Distillers. This was then followed by a belter of small batch Gin from LoneWolf Spirits for North Hop Aberdeen, and then Persie Gin's fruity delight 'Dog Days Gin' for North Hop Glasgow. That's a lot of new gin in one year!
On the beer front our festivals have seen some pretty special one-offs and new releases tap out too. There was St Andrews Brewing Co's tasty Festival Brew's for Aviemore and Glasgow, Fierce Beer's tangy 'Serial Thriller' for Aberdeen and 71 Brewing's cheeky rhubarb Hefeweizen 'Rhuby Weiss' for Aviemore. Brewgooder's Clean Water Lager went down a storm in both Aberdeen and Glasgow (and we love to support their cause) and Glasgow based rustic brewers Out of Town Brewing kept the beer buffs happy in both Aberdeen and Glasgow with some brand new brews, some Hop Sessions chat and a live brewing demo for North Hop Glasgow. If we had to list all the awesome breweries and beers that featured at this years festivals we'd be here a while so instead we'll let you remember your favourites with a look back through our festival programmes for the epic beer lists.
From memorable beers at old favourites to memorable spirits at the new festival on the North Hop block - Spirit of North Hop. Some of the festival favourites (as per feedback from festival goers) in no particular order were El-Gin for their fruity cocktails and new Moray Berry Gin, UWA Tequila for their take on the classic espresso martini, The Glenrothes for Andy's whisky chat and tasters, Electric Spirit Co (the glowing orange bar, you couldn't miss it!) for James' gin knowledge and creative serves and SeaWolf Rum for their bangin' white rum and liqueurs. With 18 distilleries in total a lot of people learnt a lot of new things and made lots of new spirit friends.
And last but not least we have loved working with so many amazing and talented folk in 2017 and hosting to you lovely lot. We love that you guys are as passionate about North Hop as we are which makes all the blood, sweat and tears worthwhile!
So what's in store for 2018? Well as per our previous announcements North Hop Aberdeen will be our last festival of its kind (aaw, sad face!) BUT don't be too sad as we are working away to try and bring some new ideas to the table in 2018! In the meantime make sure you grab tickets for #northhopabz asap as we will most certainly be sending it out in style and it's guaranteed to be another sell-out!
Have a fabulous Hogmanay folks and all the best for 2018, slainte! 🎉