The 2016 Great Grampian Beer Festival

The 30th Aberdeen CAMRA Beer Festival will be held this year between 19th-21st May at the Richard Donald Stand, Pittodrie.

The Aberdeen branch began in 1976 with just a few members who still managed to hold the occasional beer festival in the Douglas Hotel and Beach Ballroom and by 1987 it had grown enough to hold its first CAMRA festival which was in the Cowdray Hall and was a sell out. By the second year the council gave special permission to use the Rhynie Man as the festival glass logo, the design which comes from a six foot carved Pictish stone.

In 1989 the festival moved to the McClymont Hall which was bigger and had a great atmosphere but was difficult for the set-up team as it was on two floors with a lot of stairs and no lift so involved a lot of carrying heavy scaffold and casks.

The McClymont Hall festivals ran annually until 2006 when the council advised it was no longer available so whilst worrying and searching for a venue luckily our festival director Richard Jones found the Richard Donald Stand at Pittodrie stadium where the 21st festival was held in November 2007. This proved to be a very cold, snowy event so to stop the beer and visitors from freezing in the future it was moved to end May / beginning June depending on the football fixtures.

Pittodrie is much more spacious and makes the set-up easier, being all on one level, and has better facilities. The number 13 First Bus runs from Union St in the centre of Aberdeen right to the door making it a great way to get to and from the festival. Food is provided by Aberdeen FC.

We try to showcase new beer and breweries each year and have over 100 different Real Ales supplied by more than 70 different breweries from all over the UK. We also have a range of ciders and perries and a selection of bottled beers from around the world. This years’ featured brewery is Loch Ness based in Drumnadrochit. The festival charity this year is the Aberdeen Lions Club.

This is the longest contiguously running festival in Scotland and we hope that our 30th will be the best yet. We would love to welcome you to the festival as a visitor or if you can spare some time please volunteer, further details are on our website: aberdeencamra.org.uk