Midsummer Beer Happening starts

WORKING TOGETHER: Sea cadets, dialysis nurses and patients and Midsummer Beer Happening volunteers give a helping hand to set up the festival in Stonehaven's Baird Park. Pictured at the front are festival organiser, Robert Lindsay, Stonehaven Sea Cadets sailing principal Drew Lawson and Stonehaven Dialysis Unit campaign leader Dr Ann Humphrey.

WORKING TOGETHER: Sea cadets, dialysis nurses and patients and Midsummer Beer Happening volunteers give a helping hand to set up the festival in Stonehaven's Baird Park. Pictured at the front are festival organiser, Robert Lindsay, Stonehaven Sea Cadets sailing principal Drew Lawson and Stonehaven Dialysis Unit campaign leader Dr Ann Humphrey.

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Thousands of visitors are expected to flock to Scotland’s biggest beer festival being held in Stonehaven this week … and they’ll be drinking to the health of others.

The Midsummer Beer Happening in Stonehaven – which will have the largest selection of beers ever offered at a festival in Scotland – has announced it will be raising money to help build a dialysis unit in the town.

The three-day festival, to be staged in a purpose-built marquee in Stonehaven’s Baird Park from Thursday, June 18, to Saturday, June 20, – will also be supporting Stonehaven Sea Cadets.

Robert Lindsay, organiser of the Happening, said: ““On offer we will have 118 beers on draught, including a massive range of craft keg, real ale and Belgian beers. That, with a range of bottled brews, means we believe this is the largest range of beer ever offered in at a festival in Scotland.”.

“We’ve handpicked the finest beers we could lay our hands from across the UK and the Continent and are sure our thousands of visitors will be delighted by not just the choice and quality, but also the food and music we have on offer.”

This festival is a not-for-profit event staged by local beer fans and Robert said organisers could think of no better causes to help than the dialysis unit campaign and the Sea Cadets.

He said: “We know that having a unit here in Stonehaven will make life immeasurably better for dialysis patients and their loved ones.

“We also know the Sea Cadets do a fantastic job with young people in Stonehaven, giving them experiences and skills that will stand them in good stead for life.

“We are delighted to help them and we know the thousands coming to the Happening will be happy to support these causes, too.”

The campaign for a new dialysis unit in Stonehaven has a target of £750,000 to reach. It recently passed the £500,000 milestone.

Dr Ann Humphrey, who is spearheading the Stonehaven dialysis unit campaign, said: “It is great to see the beer festival getting behind our campaign. We’re sure it will be a big boost towards making this unit a reality and improving the quality of care and quality of life for renal patients in the Stonehaven area.

“Patients with renal failure have to attend dialysis three times a week for between four and six hours … adding a round trip from Stonehaven to Aberdeen just adds to that time. It is bad enough trying to get through rush hour traffic as it is, let alone when you are feeling unwell.”

Stonehaven Sea Cadets have been supported by the beer festival in the past, when it was a winter event, held in November under the banner of the Stonehaven Real Ale Festival in the Town Hall.

Drew Lawson, sailing principal for Stonehaven Sea Cadets, said: “We are delighted to be supported by the beer festival as it moves to its new date and new venue. In the past the contribution from visitors to the festival has helped us buy new boats, new sails and enhance the work we do and the fun our cadets have.”

Robert said the new date and venue for the festival were in response to a clamour from visitors to previous festivals.

“We outgrew the Town Hall and frequently saw people queuing for more than an hour to get in. We’ve solved that by creating our own purpose built venue under canvass so, other than the initial rush for tickets, we shouldn’t have any queues at the Happening,” he said.

“In our three days at the Town Hall we attracted more than 2,000 visitors. We expect to see many more than that enjoying the Happening under canvas.

And this year we can guarantee the beer will be flowing until the very last minute of the last day of the Happening.”

The new location also means the festival can be more adventurous with food. On offer will be a hog roast, a barbecue and tasty Indian cuisine.

A line up of musicians on a specially built stage in the marquee means visitors will be entertained right the way through.

The event has already been backed by businesses and organisations with support coming from the Year Of Food And Drink, local brewery six°north, Harviestoun Brewery, The Bay Fish and Chips, Moir Motors, Boundary, and Bike Remedy.

Robert said: “This is our first Happening and we hope it will be a fantastic event that everyone enjoys, talks about and wants to come back to. Hopefully, we will see it grow to be one of the must-do festivals in the North-east’s calendar.”

The festival is open from 5pm to midnight, Thursday and Friday, and from noon to midnight on Saturday.

For more information visit www.msbh.co.uk