The first Midsummer Beer Happening in Stonehaven has been hailed a runaway success after more than 4,800 people flocked to the event.
A massive £16,000 was raised for charity at three-day celebration of brewing, held from Thursday to Saturday in a purpose-built marquee at Baird Park.
Organisers will now be able to give £8,000 to Stonehaven Sea Cadets and £8,000 to the campaign to build a dialysis unit in Stonehaven.
Festival organiser Robert Lindsay said: “We are absolutely staggered by the level of support for our first Happening and we cannot thank enough the 4,800 people who came through our doors.
“We also set out to help local charities, as the festival is a not-for-profit event, and to be able to give £8,000 each to the sea cadets and the dialysis unit campaign is well beyond what we had hoped.”
The Happening, saw 138 beers – craft, Belgian and real ales – on offer, while a range of bands and musicians entertained visitors.
Robert added: “One highlight for many people was the Saturday afternoon session when we were able to welcome children, which turned the festival into a buzzing family event.”
The Happening also staged a Saturday cycling sportive which saw 180 riders tackle the gruelling “Redo” – a 72-mile route which went over the Cairn o’ Mount and back again.
“It was a real challenge, but they rose to it – and were able to enjoy a beer, or two, afterwards,” said Robert.
He paid special tribute to the army of volunteers who helped stage the Happening.
“The support we received was incredible, from putting up the bar, to carting casks and kegs of beer, to pulling pints, to making sure everyone there was having a great time. All we did was ask for a hand and people flooded through our doors to make sure the Happening happened. And they all did it with a huge smile, which made this such a fun festival for everyone on both sides of the bar.
“We cannot thank them enough. Without those volunteers, many who gave up their time to work long hours, the festival – and the money it has raised for local causes - would not have been possible.”
Robert also thanked the sponsors and backers of the Happening to help ensure it got off the ground. They included The Year Of Food And Drink, six ° north, Harviestoun, The Bay Fish and Chips, Moir Motors, Boundary and Bike Remedy.
He said: “This was our first Happening and over the course of three days we learned many things and had plenty of feedback from visitors to ensure that next year’s will be even better.”