North Hop

Hey guys, I'm really excited to share this blog post with you today. Last weekend, I was kindly invited by Julia, from Just Julia, to attend North Hop. It is an indoor craft beer festival which has expanded massively since it started in 2014 in Inverness. It now travels across Scotland with the aim to raise awareness of craft beer and all that goes with it. This means that as well as some amazing craft beer you will also find cider, gin, cocktails, street food and live music — Sounds good, right?

As craft beer is something that comes hand in hand with being a design student, I'm slowly beginning to finding some serious love for it. So, what better than to go to a festival that is dedicated to sharing the best craft beer across Scotland with you?

The festival ran across the full May Day Bank Holiday weekend with 3 sessions to choose from. I took along my friend, Sarah, and we decided to go to the Saturday daytime session — which ran from 12pm to 5pm.

We arrived around 2pm and the beer hall was already looking pretty busy. After getting our bands, programmes and North Hop glasses we set off on the hunt for our first drink.

As neither of us are massively 'in the know' about craft beer we thought we would play it safe with a gin cocktail from 10 Dollar Shake. These were so refreshing and didn't have the perfume-y taste that gin can often have.

Next we gave Brewdog a visit and tried out one of their fruitier beers, the Blitz Apricot Raspberry. We enjoyed this while lounging across one of their massive bean bags that they had set out in front of their beer truck. Being a big fan of the fruit beers we went on the hunt for another and ended up at Drygate to try their Disco Forklift Truck Mango Pale Ale. This was my favourite beer by far as I went back for more in the evening session.

Food at beer festivals is key and when I arrived at North Hop I was not disappointed! They had everything you could wish for. From fish and chips from award-winning The Bay to some seriously mouth-watering BBQ favourites from Cue Barbecue to loaded nachos from Freshmex.

And for those with a sweet tooth there was some delicious looking creme brulees from The Crema Caravan or some boozy ice cream from Stew N' Drew's. Unfortunately I was waaaay too hungry to remember to take photos of the food I had — but all I can say is Pulled Pork Nachos with Guacamole!

When the first session finished I was left craving more so I decided to stay with Sarah from BlogsVlogsEtc and her fiance, Sam, for another few hours of sampling more beers.

This time because we arrived early to the session we managed to get a seat on the hay bales where we had a perfect view of the live music. All the acts that I saw were extremely talented and everyone seemed to be enjoying the music!

During the evening session, we signed up for a Hop session with Thistly Cross Cider. This is like a tasting session where the brewery introduced us to a couple of their ciders. After this we made a stop at their stand to try out some of their other flavours of ciders — I had a ginger cider which was amazing! I would also recommend their Real Elderflower or Real Strawberry cider.

Eventually, it was time to say goodbye to North Hop. It really was an amazing day filled with some incredible drinks, music, laughs and friends. North Hop is coming to Glasgow in June so if you are a fan of craft beer I'd definitely recommend getting yourself there! You never know I might even join you!

**Entry to all the sessions was kindly gifted by the North Hop team. However, as always my opinions are 100% my own**