PITTODRIE stadium will be ringing to cheers of a different sort when 3,500 ale lovers descend on the venue for a major beer festival.
More than 70 breweries from all over the UK will be showcasing their finest drafts during the three-day Great Grampian Beer Festival.
The stadium is welcoming back the festival for the seventh successive year – a period which has seen it grow to become one of the biggest draws on Scotland’s real ale calendar.
David McDonald, general manager with Sodexo Prestige at Pittodrie, the football club’s catering and hospitality partner, said: “This is a long-running and highly-respected event which attracts real ale lovers from all over the north east and beyond. So we are delighted to be hosting the event again.
“It is a recognition of the hard work by everyone working at the football club that the stadium is now recognised as a flexible venue which extends way beyond match days.
“Pittodrie is an important part of the fabric of Aberdeen and important to the community. Providing a home for the Great Grampian Beer Festival really demonstrates that.”
Thirsty punters who visit the festival between May 30 and June 1 will have the chance to sample more than 100 real ales from all across the UK which will be served in the renowned Richard Donald stand.
Richard Jones, the festival’s organiser, said: “This will be our seventh year at Pittodrie as the facilities are perfect for the thousands of guests we welcome each year over the three days.
“Using the football ground makes it easy to cope with the high volume of people we have coming in and out. There is plenty of space and the facilities are modern.
“That means beer lovers can look forward to a weekend of experiencing new ales and enjoying the fantastic atmosphere that comes with the stadium.
“We are expecting about 3500 people this year with about 1800 guests on the Friday alone. People can wander around, chat with friends and just enjoy the chance to sample a wide variety of British beers while the venue takes care of the rest.
“There is even seating available for some of the guests which is something we have never had in the previous 20 events before we moved to Pittodrie.”
Sodexo Prestige is the corporate dining, hospitality and events division of Sodexo and partners with 17 top class venues in Scotland – and 50 across the UK – including Pittodrie.
Other partners include Hampden stadium, Hamilton Park and Perth race courses and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Sodexo Prestige also provides catering for The Open Championship, one of the world’s biggest golfing events.
As well as providing match day hospitality at Pittodrie, Sodexo Prestige has helped build up a thriving business in non match day meetings and events including conferences, exhibitions, weddings and private parties.
The 27th Great Grampian Beer Festival will take place from May 30 to June 1 and will feature dark stouts, milds, bitters, speciality beers, perry, barley wines and ciders.
Entry is £5 and includes a festival programme, commemorative ale festival glass and gives guests re-entry throughout the weekend. A special bus will also be running over the weekend to ensure all guests can arrive and return home safely or return to the city centre.
Before the gates open at 4pm on May 30, the Champion Bitter of Scotland will be announced after a blind taste of seven finalists. The winning bitter will then be on offer throughout the day alongside the 100 other specialist beverages.
The beer festival is being held in aid of Believe in Children Barnardo’s Scotland, the Campaign for Real Ale and Fyne Ales Scotland.
More information about the event can be found on the Real Ale Festival’s website: www.aberdeencamra.co.uk