Since it started six years ago, FyneFest has gradually developed a reputation as one of the best beer festivals in the country, by combining three key ingredients – beer, food and music. So after five years of wanting to sip some world class beers on the shores of Loch Fyne, I finally took the plunge and headed to FyneFest 2015.
First, some numbers for you. The festival features beers from 40 of the best breweries, with over 150 beers available over the course of the weekend. There are around 40 different beers on tap at any one time, but once it’s gone, it’s gone. Apart from the Fyne Ales though – unsurprisingly, they kept flowing all weekend. Tokens cost £1.60 each, with one token getting equal to half a pint of less than 6% ABV beer or one-third of over 6% ABV beer. Mix into this 30 live music acts and the numbers are looking well within our favour.
After a 90 minute bus ride from Glasgow, we stretched our legs with a wander up to The Walker’s Bar. Located in a bothy around three miles from the main site, we were greeted by burgers, great beers and an acoustic music set from Groucho Session.
Walk done, it was time for some proper drinking. The range of beers on offer was simply superb, although I was surprised by how few Scottish breweries were present. On the flip side though, it was great to experience so many different beers from across the UK and beyond. Some to keep your eyes peeled for in the near future include:
- Fyne Ales – Eureka!
- Left Handed Giant Brewing Co. – West Coast Red
- Brew By Numbers – Cascade Pale Ale
- Siren – Sound Wave
- Burning Sky – Aurora
And it wasn’t just the beer. The food on offer over the weekend was blooming delicious! Alongside beer festival staples such as burgers – although these were fancy burgers from Winston Churchill Vension and Burger Meats Bun – Loch Fyne Oysters were also available. After an afternoon of boozing though, we went with a beautifully fragrant Moroccan tagine from the boys at Bowl Food. We then followed this with sticky toffee and sticky ginger pudding with lashings of custard from Bumble. And following a few more pints, The Good Spirits Company was on-hand to provide some cocktails, which lacked slight in finesse but tasted great!
A one rookie error was probably doing the whole festival in a day…from Edinburgh. This involved leaving our flat at 9am – following the Scottish Juniper Festival the night before – and not getting back until 3am on Sunday morning, having JUST made the 1:30am bus back from Glasgow. So, the simple answer? A return trip to FyneFest next year, with tent and sleeping bag in tow.