Plans laid for Speyside beer festival

Beer drinkers could soon be rubbing shoulders with whisky drinkers in the Speyside region. Picture: Getty
Beer drinkers could soon be rubbing shoulders with whisky drinkers in the Speyside region. Picture: Getty
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INNOVATIVE plans were announced today to hold a beer festival in the heart of Speyside - the centre of Scotland’s whisky industry.

All four microbreweries operating in Moray are joining forces to hold the region’s first Oktoberfest beer festival at Elgin Town Hall on 4 and 5 October.

Richard Lochhead, the SNP MSP for Moray, had first suggested the festival to the brewery owners earlier this year and today welcomed the go ahead for the festival.

The Moray Oktoberfest will bring together beers from the four local brewers - Brewmeister from Keith, Lossiemouth’s Windswept Brewery, Spey Valley Brewery in Mulben and the Speyside Craft Brewery in Forres - along with other beers from around Scotland.

Mr Lochhead said: “When I visited the recently opened Brewmeister premises in Keith I spoke with the directors about the possibility of getting a beer festival going in Moray, given that we now have four local breweries producing real ale and craft beer.

“I am delighted that the breweries have come together to work on plans for such a festival in just three months time, which will be a great addition to the Moray calendar of events celebrating fantastic local produce.”

He added: “Moray’s food and drink sector continues to grow and expand, including the brewing sector with four companies producing really excellent product that many people are already talking about both near and far.”

Lewis Shand, the director of Brewmeister, said: “It is good to see that Moray, which has a reputation for great whisky is now producing beer from 4 breweries which is sought after round the world. Brewmeister have just signed a distribution deal in the USA and another is on the cards in Asia, which is very exciting. The Oktoberfest is an event which will showcase the beers being produced in Moray as well as help raise money for charity.”

Seb Jones, the owner and director of Speyside Craft Brewery, said: “We have all enjoyed a great deal of local support for our beers, so it’s great to put on a show like this as a thank you. Hopefully the festival will show that it’s better working together on such a project; the breweries can generate mutual benefit while retaining their separate distinct identities.”