CAMRA Aberdeen, Grampian and Northern Isles Branch

Promoting Real Ale in the North East of Scotland

Beer Festival History

The CAMRA Aberdeen Beer Festival has been running for many years (2016 is the 30th). See the image on the right supplied by a festival punter who has attended 16 consecutive festivals. Can you beat that? Send us a photo if you can.

Early festivals were in the Cowdray Hall, until moving to a regular November fixture in the McClymont halls in Holburn Street. The festival continued to grow, and when redevelopment of McClymont Halls was threatened, the festival moved to Pittodrie in 2007. The festival was moved from November to end May/early June because of the football fixtures.

This is the 21st festival under the personal direction of the Festival Dictator Director, Richard Jones.

Recent festivals have had a "featured Scottish brewery" where we try to showcase a wider range of beers from a single brewery. Over the years we've toured the country but with the ever increasing number of breweries there has never been need for a repeat.

2016: Loch Ness
2015: Windswept
2014: Cromarty
2013: Fyne Ales
2012: Kelburn
2011: Burnside
2010: Deeside
2009: Highland
2008: Brewdog
2007: Williams Bros
2006: Cairngorm
2005: Atlas
2004: Valhalla
2003: Skye
2002: Orkney
2001: Inveralmond
2000: Houston
1999: None
1998: None
1997: None
1996: None
1995: None

The festival sometimes has a theme, sometimes not. But every year the festival logo competition challenges our ability to generate another pun involving sheep, rams, ewes and t'ups. Here are a few of the previous logos:

2016: Keeping it Real: Nessie Sheep
2015: Real Ale is Craft Beer at it's Prime: Prime Lamb
2014: Inspiration-Ale : Light Bulb Sheep
2013: Real Ale ... Unbleatable : Champion Sheep
2012: Thirst Amongst Equals : Olympic Sheep
2011: Silver Baa'Rlings : Trawlerman Sheep
2010: Pict By Camra, Drunk By Ewe : Pictish Sheep
2009: Ewe Hit The Baa'R : Footballer Sheep
2008: Summertime Br-Ewe-S : Surfing Sheep
2007: Unlock The Flavour Of Real Ale : 21 Key Sheep
2005: Real Beer Atlas'T : Hiking Sheep
2004: T'Up Helly B'Aa : Dizzy Sheep
2003: Real Ale & No Butts : Pint Butting Sheep
2002: Beer Warriors : Ram_Bo The Sheep
2001: Blue Leopard : Leopard
2000: Ewe 2K : Sheep
1999: Micro Magic : Rabbit / Hat
1998: Northern Lights : Handpump & Stars
1997: No Name : Wallace Sheep
1996: First Aberdeen & North East : Scotland Map
1995: Last Great Grampian? : Celtic Drinkers

What happens to the beer tickets you didn't manage to spend? Well if you were still awake when you left, you may have seen the charity boxes at the exit. We write a cheque to the festival charity to the value of the total of all those donations. Charities that have benefited include:

2016: Aberdeen Lions Club
2015: Archway
2014: Inspire
2013: Barnardo’s Scotland
2012: Parkinson’s UK
2011: RNLI
2010: CLAN
2009: Archie Foundation
2008: RNLI
2007: British Red Cross
2006: Archway
2005: CHAS
2004: Archway
2003: CLAN
2002: Archway
2001: Student Charities
2000: Archway
1999: Aberdeen Maternity Special Nursery
1998: Anchor
1997: RNLI
1996: Cornerstone