CAMRA Aberdeen, Grampian and Northern Isles Branch

Promoting Real Ale in the North East of Scotland

Frequently Asked Questions

When are you Open?

Thursday 4pm - midnight; Friday 2pm - midnight; Saturday noon - 11pm

What are Beer Vouchers?

In order to speed up service we operate a strict policy of "No Cash at the Bar". Beer vouchers are the virtual currency you use to purchase beer. You purchase tokens at the entry desk when you arrive, and if you drink them all then you can buy more at the products stand.

What are Beer Vouchers worth?

They have the same face value as real money. Every sheet has a face value of two pounds (£2). They read left to right, top to bottom. There is method in the madness, so please study them carefully and it will make it easy to do the sums. They are perforated to rip easily.

Why not use one token per half pint, like other festivals do?

Beers of different strengths attract different levels of government duty and therefore cost more to buy. It is CAMRA national policy for the price we sell to you to reflect the strength and cost of the beer you're drinking. It also means we can promote sensible drinking by encouraging consumption of lower strength beer.

What does a Beer cost?

About the same as you'd pay in an average pub. We're not the cheapest but not the most expensive.

Can I get a Refund on Unused Tokens?

We will refund complete sheets at the product desk. Incomplete beer voucher sheets can be dropped into the charity box at the exit. We write a cheque to the festival charity to the value of the total of unused beer tokens. All those scraps add up to a lot of money so please don't bin them.

What are the Towels for?

An  average cellar temperature for keeping real ale is 10-12 degrees Centigrade. There is no cellar in which to store the beer and we have no cooling equipment. So the technique of Evaporative Cooling, using wet muslin to draw heat out of the casks is used instead.

Why is that beer "Not Ready"?

Cask ales need to settle on the stillage in order that we can serve you beer in perfect condition. Some beers take longer to "drop bright" than others. Or perhaps this one was disturbed when it was moved forward and will take time to resettle. If we have two casks of one beer, and the first cask finishes on the first day then the second cask may be kept back for the next day.

Why are there so few beers left?

The festival is not a pub. We have to estimate how much beer we think you will drink in three days. Sometimes we buy too much beer, sometimes too little, and sometimes more people come than we expect or perhaps everyone is very thirsty. We do try to keep a decent range until closing time on Saturday. There are very few pubs that can boast "only" twenty beers left.

How many pints in a Barrel?

'Cask' is the generic name for a draught beer container. A 'Barrel'' is specifically a 36 gallon cask. Casks come in a range of different sizes:

  • PIN = 4.5 Gallons = 36 pints (you might see a couple of these on the rear of the stillage)
  • FIRKIN = 9 Gallons = 72 pints (this is the most common size at the festival)
  • 50 Litre = 11 Gallons = 88 pints (a few breweries use these)
  • KILDERKIN = 18 Gallons = 144 pints (these may make an appearance on the bottom of the stillage)
  • BARREL = 36 Gallons = 288 pints (too big for this festival)
  • HOGSHEAD = 54 Gallons = 432 pints
  • BUTT = 108 Gallons = far too much to drink
  • TUN = 216 Gallons = an ocean of beer