May 162016

Langstane picWith thanks to Susan Wood.

Langstane Press Ltd, Scotland’s largest independent office products company have chosen Aberlour Children’s Charity as their charity of the year.
Langstane have regional offices located close to a number of Aberlour services and are keen to help the local communities in which Aberlour works.

To launch their partnership, Langstane began collecting books and Easter eggs.

The staff had a huge uptake and delivered many boxes of books to Aberlour Family Service in Old Aberdeen.

The local service supports children and their families where parents may have learning difficulties or be socially isolated as well as supporting families affected by parental drug and alcohol use. Enough books and eggs were collected to be spread across services in Aberdeen, Dundee and Moray.

Colin Campbell Managing Director at Langstane Press said:

“We are proud to be supporting Aberlour this year and being able to help, not just the local services within the Aberdeen area, but also the services that support the communities close to our regional offices in Dundee and Livingston”

As well as donations like the books and eggs Langstane will be supporting Aberlour throughout the year, through in-house fundraising activities, taking part in events and volunteering.

Lydia Fyall, Regional Fundraiser said:

“I am looking forward to working with Langstane this year, the staff all really care about the work that we do. A number of brave employees have put themselves forward for individual events already and staff across all sites have lots of great fundraising ideas.”

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Dec 112015

Porter's bottleWith thanks to Jessica Murphy, Senior Account Executive, Citrus:Mix

The first bottles of gin to be distilled in Aberdeen for over 100 years are now hitting the shelves.
There is a rich history of whisky distillation around the city and shire, and a UK-wide gin boom, but there were previously no gin brands from the Granite City.

Porter’s was created by a team of licensed trade professionals Ben Iravani, Josh Rennie and Alex Lawrence, and named after Professor Andrew Porter from Aberdeen University, who sourced their distillation equipment.

In spite of being Aberdeen’s only gin in living memory, the team are quick to understate this claim to fame. Multi award-winning bartender, Alex, said:

“We are delighted to be playing such a big part in gin’s revival in the north-east, however it is our story and distillation technique that really make Porter’s unique.

“Gin is so important to bartenders across the world as a key component for cocktails, yet most brands were produced by large companies or family distillers. Porter’s is one of the few brands that was created by bartenders for bars.”

With bottles now available to pre-order from the first batch, the flavoursome spirit features aromatic and citrus notes which the trio are confident will win over traditional gin connoisseurs as well as those less inclined towards the juniper-based tipple.

The unique flavour profile comes from a fusion of traditional and modern distillation techniques. The equipment procured by Professor Porter, which is known as a rotary evaporator, allows botanicals to be “vacuum-distilled” at low temperatures. Through hundreds of small scale distillations and experiments with botanicals, the team discovered that this process extracts light refreshing flavours that cannot be produced in a traditional copper still.

The traditional component of the gin adds depth and balance to the flavour, and is created in partnership with a Warrington distillery that has been operating for over 250 years.

Ben, managing director at Langstane Liquor Company, said:

“Our whole production method is based on creating a unique but bold flavour for mixing drinks, and we put a lot of hard work into balancing the modern and traditional elements of the gin. We also use only 100% British grain wheat alcohol and certified ethically sourced botanicals. This all results in a world class product.

“The anticipation for Porter’s has been fantastic and we have been delighted to receive order requests already. Our first batch will consist of around 3,300 bottles which we are sure will go quickly. We have been in talks with a number of retailers both local and national, so there will be a number of different options for people wishing to try it out.”

Orchid and Ninety-Nine Bar and Kitchen in Aberdeen are owned by the sister company Monkey Bars Ltd and the group plan to sell Porter’s within their cocktail bars.

For more information or to pre-order a bottle please contact or visit

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Sep 072015

With thanks to Jessica Murphy, Senior Account Executive, Citrus Mix.

Porter's10A trio of trade professionals have become the first to start distilling in Aberdeen city centre for 100 years.
Founders Ben Iravani, Josh Rennie and up and coming UK bartender Alex Lawrence, have spent the past few years fine-tuning their gin – undertaking hundreds of small scale distillations in order to perfect their method and recipe.

They have been working closely with the UK’s oldest distillers G&J in a collaboration to bring a premium gin to the market this autumn.

The result is the flagship Porter’s Gin, an aromatic and flavoursome spirit which the trio hope will take off in the booming UK gin scene. This quintessential British drink has enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years, with 70% of all gin produced in the UK now coming from Scotland.

Their juniper-based spirit, which features refreshing aromatic and citrus notes, has been named after Professor Andrew Porter of Aberdeen University, who sourced cold-distillation equipment which allowed the team to extract light refreshing flavours from botanicals. This is an innovative approach to gin distillation with the vast majority of distillers favouring traditional, but less controlled, methods.

Ben, managing director at Monkey Bars Aberdeen, said:

“Gin is enjoying an incredible renaissance worldwide and is now the drink of choice for many. This is down to a number of reasons, including the role of gin in the rise of classic cocktail culture. The gin market has almost become saturated over the past few years, but the good brands are finding their way to the top.

“We are confident that we have created a unique and delicious flavour profile in our gin which will work in both classic cocktails and also stand out in the traditional GnT.”

Alex Lawrence, whose cocktails and palate have won him numerous accolades both nationally and globally, said:

“It has been an amazing opportunity to be part of a team focused on creating a modern gin with classic potential. Looking at it from a bartending point of view has aided us in creating a versatile but bold product and I’m excited for the future as I genuinely believe in the liquid we have created. We want to add a fresh twist to the market with a genuine and honest product.

“It is incredibly exciting to be a part of the gin movement and to have researched, created and now produced a flavoursome, top-end product. People are now more aware of the provenance of drinks and supporting locally made products. This is something we kept firmly in mind while creating Porter’s Gin, which we are delighted to now be bringing to the market.”

The knowledgeable team have a rectifier’s license which enables them to distil part of Porter’s gin within their award winning cocktail bar Orchid, while the more traditional part is distilled in partnership with G&J distillers in Warrington, the world’s oldest gin distillery. Orchid and Ninety-Nine Bar and Kitchen in Aberdeen are owned by Monkey Bars Ltd and the group plan to sell Porter’s within their cocktail bars this autumn, followed by a launch in London.

While Porter’s is the only gin currently being produced in the Granite City, this was not always the case. Aberdeen was once home to a number of distilleries and breweries, among them the Devanha Distillery.

More than a century later, Ben and his colleagues hope local gin fans will embrace their creation and kickstart a new era for distilling in Aberdeen.

Ben added:

“The best gins are those that have been created with a focus on exceptional flavour, and we have achieved this with Porter’s. Aberdeen has a fantastic bar scene and we are looking forward to introducing our brand, before looking to expand throughout the UK.”

Pre-orders for Porter’s Gin will be available soon. For more information please contact

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Nov 282014

ChristmasBy Bob Smith.

Christmas means a lot o things
Ti some it is present buyin
Ti ither fowk a time o hope
Ti the lonely it can bi tryin

“Gweed King Wenceslas leuk’t oot”
An aa the malls war  heavin
Fowk rinnin aboot like reid ersed bees
Fae bank balances cash wis leavin

Christmas time I like it fine
If aa ignore the retail farce
Fin some drink ower the score
An lan up on their arse

Christmas means bonnie music
Na nae the ringin o the tills
Bit brass bands an joyfu singin
As choirs show aff their skills

On the wireless tunes are played
Ti ma lugs es brings great joy
They bring oot aa the classics
A’ve kent sin a wis a boy

Christmas shud be a time o peace
As wi leuk up ti the stars
If onybody’s up ‘ere leukin doon
Aa they’ll see is bliddy wars

An yet in the midst o the Great War
Ae Christmas ‘ere wis brief respite
Fin Tommies an Jerries played fitba
An baith sides sang “Silent Night”

© Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie” 2014
Picture Credit: Ian Britton.
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May 012014

Inverurie Real Ale2By Duncan Harley.

The 2013 Garioch Real Ale Festival raised over £700 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. This year the Inverurie Community Music Festival will be the main recipient.
During the past 60 years the prognosis for cystic fibrosis has improved dramatically due to early diagnosis, better treatment and good access to health care.

In the 1950’s the median age of survival of children with cystic fibrosis in the UK was about six months. In 2008 survival averaged over 30 years.

Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects most critically the lungs, pancreas, liver and intestine. Characterized by abnormal transport of chloride and sodium across an epithelium, leading to thick, viscous secretions the disease sounds nasty and indeed it is. Sufferers typically have shortened lives and parents are left scarred by the knowledge that genetic issues have led to their offspring inheriting the disease.

The guilt often leads to failed relationships and ruined lives.

The main signs and symptoms of cystic fibrosis are a salty tasting skin, poor growth and poor weight gain despite normal food intake, accumulation of thick, sticky mucus, frequent chest infections and shortness of breath.

Males can be infertile due to congenital absence of the vas deferens. Symptoms often appear in infancy and although technically a rare disease, cystic fibrosis is often ranked as one of the most widespread life-shortening genetic diseases. It is most common among nations in the Western world. An exception is Finland, where only one in 80 people carry a CF mutation.

The Garioch Real Ale Festival was set up by Mike Stuart, co-owner of the Black Bull Inn in Inverurie. A film maker at heart Mike wanted to promote not only local musicians and actors but also to test the market as far as fund raising for good causes was concerned.

“There are lots of good causes” he said “and I am really committed to the arts in Inverurie and of course music, which is my first love.”

“When Cameron told me about his son’s experience however, I was humbled and right then I decided to find ways to raise money for good causes.”

“The Inverurie Community Music Festival needs a kick off micro funding wise” said Mike. “I am confident that the charity fund raising of the past years can be built on, to make this happen.”

As well as Cystic Fybrosis the Garioch Festival has supported the local theatre and film group ‘Right Here Productions’ who were targeting the Edinburgh Festival.

Over £250 was raised and the ‘Right Here Productions’ Edinburgh show was a tremendous success.

In 2013 June Ross, Regional Cystic Fibrosis Trust Fundraising Manager in Scotland came to Inverurie to receive a cheque for £700.

The 2014 Garioch Festival will be supporting the Inverurie Community Music Festival and it is hoped that well over £1000 can be achieved given last years effort.

The music line up for the Ale Festival is – Fri – Cyrus Rose with Support, Saturday – C-Red, Sunday – Dave Scott, Stuart Hossack and introducing Kyle MacRitchie.

Dates are 7th – 11th May 2014.

More info:

Garioch Real Ale Festival

The Inverurie Community Music Festival event was started by local quartet Duncan Peter, James Allan, Faye Walker and Mike Stuart and has featured some of the UK’s top Tribute acts – Dirty Harry (Blondie) and The Police Academy (Police). Runrig front man and Scottish legend Donnie Munro closed the 2013 event which was hosted in various venues throughout the Garioch Area.

Dates for 2014 are Friday August 29th to Sunday August 31st.

More info:

Inverurie Community Music Festival
About cystic fibrosis

Anyone interested in performing, volunteering or providing a venue for the festival should email

© Duncan Harley 2014
 All rights reserved

Duncan Harley is a freelance feature writer and photographer.

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Oct 212013

Old Men’s Wee – A short story by Duncan Harley.

Danny in Pub old mens weeThat smell of old men’s wee and stale lager hung around the bar.
Locals knew it as Guys and most avoided it like the plague.
Of a weekend, the place was heaving with folk racing to sink a few before the match and  then afterwards back for more drink before making an unsteady way back home, oblivious to the cold and dark and no doubt watering a few gardens along the way.

Tonight there was no match though, only Danny.

Over here, grab a pew, what’ll you have, you’re a wee bit late pal, party’s already started, where you been?”

Danny and me went back a few years, too many to be honest, but what can you do? Last time I’d seen him he was legless. Mind you his mouth was still working big time slagging off the politicians and the work shy of our green and pleasant city. ‘I blame the Tories’ was his favourite saying when he was pissed, often closely followed by crass remarks about the Poles stealing our jobs and winching our women.

There are not many Poles round this locality which is just as well, since Danny just thought he was being funny and probably would have no recollection of what he had spouted forth the next day, unless of course he awoke to some unexplained bruising.

In the 1980’s Danny had a business running strippers around the north east. Made a fortune, loads of hangers-on, everyone’s your pal while the going’s good sort of thing. Sex, drugs and money all around, anyone who was pals with Danny had a ball. Jack Daniels on tap and coke on a rope. Every night a party night, every day a new thrill.

Then, when eventually the big boys moved in, he was forced to bow out or face annihilation.

Then came a debt collection business, repossessions and the like

The heavies didn’t even bother to buy Danny out, they just had a wee word with him one night in some dingy Fraserburgh club backroom. Something about the depth of the harbour at high tide was mentioned and it was party over.

No more hangers-on. In fact almost no friends.

Then came a debt collection business, repossessions and the like.

At first it was just cars and tellies but soon evictions, Poll Tax debts, poor folk getting hammered and the like finally got to him. Overnight, Danny became an odd job joiner, skint but with respect.

 “Just a pot of tea Danny, black, no sugar ta.”

Get away, you been drying oot? That’s why I’ve no seen you for months, makes sense now!”

As I say, we go back a long time Danny and me. Join the dots and make a fancy picture, might not be the right one, but it makes a pretty sight.

Nah Danny, just out of prison if you must know. Aggravated murder with menaces. Got off with 6 months, judge said not to do it again or else. What you been up to?”

Ah right, nice judge! Just on the bevy to be honest. Chucked in the joiner stuff, doing a few gardens if you must know. Been writing.”

The drinks arrived. A pint and double plus a surprisingly-handsome porcelain teapot complete with matching cup and saucer. The phrase ‘shaken not stirred’ came to mind, and then a waft of reality emerged from the men’s toilets.

Writing Danny! That’s good. What kind of stuff? Poetry maybe, I remember you were well into the war poets at school? There was that Owen fellow, you were quite moved by him as I recall.”

Nah, nothing like that. Science writing mainly. Not that daft science fiction mind you. More like popular science. Stuff about wind power and those renewables. Solar power, that kind of thing. Power of the sun and the wind, I that’s it mainly. Kinda thought that if that Trump mannie was against it, then it must be good.”

Over the next hour or so, I listened politely to Danny’s theories of the universe and how to change society for the benefit of the masses and maybe in passing a wee benefit for him as well.

How we all need to cut down for the sake of the folk who come after us. How if Samuel Pepys had seen fit to award the Wizard of Gordonstoun £318 in 1687 in recognition of his invention of a ‘better sea pump’ for the Admiralty, then it stood to reason that the inventor of the solar-powered aircraft carrier would be due a tidy sum indeed.

How runways and the like should be covered with solar power arrays which would rotate to face the sun according to the time of day. How golfers should hitch their clubs up to dynamos when driving in order to generate power for the national grid.

Several pints later, with my tea cold in the cup I made excuses and left. I haven’t seen Danny since but wish him well despite the spectre of all of those aeroplanes crashing into solar panel strewn runways all around the globe.

I do think his idea for hitching golfers up to the national grid is a good one but I doubt if it would really catch on.

As I say, Danny and me go back a long time. Maybe too long some would say. But what can you do?

Sep 272013

PubSigns2By Bob Smith.

Some nichtclub ainers in Aiberdeen
Are vexed an fair pit oot
Cos ae pub can open tull 3am
Takkin some o their “loot”

Mike Wilson faa ains a club or twa
Wints tae open throweoot the nicht
Sellin booze tull it dawns sax
An idea fit’s nae aat bricht

Itherwise he micht lose siller
An eyn up cryin in his beer
Anither million doon the drain
Is aat fit his ilk a’ fear?

Is the billie fer the “poors’ hoose”
If cooncil fowk ignore his plea?
Wull he hae tae shut the doors
If wi him they dinna gree?

Wull club ainers gyaang “tae the wa”
As we listen tae their tale?
Tryin tae stir up sympathee
Or is’t anither “Epic” wail?

Aiberdeen wull be an open toon
Fer binge drinkers an face bashers
If the licencin board grant his wish
They’re minus screws an washers

© Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie” 2013

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Mar 252013

With thanks to Kenneth Watt.

Councillors David Cameron and Marie Boulton have been invited to the next meeting of the Aberdeen City Youth Council to introduce a debate on the recent decision to give a license to Cineworld cinema in Union Square.

Youth councillor Kenneth Watt, who has put forward the debate, said:

“I have invited Cllr Cameron and Boulton to discuss the Licensing Board’s decision to grant Cineworld a license to sell alcohol as I believe it is an issue of great significance to Aberdeen’s young people.”

“A large number of under-18s attend the cinema frequently and their parents consider it to be a safe environment to leave younger teenagers on their own in the evening or at the weekends. Allowing people under the influence of alcohol and youngsters to mix in this environment is potentially dangerous.”

“However, I see the merits of granting such a license and I am aware that in certain circumstances it could be used to the cinema’s advantage.”

“I’m interested in hearing the councillors’ comments and finding out what the rest of the youth council think of the decision.”

Jan 242013

The Return Of Tam O’Shanter By Hall H. Harper.  ( With sincere apologies to Robert Burns. )

When chapman billies leave the street
And drouthy neibours neibours meet,
When frae their shop an’ office biggins
Auld cronies meet at Geordie Riggins’
Tae sup strang scuds and guid French brandy
And oft times talk o’ houghmagandy,
(‘Though truth be tell’t, for a’ their clatter
A carlin widna’ thole their patter).

Then enter Tam fresh frae his wark,
Wi’ spreckelt tie and strippet sark,
Forfoughten, yamp and unco drouthy,
His mou fair like auld brock’s bahouchie.
“Quick lassie, barley bree!” he cries,
Then Souter Johnny he espies –
“Hey laddie, hae anither dram
Tae keep me comp’ny, bonnie man!”

So Tam and Johnny had a drinkie –
A gless o’ amber tinkalinky,
Then Johnny says, “Ye’ll hae anither
To help keep buck an’ saul thegither.”
“Na, na,” says Tam to Souter J,
“Just ae yin, then a’m on ma way!”
“Losh, losh,” says Johnny, “wheesht yer chitters,
Hae a gin wi’ angostura bitters!”

The ‘oors they passed intae the nicht,
By when baith were an unco sicht,
Then Tam minds Kate at hame hersel’
An’ says, “My life’ll be like Hell
If I don’t move my doup the noo
An’ get back hame tae you know who.
She’ll skin my hurdies tae the bane,
Yon glunshy, crabbit, ill-faured dame!”

“Nae bother pal,” says Souter Johnny,
“I’ll help ye spin a tale sae bonnie,
You’ll hae’r eatin’ oot yer mit –
So noo, let’s hae anither nip!”
An’ so the twa fiers had anither
An’ then the same an’ then anither
An’ then anither wan an’ then
They ’greed tae hae the same again.

But meanwhiles back in Laverock Rise
The sonsie Kate sits back an’ sighs –
She’s wash’d her hair an’ done’r nails
An’ watch’d the latest Emmerdale,
Had Chicken Korma an’, furra treat,
Some Athol Brose made wi’ Bezique
An’ couldnae gie a tinkler’s dam’
For the absence o’ the blootered Tam.

Noo back tae Tam wha’s haimewith raikin’
A stottin’, thowless, path is takin’,
Wi’ wan step fore an’ twa steps back,
His pair heid spinnin’ fit tae brak
An’ in his hert, terrification
That Johnny’s weel wraucht fabrication’ll
No swick his guidwife, mistress Kate,
Wha mith be gyte, but isnae blate.

At last he comes tae Laverock Rise,
“Oh hinnie lamb, I’m hame,” he cries,
“Oh aye,” quo’ Kate, “now let me guess,
Yon Britt’ny’s made another mess
An’ bootchet someone’s order up
So now, as ye’re the maister’s pup,
The hale jingbang befell to you
Tae bide an’ see the damp’t thing through!”

“Naw, naw,” says he, “an’ naw again,
I left on time but wid ye ken
I spied, as I passed by the kirk,
A Saturnalia in the mirk
An’ while I tried tae run away,
Auld Nick himsel’ bad me to stay
An’ had me towed up like a linnet,
By a strappin’ lassie in a simmet!”

“Aye, pull the other leg, big Tam
There’s bells and whistles on that wan,
If ye think I up the river came
On a watter biscuit – think again!
I’m no’ wan o’ yer office quines
That’ll fa’ fur a’ yer flow’ry lines
An’ get their wits a’ mixter maxter –
Yer bleezin’ man, get tae yer scratcher!”

So Tam sleekt aff intil his pit,
While sonsie Kate sat wi’ a smirk
An’ lacht at auld Tam’s childy haivers
‘Boot kirkyaird capers wi’ witchie ravers.
But all a sudden her smirkles seg,
She sees Tam’s jaiket on the peg
An’ gasps tae see upon its back,
A pentacle burnt in deepest black.

So maidens, never dout yer maun,
‘Though he may seem baith fu’ an’ thrawn
An’ never speir his fine excuse
When he comes late intil the hoose.
An’ laddies, when ye’re at the hottle
An’ilka tales matched wi’ a bottle,
Just mind the ‘oor an’ don’t be glaiket –
Remember Tam o’ Shanter’s jaiket!


chapman billies        – pedlar fellows
biggins                    – buildings
scuds                      – beer
houghmagandy        – hoo’s yer faither
carlin                        – old woman; witch
spreckelt                  – spotted
forfoughten              – exhausted; tired; enervated; worn out
yamp                        – possessing a keen hunger
buck                        – body
losh                          – lord
doup                        – bottom; buttocks; posterior; erse
glunshy                    – scowling
ill-faured                  – discourteous; ill mannered; offensive; shabby; ugly
haimewith                – homeward
thowless                  – inactive; inert; lethargic; sluggish
swick                      – deceive; swindle; bluff; cheat
gyte                        – daft; crazy; mad
blate                        – simple; slow; stupid
bootchet                  – botched
towed                      – tied; roped; caged
smirkles                  – smiles; suppressed laugh
hottle                      – hotel
yanker                    – agile person (not used in the poem, but may be useful in day to day conversation)

Jan 242013

19th January 2013, the winds are blowing; the snow is on and off again, and it’s brass monkey weather.  Perfect for a BrewDog barbeque and party. Suzanne Kelly reports.

The opening of the shiny new BrewDog Brewery near Ellon was marked by one of those types of events Martin and James, BrewDog’s founders, are now famous for.

Around 200 shareholders (Equity Punks as they are known) were chauffeured from the eponymous Aberdeen bar to the factory and back again for four hours of factory tours, music from The Little Kicks (an act which is really getting stronger all the time), speeches, a great but cold barbeque, and of course, beer.

On the way up, one of the passengers, Curtis, explains that he’s come up from Glasgow for the day to be here.  Like virtually all Equity Punks, he bought shares because he loves BrewDog beers.

“I love BrewDog.  It’s not about getting hammered on cheap lager.” – a sentiment many echo.

The success of the brand was explained one month ago by James, who spoke to shareholders up and down the country at small venues; his presentation on the company’s growth was impressive and reassuring.  At these meetings shareholders demonstrated great enthusiasm for the new brewery – a project undertaken because demand has far outstripped supply.

The old premises are being kept for ‘experimentation’, something this firm excels at and clearly revels in.

As to the new factory and its equipment – I can’t tell you how it all works.  However, massive quantities of water meet massive quantities of quality hops in massive stainless vats, turning into beer.

Dials whirred; computer touch screens flashed, some valve was emitting bubbles.

One man turned to me and said with a huge smile:

“It’s all a bit Willy Wonka, isn’t it?”

It definitely is.

It seems that experimentation is built into the new factory; there are bespoke pieces of equipment including a ‘hops cannon’.  The factory is in part painted with an undersea motif, and a neon sign proclaims:  “Love Hops And Live The Dream”, which is just what founders James and Martin are doing.  Their dedication to craft beer brewing continues to win fans and new partners the world over.

There are frequent competitions, give-aways, experimental new beers, publicity happenings and events.  The marketing is punk, friendly, and filled both with enthusiasm and a genuine, infectious passion.

The brewers were on hand to explain their craft; hops experts were on hand to discuss the finer points of choosing hops.

The heroic efforts of the outdoor barbeque crew cannot be underestimated; long queues for the barbeque never abated through snow, snow, rain, snow and rain.

The tour ended with a visit to the warehouse end of the building, where walls of cases of beer and golden kegs stamped with the BrewDog logo were met with awe.  It was a cathedral of beer to me.

If you have not noticed over the past decade, the demographic of who drinks craft beers has radically changed.  It is not just blokes in thick sweaters with glasses and beards.  I spoke to three women, one who had chosen to spend part of her birthday here.  They, like me and many others, enjoy tasting different beers.  As they put it:

“I did not drink beer before they opened their bar in Aberdeen.  It feels so friendly.  They have opened my eyes; I did a food tasting – who would have thought that blue cheese and beer would be a great combination?“

“We used to only drink wine.  Now we love trying new beers.  It’s (the Aberdeen bar) a place where you can go in as a woman, go in alone, and feel perfectly comfortable.”

Very true indeed.

The highlight was the cutting of a hops-laced red ribbon by a shareholder named Winston Hamilton (he asked me to thank BrewDog for a great day out for him).  He had been selected to cut the ribbon for his participation in a BrewDog competition.  James and Martin each said a few words before the ceremony, and the crowd was delighted.

Martin told me:

“For us this is just the beginning; we’ve worked very hard these past five and a half years to get here.  We’re excited not about what we’ve done, but about what we’re going to do.”

So, congratulations to this creative local success story, and here’s to the next chapters in its future.

Note:  I own shares in this company, which I have always been very open about and proud of.  I’m not extolling the virtues of this company to get others to invest.  In fact, you can’t invest now, anyway.  I bought the shares not for any hope of rolling in money (I have the smallest amount of shares that you could buy, worth less than £100), but to support a local fledgling business, one with a great product and great people.  I think it’s safe to say that many other shareholders feel as I do.