Excitement brews as Helensburgh Beer and Gin Festival returns

-Credit:Lennox Herald
-Credit:Lennox Herald

Organisers of Helensburgh’s Beer and Gin Festival hope it will showcase the town in the perfect light.

Helensburgh Heart, formerly known as Helensburgh Round Table, have organised the event - which sees live music meet one of the widest arrays of beers and gin around, all under one roof at the town’s Civic Centre on May 17 and 18.

And Steve Slater from Helensburgh Heart says he’s delighted to bring the event back to the town he now calls home.

Steve told the Lennox: “I’m really looking forward to it. I attended last year and it was far better than I imagined.

“I wasn’t part of the event’s organisers last year. I attended as a member of the community and it was a brilliant day.

“This year, being on the board at Helensburgh Heart, it’s an exciting opportunity to showcase the town, the fantastic array of beers and gins we have locally and also from down south.

“We moved to Helensburgh two years ago. I’m from Leeds originally, and Helensburgh Heart was a chance to get involved with something. To make new friends and also give back to good causes across Dumbarton, the Vale, Alexandria, Balloch and Helensburgh.

-Credit:Lennox Herald
-Credit:Lennox Herald

“Helensburgh is one of the best places to live in the UK. That’s my totally unbiased opinion. I absolutely love it, and the people who come along are shown exactly what the town has to offer.

“We all enjoy the spirits, the live music and the food in one of the most picturesque settings possible with the Clyde and the mountains behind us.”

Preparation for the event got underway more than four months ago, and Steve is sure that there will be something on offer for everyone.

He continued: “We normally start preparation early in the new year. We’ve had to juggle that with rebranding this year, but that has also given us a blank canvas with which to deliver the festival.

“We’ve got to organise which beers to have. We normally arrange more than 30; from craft ales, to lagers, pilsners. We get in touch with the gin distilleries and this year we’ve got beers coming up from England.

-Credit:Lennox Herald
-Credit:Lennox Herald

“This year we’re also organising fizz options and non-alcoholic options to cater for everyone which we haven’t done previously.

“On the marketing side we’re becoming more digital orientated. We want to reach out to more people who we believe could be interested in the biggest annual event in Helensburgh”

And Steve believes that events organised by Helensburgh Heart are helping to grow the population in the town.

He added: “Events like this and the firework display help to build a sense of community.

“The Beer and Gin Festival tends to attract a lot of people from the local area. We’re a town of 13,000 people and every year there is a focus on trying to entice new people to the area.

“These can be from Dumbarton, Balloch, Alexandria or further afield. The attraction is the live music, the food and the drink. It’s a fantastic weekend of entertainment with a social element and the chance to meet new people.”

Tickets start at £15 and include a pint glass and drink of choice. More information is available at www.helensburghheart.com.