ORGANISERS of Paisley’s annual beer festival are brewing up something special to mark this year’s event.
This will be the 25th Paisley Beer Festival and drinkers will be able to step back in time to enjoy tipples that were on offer at the very first event in 1986.
Once again, Paisley Town Hall will be the venue for the beer festival, which is the biggest in Scotland.
An impressive total of 20,000 pints of beer and cider are expected to be sold over the four days, with around 4,000 visitors from across the UK flooding through the doors.
Event organiser Jim Strang said: “There are three of us who have been involved in the Paisley Beer Festival since the very beginning – myself, Stuart Wallace and Derek Moore, from Kelburn Brewery.
“Lots of things have changed over the years but the main one is my waistline!
“There is always a great atmosphere at the festival. It’s a fantastic event and we hope to get another great turnout this year.”
In a change from previous years, the 2012 event will not feature live music on the Friday night.
Jim said: “We took a straw poll last year and people said they’d rather talk to their friends than shout over music, so we’ve decided not to go for a band this year.
“We’ll see how that goes and might bring it back next year but, this time around, the only live music will come from the Caledonian Pipe Band on the Saturday.”
There will be crepes and continental sausages available from the ever-popular Melbourne Catering Co, while engraving company The Pewter Scribe will be on site to sell and hand-engrave items such as tankards and hip flasks.
Theakston Brewery’s cooper – who hand-makes wooden barrels – will be helping out at the festival and Jonathan Manby is planning to demonstrate how to assemble a barrel in Abbey Close.
Jim added: “Theakston was one of the breweries to supply us with beer for our first festival. We ran out of beer on the Friday night and they made a delivery to us on the Saturday to make sure we could keep going.
“They’ve been a long-time supporter of the festival and will have a trade bar this year, serving beer from wooden barrels, which nobody does any more. Jonathon is one of only a few coopers left in the UK. It’s a dying art.”
Kelburne Brewery, in Barrhead, and Houston Brewery, in Houston, will also be represented in the festival’s Scottish bar.
And, this year, volunteers from the Renfrewshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) who run the festival will be collecting cash for Maggies Cancer Caring Centres.
The festival gets under way on Wednesday, April 25, when the opening hours will be from 5pm until 11pm.
Drinkers can also raise their glasses between noon and 11pm on Thursday, April 26, with the fun continuing from noon until midnight on Friday, April 27.
The opening hours for Saturday, April 28, are from noon until 9pm.
Entry costs £3 for CAMRA members and £5 for non-members, which includes a programme and a festival glass which can be used for free re-entry on subsequent days.
For more information, go to www.paisleybeerfestival.org.uk