Scottish Food & Drink News – August 2018

Festival fun takes hold in Glasgow as well as Edinburgh this August – get ready for a month of charity beer fests, cocktail weekenders and celebrations of all things vegan

Preview by Peter Simpson | 01 Aug 2018
  • Food and Drink

Typically, August is a time for Edinburgh to get very festival-heavy and everyone else to get a little bit fed up of it constantly being mentioned. This year, Glasgow is also getting in on the act courtesy of Festival 2018, the sport-adjacent cultural melee hitting the city in the first half of the month. The programme's foodie element comes in the form of the Civic Canteen project, a celebration of food from around the world led by a squad of activists, food educators and all-round good eggs, all packed into a marquee on John Street in the Merchant City.

In Tomorrow's Kitchenfood anthropologists Kueche shine a light on Glasgow's diverse multicultural food culture and look at the ways in which Scottish ideas and ingredients interact with food traditions from Syrian, Roma, Pakistani and Iraqi cuisine, with the aim of creating new traditions and new recipes (9-12 Aug, 5pm, free, tickets via festival2018glasgow.com). Meanwhile, Montreal art group ATSA present While Having Soup, which has been dubbed a "three-course dialogue". Here's the idea in a nutshell – you pop in for soup and have a conversation with one of ATSA's artists or volunteers. Your chat is added to thousands of others, we all learn the power of listening and chatting, and you get some free soup. Everyone's a winner. 9-12 Aug, 12-3pm, free, drop-in

Festival 2018 has subsumed the long-running Merchant City Festival this year, with the Merchant City Markets set to serve up an expanded range of food and drink. There's a street food market from Govan's own Big Feed and a host of foodie vendors to check out on your travels. 4-5, 9-12 Aug, various locations in Merchant City, Glasgow, free entry

It may have snared the most straightforward name, but Festival 2018 isn't the only game (festival) in town (Glasgow) this month. Glasgow Cocktail Weekend is a weekend-long encouragement to explore some of the city's best bars, with a host of participating venues offering specially-created £5 cocktails to wristband holders. Among the bar list so far are the Kelvingrove Cafe, The Spanish Butcher and recent Skinny fave Bibimbap – there are also DJ sets from Rebecca Vasmant, IDA and the We Should Hang Out More crew thrown in to sweeten the deal. 9-12 Aug, various locations, festival tickets £30 

If you're not much of a cocktail person, may we present Innis & Gunn Beer vs I.J.Mellis Cheese vs Kopke Port, a night with a somewhat clunky name but a highly intriguing premise. Part of I&G's ongoing 'versus' nights, you'll try out four beers, four cracking cheeses from one of our favourite 'mongers and four glasses of port, rating them as you go. Will your ratings degenerate over the evening, to the point that the fourth selection earns a scrawled 'LOVELY' out of 10? Only one way to find out! 16 Aug, 7pm, Innis & Gunn Beer Kitchen, Ashton Lane, tickets £20 via EventBrite

August also brings with it a pair of vegan festivals at either end of the M8. In Edinburgh, it's the aptly-titled Edinburgh Vegan Festival. Continuing a somewhat unexpected trend of plant-based shindigs in enormous sports stadiums, this one's taking place at Murrayfield – all the more room for delicious veggie treats and the vegan essentials that there's apparently no room for in the city's innumerable miniature supermakets (19 Aug, 10.30am-4.30pm, BT Murrayfield Stadium, tickets £2 via EventBrite). Over in Glasgow, Vegan Connections festival returns with a two-day veggie-powered market celebrating the best that vegan food has to offer. Expect great stallholders bringing a whole host of exciting stuff – all profits go to Tribe Animal Sanctuary and Veganuary. 25-26 Aug, from 10am, The Briggait, tickets £3.50-7 via EventBrite, facebook.com/veganconnections

And finally, there's a chance to give something back to your community while trying out some delicious beers, as charity festival Beer Makes Glasgow returns for 2018. This time around, the festival bumps up to three days and makes the move over to Drygate, with more than 60 beers from more than a dozen breweries lined up across the weekend. 24-26 Aug, various times, Drygate, tickets £5 via drygate.com

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