Festival brings reggae and rum to Rothesay

The Bute Brew Co hosted rum, reggae and goat curry last weekend as part of a rum and beer festival.
The Bute Brew Co hosted rum, reggae and goat curry last weekend as part of a rum and beer festival.

The weather in Rothesay this week hasn’t exactly been tropical, but the scene at the Bute Brew Co last weekend could (with some imagination) almost pass for a Caribbean street party.

As part of a weekend-long rum and beer festival, Bute’s own brewery hosted live reggae and ska from Samson Sounds and Any Ways, as well as an extensive rum collection and a Caribbean-inspired menu including curried goat, plantain salsa and jerk pulled pork.

The food was provided by Greenfry, while the music was organised by Stuart Thomas of Organised Noise.

Both groups are partnered with the brewery, and are also based in Rothesay.

Aidan Canavan, founder of the Bute Brew Co, said that the success of the rum festival and the gin festival earlier this year are encouraging for the events culture of the island.

Though the gin and beer festival, held in May, incorporated three local pubs as well as the brewery in hosting live music, last weekend’s festival was on a smaller scale and only took in the brewery.

Aidan told the Buteman: “The demand for the food was huge, and the goat sold out by Saturday afternoon.

“Who would have thought goat curry would have such a big audience on Bute?

“Liz Adams at Greenfry likes to be experimental with the food she does and that really worked at the weekend.

“As far as possible it comes from sustainable ingredients and from local producers.

“The gin festival in May and the music events in the various pubs in Rothesay certainly brought some people onto the island, but with the rum festival it felt like more locals are becoming interested in the events we put on.

“It has taken a while to get people into the events we’ve been doing but it has really taken off.

“We have been getting great feedback from the bands who have been taking part as well.

“Samson Sounds who performed last weekend were also at Butefest and have performed here a few times now.”

The Bute Brew Co and its partners are now looking forward to their whisky and beer festival, set to take place across the last weekend of October and including more live music and tastings, before scaling back their events for the winter.