Beer Cheers

Orkney Brewery has secured a historic double, taking both first and second place in the prestigious Champion Beer of Scotland competition, which was held in Edinburgh on Thursday.

The brewery's 3.8 per cent Raven Ale won the overall title of Champion Beer, with its 4.0 per cent Red MacGregor ale placing second. The competition forms part of the Scottish Real Ale Festival, currently underway in the capital.

East Heddle

East Heddle Is nearly done. Six years in the making. It exceeds expectations, it is amazing, everything we could have dreamed.

Turriedale 4 Stars

Turriedale was graded as strong 4 star self catering by the STB last week (April 5th). The Byre retained 5 star status.

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Pierless Arts

We may be  better known for our neolithic world heritage site and great natural beauty – but now Orkney is to get its own taste of the contemporary art scene.

An exhibition devoted to the American video artist Bill Viola is to open at the award winning Pier Arts Centre in Stromness in June, as part of a scheme aimed at spreading contemporary art shows throughout the country.

The works on tour are from the collection of dealer Anthony d’Offay, which was sold to the Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland last year for £26.5m ($36.6m) – a fraction of its £125m valuation.

More than 30 “Artist Rooms” will be created at 18 galleries across the country over the course of the year.

Folking Greats - May 21-24 2009

 How do you follow the 2008 performances by the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra? Simple - Bagpipes.  The House of Edgar Shotts & Dykehead Pipe Band; a Grade 1, world class pipe band are coming to Orkney for a major concert at the Pickaquoy Centre, with mass parades through Stromness on the Saturday morning to wake you all up!

Further headliners include the masters of Shetland Fiddlery, Fiddlers Bid, backed up by the junior all stars, the Shetland Sessions, and some late night Shetland stompers, Fullsceilidh Spellemannslag. Ireland is well represented by top new trad band Beoga, Niall Vallely's concertina led trio Buille, and the best voice in Ireland, Karan Casey. Local acts include award winning Orcadians, The Chair and Jeana Leslie & Siobhan Miller, plus the best of what's going on across the Firth these days.

As if being at Orkney Folk Festival isn't an education itself, there will be one or two things for the kids, including the amazing Kidsamonium featuring 'trumpeting chickens' and kazoos aplenty.