|Fierce Beers' new range of beers.|
And in their wake another wave. This past year we’ve done well. Up Front Brewing, Dead End Brew, Camper Van all making a mark in the past 12 months or so. Most of these have been fairly lo-fi breweries, taking the leap from homebrewer to professional, or a professional brewer going their own way in the case of Up Front, and most cases using word of mouth to push their popularity rather than a PR budget.
And there’s Fierce Beer, a bold brewing outfit from Dyce, near Aberdeen, who officially began life last year but who have clearly been impressing the right people for longer because they’ve just upped their game substantially with new premises and new brewkit, and have just recently released ten beers.
Ten. All with nicely made up labels with Photoshop montages and jaggedy, edgy writing. And they’ve also had the budget to hire a PR, who in her, err, wisdom saw fit to send me some beers in the hope I’d write about them.
And so here we are.
First off, I was skeptical. Fierce is one of those words that Tyra Banks owned on America’s Next Top Model. (That clip is bonkers by the way.)
Or maybe it was the logo. An angry looking hop that made me think of wee Banksy stencilling an radge strawberry onto a wall somewhere. Or maybe an alien silhouette with a beard, and a jaggy beret. Or Shaggy meets Paul from the film Paul. Anyhow it’s stuck in my head and done its job. So well done Fierce, a striking bit of branding there.
Fierce also colour-code the angry hop-berry to help you know what you’re drinking. Green for porter, purple for IPA, blue for pale. Red is fruit beers, obviously. I think that’s right ... Maybe check the site first.
And then there were the names. Ginja Ninja is neat, though it’s a spicy beast not a ginger beast which is what I was looking for. Eskimo Joe is a cool coffee and vanilla pale. Works. Day Shift, a lovely, big hopped pale. Granadilla Guerilla is big fruit basket IPA of beautiful passion fruit flavours. I loved it. Juicy, packed, heavy bodied and solid.
And then there was Dirty Sanchez. Maybe that phrase means something to you. Maybe it doesn’t. But for god’s sake don’t look it up on Urban Dictionary at work. A touch of chilli gives you a wee burn at the back of the throat. The beer. I’m talking about the beer here.
A few others also had that chilli thing going on too. Fuego Feroz chief among them. I wasn’t mad on it, but a couple of my pals liked it a lot. Certainly different, and, err, fiery. Which is kinda fierce. Check the Tyra clip if you still need persuaded.
Peanut Riot (great), Cranachan Killer (ok), clues in the name both helped position the brand character and gave you a hint of what you were about to be consuming.
I’m assuming that WAS NOT the case with Sanchez.
For me, the Cafe Racer porter was standout. Solid, thick, rich, it was like eating a rich chocolate pudding at your granny’s after she’s just been polishing the furniture and has made herself a cup of coffee (and she likes it black).
So as an opening salvo from this souped-up brewery, I can’t wait to see what Fierce Beer will bring out next. And if you’ve not yet tried their beers do try them out, they make some cracking, interesting beers.