2018: A year in Fierce Beer
2018 was as expected another mad year of growth, which brought with it huge highs and a lot of hard graft. Our highlights of the year include:
- We are well on track to double revenues again which is amazing
- We doubled our footprint from 5,000 sq ft to 10,000 sq ft. This also has allowed us to have separate units for the brewery, a 2,500 sq ft cold room, offices, and two dedicated barrel units.
- Brewing capacity has also doubled after we installed some lovely 70HL FVs and a shiny BBT or two.
- We started canning with our own in-house canning unit. I know - it seems like our cans have been around for so long, but the first run was last Feb
- We also now export to 16 countries. Newbies for 2018 included New Zealand, Poland, Finland and Switzerland.
- Following an amazing rewards based crowdfunding round that brought in £121k in 8 days, we renovated our first property in Aberdeen. It was once called 'The Clansman' - Now it is 'Fierce Aberdeen'. 'Two Schooners and a packet of olives Boaby'
- The bar has allowed us not only to showcase our own brews, but having 20 taps means we have also been able to have some incredible showcases, TTOs and MTBs. Oh and draft G&T!
- We made a lot of specials last year. Our dessert series and VBM (Very Big Moose) beers really caught the imagination of Fierce Fans.
- We made collab beers with some real superstars of the brewing world including (in no order) Amundsen, Dugges, Brew York, Tiny Rebel, LHG, Wiper and True, Brewdog, Fallen, To-0l, Wicklow Wolf, People Like Us, Chorlton, Mad Hatter and some of our key investors too.
- We also curated and co-ordinated the 'North Sea Bridges' collab project that teamed up some great Scottish and Scandanavian breweries to make 6 great beers.
- As we don't really follow trends, make loads of cloudy IPAs, or brew in a massively populated area - we have to push that bit harder to get our name known. We did win a few cool awards in 2018 that has helped us along a wee bit..
- Ratebeer: 'Best Scottish Beer of 2017' for Very Big Moose (VBM)
- Scottish Beer Awards: Golds for Best Sour (Tangerine Tart), Best Porter (Dirty Sanchez), Best Amplified (Very Big Moose), Best BA Beer (BA VBM) - and a silver in the IPA class for Split Shift.
- We were also invited to some key invitational festivals, where only a few Scottish breweries make it. Stand-outs included Indyman, LCBF, ECBF, Leeds Intl and the Winter Beer Fest in Haarlem!
- We launched the first in a line of Fierce spirits in December. 'Fierce No1 Gi'n was introduced as our house pour, our keg G&T spirit and even better - the bottle looks great and it tastes fab! Look for more in 2019.
Other key moments
- We brought in a new top brewer 'Do Bongers'. Do brings with her some amazing experience, and will be instrumental as we move towards mixed ferm beers..... oh yes....
So what about 2019 then? What are the key plans??.....
- We plan to increase revenues by at least 60%
- We will open up the brewery for tours by spring
- We are working an a masterplan to build a new brewery by 2020. Based in Aberdeen in a key location, this will be a real 'destination brewery', and will house all our operations including barrels, mixed ferm, spirits. The taproom and restaurant are going to be amazing!
- We will look to add on 4 key new export markets outwith the Brexit zone!
- We will employ a small sales force to work closely with our distributors in key UK locations. Initial targets are Central Scotland, North England, Midlands and London.
- We plan to open at least one more bar, maybe two. These will be in the UK, and we will spill beans as we can
- As mentioned we are now fully on target with our mixed ferm plan which will see us release a bunch of beers later on in 2019. We have kicked this off already by brewing 5 beers with Siren, 4 Pure, Brew York, Kirkstall and aptly the mighty Yeastie Boys. This will be added to throughout the year.
- We also have a dedicated barrel ageing unit for non-wild beers, so expect lots of Bourbon, Whisky and other aged non-wild brews later in 2019.
- Both of the above will be released in Bomber sized bottles
- We were a bit scattergun with collab brews in 2018. This year we will release at least 1 collab per month as a series of 'Single Hop' project brews. Already we have lined up Verdant, Magic Rock, Wiper and True, North and Track, and have 7 others to confirm. This will be super cool.
Events and other stuff
- We will be focusing on some key events this year to have a bigger presence. Most of these are TBC for now, but we can confirm that we will be at Peakender for the first time, and will have our own party room at LCBF! Mega excited for both of these.
- We will bring out more spirits. We are already looking at a Cranachan Gin, and a Cafe Racer based liqueur. .
As ever, all this would be irrelevant if it was not for you guys who enjoy a Fierce brew, and cheers also to our business partners and backers/mentors. Huge thanks yet again for your support. You are everything.
All the best to everyone for 2019.