Catering to all tastes is at the heart of brewer’s capital bar
FOR a craft brewery, the key to on-trade success often lies in getting its beers into the right venues.
While this still holds true, some brewers are now supplementing this with the opening of their own craft beer bars, allowing them to focus on, and showcase, their own brand and brews.
One such example is Aberdeen-based Fierce Beer, which, following a successful crowdfunding campaign, raised more than £120,000 and opened its first bar on Exchequer Row in the granite city last year.
Keen to build on the success of its inaugural venue, Fierce made a move into the capital this year, taking on the lease of the former 1780 bar on Edinburgh’s Rose Street.
We always focus a lot on our beers and our collaborations and we showcase them in the bar.
Located near the busy thoroughfare of Princes Street, the unit underwent a refurbishment and relaunched as a Fierce Beer bar to coincide with the Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival this summer.
Kirsty Cameron, general manager of Fierce’s Edinburgh bar, told SLTN that it’s been all go since the launch.
“Because Fierce was sponsoring the festival, we opened that weekend so we could do the after-party on the Friday night – so it was a busy one,” she said.
While the Edinburgh bar’s layout differs slightly to that of its sister venue in Aberdeen, it is “similar in attitude and offer”, reckons Kirsty.
“We always focus a lot on our beers and our own collaborations and breweries that we work with – and then similarly [to Aberdeen] we’ll showcase them in the same way,” she said.
This approach was evident when SLTN visited the bar, with 17 of Fierce’s own brews and/or collaborations with other breweries on offer across its 20 taps.
It suits the bar’s consumer base, who are particularly keen to try the latest creations.
“Fierce has always experimented and tried different things,” said Kirsty.
“I find that the clientele we have coming in here have a wider interest in trying the different craft beers.
“They’re looking to try the more unusual ones; they’ll look up and say: ‘Coffee and berry sour? That sounds interesting – I’ll give that one a try’.”
With customers often keen to sample several beers, Fierce’s one third measure offering is proving popular.
“It’s a really great way of people being able to try lots of different beers,” said Kirsty.
Our customers look to try more unusual beers. They’ll say, ‘coffee and berry sour? I’ll try it’.
And because of the bar’s off-sales licence, customers can buy canned beers to take away.
Looking at current trends, Kirsty reckons that sour beer has become “a staple of the craft beer community”, with Fierce focusing its efforts on its full mixed fermentation beers.
Moving forward, Kirsty said the aim of the new bar is to continue building relationships with customers, neighbouring bars and other craft breweries.
Conceding that Edinburgh’s booming tourism scene means that “it’s hard to be a bar where you ever recognise the same person”, she added: “It’s nice that already within six weeks [of opening], we had recurring faces, we know names, they know us – we all chat.
“And it’d definitely be great in the future, through Fierce, to bring lots of amazing beers from all our different friends and breweries so that people in Edinburgh can try things from all over Europe and America.”