Fierce & Noble

Breaking out of the cafe, to take Bristol by storm


The brewery that would become Fierce & Noble was set up just two short years ago, initially to supply beer to the owners’ group of licensed cafes, but it quickly became clear that it had the potential to become a successful craft brand in its own right. From two initial styles – dubbed Fierce & Noble, funnily enough – the brewery has gone on to broaden its repertoire and its reach, supplying eight core beers in can, cask and keg to bars and shops across the region.

“The decision to really run with Fierce & Noble as a separate entity to the cafes was a turning point,” explains brewery sales manager Ed Townsend. “We launched our taproom, which is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, started actively promoting our website and generally getting out and putting the beer in front of people. 

“It was a fairly standard line-up to begin with. Then as we developed, our session IPA and American pale ale became the two mainstays of the range. We use 500ml cans, which are quite unusual in the craft world; people really like them with our bold branding and they’ve been very successful.”

With around 15 craft breweries in and around Bristol, including some very well-known names, starting out in the city is a little like starting out in London. Within the local area of Fierce & Noble, you have Wiper and True, Arbour, New Bristol and Good Chemistry. Ed says there’s still very much a community feel to the scene though, and the good natured rivalry with the brewery’s neighbours is welcomed.

“People have definitely been very supportive,” he agrees. “Nobody really does much mass advertising – we certainly haven’t – and our growth has come from the branding and the great word of mouth on social media and offline. We’ve had a lot of very positive attention in the region, and you often see our beers on the shelf right next to Wiper and True, and Lost and Grounded.”

Ed says production just now is focused on meeting the order of 35,000 cans for Beer52 members, but that there are plenty of experiments and collaborations on the horizon.

“For example, we’ll soon be working with two young brewers in Bristol who go under the name Masquerade. They’ve brought their brewing equipment into our brewery, where they’ll do their thing with us, and when they’re not using it we’ll do small experimental batches. It’s the kind of collaboration that suits everyone.”

Working with Beer52 is part of a wider plan to get Fierce & Noble’s beers to a wider audience outside the south west, which has already seen the brewery making inroads to London. Ed acknowledges though that ambitions for growth mustn’t overtake the things that have made its beer such a success.

“The size that we are, it’s so easy to outstrip what we can produce, so we have to be careful not to over-reach. We’ve got quite a bit of room to grow on-site, and we’re definitely looking to add more tanks soon. How big could we get? I don’t know, but I don’t see us moving from where we are for some time. The emphasis is to grow as much as we can, but keeping the quality spot-on. Otherwise what’s the point?”

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