What’s even better than working in the oil patch? Apparently, brewing beer. At least, these two former UK oil field workers think so. They left behind the oil fields and started their own brewery – with no regrets.
They decided to call it Fierce Beer. And, fierce, it is. One of their pale ales, called Fuego Feroz, is packed with Habaneros – Not your average brew. Then there’s Day Shift, Ginja Ninja and Eskimo Joe, which is infused with coffee and vanilla.
The two former oilfield workers, Dave Grant and Dave McHardy, opened a brewery in Aberdeen, Scotland, after leaving the oil sector in 2013. Now the pair is looking to expand their business and said that they wouldn’t mind employing other former energy industry staff in the upcoming year.
“Launching a micro-brewery in the middle of an oil and gas downturn may seem like a brave thing to do, or an insane thing to do to some,” said McHardy. But for the two former oil industry workers, it was the beginning of something big.
Grant and McHardy began their Fierce Beer brand as a home-brew hobby in March of 2013, on Great Western Road in Aberdeen. They tested their creation on the public May 1, 2015, at a beer pairing dinner at a local restaurant. It was bottoms up and thumbs up – Their new beer was a hit.
A few months later Fierce Beer Ltd was born. The men began selling kegs to Aberdeen clients from a nano-brewery in their house. From there, the brewery was moved into a new microbrewery and is currently performing well, according to Grant, who was previously employed at a UK-based oil and gas service company, called Expro Group.
The brewery boasts a stainless steel brewing set up, six fermenting tanks, and an in-house bottling and labeling machine.
McHardy worked for another UK-based oilfield services firm in Veripos, Scotland. McHardy’s is now operation’s director at the brewery.
“The opportunity to change careers and do something I absolutely loved doing was an opportunity I couldn’t say no to,” said McHardy on the company blog.
The partners are now looking to grow their business and are open to the idea of employing other oil and gas industry workers. “We both left [the oil sector] of our own accord, disheartened with the industry, and we loved brewing,” Grant said.
Fierce Beer is just what the name implies. “What we wanted was bold, strong flavors,” said the Fierce website.
Fierce Beer offers Pale Ales, loaded with hops, spices and sometimes coffee, IPA beers, Fruit beers and seasonal beers. The Brewers say that they use only natural quality ingredients from local suppliers whenever possible.
McHardy and Grant also brew and sell Porter-style beers, which are dark in color and strong in flavor – and can be slightly stronger in alcohol. Fierce porters include versions with coffee, vanilla, peanuts, chipotle, or Chia. Their fruit beers are made with wild yeast and are often sour in taste.