“We usually start with a tasting session with our brew team so they can get a feel for what kinds of beer they like, what attributes they dislike and so on,” says Tom. “We really encourage them to say what they think and usually they are not shy about getting their point across. Once we have a feeling and a flavour outlined we can get to work on making it and they can be as involved as they want to be, but one thing we always try to do is get them down on canning day so they can taste the first beer off the production line – something I’ve never actually got to do as a co-owner!” Tom and the brew team encourage the artists to ‘think unusual’ because they also want to cover new ground themselves – one of more interesting beers they’ve made was a Belgian pale ale with sarsaparilla root, which is usually used in root beer.
“OUR MANIFESTO IS PRETTY SIMPLE AND STAYS THE SAME – WE WANT TO BE THE GO-TO BRAND FOR MUSIC FANS WHO ARE SICK OF DRINKING SHIT BEER.” Now with a stable core range and three or four eyecatching musical collabs per year, what does the future hold for Signature Brew? “Our manifesto is pretty simple and stays the same – we want to be the go-to brand for music fans who are sick of drinking shit beer,” says Tom. “Happily for us, that is a problem that has not really been fixed, so that’s our long term goal. In the short term, we are about to undergo a range review and also looking at freeing up some space at the brewery to undertake some exciting new projects. We have some special guest beers coming up which are very much our brew teams’ babies.” Tom is also a trustee of the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), so whatever he does with Signature Brew will be in the best interests of British brewers and the industry. He concludes: “It’s going to be an interesting year for beer. In our East London microcosm, it can feel like the feel-good factor will never stop – we’re all growing and it feels like things are going in the right direction, but there are some issues that need addressing. One is the decline of cask beer. Of course keg and can are very much the future, but the constant devaluianing of cask beer and its quality is an industry-wide concern. We’ve seen quite a few breweries end cask production and you can’t help but reflect on it. It only makes up about 10 per cent of Signature’s output, but we will continue with it. It’s not our bread and butter so we can afford to be bolder on styles and prices.” S|GNATURE BREW • |NFO Signature Brew Leyton Business Centre, London, UK É www.signaturebrew.co.uk $ @signaturebrew ! /SignatureBrew/ " /signaturebrew