A good concert requires four things: a captivating band, a well-designed venue, an enthusiastic audience, and beer. You need a lot of beer. London-based Signature Brew is on a quest to provide concertgoers with unique craft beers, one band at a time. The company, which launched in August 2011, works with musicians to create custom brews tailored to the artists’ specific tastes.
“I just got sick of drinking rubbish beers when I went to concerts,” says Sam McGregor, co-founder and director of Signature Brew. McGregor had previously worked in music marketing and felt that “the indie music scene wasn’t doing very well. Bands would make extra money by slapping a label on something and loosely endorsing things, but they weren’t invested in it.” A number of musician-alcohol projects had already been established—Delaware’s Dogfish Head created a Pearl Jam-themed brew, rapper Lil John briefly had his own wine, last year British band Elbow released its own brand of beer, and of course there’s Jimmy Buffett’s Land Shark Lager, which is distributed by Anheuser-Busch—but McGregor thought they missed the point. “They’re mostly one-offs or limited editions. I don’t know how much Pearl Jam really had to do with Dogfish’s ale. I want to get musicians involved in learning about the beer process,” he says.