Rough Trade x Signature Brew

Rough Trade Records

March 21st, 2023

share the music

Brewed with music.

We are thrilled to announce our brand new partnership with London-based brewers Signature Brew – now serving in store!

Founded in 2011, Signature Brew takes pride in its unique mission to unite people through the power of fresh beer, great music and unforgettable experiences and often hosts music events at their brewery/music venue in Blackhorse Road, London – and the links to the music don’t end there. Signature have collaborated with many artists over the years, including Rough Trade favourites IDLES, Big Joanie and Hot Chip – making them the perfect brewery to team up with Rough Trade.

“Rough Trade has always been an inspiration for Signature Brew, from their DIY roots and community-led approach to music, through to putting on incredible gigs in unusual spaces, and providing unforgettable experiences for fans and bands alike. The Signature Brew ethos could not be more aligned with Rough Trade’s, so it is an honour for our beers to be pouring in all their incredible locations. A perfect partnership, and we’re only just getting started – so expect incredible things!”

Sam McGregor, Founder, Signature Brew

Signature Brew Brewery, Blackhorse Road 

Available in store now, we’re super excited to offer a core range of Signature Brew beverages exclusively on draught at our Rough Trade East, Rough Trade Bristol and Rough Trade Nottingham bars. Discover Studio Lager, Roadie All-Night IPA and Backstage IPA when you visit us, as well as a selection of canned specials, spanning Limited Edition sours, porters and gluten and alcohol-free craft beers.

With Record Store Day only one a month away, we couldn’t be happier to kick start this brand new partnership, that not only looks to serve delicious beer, but further enhance and support the amazing community of music fans that both brands thrive on.

“When looking for a new beer partner, we wanted a brand that could deliver a holistic approach to working together. Not only do Signature Brew make first class fresh beer, they invest heavily in music culture and take great pride in nurturing an inclusive and progressive creative community, backed by a can-do attitude and a passion for doing things differently. We couldn’t ask for a better partner to enhance our record store experience and we’re excited by what we can achieve as we grow together.”

Emily Waller, Head of Brand and Content, Rough Trade

Signature Brew at Rough Trade East


With Signature Brew founder Sam McGregor

There’s a lot of craft beer about these days, why should people drink Signature Brew?

Straight in there with the big questions!

For us, there are few reasons. Firstly – it is always about quality – nothing is possible without it. Our beers have won a ton of awards, and all our core beers have Great Taste 2 Stars, which we’re super proud of.

But beyond that – it’s all about the community of musicians, fans, and beer drinkers – all brought together through a shared passion for great beer and great music.  We’re all in it together.

We’ve collaborated with more musicians than any other brewery in the world, and the community that’s been built around that, we believe is something very special and unique to Signature Brew.

In 5 words can you describe what Signature is founded on?

Great Music Deserves Great Beer

Any weird myths about beer or beer brewing you can debunk?

Playing music to the beer while it ferments – doesn’t do anything to the flavour. We checked.

What are the most essential parts of the brewing process? (Is it easy to cock up?)

Every part of the brewing process is essential – the sum of the parts ensure the final beer is as close to perfect as possible. From the super high quality ingredients – hops, malt, yeast and water. To the technology in the brewery. To the awesome team of brewers. Its all important.

Which particular beer are you most proud of and why?

It would have to be either Studio Lager, or Roadie. They have both had a huge impact on the brewery, we’re spent many years working on them, and they have been enjoyed at more gigs than any other of our beers.  

Of course we are proud of all of the collaboration beers, but some of them particularly stand out. The toasted lager we brewed with IDLES was a great one – and probably the only beer in the world with no vowels in its name – KRFSHT. Joe was behind that great idea (cheers Joe!). We pushed the boundaries with a new style – Brut IPA with Alt-J. Absolutely No Worries – That beer should come back. In 2021 we released a mega summer lager hit with Sports Team – Long Hot Summer – that was a great collab!

Your tagline is Brewed with music. Can you tell us a bit about the origins of the brand and how it came to be/what it was born from?

Signature Brew came into being in 2011 when Tom and I were complaining about the quality and choice of beer at gigs. I had been working in the music industry for a while back then, after being a (pretty terrible) touring trombonist, Tom was already a pro brewer, and working his way to brewmaster. We got together in the Strongroom in Shoreditch, and decided to make some beers with some bands – and that was that – we were off!

We brewed our first collaboration beer with The Rifles using all the money we had for the ingredients, and in our first year we brewed another 6 more band collaboration beers (check our website for all the details!).

In 2014 we decided we needed our own brewery, so we built one in Leyton, which we outgrew faster than we expected – which led us to our home today in Blackhorse Road in 2019. The last few years have flown by – and now here we are in 2023.

Your brewery in Blackhorse Road has an event space where you host live music nights. That sounds pretty special, can you tell us about some of the most memorable moments?

Too many to mention to be honest, since we opened the doors of the Blackhorse Road brewery in 2019 we’ve had a lot of amazing moments (especially given the conditions). But to name a few – The Skints – sold out for 2 nights – was a very special couple of days.

When Skrillex took to the decks to a very surprised full house last year – that definitely qualifies as an amazing moment.  The list continues to grow though – the calendar is looking epic this year, and some amazing gigs have already happened in 2023. When we built the gig space inside the brewery – we never anticipated that we also be hosting amazing live comedy with the likes of Ed Gamble, live Podcasts, food festivals, book launches, and even a few weddings!

Any cool bands or artists you’ve discovered recently we should know about?

We’re loving a few new artists right now, Spyres are awesome and definitely going to be big, if you’re a fan of Wet Leg check them out immediately. Also a band called Heriot are making a lot of noise (literally) in the metal world. Both these bands have collaboration beers coming up – and gigs in the brewery!

If Signature Brew was a band, who would you invite to support you on tour?

Is this one of those – any band of all time – questions? We’d have The Specials, The Clash, and The Prodigy on the bill – we’d probably have to go on first though.

Name an album you’d pair with each beer:

Never an easy task this – and it always changes.

  • Studio Lager 2016
    Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  • Roadie 2017
    Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 3
  • Backstage IPA
    Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Push the Sky Away

Sour or stout?

Too hard a question. For me personally – its about context and setting – and what mood you’re in! Both styles are great for being super creative as well, and pushing the boundaries of whats possible! Watch out for our Black Vinyl Stout – I’m a big fan of that beer…

What’s the best bit of feedback you’ve ever had from a customer?

“You have changed my life”

People get passionate about beer, but the way which we bring bands, music and beer together has really created some special unforgettable moments for our drinkers, and us too!

Weirdest beer you’ve ever made?

We’ve made a lot. A root beer IPA (with the band Tigercub) was pretty weird, we also created beetroot stout – which turned a few heads, but was actually really well received.

Why did you want to partner with Rough Trade?

Rough Trade has always been an inspiration for Signature Brew, from your DIY Roots and community-led approach to music, through to putting on incredible gigs in unusual spaces, and providing unforgettable experiences for fans and bands alike. The Signature Brew ethos could not be more aligned with Rough Trade’s, so it is an honour for our beers to be pouring in all your incredible locations.

For us it is a perfect partnership, and we’re only just getting started – so expect incredible things!

Insert a photo of a cool moment from your history:

Sports Team headline the Signature Brew stage at Bigfoot 2021


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