You love the blog, so subscribe to the Beervana Podcast on iTunes or Soundcloud today!

Friday, April 06, 2012

When Bands Make Beer, Not Music

Hmm, this gives me an idea:
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....

The idea behind Signature Brew is simple: Let a band sample a range of beers, write down what its members like and don’t like, and then create a brew specifically for them. McGregor doesn’t have professional brewing experience so he partnered with Titanic Brewery, a microbrewery in Staffordshire, U.K., which gamely creates whatever suds the rock stars request.
You see the problem, right? The quality of the beer is dependent on the band.
British guitar pop band The Rifles volunteered to be the company’s guinea pig. They taste-tested more than 20 beers and then took a trip to Titanic Brewery to learn about the beermaking process. The band pointed to Beck’s and Blue Moon as their top hops influences, then made their request.
The idea that comes to me, which, if you've read this far has no doubt come to you, too, is obvious. Find a place where the bands are likely to know good beer and then try this experiment. I am an old man who knows very little about the Rose City's current music scene (Quarterflash still rockin' it?*), and yet I know that there is a homebrewer among the Decemberists. I suspect James Mercer is a porter man. The Thermals are musical and political--surely they like beer.

In any case, I believe the possibilities are richer in Portland than almost any city in the US based on the good band:brewery ratio. Someone should get on this. Gigantic, perhaps? I envision excellent double entendre and cross-marketing possibilities.

On a slightly more serious note, it would really cool to see what kind of beer local bands would come up with.

*A joke. Even I'm not that old. Okay, I am, but I have better taste than that.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I know you're working a lot, so maybe you missed the Portland Mercury's beer/band collaboration project a couple weeks ago: the Malt Ball.

  3. The main problem I see with this is that the organisers assume rock bands are "beer literate" (sorry for the snobism, but I couldn't come up with any better term), when they tend to actually be like every other drinker out there... Here in CZ, it'll be Gambáč all round, which wouldn't be such a problem since most micros already make pale lagers to begin with...

  4. Quarterflash's original name: Seafood Mama. Guess I'm older than you, Jeff.

    Craig H

  5. Bill, I was aware of it (dimly). I may have missed the piece about band involvement--they didn't actually help design the beers, did they?

    But you're right in any case, bridge building between the two is a cause for celebration.

  6. I've always been curious about the Michael Anthony brews (subcontracted of course). Former Van Halen Bassist, now works still w/ Sammy & Chickenfoot I believe. Heard the beers were rather sub-par though. That's a little more than just a collaboration though I believe. I could care less about the collaborations.. unless maybe if it were a Collabo-Wabo.. ;) Surprised a suit didn't take place after that one...

  7. Hey Guys, great to see people taking an interest in what we are doing here.

    One of the main things we try to do is educate the artists we work with about the huge range of styles of beer available!

    People in bands on tour all the time are frequently subjected to standard types of beers on their riders, yet have travelled all over trying the odd interesting beer here and there. So perhaps they are more well "drank" than you might imagine, having said that I totally take your point Jeff! We do ensure that any one we work with has a keen interest in learning more about beer and the process.

    A key motivation for us is that we really want to get great beers in to the hands of people who've never drunk them before!

  8. In the Pavement bio Perfect Sound Forever, they include a rider from one of the band's tours. Included is a request for a "local microbrew." Since former Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus currently resides in Portland (although, he's said to moving to Berlin), you ought to hook him up with a brewer and make this thing a reality. I'd drink it.

  9. Also, I once asked The Thermals' Hutch Harris about beer in Portland, but he had little to say about it.