2020 has been a wild ride that has directly affected everyone in different ways. Here at the brewery, we're incredibly thankful of all those who we've managed to enjoy a beer with us this year - every bar, every venue, every musician and everyone who's come down to our venues when they've been open.
At the start of December, we released our imperial stout, Anthology, that celebrates 2020 and everything we've been through together.
If 2020 has proved anything, it's that the things we love are worth fighting for. So here's a quick look back at the past year at Signature Brew.
Kicking off the year the only way we knew how, we launched a seasonal beer G-Sharp - a delicious sour that brings together notes of real grapefruit and ginger for an electrifying duet.
February: Signature Brew x Nøgne ØHeading straight into February, we brewed our first collaboration of the year with Norways mighty Nøgne Ø, brewing Raw Power - an IPA with hits of gooseberry, peach and mango.
March: International Women's Day
Then, to celebrate International Women's Day, we partnered with The Women Of Manchester Punk Festival to brew a beer for the festival together and host a show at our state of the art brewery at Blackhorse Road. It was possibly one of our last glimpses of fully-fledged live music in 2020 prior to social distancing, and was a huge bang to go out on.
We later released the beer as Nightingale, after Manchester Punk Festival was sadly cancelled. The beer donated £1 for every can sold to NHS Charities Together, because no one has been fighting the good fight harder than those in our health services in 2020.
Also March: Pub In A Box
Just as things were taking off in 2020, the world slammed to a halt as the Coronavirus hit the UK, plunging the live music and hospitality industry into the unknown. We responded almost immediately with the innovative Pub In A Box, delivering your favourite pub to your front doors, and hiring out of work musicians in the process.
April: Stylus & All Together
By the time April rolled round, we released one of our best selling New England IPA's, Stylus, giving people the opportunity to appreciate a good beer and a good record as the world started to slow down.
Similarly, before April concluded and in partnership with Other Half NYC, we brewed the All Together IPA, which saw hundreds of breweries worldwide all brewing a beer to the same recipe to help those who work in hospitality.
We donated 20% of our proceeds to The Drinks Trust and based our designs off the show during International Women's Day and as an ode to the last time we hosted a gig at the brewery.
May: Takeaway Shops & C-Sharp
As the days got warmer and longer, restrictions around the hospitality industry started to ease and the country saw their favourite pubs opening up as takeaway shops. Naturally, we did the same, and it made the perfect opportunity to showcase our newest sour, C-Sharp - made from fresh Sicilian lemons and perfect for the incoming heatwaves.
June: Festival Saison & Unplugged
Although there was initial hope for UK festivals to get the go-ahead, we were sadly denied the opportunity to hang out with our mates and listen to some live music in the summer.
Nevertheless, we still went ahead and released our annual festival beer, Festival Saison (because why should everything good be cancelled?!) and a crisp, fresh micro IPA by the name of Unplugged.
July: Sustain & Re-Opening
And as July breathed in the intense heatwaves, we were thankfully able to re-open as a socially-distanced venue and got to welcome you all in for a beer once again. This was also perfect timing for our next NEIPA, Sustain.
August: Long Hot Summer, Lenmanade, In The Dark & Live Music
With our venues open, we took the opportunity of socially-distanced music by both hands and begun hosting covid-secure gigs, putting on multiple shows for the likes of Rob Lynch, Wytches & Jamie Lenman, who we ended up brewing our first (and only) lemonade with… Lenmanade.
But we didn't stop there, as we brewed a summer lager with Mercury Prize nominees Sports Team and a smoked lager with Dynamite MC & DRS - the latter of which we hosted an album release show for, which saw the liveliest gig we put on at the brewery since March.
September: DIY, Passions, Luftballoon & Oktoberfest
To celebrate DIY's 100th issue, we were proud hosts of their birthday week, which saw the likes of Black Honey and Spector play, as well as DJ sets from IDLES.
Likewise, we also released a passionfruit NEIPA, Passions, and a German Festbier Luftballoon - what better way to celebrate it's release than by throwing an Oktoberfest party complete with an oompah band?
October: Equaliser, Polyphonic Peach & More Live Music
Cracking on with more beers, we hit into October with another NEIPA, Equaliser, and added to our fruited sour roster with Polyphonic Peach.
With COVID seemingly looking steady, we also pushed on with more live music, hosting shows with Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor and Hotel Lux.
November: Lockdown 2.0, Perky Blenders & Bells End
When everything seeming too good to be true, select regions of the UK headed into varying levels of tiers and an eventual second lockdown. But, we still had plenty to look forward to as we announced our collaboration with local coffee roasters Perky Blenders, creating a bespoke gift set for coffee & beer lovers alike, before brewing an extra seasonal bitter with our good friends in The Darkness, Bells End.
And then that brings us up to date, releasing our retrospective beer Anthology and sending out our Christmas Pub In A Box to the masses. Looking back at everything we'd like to thank you all once again for supporting us, and ultimately choosing to support local and independent throughout the year. Now more than ever, independent businesses have depended on your support – and long may it continue.
What a mad year it's been. Long live beer and music… and here's to a better 2021.