East London brewery, Signature Brew, are known for their collaborations with bands (Mastodon, Idles, alt-J, Slaves, Mogwai, Frank Turner, Rodney P, and Enter Shikari to name but a few) and with Christmas approaching like a Bat out of Hell they’ve decided to pull out a Christmas cracker of a collab : The Darkness !
And they very kindly sent some over for us to try!
Say hello to BELLS END, an Extra Seasonal Bitter with an ABV of 5.2%. Taking its name from the bands hit Christmas single Christmastime (Don’t Let The Bells End) this collab has arrived especially in time for the festive season.
Co-Founder of Signature Brew, Sam McGregor had this to say about the collaboration :
“We were really excited to brew with The Darkness, we love their music, and the experience didn’t disappoint. The band visited the brewery several times and we collaborated closely with them to find the perfect beer style and the perfect name. 2020 has been a tough one for everyone. We’ve worked with musicians throughout the year, from our socially-distanced brewery shows to enlisting bands to help deliver our now legendary Pub In A Box. As we approach the end of the year everyone needs a laugh and a tasty beer – and Bells End will definitely satisfy both.”
The Darkness’ Dan Hawkins adds:
“We wanted something to be sessionable, but not necessarily a session-level of alcohol. We wanted a beer that’s punchy and drinkable at the same time. Signature Brew really know their stuff and captured exactly what we were after. Bells End has got a bit of oomph to it but it’s something you can drink in the run up to Christmas and throughout the whole season. It’s a very wintery beer, it’s perfect and we can’t wait for everyone to try it.”
So how does it taste ?
The pour is copper in colour, an inviting rusty shade. There’s a light thin foam with a healthy cling. On the nose it’s got a full, malted and fruity aroma. I’m getting a hint of ginger? Or maybe i’m just ready for Christmas flavours?
This is a modern take on the style – all toffee and caramel on a bed of hops. There’s a good amount of lip-smacking going on and before I notice I’ve drained most of the glass! Very easy to drink and deceptively light for the 5.2 ABV. A very smooth offering that would pair well with mince pies.
Signature Brew are gearing up for their 10th Birthday in 2021 which will see the brand celebrating with many more live shows, exclusive beers and band collaborations – so we’ll be keeping an eye out for upcoming announcements. They’re certainly getting their name global, sending cans across the world.
You can experience the BELLS END making-of video here :
You can grab BELLS END from www.signaturebrew.co.uk/TheDarkness.
And Signature Brews award-winning Pub in a Box, hand delivered by out of work musicians is also available in a festive edition from £28!
You can enjoy BELLS END with this specially curated Spotify Playlist !
You can check out some of our previous Signature Brew coverage HERE :