Partridge Green based brewery Dark Star has today (February 20) joined forces with independent traditional family brewer Fuller’s.
A joint statement from Dark Star and Fuller’s says that the move has been made to grow the business and take the brewer’s brands to a wider audience.
The statement says: “The deal, which sees Fuller’s take a 100 per cent stake in the business, will give Dark Star access to the funds it needs to invest in new markets and increase sales of great beers such as Hophead, APA, Dark Star Original and Revelation as well as Dark Star’s wide range of seasonal brews.
“Brewing will continue at Dark Star’s Partridge Green site, Managing Director James Cuthbertson will remain at the helm and the brewer will continue to operate as a standalone business.”
James Cuthbertson said: “Since our inception in 1994, we have continuously grown from those early days in The Evening Star Pub in Brighton to the current brewery in Partridge Green.
“The partnership with Fuller’s, another independent brewery with fantastic heritage and great beer at its very core, will allow us to take the brewery to the next level.
“The deal means we will continue to do what we do, but gives us huge opportunities to brew more one-off small batch beers hand-in-hand with exploring the export market and expanded bottle and can formats.”
He added: “We’ve always described Dark Star as more of a hobby that got out of control than a business, an ethos that will remain at the centre of what we do and what we’re about, after all, beer should be fun and accessible.
“I’m also delighted that Fuller’s has donated £4,000 to the Dark Star Foundation, bringing the total fund to £20,000 to support local causes and charities in 2018.”
Simon Dodd, Managing Director of The Fuller’s Beer Company, said: “Following on from the success we have had with our acquisition of Cornish Orchards, we have been looking at similar opportunities to invest in and work with young, exciting companies that have a similar ethos and commitment to quality as Fuller’s.
“Following discussions with James and the team at Dark Star, we could see that we could add real benefit to the Dark Star business and it provides a great new range of delicious cask beers that will enhance the Fuller’s portfolio.
“Both Fuller’s and Dark Star are brewers with quality and taste at their heart. I just can’t wait to see how Dark Star innovates further with the support of Fuller’s and access to our expertise in brewing, retailing and business elements such as finance, purchasing and IT systems.”
Dark Star has pubs in Horsham (Anchor Tap in West Street), Haywards Heath (The Lockahart Tavern), Partridge Green (The Partridge) and Brighton (The Evening Star).
Dark Star was established in 1994 in the cellar of the Evening Star pub in Brighton and is among a select group of UK brewers that were ‘Craft’ before the term was coined. From its iconic session beer, Hophead, to brews like Creme Brûlée, Dark Star has spent the last 25 years continually breaking new ground in the UK beer scene. In 2001, the Brewery was moved to Moonhill Farm in Ansty, near Haywards Heath and in 2009 it moved to Partridge Green, some nine miles west of the Moonhill site. Dark Star’s beers include Hophead, American Pale Ale (APA), Revelation and Dark Star Original.
Fuller, Smith and Turner P.L.C. is an independent traditional family brewer founded in 1845 and is based at the historic Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, London, where brewing has taken place continuously since 1654. The Fuller’s Beer Company brews a portfolio of premium beers including London Pride, Oliver’s Island, ESB, Organic Honey Dew and Frontier Craft Lager. The Company owns Cornish Orchards, a craft cider maker producing a range of award-winning ciders and premium soft drinks. Fuller’s is also the UK distributor for Sierra Nevada, the premier US craft beer. In December 2015, Fuller’s acquired a 51% stake in Nectar Imports, a wholesale drinks business.