‘Below capacity’ Dark Star brewery to shut

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Moving on: Dark Star beers will be made in London after its West Sussex brewery closes at the end of 2022
Moving on: Dark Star beers will be made in London after its West Sussex brewery closes at the end of 2022

Related tags Finance Cellar management Beer Cask ale Property

West Sussex cask beer producer Dark Star is set to shut its Partridge Green brewery because it is operating “significantly below capacity”.

The brewer, which was bought by Fuller’s in February 2018 and subsequently taken over by Asahi in January 2019 when Fuller’s sold its beer arm – which included Fuller’s historic Griffin brewery and its Cornish Orchards, Dark Star and Nectar Imports brands – to the Japanese giant for £250m, will move all operations in the Meantime brewery in Greenwich, London.

Asahi said: “We have put forward a proposal for Dark Star to cease trading at its current site, in Partridge Green, West Sussex, as of 31 December 2022 and for operations for the brand to move to the Meantime brewery in Greenwich.”

Right course of action

It continued: “This is not a step we have taken lightly, however, there are significant challenges in the current economic and operating environment that make this the right course of action for the business and the brand.

“The Dark Star site operates significantly below capacity, which is unfortunately not sustainable.”

Dark Star was established in 1994 in the basement of the Evening Star pub near Brighton railway station. It moved marginally north up the A23 to Ansty in 2001 and on to Partridge Green in 2010.

Remain committed

Asahi added: “We believe strongly in Dark Star and remain committed to building for its future success.

“The Dark Star beers will remain exactly as they are today – brewed to the same recipe and taste expected by its loyal fans while retaining its distinct visual brand identity.

“Our absolute priority right now is to support all colleagues who may be impacted by this proposal and we are currently in the process of consultation with them. It would therefore be inappropriate to provide any further detail at this time, but we will share more on our plans for the brand and its future brewing arrangements in due course.”

Asahi took over craft beer brand Meantime in 2016 when it acquired Miller Brands UK, which included Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Grolsch.

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