Global brewer Asahi has announced its intention to close the Dark Star Brewery, in Partridge Green, West Sussex, and move production to Meantime Brewery, in Greenwich.
Dark Star began life in the 1990s in the cellar of the Evening Star pub, in Brighton. It made a brewing star of Mark Tranter, who went on to found the hugely influential Burning Sky Brewery.
Dark Star moved out of Brighton to Partridge Green and, in 2018, was acquired by Fuller’s. A year later, Fuller’s itself sold its brewing business, based at the historic Griffin Brewery, in Chiswick, to Asahi.
An Asahi spokesperson told The Drinks Business: “We have put forward a proposal for Dark Star to cease trading at its current site, in Partridge Green West Sussex, as of 31st December, 2022, and for operations for the brand to move to the Meantime brewery in Greenwich.
“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.
“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, whilst 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.”