The deal sees Fuller’s take a 100% stake in the business and will give Dark Star access to the funds it needs to invest in new markets and increase sales of its beers such as Hophead, American Pale Ale, Dark Star Original and Revelation, as well as its wide range of seasonal brews.
Dark Star will continue as a stand-alone business operating out of its Partridge Green site, with md James Cuthbertson remaining at the helm.
“Since our inception in 1994, we have grown continuously from those early days in The Evening Star Pub in Brighton to the current brewery in Partridge Green,” said Cuthbertson. “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.”
Cuthbertson said Dark Star was described as “more of a hobby that got out of control”, but pledged that the ethos of “fun and accessible” would remain at the heart of the business.
“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, md 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.”