Fuller’s stated that they saw strong potential for the company’s brands, particularly Hophead, and insisted Dark Star would continue to operate as a standalone business and carry-on brewing at its Partridge Green site.
Meantime Brewery, which Asahi had acquired back in 2016. This move could prove problematic, as Meantime hasn't brewed any cask beer for decades, but leaving that issue aside, I do wonder whether it’s the Greenwich brewery that is operating well below capacity, and that this is the real reason behind the closure of Dark Star. I raise the capacity issue because, apart from a few beers in Marks and Spencer, it's quite a few years since I last saw any Meantime brands on sale in either the on trade, or the off.
From a personal point of view, I find the closure of Dark Star rather sad, as it is a brewery I have followed from its early days, back to when its beers first acquired cult status. I have also made two visits to the Partridge Green brewery, as a member of West Kent CAMRA. The first visit took place in 2011 more recently in the spring of 2017. On the last visit in particular, I was impressed not just with the setup, but also with the knowledge and enthusiasm of the brewers, plus the other members of staff we met.Burning Sky’s website, perhaps underlines the difference underlining the philosophies of the two companies and the different paths they were following. “Whilst industrial units are convenient, they seldom inspire, so we chose to locate ourselves within the beautiful and inspirational South Downs, occupying refurbished farm buildings in a slightly quirky village. A true farmhouse brewery.” drinks business website, but the statement from CAMRA National Director, Gillian Hough, sums up the concern felt by many drinkers over what appears to be yet another corporate carve-up.
“Moving the production of Dark Star from the brewery’s home in West Sussex is cause for great sorrow and sadness. Dark Star is a brewery that is close to many CAMRA members’ hearts, and this decision is yet another example of global brewers playing chess with their assets.”
“Years of consolidation of large parts of the brewing industry into the hands of a few global players has been to the detriment of our brewing heritage. This worrying trend of further domination of global brewers is putting choice at the bar and the diversity of British beer at risk – and needs constant monitoring by the UK’s Competition authorities.”