Asahi is to close one of its 4 breweries in the UK as it is operating “significantly below capacity”. The Japanese brewing group plans to cease operations of its Dark Star Brewing Co. in Partridge Green in Sussex, England at the end of the year. The entire Dark Star beer portfolio including its signature hoppy golden ale Hophead, will be moved over to Asahi’s 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,” a spokesperson at Asahi told Drinksbusiness. “The Dark Star site operates significantly below capacity which is unfortunately not sustainable.”
Established in 1994, Dark Star Brewery is one of the pioneers of the craft beer movement in the UK. First brews were made in the cellar of the Evening Star public house in Brighton. Production was moved a number of times before building their own 20,000 barrel (approx. 33,000hl) brewery in Partridge Green in 2010.In February 2018, Dark Star was bought by London-based brewer, Fuller Smith & Turner, which in turn was sold one year later to Asahi (inside.beer, 5.2.2019)
After the closure, Asahi is left with the Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, Meantime Brewing Co. in Greenwich, and its Cornish Orchards cider and juice company based at Duloe, Cornwal. In addition it operates its UK Wholesaling business, Nectar Imports in Wiltshire, and distribution operations in Hindon and in Horndean.