Fuller's Acquire Death (Dark) Star 😀

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http://www.originalgravitymag.com/dark-star-brewing-bought-by-fullers/

Interesting news. If it was one of the macros like ABInBev or Heineken I think they’d be as good as dead. But out of all the brewers they could possibly be bought by I would say Fuller’s is probably by far the best option for them, hopefully this will be good for both.

They didn’t do Gales much good. Looks like they have given up on trying to produce much decent themselves and buying a brand that far outweighs their own on the Craft beer front. To me this looks like bad news.

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Buyouts are never good news, are they? At least for the beer drinkers…

Well, not really fussed either way with this one if I’m being brutally honest but still hope for the best as otherwise it would sad to see a generally well regarded brewery close down.

They now have the impetus to make a proper go of things without having to worry about the financial side and brew decent beer again and get it back in more pubs. If quality continues to deteriorate as it (allegedly) has been over the past couple of years then so be it, but I think it’s a little soon to write it off as bad news - it doesn’t sound like Fuller’s want to control what kind of beer Dark Star will brew going forward so their fate will be in their own hands.

I don’t think the quality of either Fuller’s or Dark Star has particularly deteriorated recently.

Well for the time being anyway this is a different situation than what happened with Gales. The Dark Star brewery and head brewer remain at Dark Star as a separate entity owned by Fuller’s. Although I understand your worry as what Fuller’s did to Gales was awful.

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Fuller’s are one of the most consistent trad style brewers around. I was referring to Dark Star’s quality. I haven’t had enough of their beers in recent times to give my own opinion (what I have had was fine though), but in the big UKCBF thread on this story right now it seems to be a somewhat popular sentiment that their quality is not what it once was, hence me qualifying it with “allegedly”.

Regarding Gales, I’ve never even heard of them (only been drinking beer for 3 years so it happened long before my time). I just read up on Wikipedia… and yeah that sounds pretty bad and unfortunate, I hope they don’t do the same to DS.

Maybe or perhaps DS used to stand out a lot more against competition 10yrs ago and haven’t progressed much further since. I realise that a certain talented head brewer left which is always difficult to come back from. I still actively look out for their beers on cask in particular anyhow.

I do agree that Dark Star doesn’t have the, I wouldn’t say quality, but punch that they did have since the head brewer left. But Fuller’s have been pretty dire for a while, retreating into their bland, trad type beers. All this is my opinion, but we do give the Fullers pubs locally a wide berth these days.
A worry for me would be that Fullers would want to use Dark Star as guest beers in their own pubs, restricting the distribution that they currently have.

I don’t agree with “dire”, but perhaps the seasonal cask-only releases have been a bit samey. Certainly their collaboration box set and past masters series have been good fun of late.

Not sure how often you get to London Glen, or when you do if you bother with Fullers pubs, but there’s been quite a few small batch craft releases (keg only) from Fullers in the past 12 months of varying styles so I would suggest the opposite to them retreating to bland trad beers.

None have held a particular wow factor but most have been decent enough.

I get the feeling these releases don’t tend to make it much outside the Zones 1 to 3 Fullers establishments.

Dark Star Hophead is still a standard excellent cask beer. I hope it stays that way.

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Other than their Expresso Stout, I have rated them fair to middling. Lets stay optimistic that Fullers back their strengths.

Sorry, couldn’t resist changing the title… Fuller’s getting the Death Star really would be news!

Haven’t seen a new Dark Star beer to rate in several years but certainly rated them highly in the past. If they were going to be taken over by one of the big traditional brewer’s I’m guessing Fuller’s are a better bet than GK or Marston’s.

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I like Fullers and I like Dark Star, however the latter despite a solid core range have really just treaded water in recent years and have failed to keep up with the new kids on the block. Of the two I think Fullers have probably been more forward thinking and imaganitive in recent times. I hope that a greater financial security might see Dark Star shine again.

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@discobot fortune
Will Dark Star’s beers get worse post-acquisition?

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:crystal_ball: My reply is no

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Pete Brown wrote something about this & i think he sums up the feeling of a lot of people when it comes to these buyouts:

Theres been a lot of bad buyouts that experienced drinkers tend to cast their mind back on when a new buyout is announced. In the case of Dark Star and, say, Brixton & London Fields the beer quality is generally either so poor or bland, that its hard to really muster the energy for an opinion either way

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