Big Brewery News

Fuller’s Brewery has been acquired by Asahi Europe Limited

By now most of you will probably know that Fuller’s Brewery has been acquired by Asahi Europe Limited. Asahi Breweries Ltd. was founded in 1949 in Tokyo and is well known for Asahi Super Dry which was launched in 1987 – and into Europe in 1997. It all started in 1889 with the Osaka Beer Brewing Company who brought in German brewing technology with the aim to create a beer suitable for Japanese taste. Asahi has been growing steadily since then and started acquiring European breweries in 2016 with Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime and in 2017 continued to acquire breweries across Europe including Pilsner Urquell. So Asahi acquiring Fuller’s is really not much of a surprise. They are also big enough to be looking at more radical things – see the Presidents message:

‘’In 2017 we started up a new agricultural materials business that uses beer yeast. Processing the cell walls of yeast that remains after brewing beer with an Asahi Group original technology and applying a fertilizer containing the cell walls to plants boosts immunity and resistance to disease and pests, promotes root growth, and allows farms to increase crop yields. Utilizing these cell walls as an agricultural material makes possible stable crop production and reduced use of agricultural chemicals’’

Do we need to worry? CAMRA chairman Jackie Parker responded to the news by saying:

“CAMRA is always concerned about any consolidation in the brewing industry as it could result in a reduction in choice, value for money and quality for beer drinkers. We’re also wary of one company increasingly controlling a larger and larger share of the market, which is seldom beneficial for consumers”.

“Fuller’s has been a family brewer in Britain for more than a hundred years, and it’s a very sad day to see such a well-known, historic and respected name exit the brewing business.

“It would be very disappointing to see the character of Fuller’s beers change as a result of the deal. While the Fuller’s family has stressed it has sought to protect the heritage of the Griffin Brewery, we’d call on the new owners to pledge to continue brewing operations at the Chiswick site as well as show a commitment to not only continuing cask beer production, but to preserve the full range of Fuller’s, Dark Star and Gale’s beers.”

Fullers intend to concentrate on their pubs and hotels and we all know these are challenging times.

For me I hope the Fuller’s Griffin Brewery and Dark Star stay strong.

With thanks to Christine Lewis