Vignette 27: Paul Reed (Dark Star)
I visited Sussex's Dark Star Brewing in 2011 and spoke with founder Paul Reed and then-brewer Mark Tranter. This past week, Fuller's announced it had acquired Dark Star.
“We first incorporated this business in 1994, but I’m reluctant to call it a business because at the time we didn’t make enough beer to have any customers, we didn’t have enough money to pay anybody—it was a hobby. It was a tiny little brewpub in the basement of a pub in Brighton. It turned into a real business in 2001 when we completely bankrupted ourselves to convert a small dairy on a farm to a brewery of about twenty times the capacity of the small pub brewery. You can’t go on turning away customers so we went on and we were brewing here [new brewery] in December of 2009. I’m hoping this one will last me until I retire, because moving here took about ten years off my life and I don’t have that many ten years to give away. I’m hoping this one will last.”