Fuller's Brewery

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Fuller, Smith and Turner plc
Industry Brewing
Founded 1845
Founder John Bird Fuller, Henry Smith and John Turner
Headquarters Chiswick, London, United Kingdom
Area served
UK, overseas exports
Key people
Simon Emeny, chief executive, Michael Turner, non-executive chairman, James Douglas, finance director, Richard Fuller, corporate affairs director, Ian Bray, managing director - Fuller's Beer Company, Jonathon Swaine, managing director - Fuller's Inns
Products Beer
Production output
215,000 UK barrels (in FY2013)
Revenue £161.6m (FY2014)
Divisions The Fuller's Beer Company, Fuller's Inns
Website http://www.fullers.co.uk/

Fuller's Brewery (Fuller, Smith & Turner plc) is an independent family regional brewery founded in 1845 in Chiswick, West London.[1]

The firm’s shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange.


Beer has been brewed on Fuller's historic Griffin Brewery site in Chiswick since the sixteenth century. From the original brewery in the gardens of Bedford House on Chiswick Mall, the business expanded and thrived until the early part of the nineteenth century. Money problems forced the owners, Douglas and Henry Thompson and Philip Wood, to seek a partner.

John Fuller, of Neston Park, Wiltshire was approached to see if he would inject the required amount of money. In 1829 he joined the enterprise, but the partnership proved a difficult one and in 1841 Douglas Thompson fled to France and the partnership was dissolved.

It soon became apparent that it was impossible for one man with no brewing experience to run a brewery of that size alone so in 1845 John Fuller's son, John Bird Fuller, was joined by Henry Smith from the Romford Brewery of Ind & Smith and his brother-in-law, Head Brewer John Turner, thereby forming Fuller Smith & Turner.

In 1909, the Beehive Brewery in Brentford was acquired, along with its 34 pubs. In 1929, one hundred years after the first Fuller had come to Chiswick, the partnership was dissolved and a Limited Company was formed. Descendants of those first partners are still heavily involved in the day-to-day running of the company.

Over the years, Fuller's has built up a reputation for its pubs and beers, with London Pride, ESB and 1845 all winning numerous awards, and three of Fuller’s beers – London Pride, ESB and Chiswick Bitter – have been named Champion Beer of Britain.

In 2005, Fuller’s announced the largest deal in the history of the company acquiring George Gale & Co. Ltd, of Horndean, Hampshire. The Gales deal added 111 houses to the estate taking the total number of pubs then to 362. Fuller's has continued to selectively acquire pubs to add to its estate and the company now owns and operates over 380 pubs. Fuller’s pub estate stretches from Brighton to Birmingham and from Portishead to the Greenwich Peninsula, including 168 locations within the M25.

In June 2013, Fuller's acquired Cornish Orchards, a craft cider maker producing a range of award-winning ciders and premium soft drinks.[2]

Griffin Brewery[edit]

The wisteria plant at the Griffin brewery 2008

The first recorded use of the name 'Griffin Brewery' in Chiswick dates from 1816, when one of the owners of the company at the time, Douglas Thompson, acquired the name from a failed brewery (Meux & Reid) in the City of London.[3] As well as its range of beers, The Griffin Brewery, located on the A4 in Chiswick, is famous for having the oldest wisteria plant in the UK, planted in the early 19th century.[4] The public can take a guided tour of the site.[5]


Fuller’s is most widely known as the brewer of London Pride, one of the UK’s leading premium cask ales, as well as many other award-winning ales such as Chiswick Bitter, ESB and 1845.

An assortment of Fuller's bottles
A selection of Fuller's brands over the years
Bottle of London Pride

Fuller's beers are exported to around 70 countries across the world. Its biggest market is currently Sweden.[6]

Fuller's year-round beers (as at 2014).[7]

  • Fuller's London Pride, the company’s flagship brand, is a mahogany coloured bitter. The beer is best known in England in its 4.1% cask conditioned form, but is also sold in the UK and worldwide in 4.7% pasteurised bottles.
  • Fuller's ESB (Extra Special Bitter) is a strong bitter. ESB has won CAMRA's Best Strong Ale award on seven separate occasions, more times than any other beer. The beer was rebranded from its old black and red livery, to the current blue and gold in late 2004 in an attempt to shake off its reputation as a very strong beer. It is sold in both 5.5% cask conditioned form as well as pasteurised at 5.9% in bottles and kegs.
  • Fuller's Honey Dew is a golden ale brewed with entirely organic ingredients. As well as malt and hops, it is also brewed with honey, giving it a slightly sweet taste. It is widely available in the UK in pasteurised 500ml bottles, and is available in keg form (formerly cask) all year round in many Fuller's tied houses.
  • Fuller's Chiswick Bitter is a 3.5% cask conditioned ordinary or session bitter and sold in most Fuller's tied houses.
  • Fuller's Bengal Lancer is a 5% (5.3% bottle conditioned) India pale ale. The beer is named after Northern India's first regiments of calvalry who were a band of horsemen among the first to drink India pale ales when they were first exported in 19th century. Bengal Lancer was launched after it won a new ale competition in Sweden and was listed by Systembolaget.[8] A version of Bengal Lancer called Fuller's India Pale Ale is brewed specifically for the export market.
  • Fuller's London Porter. London Porter is available all year round in pasteurised 500ml bottles and in Fuller's tied houses as a seasonal cask ale. It is a modern take on the traditional porter style which was popular in 19th century and made with brown, crystal and malt hops. London Porter has won awards including World's Best Standard Porter and Europe's Best Standard Porter at the World Beer Awards [9] and Champion Keg of Great Britain [10]
  • Fuller's Golden Pride is a barley wine. At 8.5%, it is the strongest beer in the Fuller's range, and one of the strongest beers widely available in the United Kingdom. It is sold in pasteurised 500ml bottles in most Fuller's tied houses, and some UK supermarkets. Today, it is rarely available on cask.
  • Fuller's 1845 is a strong bottle-conditioned beer. It was first brewed in 1995 to celebrate Fuller's 150th anniversary. 1845 is also available in Fuller's tied houses as a seasonal cask ale. To mark the 150th anniversary, it was developed using authentic ingredients from 1845, including a batch of amber malt made specially by Simpsons Malting Company. Amber malt was popular in the 19th century and today it is used by a number of craft breweries. Fuller's 1845 has won awards including CAMRA's Champion Bottle Conditioned Beer in 1998.[11] In February 1995 while visiting the Griffin Brewery, HRH Prince Charles added a handful of hops to a copper of 1845.[12]
  • Fuller's Frontier is a 4.5% craft lager (Fuller's first lager), made with the same yeast and laagered for 42 days.
  • Fuller's Wild River is a double hopped pale gold ale, first brewed in 2012 and sold cask conditioned during the summer and in 500ml pasteurised bottles year round. It is brewed with several hop varieties from the USA including Liberty, Williamette, Cascade and Chinook, which are infused using a dry-hopping process.

Fuller's seasonal ales

  • Fuller's Vintage Ale is an 8.5% vintage bottle conditioned ale. Each year’s brew is roughly based on Golden Pride, but with minor changes in the recipe. It is generally released around Christmas and has been made since 1997. As they are bottle conditioned, the beers continue to ferment until they are opened, which often makes them improve and mature. In 2002, the year of the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II, Fuller's added a commemorative gold theme to the Vintage Ale with Goldings hops and Golden Promise malt.[13]
  • Fuller's Past Masters is a series of bottled beers using authentic old recipes. Past Masters XX Strong Ale is a bottle-conditioned 7.5% abv strong ale based on a September 1891 entry in the brewing logs. It was the first of Fuller's Past Masters and is made using Plumage Archer barley, which Fuller's had specially recreated by Simpsons Malting Company.[14]
  • Fuller's Past Masters Double Stout is a 7.4% bottle conditioned dark and creamy stout based on an August 1893 entry in the brewing logs. It was released in 2011 and is also made using Plumage Archer barley, which Fuller's had specially recreated by Simpsons Malting Company.[15]
  • Fuller's Past Masters Old Burton Extra is a 7.3% ABV rich golden bottle conditioned ale, produced in 2012 to a recipe from September 1931.
  • Fuller's 1966 Strong Ale is the fourth Past Master beer, released in 2013 using a recipe from June 1966. It is a ruby coloured ale brewed with pale ale malt, Goldings and Fuggles hops and cane sugars.[16]
  • Fuller's IPA is a premium bitter produced mostly for export to the United States but also sold seasonally in the United Kingdom in Fuller's tied houses as a cask ale and in 500ml bottles.
  • Fuller's Hock is a dark mild available in Fuller's tied houses as a seasonal cask ale.
  • Fuller’s Summer Ale is a seasonal blonde ale sold during the summer months both in casks and in 50 cl pasteurised bottles.
  • Fuller's Jack Frost is a seasonal ale sold flavoured with blackberries. It is available as a seasonal cask conditioned ale, and in pasteurised 50 cl bottles in the winter. It was introduced in 2000.
  • Fuller's Red Fox is a ruby coloured seasonal ale introduced in 1999, and flavoured with toasted oats. It is available as a seasonal cask conditioned ale.
  • Fuller's Pale Ale is a pasteurised pale ale available in 275 ml bottles in most Fuller's tied houses.
  • Fuller's Old Winter Ale is a dark seasonal old ale sold during winter in 50 cl bottles.
  • Fuller's Mr Harry is a deep-amber coloured bitter.
  • Fuller's Brewer's Reserve is a collection of four limited edition bottles, all bottled with a small amount of live yeast which makes the flavours continue to develop until they are opened. The four Brewer's Reserve beers are No. 1 - a 7.7% strong ale launched in 2008 which spent 500 days in 30 year old single malt whisky casks.[17] No. 2 - an 8.2% oak aged ale which used 20 Courvoisier Cognac casks to provide brandy notes.[18] No. 3 - a 9.0% abv beer which matured for more than two years in Auchentoshan distillery whisky casks.[19] No. 4 - an 8.5% abv beer which was matured in Comte de Lauvia Armagnac casks from the Bas region of France for a year.[20]

There are a number of Gales branded beers in the portfolio which are brewed at Chiswick:

  • Gales HSB (Horndean Special Bitter) is a cask conditioned 4.8% premium strength English bitter. It was first brewed in 1959 [21] and takes its name from the Hampshire village which was originally home to Gales brewery. It is still sold under the Gales brand and made using the same Gales yeast.
  • Gales Seafarers is a cask conditioned 3.6% light amber ale where a donation from every sale is given to the maritime charity Seafarers UK. It was launched in 2007 but sold branded as a Gales beer. The ale is brewed from Admiral hop for its zesty, spicy flavour and uses the original Gales yeast.
  • Gales Prize Old Ale is a 9% bottle conditioned beer, which was previously sold in a corked bottle. The last brew from the old Horndean brewery was retained in tank. Each subsequent brew of Prize Old Ale is blended with the aged brew to impart the unique characteristics given to the beer by the old brewing equipment at the Horndean brewery.
  • Gales Butser is a 3.4% cask conditioned bitter named after the dominant hill in the downs close to the former Gales brewery at Horndean.
  • Gales Festival Mild is a 4.8% cask conditioned premium strength mild ale, first brewed as a special for a 1990 beer festival with the aim of helping to revive mild ales. Healthy sales quickly saw it become a regular Gales brand.
  • Gales Swing Low is a 4.1% bitter brewed seasonally around England rugby tournaments
  • Gales Trafalgar is a 4.3% seasonal ale brewed to celebrate the 200th Trafalgar Day
  • Gales Winter Brew is a 4.2% winter ale with which is very similar to Prize Old Ale

Fuller’s is also the UK distributor for Sierra Nevada, the premier US craft beer.


Mawson Arms, Chiswick Lane

Fuller's owns and operates over 380 pubs, inns and hotels across the south of England from Birmingham to Brighton and Bristol to Bromley.[22] Today these include over 180 Managed Pubs and Hotels and over 200 Tenanted pubs. The Company also has 641 boutique bedrooms in its Managed estate and owns a 51% share of The Stable, a craft cider and pizza restaurant business. Fuller's has consistently added to its pub estate over the years with selective purchases.

In 2005, Fuller’s added 111 pubs to its estate with the purchase of George Gale & Co. of Horndean, Hampshire. Gales beers including HSB and Prize Old Ale are now brewed to their original recipes at The Griffin Brewery, including the unique Gales yeast.

More recently, Fuller's has been closing pubs that do not fit its core profile, a particular example being the Red Lion, Bloxham which the village plans to purchase and re-open as a community freehouse in early 2014. The "brewery tap" (the nearest pub to the brewery) is the Mawson Arms, a Grade II* listed building.[23]

Financial information[edit]

Fuller, Smith & Turner plc financial results.[24]
Year to June Revenue (£ million) Profit before tax (£m) EBITDA (£m) Earnings per share (p)
2014 288.0 33.5 54.5 52.14
2013 271.5 33.7 51.2 50.43
2012 253.0 28.1 47.8 41.24
2011 241.9 30.4 46.6 43.41
2010 227.7 27.1 43.6 34.73


  1. ^ The Full History of Fuller's Brewery and its pubs and beers
  2. ^ [1] Morning Advertiser Retrieved 17 October 2014
  3. ^ London Pride - 150 Years of Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC (1995)
  4. ^ News report Retrieved 17 July 2011
  5. ^ Guided tour
  6. ^ [2] Annual report 2014 Retrieved 17 October 2014
  7. ^ http://www.fullers.co.uk/rte.asp?id=46
  8. ^ [3] The Beer Boy Retrieved 15 February 2015
  9. ^ [4] World's Beer Awards Retrieved 15 February 2015
  10. ^ [5] Society of Independent Brewers Retrieved 15 February 2015
  11. ^ [6] CAMRA Awards Retrieved 15 February 2015
  12. ^ [7] Inside Beer Retrieved 15 February 2015
  13. ^ [8] Rate Beer Retrieved 21 February 2015
  14. ^ [9] Inside Beer Retrieved 21 February 2015
  15. ^ http://www.beer-pages.com/notes/beer-of-the-month-2011-06.html Beer Pages Retrieved 21 February 2015
  16. ^ [10] FoodBev Retrieved 21 February 2015
  17. ^ [11] Fuller's Retrieved 21 February 2015
  18. ^ [12] Beer Pages Retrieved 21 February 2015
  19. ^ [13] Perfect Pint Retrieved 21 February 2015
  20. ^ [14] Beer Guild Retrieved 21 February 2015
  21. ^ [15] Fuller's Beer List Retrieved 15 February 2015
  22. ^ [16]
  23. ^ "YE FOX AND HOUNDS AND MAWSON ARMS AND NOS. 112-118". National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  24. ^ [17] 2014 Annual Report Retrieved 18 November 2014

Coordinates: 51°29′14″N 0°15′02″W / 51.48722°N 0.25056°W / 51.48722; -0.25056

External links[edit]