|Founder(s)||John Bird Fuller, Henry Smith and John Turner|
|Headquarters||Chiswick, London, United Kingdom|
|Production output||215000 UK barrels (in FY2013)|
|Divisions||The Fuller's Beer Company, Fuller's Inns|
Beer has been brewed on Fuller's Chiswick site for over 350 years - as far back as the era of Oliver Cromwell. 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, who were then 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, as it is still known today.
Since that date the Griffin Brewery has gone from strength to strength. 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 the likes of London Pride, ESB and 1845 all winning numerous awards. In fact, three of Fuller’s beers – London Pride, ESB and Chiswick Bitter – have been named Champion Beer of Britain, a feat unmatched by any other brewery.
In November 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.
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. 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. The public can take a guided tour of the site. During 2012 almost 15,000 visited the site.
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. Three of Fuller’s beers - London Pride, ESB and Chiswick Bitter - have been named Champion Beer of Britain, a record unmatched by any other brewer. Fuller's ESB (Extra Special Bitter) has the distinction of being the beer which spawned an entire beer style in the USA.
Fuller's year-round beers (as at 2014).
- 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.
- Fuller's London Porter. London Porter is available in pasteurised 500ml bottles and in Fuller's tied houses as a seasonal cask ale.
- Fuller's Golden Pride is a barley wine. At 8.3%, 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.
- 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.
- Fuller's Discovery is a blonde ale first brewed in 2005, and sold cask conditioned year round and in 500ml pasteurised bottles.
- Fuller's Wild River is a double hopped ale first brewed in 2012, and sold cask conditioned during the summer and in 500ml pasteurised bottles year round.
Fuller's seasonal ales
- Fuller's Vintage Ale is a 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.
- Fuller's Past Masters XX Strong Ale, a bottle-conditioned 7.5% abv strong ale based on an 1891 entry in the brewing logs.
- Fuller's Past Masters Double Stout is a 7.4% bottle conditioned stout based on an 1893 entry in the brewing logs.
- Fuller's Past Masters Old Burton Extra is a 7.3% ABV bottled beer produced in 2012 to a recipe from 1931.
- 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.
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 bitter.
- Gales' Seafarers is a 3.6% ale where a donation from every sale is given to the maritime charity Seafarers UK
- 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 owns and operates over 380 pubs, inns and hotels across the south of England from Birmingham to Brighton and Bristol to Bromley. 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. Gale's beers including HSB and Prize Old Ale are now brewed to their original recipes at The Griffin Brewery, including the unique Gale's 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.
- The Full History of Fuller's Brewery and its pubs and beers
- London Pride - 150 Years of Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC (1995)
- News report Retrieved 17 July 2011
- Guided tour
- "YE FOX AND HOUNDS AND MAWSON ARMS AND NOS. 112-118". National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. Retrieved 17 December 2013.