Dark Star Brewery

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The Dark Star Brewery building in Partridge Green

Dark Star is a brewery in Partridge Green, Sussex, England.


Dark Star was originally the name of a porter developed by Rob Jones when he was employed by the Pitfield Brewery. It was highly successful, being voted Champion Beer of Britain in 1987. He took the recipe with him when he moved to the brewery based at the Evening Star. The beer itself is now known as Dark Star Original.


The Dark Star Brewery Company started, in 1994, as a small plant squeezed into a corner of the cellar of The Evening Star Pub, in Brighton. The company was founded by entrepreneur Peter Halliday, publican Peter Skinner, and brewer Rob Jones. At that time it was known as Skinner's brewery, but there was another Skinner's brewery in Cornwall, so the name was changed to Dark Star, after Jones's successful recipe for porter.(The resemblance between the names "Dark Star" and "Evening Star" is coincidental). It soon became apparent before long that the brewery could not keep up with the growing demand from the Evening Star’s drinkers, let alone the demand for its beers from other pubs.

In 2001 the brewery relocated to a new purpose-built brewery in Ansty, near Haywards Heath, from where it supplied the Evening Star with a selection of its beers, along with its sister pubs: The Stand Up Inn, Lindfield and The Duke of Wellington, Shoreham-by-Sea. A free trade to other pubs in Sussex and the rest of the UK developed at this time. Upon moving to Ansty, Mark Tranter became Head Brewer before leaving the business in March 2013.

A new 16,000-square-foot (1,500 m2) site in Partridge Green was opened by Roger Protz in early 2010. This led to a fourfold increase in production, and Dark Star becoming the second largest brewery in Sussex [1][2] In 2011 the brewery acquired The Partridge public house in Partridge Green as a brewery tap.[3]


The brewery has won many awards, including:-

  • Dark Star Espresso Stout has been crowned the world's best speciality beer.[4]
  • Dark Star American Pale Ale (APA) was voted best golden ale at the 2009 Great British Beer Festival.[5]
  • Dark Star Dark Star (also known as Dark Star Original) has been voted supreme champion of champions in the 1996 Great British Beer Festival.[6]


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