The Caterer

Fuller's announces closure of Gales brewery

27 February 2006 by
Fuller's announces closure of Gales brewery

London brewer and pub operator Fuller's is to close Hampshire's Gales brewery, following a strategic review.

Fuller's paid £91.8m for rival George Gale and company last year and its 111-strong pub estate in the South-east of England.

The closure of Gales's Horndean brewery on 31 March and transfer of beer production to Fuller's Griffin brewery is expected to save £3m annually.

Gales's HSB, Butser, Festival Mild and Prize Old Ale will continue to be produced in London at Fuller's Griffin brewery.

However, Gales Bitter will be discontinued in favour of Fuller's own London Pride.

A full distribution and warehousing operation will continue in Horndean.

Fuller's chief executive Michael Turner said: "There is capacity at Chiswick and the investment required to continue brewing at Horndean would, sadly, be prohibitive."

But the closure was attacked by consumer group the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), which described it as a black day for brewing in Hampshire.

A Camra spokesman said: "We are appalled at Fuller's decision. It has simply brushed the overwhelming public concern aside and continued with its own agenda."

There will be 21 redundancies at Horndean because of the closure.

By Chris Druce

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