West Sussex brewer in line for Business Matters Awards

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A county brewery which has won an army of fans thanks to its popular ales and craft beers is in the running for a Business Matters Award.

Dark Star is a Sussex-based born and bred brewery, producing craft beers enjoyed by both younger craft beer lovers and traditional real ale connoisseurs.

This year it has been nominated for an Outstanding Contributionto the Community award.

The first ever brews were made in the cellar of the Evening Star pub in Brighton, as almost a homebrew hobby. This hobby soon turned into a rush to satisfy demand for the great brews that were being created, and the rest is history. Today, 21 years after it was founded, the brewery is based in Partridge Green and produces over five million pints a year and enjoys a strong social media presence and thriving shop, but still remains very much a loved, local brewery.

The brewer launched its Foundation in 2013, something they are extremely proud of. The Foundation aims to work in three key areas; to issue funds to good causes, in particular those that are local to the firm; provide funds to pubs to assist with their fundraising efforts; and to provide seed funding for tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. The idea behind the Foundation is to ‘support and inspire’ by working alongside, and helping, good causes.

The Foundation aims to give a helping hand to local charities and organisations, with funds raised through the brewery shop, donations from those attending brewery tours, and a series of fundraising events including ‘Spin Up in a Brewery’ and ‘Hopfest’.

In 2013, the Foundation supported Chestnut Tree House, Dame Vera Lynn

Trust, Ashurst Village Hall, Age UK Horsham, 4Sight, Sussex Sailabilty and the Sussex Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus – with a total of £6,000.

Last year those who received funding were Partridge Green Players, Sussex Sailability, Dame Vera Lynn Trust for Children with Cerebral Palsy, PG Munchkins, Age UK Horsham, Cancer UK and Hurstwood Park Neurosciences Centre – with a total of £13,000, over double that of the previous year.

The group have a fundraising target of over £20,000 in 2015 aided by a Foundation concert by the celebrated Blockheads at the brewery in August.

Sales and marketing director James Cuthbertson said: “The Foundation is overseen by a passionate board of people – a mixture of locals and brewery staff, each with a shared passion for helping improve the fabric of our communities – a passion aligned with the role played by pubs and customers of pubs, the length of the country.”

To enter and for all categories visit www.jpsouthevents.co.uk and please find Business Matters Awards on Facebook and like our page. Nominations close on May 4. The winners of these awards will be announced at a gala black tie dinner held on Friday July 3 2015. For all enquiries and/or sponsorship details contact Susie Marshall on susie.marshall@jpress.co.uk . Call: 01243 534148 / 07908 715613. Sponsoring a category costs just £750 plus VAT. All winners of The Business Matters Awards are automatically finalists in the Johnston Press South Business Awards held at The Grand Hotel in Brighton in October 2015. The catergories are: Reader’s Choice – Sponsored by Sakakini Jewellers; Overall Business; Lifetime Achievement; Outstanding Contribution to the Community; Employee/Team of the Year – – Sponsored by C&T Radmall Funeral Services; Business Personality; Customer Service; Manufacturing and Production; Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure; Place to Eat; Young Achiever - Sponsored by Trend Control Systems Ltd; Retailer; Innovation; Green Business – Sponsored by Cisswood House Hotel; Training and Education - Sponsored by Rewards Training & Recruitment Consultancy; Large Business – (50+ employees) sponsored by Hampton by Hilton; Medium Business – (10-49 employees); Small Business – (up to 9 employees) – Sponsored by Indigo Tax & Accountancy Ltd and Start-Up Business