Bedlam brewery has appointed former Dark Star boss Paul Reed as it prepares to raise funds for a £1m purpose built brewery.
Paul Reed was managing director of Sussex-based Dark Star for 16 years where he was the driving force behind it growing from a small operation to one of the most influential craft breweries in the UK.
Reed said he had “fallen in love again” with Bedlam’s style of beer, and will join owner and publican Dominic Worrall in moving the brewery forward.
Bedlam will launch a crowdfunding campaign on Monday to raise £500,000 with a total of £1m planned investment in the new brewery.
The Sussex brewer makes around 300,000 pints a year, which it will be able to multiply by five or six times with the new set-up, which will be close to its current rural location near the South Downs.
There will also be an option for a second phase of development to multiply capacity by up to 20 times further down the line.
Bedlam, which was founded in early 2015 and makes predominantly English style kegged ales and pilsners, has recently signed a deal with beer wholesaler Matthew Clark.
Worrall is also considering opening a wet-led pub in Brighton or Hove on top of his food pub The Bull in Ditchling.
Worrall said: “To be able to tempt Paul away is great news. We’re a different business, much smaller, and he wanted the challenge to do all over again.
“I’m looking forward to him bringing his wealth of experience and fresh ideas - he’s a real asset.
“What Dark Star have done is inspiring but we’re not limited to that. I admire them but there’s areas we can improve on, no question.
“There’s no ceiling on how big we can be. I don’t want to limit us. I think we brew great beer; I think we continue to brew better beer.”
Reed said: “I’m not embarrassed to admit that I’ve fallen in love again. Just as all those years ago I discovered those great American hops and dry aromatic beers from the fledgling Dark Star, I’ve now re-discovered the beauty of pure style. In a beer scene where everyone is rushing to push boundaries, Bedlam revel in the balance and nuanced subtlety of great beer styles.”
On Bedlam’s style, Worrall added: “The American craft style of brewing has heavily influenced a majority of new UK breweries. There’s a desire to brew stronger, more experimental beer, dry hop, double IPAs treble IPAs – but that’s not us. Let those guys fight that out that market. We think there’s a shortage of classic style brews with slightly modern twist. Much harder to find a straightforward sessionable pilsner than an IPA with bags of hops.”