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, 100 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 running great pubs and brewing outstanding beers, with the likes of London Pride, ESB and 1845 all winning numerous awards. In fact, three of Fullerís beers Ė London Pride, ESB and Chiswick Bitter Ė have been named Champion Beer of Britain, a feat unmatched by any other brewery. In 2005 Fullerís added its first year-round cask ale for more than 20 years, Discovery Blonde Beer, which it hopes will be an award-winning beer of the future.
In November 2005, Fullerís announced the largest deal in the history of the Company acquiring George Gale & Co Ltd (Gales), of Horndean, Hampshire. The Gales deal added 111 houses to the estate taking the total number of pubs to over 360. It also means that a great range of beers, including the award-winning HSB and Festival Mild have been added to the ale portfolio.
Continuous investment in the Company will help Fuller's to develop and grow, maintaining its position as the benchmark in retailing and brewing by delivering Quality, Service and Pride in everything it does.
A book on the history of Fuller's, called London Pride, was published in 1995 to mark the companyís 150th anniversary. It is available direct from the Brewery Shop priced at £6.99. In addition, a DVD charting the Brewery's history was released in March 2007 and this can be purchased for £9.99.