Skip to main content
15th September 2020

Black Sheep Brewery champions cask ale with new #BestinCask campaign and premium tankards

Black Sheep’s ICON pint tankard

Black Sheep Brewery is preparing to support Cask Ale Week (24th Sept to 4th Oct) with the launch of a new campaign to encourage drinkers to celebrate cask ale, which includes the introduction of premium glassware for pubs and their customers.

Supporting the cask category’s drive for premiumisation and in an effort to further improve the experience of enjoying fresh beer, Black Sheep’s #BestinCask campaign is to introduce the ICON pint tankard, initially to pubs in its Northern heartland to serve its best-selling, flagship Black Sheep Best Bitter.

The campaign is part of Black Sheep’s continuing and proactive support of pub and hospitality businesses as it continues to invest in the industry despite COVID-19 and the impact of the pandemic on the sector.

The brewery is supplying the tankard to a select number of its pub customers across Yorkshire and the North East, which have a proven record of serving fantastic cask ale.  In addition, Black Sheep are making the tankards available to the public via its online store and its Masham-based Visitor Centre shop.

Black Sheep has taken the tradition of the tankard and added a modern design, which, not only gives the glass added appeal, but also improves the drinking experience.

The #BestinCask campaign will also encourage interaction between pubs and their customers, giving drinkers the opportunity to win Black Sheep gift packs by joining the social media conversation using the hashtag and sharing their pictures of them enjoying best bitter in the tankards.

Charlene Lyons, Chief Executive of Black Sheep Brewery, said: “Cask Ale is a cornerstone of the British hospitality industry, but had its position increasingly challenged by other products.

“Taking some of the insight from the 2019 Cask Report, we’ve cited ‘premiumisation’ as the main challenge that we’d like to overcome from a cask ale point of view, which is why we are running our #BestinCask campaign and launching our iconic glass tankards.

“There is no denying the quality of cask ale and its enduring popularity, which is really important to continue with future generations of pub customers.

“A perfectly poured pint of Black Sheep Best Bitter cask ale is a truly beautiful sight and in our new tankards is even more photogenic, making it prime for sharing on social media channels like Instagram and Snapchat alongside enjoying the taste of its fresh, high quality British ingredients.”



For further information contact Jamie Collis 01325 363436


Editors’ Notes:

The Black Sheep Brewery is one of British brewing’s most famous stories and has grown from humble beginnings to become a multi-award-winning company, with its beers enjoyed around the world.

Black Sheep has grown to become one of Yorkshire’s most recognised brands, with its beer distributed both nationally and internationally. Black Sheep continues to champion the county of Yorkshire and is the official brewer of the annual Tour de Yorkshire.

Black Sheep is a multi-award-winning brewer, having enjoyed numerous accolades in recent years including:

  • The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) Beer Champion 2017
  • International Brewing Awards – Milk Stout – Overall Champion (International Dark Beer)
  • World Beer Awards 2019 – Milk Stout – UK Winner
  • World Beer Awards 2019 – Pathmaker – Gold Award
  • World Beer Awards 2019 – Black Sheep Ale – Silver Award
  • World Beer Awards 2019 – Guzzler– Bronze Award
  • World Beer Awards 2019 – Pineapple Milkshake IPA- Bronze Award

Based in Masham, in the heart of North Yorkshire, Black Sheep brewed its first beer in 1992 after being built up by Paul Theakston, whose family had brewed in the area for six generations.

In a world of ever-increasing bland, mass-produced beer, Paul saw an opportunity to return to what his family had done best since 1827, making real beer in the time-honoured fashion.

An old maltings building, once part of Lightfoot’s Brewery, became the Brewery’s home. This landmark building, which stands high over the banks of the Ure, had fallen into disrepair as years of neglect as a semi-redundant grainstore had taken its toll. Paul assembled a small team around him to fight the rats and build a traditional country brewery.

The Visitor Centre, at the site of the iconic brewery, has grown to become an award-winning attraction for visitors to Yorkshire, with tens of thousands of people flocking to Masham each year. In 2018, the Visitor Centre had a thorough refurbishment and offers the general public a menu of locally sourced Yorkshire food, its range of award-winning beers and tours of their iconic brewery.

In 2018, Black Sheep announced the purchase of York Brewery, which included the acquisition of four pubs in the business and key cask brands, including Guzzler and Yorkshire Terrier.

The outlets bought by Black Sheep, as part of the deal, are as follows:

  • Last Drop Inn, York
  • Mr Foley’s Tap House, Leeds
  • The Three Legged Mare, York
  • Tap and Kitchen, Leeds

The addition of York Brewery complements the strong, iconic Black Sheep brand and its existing award-winning beers and brands.

In 2018, Black Sheep also purchased the Chapel Allerton based bar, ‘Kith and Kin’ which they have since refurbished and renamed the ‘Black Sheep Tap & Kitchen’, which was officially launched on 28th February 2019.

The Black Sheep name derived from Masham’s association with sheep, but ‘Sheep Brewery’ didn’t quite sound right, so with a little creativity from Paul’s wife, the Black Sheep Brewery was born – a name that sat well with the area, spoke volumes about the business’ maverick attitude to the multi-nationals seeking to dominate the brewing industry and captured the essence of the family struggle that led to its birth.

Black Sheep’s beers are full of character derived from the best possible brewing materials, plenty of time and patience in the brewing and its very special Yorkshire Square fermenters.

Black Sheep Best Bitter is now one of the best-selling cask session beers in the UK and many of its creative brews, over the course of its 25-year history, have collected numerous awards – ranging from Black Sheep’s traditional ales to its up and coming craft beers.

2017 marked the launch of Black Sheep Brewery’s first lager, 54 Degrees North, created in homage to its hometown of Masham, which sits on 54’ 13’ 24” N; 1’ 39’ 20” W longitude and latitude lines, as the company embarks on an adventurous new chapter in its distinguished history.

In 2019, the brewery diversified their offering and entered the world of spirits by producing their own Black Sheep Yorkshire Dry Gin. The gin is distilled in Masham and within the production it features classic brewing ingredients including malted barley and Lemondrop hops.


Instagram: @blacksheepbrewery

Twitter: @BlackSheepBeer