Black Sheep Brewery has again been recognised for its award-winning Milk Stout by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) landmark competition.
The Masham-based brewery was awarded Gold at SIBA’s first ever National Digital Beer Awards, in the Best Dark Beer up to 4.4% category.
Due to the coronavirus restrictions the awards were moved online with judging taking place via video call.
Each judging ‘table’ was captained by a trained beer sommelier and they followed internationally recognised guidelines around beer style, colour, aroma and flavour.
Black Sheep’s Milk Stout is brewed with lactose and a robust malt blend that offers drinkers a creamy stout with notes of chocolate, vanilla and coffee, with a sweet taste against a light bitterness.
Previously, it was only available in cask but in March 2018, production was scaled up to include a 500ml bottled format as Black Sheep secured a national listing with Tesco.
Milk Stout has quickly become a highly decorated star in the Black Sheep portfolio following its success in 2019 when it was named overall UK champion in the Dark Beer category at the International Brewing Awards. It was also named the 2019 UK Winner at the World Beer Awards in the Stout & Porter category.
Rob Theakston, Managing Director of Black Sheep Brewery, said: “This is a major event for all independent breweries in the UK and features many top brewers, so we are very proud of this latest prestigious award success.
“Milk Stout is fast becoming an iconic, multi-award-winning brand and we are thrilled with its recent achievements. This is a testament to our creative brewing team for their consistent hard work and dedication in creating award-winning Yorkshire beers that have become internationally renowned.”
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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.