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23rd April 2020

Black Sheep Brewery sees 1500% increase in online sales as customers follow stay at home guidance

L-R: Black Sheep’s Emma Harding and Martha Harding preparing online beer orders ready to be dispatched across the country

Black Sheep Brewery is experiencing the biggest period of sales ever from its online shop as customers across the country turn to the internet for their beer orders during the coronavirus emergency.

The Masham-based brewery has seen an influx of nationwide orders, as drinkers adhere to the ‘stay at home’ advice from the government and explore new ways of buying beer.  Black Sheep has experienced an increase of more than 1500 percent in online sales since pubs closed on 23rd March, compared to the same period last year.

Working closely with its distribution partners, Black Sheep is ensuring strict social distancing and health guidelines are followed for each delivery as well as for its team preparing orders at the brewery.

In the past month the brewery has been receiving orders from Edinburgh to Cornwall for its range of bottled and canned beers, as well as its Black Sheep Yorkshire Dry Gin.

The most popular beers with its online customers, currently, are its classic Black Sheep Ale, Golden Sheep Ale and Riggwelter along with its Monty Python collaborative brew, Holy Grail.

Black Sheep is also seeing a surge in hamper orders, as people send memorable gifts to loved ones from a distance whilst the government continue to advise the general public to stay at home.

Charlene Lyons, Chief Executive of Black Sheep Brewery, said: “With the country staying at home as much as possible we’re seeing levels of online orders that we’ve never seen before, not even during the festive season which is typically the busiest time of year for our online shop. Our team has worked incredibly hard to ensure we can meet these orders working to the strict health guidance and social distancing rules.

“We’re really pleased to offer a taste of Yorkshire to people across the country in this difficult time and we want to thank our loyal customers for supporting our business.”

The brewery is continuing to offer local drink and food deliveries, within a 15-mile radius of its Visitor Centre at Masham and more details can be found on its website and social media.



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, which was unveiled as the official beer of the Tour de Yorkshire and is the official brewery of Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC).

In the past 12 months, Black Sheep has won a number of prestigious awards, including:

  • The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) National Independent Beer Awards 2018 – Glug M’Glug – Small Pack Gold Champion in the Porters, Stouts, Old Ales, Strong Milds & Strong Brown Ales category
  • The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) Beer Champion 2017
  • World Beer Awards – Milk Stout – UK Winner
  • World Beer Awards – Pathmaker – Gold Award
  • World Beer Awards – Black Sheep Ale – Silver Award
  • World Beer Awards – Guzzler– Bronze Award
  • World Beer Awards – 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, 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 Tap Room, York
  • The Three Legged Mare, York

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

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.


Instagram: @blacksheepbrewery

Twitter: @BlackSheepBeer