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25th September 2017


An experienced beer and pub industry professional is to become Chairman of North Yorkshire-based Black Sheep Brewery.


Andy Slee will take up the role from September and Paul Theakston, founder and current Chairman, will remain on the Board as a Non-Executive Director (NED).


Andy, 52, from Staffordshire, possesses more than 30 years’ experience in the industry and has been a NED at Black Sheep Brewery since 2016.


He has enjoyed a successful executive career with a number of leading brands, including Coca Cola and most recently as External Affairs and Central Operations Director at Punch Taverns, which was the second largest pub company in the UK at the time.


Andy completed his Financial Times NED Diploma in 2014 before becoming a NED at the Masham-based brewery last year.


In his role as Chairman, Andy will work mainly with Managing Director Rob Theakston to build on Black Sheep’s reputation as one of the preeminent independent brewers in the UK, by supporting the executive team and utilising the pair’s extensive industry experience.


Andy Slee said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as Chairman of Black Sheep Brewery, which is a great privilege to oversee one of the Yorkshire’s iconic institutions. I hope to draw on my extensive experience from working with a number of large brands within the industry and build this into the future of Black Sheep.


“It will be a great honour to work with Rob and the rest of the Board, including Paul whose continued involvement will be great asset to the company. He is the very DNA of Black Sheep and our collective experience, together with his wise guidance and counsel, will be important to the future success of Black Sheep Brewery.”


Paul Theakston was an early pioneer against bland beer and mass corporations when he established Black Sheep Brewery in 1992, and has worked in the industry for more than 50 years. Two of his sons, Rob and Jo, form part of the Black Sheep management team, as Managing Director and Sales and Marketing Director, respectively.


Rob became Joint Managing Director alongside Paul in 2010, until 2011 when Paul stepped up to Chairman.


Paul Theakston added: “Andy possesses extensive industry experience working with large corporations and breweries, which will support the Board and management team immensely. I am looking forward to working with him and the Board, as we continue to develop the Black Sheep brand.”



CONTACT: Jamie Collis on 01325 363436


Photo caption : Andy Slee, new Chairman of Black Sheep Brewery


Editor’s Notes:

The Black Sheep Brewery in Masham made 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 in to 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 Black Sheep Brewery 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 maverick attitude to the multi-nationals seeking to dominate the brewing industry and captured the essence of the family struggle that led to our birth.


Black Sheep Ale at 4.4% ABV, now in an eco-friendly lightweight bottle, continues to maintain its presence among the top ten premium bottled ale brands, and is available nationwide from virtually all the major supermarket retailers. It is a classic premium bitter and as with all Black Sheep beers, full of character derived from the best possible brewing materials, plenty of time and patience in the brewing and our very special Yorkshire Square fermenters.


In 2014, Black Sheep Best Bitter, – Yorkshire’s best-selling cask ale – underwent a facelift to broaden its appeal among drinkers, evolving the look, while retaining all of the great taste that has made it an iconic brand.


Further information: Jamie Collis

T – 01325 363436

M – 07974 245628