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24th December 2014

 Black Sheep brings a world champion to casks for January –
More than 15 years after it was first brewed, Black Sheep Brewery is making its much-loved world champion Yorkshire Square Ale widely available as a cask ale for the first time.
The limited run will see Yorkshire Square Ale, normally a popular part of Black Sheep’s bottled collection, widely available to the on-trade during the month of January as a special seasonal ale.
At the 2009 World Beer Awards, Yorkshire Square Ale was named the World’s Best Premium Bitter. The alcohol content for the cask ale is 4.1%, reduced from the 5% beer available in bottles, making Yorkshire Square Ale a premium session ale, that will be popular in pubs.
Yorkshire Square Ale was originally brewed in 1999 to celebrate Black Sheep’s unique Yorkshire Square fermentation process.
The instantly-recognised branding is an amalgamation of two specially-commissioned paintings by internationally-renowned artist Mackenzie Thorpe and features a square sheep, named Paul in honour of the Brewery’s founder, Paul Theakston.
Yorkshire Square Ale is brewed with Maris Otter malt, Demerara sugar and a blend of hops, predominantly Golding.
The use of Demerara sugar not only adds to the flavour, it preserves a regional tradition dating back to the 19th Century, when a large proportion of the Demerara sugar produced in the Caribbean was used by Yorkshire breweries. At that time, beer was taxed upon malt content and the use of Demerara sugar increased the strength, flavour and body of the beer, with reduced tax liability.
Black Sheep Brewery’s Sales and Marketing Director, Jo Theakston, said: “Yorkshire Square Ale is a beer of which we are rightly proud, not only because of the accolades it has received globally, but because of the way in which it has tradition running through it.
“Releasing Yorkshire Square Ale as a cask beer throughout January is a special treat for pubs and for their customers and it is also very exciting for us. It’s a great reason for fans of great beer to enjoy this one-off, world champion, premium ale from the pump.
“This is the first time we have made Yorkshire Square Ale widely available to the on-trade and it is specially adapted to offer a premium session ale that will appeal to drinkers and landlords alike. The pub is a great British institution, and beer lovers should make a New Year’s resolution to support these fantastic places more in 2015. With special opportunities such as Yorkshire Square Ale on tap, what better incentive could there be?”
Mackenzie Thorpe said: “As a Yorkshireman, the region’s traditions are very close to my heart and Black Sheep’s Yorkshire Square Ale embodies those customs, which have made Yorkshire beer a huge favourite around the world. Just like the artwork I was commissioned to produce in the 1990s, and which features on this beer to this day, this is a timeless piece, crafted with skill and passion that has premium quality, but broad appeal. It is fantastic to see Yorkshire Square Ale being given a wide release as a cask ale at last, so even more drinkers can enjoy it up and down the country.”






CONTACT: Paul White on 01325 363436


Picture Caption: Yorkshire Square Ale




Notes to Editors:

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.

Paul White MPRCA
Account Director
T – 01325 363436
F – 01325 353471