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29th May 2014

Black Sheep celebrates Tour de France

As one of the world’s largest sporting events prepares to pass by its door, the Black Sheep Brewery has launched a special celebratory beer which is expected to be its biggest selling seasonal ale ever.


Velo – which is the French word for bicycle – has been launched to celebrate Le Grand Depart Yorkshire, and the wider sport of cycling, with which Black Sheep has a proud history of engagement.


Having started only a few miles up the road in Harrogate, some of the world’s leading cyclists on the Tour de France’s Grand Depart will pass directly through the shadow of the brewery as it plays host to Le Grand Party, the biggest event in Masham’s history, on July 5th.


Velo is a ‘freewheeling’ fresh, pale cask ale, brewed with cascade hops and subtle hints of orange and coriander, with a dry, bitter finish, and an ABV of 4.2%. Developed and tested in Black Sheep’s microbrewery, Velo has been scaled up in the brewery’s full plant.


Sales of Velo will also raise funds in support of Mike Hughes, Yorkshire’s very own Marie Curie Power Peloton Rider, who was on hand to help launch the new beer at the brewery in Masham.


Additionally, a collector card scheme has been developed to support pubs, giving drinkers a chance to win prizes including special Velo and biking merchandise.


Jo Theakston, Black Sheep Brewery’s Sales and Marketing Director, said: “These are exciting times in Yorkshire, and this has been reflected in the response we have seen from the pub trade. Sales of Velo into the trade have been fantastic in the build-up to the launch, and we are on course for this to be our biggest selling seasonal ale ever.


“We are having the biggest party Masham has ever seen and the stand-out yellow pump clip of Velo will be leading the pack throughout the celebrations of the Grand Depart and across our wider trade customer base throughout the summer, on sale until the end of August.”


Around 20,000 people are expected to descend upon Masham as Black Sheep Brewery joins with other local businesses to put on a special celebration, Le Grand Party. This will include partnering with the neighbouring Theakston’s brewery on a number of joint cask ale bars, for the first time since Black Sheep founder Paul Theakston left the family firm.






CONTACT: Paul White on 01325 363436


Photo caption: Jo Theakston, Sales and Marketing Director of Black Sheep Brewery, (left) with Power Peloton Rider Mike Hughes




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 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 fermente