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13th March 2018

Black Sheep in ‘very silly’ collaboration with Monty Python

Tony Yale portraying a ‘Gumby’ with Gary Lynch, from Black Sheep Brewery, and Andy Muirhead at The Flying Circus

Black Sheep Brewery is continuing its longstanding affiliation with legendary comedy troupe Monty Python, with the launch of a ‘very silly’ seasonal ale.

The Masham-based brewery has partnered with Monty Python to create ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus. A Very Silly IPA’, markingtheir third collaboration since 1999.

The 4.5% ABV amber ale will be available in pubs and bars in the UK from 19 March to 4 May, and follows on from the pair’s most recent beer launch during Christmas 2016.

Brian, which is Monty Python’s first official Christmas beer, was created in homage to the 1979 film, Monty Python’s Life of Brian, and forms part of Black Sheep’s festive seasonal and bottled range.

The pair’s first collaboration was to celebrate Monty Python’s 30th anniversary, in 1999, and led to the creation of Holy Grail, which has grown to become one of Black Sheep’s most popular beers.

Flying Circus is brewed with First Gold, Galena and Amarillo hops, along with pale ale malt and crystal rye that gives it a red tinge.

Black Sheep officially launched the beer at The Flying Circus, in Newark, with proprietors Tony Yale and Andy Muirhead, who are trade customers of the brewery.

Jo Theakston, Sales and Marketing Director at Black Sheep Brewery, said: “As with Brian and Holy Grail, we are expecting Flying Circus to be a real talking point at the bar, as drinkers reminisce about and recite the classic lines from one of the world’s most iconic comedy troupes.

“Our Python-inspired beers have grown to become regular and permanent fixtures among our range, and we are expecting Flying Circus to be a hit among Black Sheep drinkers and all fans of Monty Python.

“We have enjoyed a longstanding partnership with Monty Python and there will be plenty of ‘sillyness’ and enjoyment during spring from our latest Python brew!

“It was only fitting that we officially launched the brew at its namesake pub, The Flying Circus!”


CONTACT: Jamie Collis/Stuart Nicholls on 01325 363436

Editor’s 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.

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

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) Beer Champion 2017

World Beer Awards – Choc & Orange Stout – Gold Award

World Beer Awards – Riggwelter – Gold Award

World Beer Awards – Black Sheep Ale – Silver Award

World Beer Awards – My Generation – 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 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 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.

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.