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24th June 2020

Black Sheep stands ready to support pub re-openings with fresh supply of beer

Jo Theakston (left) and Rob Theakston (right) in the Black Sheep tanker

Black Sheep Brewery is ramping up production to support the reopening of pubs on 4th July following the government’s announcement today.

After restarting brewing this month with the first 100 barrels of Black Sheep Best Bitter, the Masham-based brewery is adding a wider selection of beers, in various formats, to create a dedicated re-opening range.

Though primarily available in cask, Black Sheep Best Bitter is also available in kegs and mini-kegs. The brewery’s opening cask range will also feature Twilighter, a fresh IPA that was introduced as a seasonal in 2019 and was widely well received.

The brewery plan on reintroducing Black Sheep IPA in keg format from 6th July whilst also reintroducing their Yorkshire lager, 54° North from 20th July.

Its distribution team, which have been providing local home deliveries direct to customers during the three-month hiatus, will begin reloading its fleet of vans with cask and kegs for delivery to customers in its Yorkshire heartland and across the UK over the next two weeks.

Charlene Lyons, Chief Executive of Black Sheep Brewery, said: “We have been poised to increase our production ready for pubs to reopen and now we have the green light, our team will be pulling out all the stops to ensure our pub customers have the freshest supplies of Black Sheep behind the bar ready for 4th July.

“All of our deliveries will be made in line with hygiene and social distancing guidelines and we will be encouraging all the pubs we work with to ensure they have a safe environment for staff and customers to enjoy this new chapter in the story of our industry.

“There’s no doubt that this is a monumental day for us. Delivering to pubs once again will allow us to resume our close bonds with our flock of publicans with whom we have long-standing and successful relationships.  We’ve missed them, but we are back together now and making sure they can serve much-desired pints of hand-pulled Black Sheep that their customers have been looking forward to throughout lockdown.”



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, with its beer distributed both nationally and internationally. Black Sheep continues to champion the county of Yorkshire and is the official brewer of the annual Tour de Yorkshire.

Black Sheep is a multi-award-winning brewer, having enjoyed numerous accolades in recent years including:

  • The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) Beer Champion 2017
  • International Brewing Awards – Milk Stout – Overall Champion (International Dark Beer)
  • World Beer Awards 2019 – Milk Stout – UK Winner
  • World Beer Awards 2019 – Pathmaker – Gold Award
  • World Beer Awards 2019 – Black Sheep Ale – Silver Award
  • World Beer Awards 2019 – Guzzler– Bronze Award
  • World Beer Awards 2019 – 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, the Visitor Centre had a thorough refurbishment and offers the general public a menu of locally sourced Yorkshire food, its range of award-winning beers and tours of their iconic brewery.

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 Three Legged Mare, York

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

In 2018, Black Sheep also purchased the Chapel Allerton based bar, ‘Kith and Kin’ which they have since refurbished and renamed the ‘Black Sheep Tap & Kitchen’, which was officially launched on 28th February 2019.

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.

In 2019, the brewery diversified their offering and entered the world of spirits by producing their own Black Sheep Yorkshire Dry Gin. The gin is distilled in Masham and within the production it features classic brewing ingredients including malted barley and Lemondrop hops.


Instagram: @blacksheepbrewery

Twitter: @BlackSheepBeer