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14th November 2018

Black Sheep to spread plenty of joy this Christmas with return of festive brews

Phil Douglas, Head Brewer at The Black Sheep Brewery

The Black Sheep Brewery will round-off a successful year with the return of two of its popular beers this Christmas.

The Masham-based brewery has announced the return of its Monty Python-inspired, ‘very naughty’ pale ale, Brian, and Blitzen to pubs and bars until 22nd December.

The release of the two festive beers complete Black Sheep’s seasonal ale calendar for 2018.

At 3.9% ABV, Brian, was created in 2016, in collaboration with Monty Python and named in homage to the comedy troupe’s 1979 film, ‘Monty Python’s Life of Brian’.

Blitzen, a 4.0% ABV ruby ale, was launched in 2014 and features chocolate and spice notes to create a distinctively ‘Christmassy’ taste and aroma.

Black Sheep celebrated continued award success in 2018 as its Glug M’Glug brand was named the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) Small Pack Gold Champion in the Porters, Stouts, Old Ales, Strong Milds & Strong Brown Ales category at its National Independent Beer Awards 2018.

Jo Theakston, Sales and Marketing Director at The Black Sheep Brewery, said: “Our creative brewing team has continued to produce award-winning brews and delivered an all-round, exciting seasonal ale calendar over the course of the year. The return of Brian and Blitzen will be welcome additions to the bar over the festive period, offering drinkers a choice of two Christmas-inspired brews that are full of character and flavour.

“We’ve enjoyed a positive year, which sets us up perfectly for 2019 and beyond, with next year’s seasonal calendar set to offer plenty of variety once again.”



CONTACT: Jamie Collis/Stuart Nicholls on 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, and was unveiled as the official brewery of the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire and is the official brewery of Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC).

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

  • The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) National Independent Beer Awards 2018 – Glug M’Glug – Small Pack Gold Champion in the Porters, Stouts, Old Ales, Strong Milds & Strong Brown Ales category
  • 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.