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25th July 2014

Black Sheep to take the spirit of cycling – and bottle it.

The overwhelming success of Black Sheep Brewery’s most popular seasonal ale ever is set to ride on, long after the world’s largest annual sporting event has left Yorkshire, with the aim of reaching the finish line of the Tour de France this Sunday.

Velo – the French work for bicycle – was launched as a cask ale to celebrate Le Grand Depart Yorkshire and the sport of cycling.

As an estimated three million people lined the roads of Yorkshire to see the Tour de France pass by, Velo was proving hugely popular in pubs across the country, selling double the Brewery’s previous most popular seasonal.

And at the event itself there was an overwhelming demand from the public for Velo to be made available in a bottled format, inspiring a process of epic proportions aimed at delivering the end result to the Tour de France finish line on July 27.

Now, Velo is to become a permanent part of the Black Sheep flock, in its bottled form. And brewers in Masham are setting themselves a target of completing this process – brewing, label design and printing, bottling and label application – in record time to get Velo to Paris’ Champs Elysees on time.

Velo is a 4.2% ABV ‘freewheeling’ fresh pale ale brewed with cascade hops and a subtle hint of orange and coriander, developed and tested in Black Sheep’s microbrewery, then scaled up in the brewery’s full plant, initially to be sold only in casks.

Jo Theakston, Black Sheep Brewery’s Sales and Marketing Director, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the popularity of Velo on cask and it is by popular demand that we are now putting it in the bottle and making it a permanent addition to the Black Sheep flock.

“Not only that, but we want to take Velo to the Champs Elysees for when the riders cross the Tour de France finish line and that means rolling out the whole bottling process in three weeks, which we believe is record time. We have no doubts that Velo in a bottle will be every bit as popular as it has been on cask and that the spirit of Le Tour coming to Yorkshire will live on.”



CONTACT: Paul White on 01325 363436

Photo caption: Black Sheep Brewery’s Velo


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.