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29th November 2016

From Masham with love’ as Black Sheep brings Russian ale back by popular demand.

Black Sheep Brewery has announced the return of its eagerly-anticipated Imperial Russian Stout to pubs, following a year long wait, in a unique, limited edition form.

The Masham-based brewery has produced only 50 firkins of the 8.5% ABV cask ale, which has been specially barrel aged for twelve months, creating a unique addition to the stout’s flavour.

The rich, dark beer will be available in pubs from the start of December, on a first come first serve basis, given the small batch brew. However, Black Sheep does offer it as a 330ml bottled beer at its Visitor Centre as well as online.

Jo Theakston, Sales and Marketing Director at Black Sheep Brewery, said: “The wait is finally over and we are really happy to be able to offer local pubs this new limited edition version of our Imperial Russian Stout, which has been barrel-aged for twelve months. Our award-winning brewing team are excited by the results of the barrel aging process and we hope cask drinkers, looking for something really special, will love this beer as much as we do.

“This year we have launched a number of exciting brews and Imperial Russian Stout has been one of our best kept secrets. Demand is sure to be high, so drinkers will need to get to the pumps quickly!”



CONTACT: Jamie Collis on 01325 363436

Photo caption: Rob Theakston, Managing Director of Black Sheep Brewery

Editor’s Notes:

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.

In 2014, Black Sheep Best Bitter, – Yorkshire’s best-selling cask ale – underwent a facelift to broaden its appeal among drinkers, evolving the look, while retaining all of the great taste that has made it an iconic brand.