The Black Sheep Brewery plc has announced the purchase of York Brewery, transferring in excess of 40 jobs to its business. The brewery entered administration on Thursday 13 December, together with its parent company, Mitchell’s of Lancaster.
Black Sheep has acquired the £2.1m-turnover York Brewery and brands as well as four outlets in the business as part of the deal, which is for an undisclosed sum. The pubs include:
- Last Drop Inn, York
- Mr Foley’s Tap House, Leeds
- The Tap Room, York
- The Three Legged Mare, York
The acquisition, which was facilitated by joint Administrators, Steven Muncaster and Sarah Bell of Duff & Phelps Ltd, builds on a positive year for Black Sheep, which returned to profit in 2018.
Andy Slee, Chairman of The Black Sheep Brewery, said: “This acquisition fits perfectly with our strategy of developing our presence in our Yorkshire heartland and owning pubs.
“Entering administration was worrying for the team at York Brewery, but our deal offers some comfort that its successful brand can be maintained, and the pubs can continue to operate. York Brewery complements our strong brands and by acting quickly we have been able to provide a good outcome for both organisations.”
Rob Theakston, Managing Director, Black Sheep Brewery, said: “Over the last 26 years we have produced some of the UK’s most iconic, award-winning beers, and the purchase of another longstanding brewery will secure the future of another well-respected Yorkshire brand.
“It also starts our journey into retail which was announced at the AGM in September. We are delighted with the acquisition.”
Steven Muncaster, Managing Director, Duff & Phelps, added, “Despite being a popular destination for both locals and tourists, York Brewery unfortunately continued to face cashflow pressures, ultimately resulting in it being placed into administration. However, we’re delighted to have secured a sale for York Brewery, which is especially pleasing so close to Christmas.”
To download and share a video of the Chairman of Black Sheep Brewery discussing the acquisition of York Brewery, click this link: https://www.recognitionpr.co.uk/clients/id/23704
Further information: Jamie Collis <Jamie.Collis@recognitionpr.co.uk>
About Black Sheep Brewery
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.
Founded in 1996, York Brewery produces ales that are enjoyed in pubs all over the UK and has won a number of local and national awards. Most recently, in 2018, its Britannia Brew won Silver at the SIBA Independent Keg Beer Awards (North East).
Located inside the city walls on Toft Hill, the brewery site was built in the late 16th century. It houses a 20-barrel brew plant, with six traditional open top fermenters and five conditioning tanks.
A gallery about the brew house, along with a view panel into the fermenting room, offer visitors a viewing platform during its guided brewery tours.