Skip to main content
16th January 2013

The Black Sheep Brewery’s demanding cycle challenge is back for its third year.

Black Sheep opens sign-up for popular cycle challenge

The Firkin Challenge, which is organised by the Brewery, sees teams of cyclists complete two challenges giving participants the opportunity to take part in the ‘Barrel Breaker’ which is stretched over 100km or the ‘Mash Ton’, for the more experienced cyclist, which covers a route of 160 km.
 Last year almost 100 riders took part to raise over £21,000 for the Wooden Spoon Children’s Charity. The mapped routes which commence at the brewery take cyclists through the beautiful scenery of the Yorkshire Dales, then back to the Brewery at Masham, for a well-earned pint of Black Sheep. All money raised from the challenge is donated to the children’s charity.

Each cyclist must aim to raise £100 in sponsorship money for The Wooden Spoon children’s charity. The organisation aims to improve the quality and prospect of life for children and young people who are disadvantaged physically, mentally or socially in the UK and Ireland, giving them a chance to achieve their full potential in life.

Jo Theakston, Director of Marketing for The Black Sheep Brewery, said: “The Firkin Challenge is a great opportunity for cycling enthusiasts of all abilities to really push themselves for a good cause. Each cycle route takes riders through breath taking scenery around the Yorkshire Dales, which we are very proud to call the home of the Black Sheep Brewery.

“The challenge has become very popular and we managed to raise an astonishing amount for the Wooden Spoon Children’s Charity last year. I am urging people to get signed up early to avoid any disappointment due to the high demand of entries.  As always, cyclists can enjoy a well-earned pint of Black Sheep beer to top off a successful and enjoyable ride.”

For entry details please see the Black Sheep Brewery website:


CONTACT: Melanie Smith on 01325 363436

Pic caption: Black Sheep Brewery’s, Jo and Rob Theakston join cyclists at last year’s Firkin Challenge. A HIGH RESOLUTION PHOTOGRAPH/VIDEO TO ACCOMPANY THIS NEWS RELEASE CAN BE DOWNLOADED FROM:


Black Sheep  Brewery logo

Notes to Editors:

Please note the Black Sheep Brewery has a new logo, if high res version is needed please download from:

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.