Skip to main content
10th February 2020


Jo Theakston, Innovation and Export Director at Black Sheep Brewery

Black Sheep Brewery is bringing a taste of the ‘new world’ to British pubs from this month with the launch of its new keg beer, Black Sheep IPA.

Featuring a blend of three new world hops, Simcoe, Citra and Columbus, the IPA has been developed by the creative brewing team at the Masham-based brewery.

Inspired by innovators of the modern American IPA from the West Coast of the USA, the latest addition to the Black Sheep portfolio represents the brewing team’s extensive experience in creating both classic and modern styles of beer.

A hop dominated pint with tropical notes and vibrant grapefruit flavours, the 4.6% IPA is brewed with fresh water from the Yorkshire Dales and fermented using Black Sheep’s famous Yorkshire Square system. Its pale malt blend provides a light and gentle base that allows the fruity, piney flavours to flourish.

Jo Theakston, Innovation and Export Director at Black Sheep Brewery, said: “Innovation is at the heart of everything we do at Black Sheep and we are constantly challenging ourselves to develop new and exciting brews that complement our hugely popular range of classic cask and bottled beers.

“We love any opportunity to blend traditional and craft brewing, allowing our team the freedom to be really creative. We’re looking forward to letting pub customers experience the amazing flavours of Black Sheep IPA when it becomes available on 17th February.

He added: “We are huge admirers of the West Coast IPA and the pioneering brewers who recreated this iconic style of beer. We feel a real connection with these brewers who share a lot of the values that we hold dear at Black Sheep. We hope we have done them proud with our iteration of the new wave IPA and we’re confident it will have a broad appeal among our following.”



For further information contact Jamie Collis 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, which was unveiled as the official beer of the 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 – Milk Stout – UK Winner
  • World Beer Awards – Pathmaker – Gold Award
  • World Beer Awards – Black Sheep Ale – Silver Award
  • World Beer Awards – Guzzler– Bronze Award
  • World Beer Awards – Pineapple Milkshake IPA – 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 into 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.

In 2018, Black Sheep announced the purchase of York Brewery, which included the acquisition of four pubs in the business and key cask brands, including Guzzler and Yorkshire Terrier.

The outlets bought by Black Sheep, as part of the deal, are as follows:

  • Last Drop Inn, York
  • Mr Foley’s Tap House, Leeds
  • The Tap Room, York
  • The Three Legged Mare, York

The addition of York Brewery complements the strong, iconic Black Sheep brand and its existing award-winning beers and brands.

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.


Instagram: @blacksheepbrewery

Twitter: @BlackSheepBeer