Black Sheep Brewery

Black Sheep Brewery founder inspires new cask ale


A limited edition craft beer created by Black Sheep Brewery to celebrate Yorkshire brewing pioneer Paul Theakston makes its debut as a cask ale in May.

‘Pathmaker’ is named in honour of the founder of the Masham-based brewery, and his reputation as an early forerunner in the movement against bland beer and large corporate brewers when he founded the business in the early 1990s.

A 4% ABV pale ale, Pathmaker is brewed with Chinook hops, with an adventurous fresh aroma, juicy hop and malty mouth feel with a crisp moreish finish.

Originally introduced in 2015 as a keg beer, Pathmaker captured the imagination of experimental, younger beer drinkers keen to experience new flavours, which also led to it securing a permanent place in Black Sheep’s bottled beer portfolio.

As a result, Black Sheep is introducing the cask version of Pathmaker as part of its seasonal ale calendar, which features new and innovative beers created by its brewing team in its five-barrel microbrewery.

Jo Theakston, Sales and Marketing Director at Black Sheep Brewery, said: “Pathmaker is a great way to celebrate the fresh approach my Dad brought to brewing in the early 90s, which has helped put Black Sheep Brewery and Yorkshire brewing well and truly on the map.

“His reputation for having courage in his convictions and a desire to do things differently not only inspires this new cask beer’s name, but Black Sheep Brewery’s ambitions that have been adopted by the rest of the family and our team.”



CONTACT: Jamie Collis on 01325 363436

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.

back to Black Sheep Brewery


Pathmaker is inspired by Black Sheep founder, Paul Theakston
Pathmaker is inspired by Black Sheep founder, Paul Theakston
Download Large Image