Black Sheep Brewery

Black Sheep Brewery strikes gold at industry awards


Black Sheep Brewery is celebrating after ‘striking gold’ with several prestigious award wins.

The Masham-based brewery was recognised by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) at its National Independent Beer Awards and Independent Keg Beer Awards.

Glug M’Glug, which forms part of Black Sheep’s canned craft beer range, was named as Small Pack Champion in the Porters, Stouts, Old Ales, Strong Milds & Strong Brown Ales category at SIBA’s National Independent Beer Awards 2018. It advanced to the national final after being named one of the Regional Gold Winners.

Velo was also recognised as a Regional Gold Winner at the awards, in the Standard Bitters & Pale Ales category. Meanwhile, Pathmaker, also part of Black Sheep’s craft beer range, claimed regional Gold in the Keg Strong Bitters & Pale Ales category at SIBA’s Independent Keg Beer Awards 2018.

Established in 1980, SIBA represents the interests of more than 850 independent craft breweries.

SIBA’s Independent Keg Beer Awards consist of breweries from across all eight of its regions, with more than 450 beers accepted into the competition. The National Independent Beer Awards also includes breweries from the eight SIBA regions, and recognise the best independently brewed cask, craft keg, bottled and canned beers.

Glug M’Glug, a dark IPA at 6.2% ABV, was launched in 2015 and named after a family childhood myth of a fearsome giant told to Black Sheep directors Rob and Jo Theakston, by their Grandfather.

Pathmaker, a 5.0% ABV pale ale, and part of the same craft beer range, was also introduced in 2015, in honour of Paul Theakston and his pioneering journey to establish Black Sheep Brewery.

Velo was created ahead of the 2014 Tour de France, which passed through Masham, and the 4.2% ABV ‘free-wheeling’ pale ale has grown to become part of Black Sheep’s permanent bottled range. The brewery’s cycling credentials have been sealed in 2018 with their recent announcement as Official Brewer of the Tour De Yorkshire.

The SIBA accolades follow multiple successes at the 2017 World Beer Awards for Black Sheep, which was also named Beer Champion 2017 by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

Jo Theakston, Sales and Marketing Director at Black Sheep Brewery, said: “We are delighted to have achieved national and regional success at SIBA’s prestigious awards. As always, the level of competition was extremely high and it is always nice to be recognised among your peers and by leading judges within the pub and beer trade.

“We’re delighted our beers continue to be enjoyed by drinkers and our loyal customer base, which is credit to our dedicated and creative team of brewers, who consistently produce award-winning brews. The recognition from SIBA follows a successful 2017 for Black Sheep, as we celebrated a key milestone with our 25th anniversary, and collected a number of prestigious accolades along the way.

“Hopefully we will be celebrating further award success in the future!"



CONTACT: Jamie Collis/Stuart Nicholls on 01325 363436

Editor’s 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.

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.

Instagram: @blacksheepbrewery

Twitter: @BlackSheepBeer

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Jo Theakston, Sales and Marketing Director at Black Sheep Brewery
Jo Theakston, Sales and Marketing Director at Black Sheep Brewery
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