Black Sheep Brewery

Black Sheep Brewery Toasts Success in the International Beer Challenge 2019



Black Sheep Brewery is celebrating its continuing success after securing three Silver and six Bronze awards in the prestigious International Beer Challenge 2019.

An expert panel of judges was quick to recognise the fantastic range and quality of beers produced by the family-run-brewery in Masham, North Yorkshire.

They awarded Silver medals to Riggwelter, Black Sheep Ale and Limoncello Sour, and Bronze medals to 54 Degrees North lager, Choc & Orange, Milk Stout, My Generation, Venus & Mars and Yorkshire Terrier.

Billed as the ‘world’s best beer competition and awards’, the International Beer Challenge (IBC), now in its fourth year, aims to reward and promote excellent beers from around the globe.

The latest accolades join eight Gold and Silver awards presented to Black Sheep Brewery in May by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) at its North East awards.

It had also earned another success earlier in the year when it received a Gold award for its 54 Degrees North lager in SIBA’s North East Keg Premium Lager & Pilsners category.

In all, Black Sheep Brewery has now amassed an impressive 21 accolades since March.

Rob Theakston, Managing Director at The Black Sheep Brewery, said: “The level of competition at the internationally-recognised IBC awards is always tough, but we are delighted to have received nine Bronze and Silver medals – building on our already notable achievements.

“It’s fantastic to be recognised not only for our traditional ales, which remain at the heart of our family-run business, but also for our spirit of innovation in developing such new and dynamic brews, including our first ever lager, 54 Degrees North, Milk Stout and, of course, the distinctive Limencello Sour.

“These awards are a testament to our brewing team’s ongoing dedication to excellence. They consistently produce great-tasting quality beers which are obviously appreciated by both our customers and industry experts.”



CONTACT: Jamie Collis on 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 – 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.

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

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Rob Theakston with 54 Degrees North, a medal winner at the International Beer Challenge
Rob Theakston with 54 Degrees North, a medal winner at the International Beer Challenge
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