Black Sheep Brewery

Black Sheep celebrates continued award success


The Black Sheep Brewery has ‘struck gold’ for a second time in March - after being recognised with another prestigious accolade.

The Masham-based brewery followed up its recent success at the International Brewing Awards 2019 with Gold at the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) National Independent Beer Awards.

Black Sheep’s 54° North was awarded Gold in SIBA’s North East Keg Premium Lager & Pilsners category.

Black Sheep was also winner of Marketing Implementation 2019 surrounding the Tour de Yorkshire, as the event’s official brewery. It was recognised for its ‘practical point-of-sale with the on-trade, backed up by an excellent social media and press campaign.’

Milk Stout, another of Black Sheep’s brands, was awarded Gold at The International Brewing Awards 2019, in the International Dark Beer (3.8%-4.7% ABV) competition.

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.

Launched in 2017 as Black Sheep’s first ever lager, 54° North is a 4.5% ABV premium small batch craft lager. It was created in homage to Black Sheep’s hometown of Masham and the brand’s name derives from the line of latitude around the earth that passes through the Yorkshire market town – 54th parallel North.

Jo Theakston, Sales and Marketing Director at The Black Sheep Brewery, said: “We are proud of this latest award success and to have been recognised again by our peers from across SIBA. 54° North has gone from strength to strength and has been well-received by drinkers across the North since its launch less than two years ago. We are incredibly proud that it has won a significant award, in such a short space of time.

“It was equally pleasing to be recognised for our marketing of our brands and the overall promotion of the Tour de Yorkshire, which we are proud to be affiliated with. The event has continued to grow in popularity, and we are delighted to have supported its promotion.”

Jo added: “Our brands continue to be enjoyed by drinkers, which is down to the hard work and creativity of our brewing team. Our staff have brewed many award-winning beers over the last few years, and long may this trend continue.”



CONTACT: Stuart Nicholls 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 and was unveiled as the official brewery of the 2018 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:

  • International Brewing Awards 2019 – Milk Stout – Gold, International Dark Beer (3.8%-4.7% ABV)
  • 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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(L-R) Phil Douglas, Head Brewer at Black Sheep Brewery, Rob Theakston, Managing Director of Black Sheep Brewery, and Alan Hinkes OBE
(L-R) Phil Douglas, Head Brewer at Black Sheep Brewery, Rob Theakston, Managing Director of Black Sheep Brewery, and Alan Hinkes OBE
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