Black Sheep Brewery

Black Sheep hails the Shearer with ale tribute to farming heritage


Black Sheep Brewery is brewing up a tribute to the sheep farming heritage of its home town, with a brand new seasonal ale, Shearer.

Masham, in North Yorkshire, is almost as well known for sheep as it is for beer.

The town boasts its own Masham breed of sheep, while the market square has historically seen up to 70,000 sheep sold a year, and the Masham Sheep Fair has been one of the most significant events in the local calendar for three decades.

Masham’s sheep farming heritage was also a key factor in the naming of Black Sheep Brewery, when it opened in 1992.

Shearer, a 4.1% full-bodied and zesty sharp, straw-coloured ale, brewed with citra hops and a hint of lemongrass, will be available for pubs on cask throughout November.

Rob Theakston, Managing Director of Black Sheep Brewery, said: “In the Masham area, we are well known for two things in particular, sheep and beer, both of which are traditions that have been passed down through the generations, not least with brewing in my own family.

“However, sheep farming is something that is not only peculiar to Masham, and the name, imagery and nod to the rural heritage is bound to find a warm welcome in bars across the Yorkshire Dales and other surrounding hill farming areas, such as County Durham. I suspect it might catch the eye on bars across Tyneside as well, but for more sporting reasons.

“Shearer has a great, citrusy flavour and a beautiful straw colouring, slotting nicely between our two Autumn and Winter amber ales, with the popular Blitzen returning for Christmas. It’s another great example of the way we can create fantastic new beers in our microbrewery and scale up to our original, larger plant.”



CONTACT: Paul White on 01325 363436

Notes to Editors:

Renowned for creating award-winning ales since its formation, Black Sheep Brewery enjoyed 2015 World Beer Awards (WBAs) success with prestigious medals for two of its bottled beers – Black Sheep Ale and Riggwelter, which received Gold and Silver accolades, respectively, despite competition from some of the UK’s leading brewers. The awards, which were presented by an expert panel of judges, including journalists, retailers, buyers, brewers and marketers, in London, follow Black Sheep Brewery’s WBAs success in 2009 when its Yorkshire Square Ale was named World’s Best Premium Bitter.

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.

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Black Sheep Shearer Ale
Black Sheep Shearer Ale
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