Black Sheep Brewery

Black Sheep secures national listing with Tesco as the brewery expands its range


Black Sheep Brewery has announced a national listing with Tesco that will see several of its newly developed brands available on supermarket shelves for the first time.

The North Yorkshire-based brewery has secured exclusive listings with the UK’s number one supermarket chain for new releases Venus & Mars, Milk Stout and My Generation Pale Ale, as well as 54° North – the company’s first-ever lager.

54° North, a 4.5% ABV premium small batch craft lager, was created in 2017, Black Sheep’s 25th anniversary year, in homage to its hometown of Masham, which sits on 54’ 13’ 24” N; 1’ 39’ 20” W longitude and latitude lines.

Tesco worked with Black Sheep to deliver 54° North in small pack format, which will be exclusively available in 6 x 330ml cans, following its successful launch to pub trade customers in 30L keg format last year.

Venus & Mars and Milk Stout will be available in 500ml bottled format, with My Generation being scaled up to 500ml bottles for the first time.

A 4.5% ABV cross-over, pale ale, the Venus & Mars name derives from Venus, the Greek Goddess of Beauty, and Mars, the Greek God of Agriculture, with Black Sheep fusing First Gold, Summit and Chinook hops to provide a ‘hop forward’ tasting beer.

Milk Stout, a 4.4% ABV creamy stout with notes of chocolate, vanilla and coffee, has been scaled up to bottled format for the first time.

My Generation is distributed through Black Sheep and is brewed from an exciting blend of new world hops including Cascade, Galena, Magnum and Polaris. The 4.7% ABV beer was previously only available in can and 30L keg formats.

Jo Theakston, Sales and Marketing Director at Black Sheep Brewery, said: “We are delighted to be working with Tesco to drive our new brands forward as we continue to diversify and brew a range of beers that can be enjoyed in the comfort of the home, as well as in pubs and bars. Our newest brews together with existing, established brands will make for some exciting additions to supermarket shelves.

“The launch of our first lager, 54° North, was a defining moment for Black Sheep and securing this exclusive partnership with Tesco is another significant moment for us.”

Dom Hill, Head of Lager at Tesco, said: “We are excited to be working closely with the team at Black Sheep, especially on 54° North. We are confident our customers will enjoy the new range of beers and find the perfect one whatever their tastes.”

All beers will be available in 500 stores and priced between £1.65 and £7.



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° 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.

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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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