Black Sheep Brewery
Black Sheep strengthens cask ale range with new beer launch
The Black Sheep Brewery is bolstering its core cask range with the addition of a ‘new breed’ of pale ale.
Black Sheep Pale Ale has been launched as the Masham-based brewer aims to create the UK’s best core cask ale range, complementing its existing brands, Best Bitter and Special Ale.
At 4% ABV, Black Sheep Pale Ale is a fresh and juicy pale ale, packed with new world hops which fuses together the qualities from British and American pale ales. It is brewed with Galena, Cascade, Citra and Amarillo hops, and fresh water from the Yorkshire Dales, using Black Sheep’s famous Yorkshire square fermenting vessels.
While Black Sheep has continued to diversify its range of beers and brands because of the ever-changing cask ale market, including the launch of 54° North, its first-ever lager, and the creation of new craft ales, it has remained committed to the production and development of its cask ale brands.
Last year, Black Sheep developed its Best Bitter brand with a new look, which included the launch of a new, striking pump clip.
The launch of Black Sheep Pale Ale follows a successful period for its brewing team as several of Black Sheep’s brands have been recognised across the industry.
Eight of its beers won Gold and Silver medals at the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) North East Awards and Milk Stout was recognised with the Championship Trophy and Gold award at The International Brewing Awards 2019.
Jo Theakston, Sales and Marketing Director at The Black Sheep Brewery, said: “This is an exciting time for Black Sheep as we continue to invest in the development of our brands and diversify into new markets. Black Sheep Pale Ale fits perfectly into our core cask ale range, alongside our leading Best Bitter and Special Ale brands, as we aspire to create one of the best ranges in the UK that meets the needs of drinkers.
“Black Sheep Pale Ale is a bold and modern beer which will appeal to engaged ale fans, and we are excited by its potential. This latest launch follows a prolonged period of success for our brewing team, which has received both national and international praise, and this prowess has gone into the creation of Black Sheep Pale Ale.”
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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 is the official beer of the Tour de Yorkshire.
In recent years, Black Sheep has been recognised with a series of prestigious awards, including:
- International Brewing Awards 2019 – Milk Stout - International Dark Beer (3.8%-4.7% ABV) competition – Championship Trophy
- International Brewing Awards 2019 – Milk Stout - International Dark Beer (3.8%-4.7% ABV) competition – Gold Award
- The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) National Independent Beer Awards 2019 - 54° North – North East Keg Premium Lager & Pilsners – Gold Award
- SIBA National Independent Beers Awards 2019 – Best Marketing Implementation (Tour de Yorkshire)
- SIBA National Independent Beers Awards 2019 – 54° North – Gold Award, North East
- SIBA National Independent Beers Awards 2019 – Choc & Orange Stout – Gold Award, North East
- SIBA National Independent Beers Awards 2019 – Limoncello Sour – Gold Award, North East
- SIBA National Independent Beers Awards 2019 – Pineapple Milkshake IPA – Gold Award, North East
- SIBA National Independent Beers Awards 2019 – Velo Pale Ale – Gold Award, North East
- SIBA National Independent Beers Awards 2019 – Pathmaker IPA – Silver Award, North East
- SIBA National Independent Beers Awards 2019 – Yorkshire Square Ale – Silver Award, North East
- SIBA National Independent Beers Awards 2019 – Legion IX – Silver Award (Brewed at York Brewery) , North East
- 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 2017 – Choc & Orange Stout – Gold Award
- World Beer Awards 2017 – Riggwelter – Gold Award
- World Beer Awards 2017 – Black Sheep Ale – Silver Award
- World Beer Awards 2017 – 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 into 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.
In 2019, Black Sheep built further enhanced its retail portfolio with the acquisition of popular Leeds-based bar and restaurant, Kith & Kin, from Arc Inspirations.
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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