Black Sheep Brewery

Black Sheep 'strikes gold' at International Brewing Awards


The Black Sheep Brewery has been recognised on a global scale after one of its beers struck gold at a prestigious awards ceremony.

Milk Stout was awarded Gold at The International Brewing Awards 2019, in the International Dark Beer (3.8%-4.7% ABV) competition.

At 4.4% ABV, Milk Stout is brewed with lactose and a robust malt blend that offers drinkers a creamy stout with notes of chocolate, vanilla and coffee and a sweet taste against a light bitterness.

In March 2018, production of Milk Stout was scaled up to the retail market in bottled format as Black Sheep secured a national listing with Tesco. Before then it was only been available as a cask beer.

This latest accolade for the Masham-based brewery follows its success at the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) National Independent Beer Awards 2018, when another of its brands, Glug M’Glug, was named Small Pack Gold Champion in the Porters, Stouts, Old Ales, Strong Milds & Strong Brown Ales category.

Black Sheep was also named the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) Beer Champion 2017.

Jo Theakston, Sales and Marketing Director at The Black Sheep Brewery, said: “This is another fantastic achievement and we are proud that Milk Stout has received international recognition. Our creative brewing team work tirelessly each and every day to produce great tasting beers, and this latest award success is testament to their dedication and hard work.

“Milk Stout has remained a popular choice for drinkers, and we are delighted that it has performed so well, given the intense level of competition and judging at the International Brewing Awards. Hopefully we will be celebrating further award success in the future.”



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:

  • 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) Directors Jo and Rob Theakston with their father Paul, founder of The Black Sheep Brewery
(L-R) Directors Jo and Rob Theakston with their father Paul, founder of The Black Sheep Brewery
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