Black Sheep Brewery

Black Sheep supports popular folk festival


Greg Mulholland MP has joined one of Yorkshire’s most iconic businesses in supporting a popular Otley festival in its landmark 25th year.

The Otley Black Sheep Folk Festival will see a host of local, national and international musicians descend on the town between 16-18 September for the three-day long event.

The line-up, which includes Du Temps Antan, The Churchfitters and Lucy Ward, was unveiled at the Otley Beer Tap Inn by Greg Mulholland, the MP for Leeds North West, Paul Theakston, chairman and founder of Black Sheep Brewery and Steve Fairholme, the festival’s organiser.

It will also see the reunion of many of the original acts who performed at the inaugural Otley Folk Festival in 1991, including Stanley Accrington, Robin Garside, Dave Vermond, Last Orders and Tanglefoot.

Black Sheep Brewery will continue as the festival’s main sponsor, which it has supported ever since its formation in 1992 – a year after the festival was launched.

Jo Theakston, Sales and Marketing Director at Black Sheep Brewery, said: “We have enjoyed an excellent relationship with the festival for 24 years and are delighted to show our support once again. It is shaping up to be another fantastic celebration in Otley and will offer a vibrant atmosphere for locals and visitors to Yorkshire throughout the weekend.”

Steve Fairholme said: “It has been a privilege to have been involved with the Otley Black Sheep Folk Festival for all of its 25 years. This great, small town festival has grown and developed and it is fitting that we celebrate our 25th anniversary along with our main sponsor Black Sheep Brewery.”

Greg Mulholland MP said: “The Otley Black Sheep Folk Festival has grown to become a permanent fixture in the town’s social calendar and one which everyone in Otley looks forward to. I am delighted to be involved with the festival once again, especially in its 25th year, and I am looking forward to the celebrations in September.”



CONTACT: Jamie Collis on 01325 363436

Editor’s Notes:

Photo caption: 

Back Row: Otley Town Councillor Ray Georgeson, Greg Mulholland MP, Paul Theakston, Chairman of Black Sheep Brewery, Steve Fairholme and Phil Snell.

Front Row: David Croft, of Black Sheep Brewery, and Derek Haller

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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