Black Sheep Brewery

Black Sheep's 'best-seller' rides on in time for Tour de France


Black Sheep Brewery’s best-selling seasonal ale is back by popular demand and will feature in pubs and bars throughout the country for the third time since its launch.

Velo, which was originally brewed in preparation for Le Grand Depart Yorkshire, in July 2014, and as a celebration of the sport, will now be available in July as Black Sheep’s latest seasonal beer, to coincide with the start of this year’s Tour de France on 2nd July, in Le Mont-Saint-Michel.

A 4.2% ABV ‘freewheeling’, fresh pale ale, Velo – the French word for ‘bicycle’ – is brewed with cascade hops and a subtle hint of orange and coriander. It was initially developed and tested in Black Sheep’s microbrewery, but was scaled up in the brewery’s full plant.

Following the success and popularity since its launch, Velo, which was initially to be sold only in casks, became a permanent part of the Black Sheep flock of bottled beers.

Jo Theakston, Sales and Marketing Director at Black Sheep Brewery, said: “We could never have imagined the success we have enjoyed since the launch of Velo. It is now our biggest-selling seasonal ale to date and this July we are offering it once again to pubs and bars across the country. The response we initially received amongst our colleagues in the pub trade was overwhelming and led to the decision to offer Velo all-year round as part of our permanent bottled range.”

More than 20,000 people lined the streets of Masham to witness the Tour de France riders pass through the town at ‘Le Grand Party’ in July 2014 – when Black Sheep first launched Velo.

Mr Theakston added: “The town hosted arguably the biggest party it will ever see and was the perfect time to release a cycling related beer, given the occasion in Yorkshire’s great history. This success was followed by last year’s Tour de Yorkshire and now bike enthusiasts will be able to enjoy Velo in time for this year’s Tour de France.”



CONTACT: Jamie Collis on 01325 363436

Editor’s Notes:

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 Brewery's Velo
Black Sheep Brewery's Velo
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