Black Sheep Brewery

Brewing brilliance rewarded as Black Sheep take World Beer Awards medals


Black Sheep Brewery is celebrating Gold and Silver medals for two of its bottled ales at this year’s World Beer Awards (WBAs).

The prestigious accolades, won despite competition from some of the UK’s leading brewers, affirm Black Sheep’s national and global reputation for excellence.

The Gold for Black Sheep Ale and Silver for Riggwelter, both stalwarts of the North Yorkshire Brewery’s range, were awarded by an expert panel of judges, including journalists, retailers, buyers, brewers and marketers in London.

Black Sheep Ale, a 4.4% ABV beer, received the Gold Medal in the Pale Beer – Amber category of the WBAs. A past winner of the Great Taste Gold Award and bronze medallist in the London 2012 International Beer Challenge, Black Sheep Ale has been part of the flock since 1993 – a year after the brewery was founded in Masham.

Riggwelter, a former bronze medallist at the International Beer Challenge in 2011, received a Silver Medal in the WBA Strong Dark Beer category. At 5.7% ABV, bottled Riggwelter complements the cask version of the beer as Black Sheep’s flagship strong ale.

These successes are not the first time Black Sheep has been successful in the World Beer Awards, with the Brewery’s Yorkshire Square Ale having previously been named World’s Best Premium Bitter in 2009.

Black Sheep Brewery’s Sales and Marketing Director Jo Theakston said: “These World Beer Awards for Black Sheep Ale and Riggwelter are a credit to our brewing team and affirm what we all believe here at the brewery – that Black Sheep’s beers are pretty much unrivalled in their quality and taste. It also helps cement the North Yorkshire region as a hotbed of British brewing.

“Our Head Brewer, Alan Dunn, and his team deserve particular praise. They have been creating top quality brews for over two decades now and it’s the dedication to their art and obsession with quality ingredients that has resulted in this recognition. Everyone at the brewery is very proud we have been honoured with these awards, especially against such esteemed competition. We aren’t resting on our laurels. There’s lots of new quality brews in the pipeline too so watch this space.”



CONTACT: Paul White on 01325 363436

Notes to Editors:

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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Jo Theakston, Black Sheep Brewery’s Sales and Marketing Director, with the World Beer Award winning Riggwelter and Black Sheep Ale
Jo Theakston, Black Sheep Brewery’s Sales and Marketing Director, with the World Beer Award winning Riggwelter and Black Sheep Ale
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