Black Sheep Brewery

Brewing dynasty brought to life in new additions to the Black Sheep flock


Tall tales and stories of real-life adventure from one of the UK’s best loved brewing dynasties are being brought to life in a new range of beers from Black Sheep Brewery.

The North Yorkshire brewery was established by Paul Theakston in 1992, and Pathmaker, the first of the new ales to be unveiled, pays tribute to his pioneering spirit, having created Black Sheep to challenge blandness in the beer market.

Having already been released as a keg ale, a 5.6% bottled version of the pale ale has now been created and is being joined by two brand new beers – Moose Jaw and Glug M’Glug – that give an insight into the personal lives of the Theakston family.

Moose Jaw, a 5.2% wheat beer, has been developed in honour of Frank Theakston, Paul’s father and the grandfather of Black Sheep’s current Managing Director, Rob, and his brother, Jo, who is also a director at the Brewery.

Frank was an RAF pilot who ventured to Canada to train the Canadian air force during the Second World War. He was based at Moose Jaw, before meeting his wife, a young Ontario girl, who was to become Rob and Jo’s Gran, and made the perilous journey back to Masham on a North Atlantic convoy.

It was Frank’s early death, in his 40s, that led to Paul, then only 23, taking over the original family firm, from which he would eventually break away and establish Black Sheep.

Glug M’Glug, a 6.2% dark IPA, is named for a mythical creature, created by Rob and Jo’s other grandfather.

A hidden giant of the Yorkshire Dales, the young Theakstons were told stories of Glug M’Glug as the family walked the hills, to speed up slow, young walkers delaying a visit to the pub at the end of the trek!

Together, the three comprise a new style of offering for Black Sheep, with smaller, 330ml bottles and higher ABVs, to place the Brewery in a premium area of the market to reach out to experimental craft drinkers, while complimenting existing 500ml bottled brands.

Each bottle carries hand-drawn labels, representing care, craft and a quality presentation that reflects the skills exemplified by Black Sheep’s team of brewers, who have recently been awarded Gold and Silver Medals in the World Beer Awards, for the bottled versions of Black Sheep Ale and Riggwelter, respectively.

Jo Theakston, Sales and Marketing Director at Black Sheep Brewery, said: “Black Sheep always has been a family business, born from six generations of brewing, so it was only natural to delve into our past for inspiration. The stories are many and we wanted to support our new beers with something real and meaningful to us. Indeed all families have their own stories so it was fun to bring ours to life as beers!

“When Dad established the Brewery, it was to challenge, create and innovate. This ethos is at the heart of the craft ale movement today. From the very start, our beer has always been ‘craft’.

“Looking back at the two generations before us, with my father and grandparents, there are fantastic, inspirational characters that we believe fans of the Brewery, and beer drinkers all across the UK, will enjoy hearing about, almost as much as they enjoy the beer itself.”



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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Black Sheep Brewery's new bottled beers
Black Sheep Brewery's new bottled beers
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