Black Sheep Brewery

From Rio to Masham as Black Sheep recognised for brewing excellence


Black Sheep Brewery has been emulating the success of Team GB at the Olympic Games after taking home a number of international honours.

Riggwelter, Black Sheep’s famous 5.9% ABV strong, ruby ale, was awarded a Gold medal at the International Beer Challenge 2016, while Black Sheep Ale, Golden Sheep Ale and Monty Python’s Holy Grail all claimed Bronze medals in the Ales category.

In addition, Riggwelter was the United Kingdom winner in the English Brown Ale category at the World Beer Awards. As a result, Black Sheep Brewery has advanced to the global stage of the awards and Riggwelter will now compete against the other country winners.

These latest honours complete a hat-trick for Riggwelter after it was shortlisted in the final of the Strong Bitter category at the Great British Beer Festival. In last year’s World Beer Awards, it also claimed a Silver Medal in the Strong Dark Beer category.

Jo Theakston, Sales and Marketing Director at Black Sheep Brewery, said: “We are extremely proud to have been recognised for our quality at a number of our industry’s top awards. It is testament to the hard work and dedication of our brewing team, who have continually produced award-winning beers over the years.

“Riggwelter has developed into our flagship strong ale and it is fantastic that it has been recognised in several awards, as well as some of our other popular beers, which is fully deserved.

“It is also a great feeling to fly the flag of Yorkshire and highlight its brewing prowess on both a national and international scale, as well as strengthen our own reputation as a producer of amazing beers.”



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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(L-R): Jo Theakston, Sales and Marketing Director at Black Sheep Brewery, with Rob Theakston, Managing Director
(L-R): Jo Theakston, Sales and Marketing Director at Black Sheep Brewery, with Rob Theakston, Managing Director
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