Black Sheep Brewery

Lockdown restrictions drive 542% increase in online sales for Black Sheep Brewery



Black Sheep Brewery experienced its most successful November for online sales, which have seen a 542% increase on the same month in 2019.

With England in another national lockdown during November with pubs, bars and restaurants closed, customers have turned to online ordering to get their taste of Yorkshire from the Masham-based brewery.

Culminating in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Black Sheep Brewery received 3,176 orders in November, up from 494 orders a year before.

The Black Sheep ecommerce team with support from colleagues from across the brewery worked together to meet demand from customers for products ranging from bottled beers, mini-kegs, gift packs, hampers and its beer advent calendar.

The popularity of Black Sheep’s collection of beers, as well as its Yorkshire lager, 54, and the recently launched Black Sheep Gin coupled with its gift range has continued into December as the brewery manages increased order levels in the run up to Christmas. Black Sheep Brewery will continue to dispatch pre-Christmas orders up until 18th December.

Alongside its e-commerce activity, Black Sheep Brewery has also continued to offer alternative ways to enjoy its products, including its highly popular ‘Brew to Ewe’ local beer delivery service for customers across large parts of North and West Yorkshire.

Charlene Lyons, Chief Executive of Black Sheep Brewery, said: “The combination of the second national lockdown and the run up to Christmas has again revealed people’s passion for Black Sheep and their determination to enjoy our taste of Yorkshire. Our team have really pulled together to handle this huge influx of orders as we have pivoted the brewery’s operations towards our online business while pubs, bars and restaurants have been forced to close.

“The hospitality sector has been disproportionately affected by the government’s coronavirus restrictions, and we have shown true Yorkshire grit to react to the situation by being agile and reacting quickly. We are really grateful that the public have continued to support us with high levels of online orders, which are continuing in the last couple of weeks before Christmas. Thank you!”



For further information contact Jamie Collis 01325 363436

Editors’ Notes:

The Black Sheep Brewery is one of British brewing’s most famous stories and has grown from humble beginnings to become a multi-award-winning company, with its beers enjoyed around the world.

Black Sheep has grown to become one of Yorkshire’s most recognised brands, which was unveiled as the official beer of the Tour de Yorkshire and is the official brewery of Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC).

In the past 12 months, Black Sheep has won a number of prestigious awards, including:

  • The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) National Independent Beer Awards 2018 – Glug M’Glug – Small Pack Gold Champion in the Porters, Stouts, Old Ales, Strong Milds & Strong Brown Ales category

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) Beer Champion 2017

World Beer Awards – Milk Stout – UK Winner

World Beer Awards – Pathmaker – Gold Award

World Beer Awards – Black Sheep Ale – Silver Award

World Beer Awards – Guzzler– Bronze Award

World Beer Awards – Pineapple Milkshake IPA - Bronze Award

Based in Masham, in the heart of North Yorkshire, Black Sheep brewed 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 into 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 Visitor Centre, at the site of the iconic brewery, has grown to become an award-winning attraction for visitors to Yorkshire, with tens of thousands of people flocking to Masham each year.

In 2018, Black Sheep announced the purchase of York Brewery, which included the acquisition of four pubs in the business and key cask brands, including Guzzler and Yorkshire Terrier.

The outlets bought by Black Sheep, as part of the deal, are as follows:

Last Drop Inn, York

Mr Foley’s Tap House, Leeds

The Tap Room, York

The Three Legged Mare, York

The addition of York Brewery complements the strong, iconic Black Sheep brand and its existing award-winning beers and brands.

The Black Sheep 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 business’ maverick attitude to the multi-nationals seeking to dominate the brewing industry and captured the essence of the family struggle that led to its birth.

Black Sheep’s beers are full of character derived from the best possible brewing materials, plenty of time and patience in the brewing and its very special Yorkshire Square fermenters.

Black Sheep Best Bitter is now one of the best-selling cask session beers in the UK and many of its creative brews, over the course of its 25-year history, have collected numerous awards – ranging from Black Sheep’s traditional ales to its up and coming craft beers.

2017 marked the launch of Black Sheep Brewery’s first lager, 54 Degrees North, created in homage to its hometown of Masham, which sits on 54’ 13’ 24” N; 1’ 39’ 20” W longitude and latitude lines, as the company embarks on an adventurous new chapter in its distinguished history.

Instagram: @blacksheepbrewery

Twitter: @BlackSheepBeer

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Black Sheep Brewery’s Lara Theakston packing online orders
Black Sheep Brewery’s Lara Theakston packing online orders
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