Black Sheep Brewery

Riggwelter receives 'make-over' as Black Sheep gears up for exciting anniversary year


Black Sheep Brewery has revealed a refreshed identity for one of its award-winning signature ales, ahead of its 25th anniversary year in 2017.

Riggwelter, the Masham-based brewery’s award-winning strong, dark ale, has been given a fresh new-look. The name Riggwelter is derived from a local Yorkshire Dales dialect word for when a sheep rolls onto it’s back and can’t get back up – they say it is ‘rigged’ or ‘riggwelted’.

Riggwelter is available on both cask and 500ml bottle (5.7% abv) and has recently being winning a string of prestigious awards. It was most notably recognised on an international and national scale for its taste after being awarded a Gold Medal at the 2016 International Beer Challenge and was named the United Kingdom’s Best Strong Dark Beer at this year’s World Beer Awards. High praise!

Jo Theakston, Sales and Marketing Director at Black Sheep Brewery said: “Riggwelter has established itself as one of our flagship ales and a popular choice for customers both young and old. We are seeing something of a resurgence in the popularity of big flavoured dark Ales and Riggwelter is one of the best there is!

“We have been sympathetic to the original bottle design and have refreshed it for a modern audience with a much cleaner and bolder standout of our ‘riggwelted’ sheep. We are hoping to build on the strong growth that the brand has enjoyed, and this should certainly help support that trend and also introduce the beer to new drinkers. 2017 is a landmark year for Black Sheep, in what will be our 25th anniversary, so we are preparing for an exciting year ahead that will feature many of our tried and trusted classics as well as some new creative, seasonal ales.”

Jo added: “Our great brewing team have continued to do a magnificent job by continually producing award-winning brews day in, day out, and the recent award successes are testament to that.”



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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Riggwelter, the Masham-based brewery’s award-winning strong, dark ale, has been given a fresh new-look
Riggwelter, the Masham-based brewery’s award-winning strong, dark ale, has been given a fresh new-look
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