A Comprehensive Guide to Black Sheep Brewery

in Masham

Black Sheep Brewery is a renowned brewery in Masham, North Yorkshire, England. Established in 1991 by Paul Theakston, it represents a blend of traditional brewing methods with modern innovation.


  • Founding: After leaving Theakston Brewery, Paul Theakston established Black Sheep in 1991 in Masham.
  • Name Origin: The name “Black Sheep” was inspired by the association of Masham with sheep and suggested by Paul’s wife.
  • Early Success: The first beer, Black Sheep Best Bitter, was first sold at the Bruce Arms in Masham.
  • Expansion and Difficulties: The brewery has seen significant growth, producing over 75,000 barrels a year, but also faced challenges, including financial ones post-COVID pandemic.
  • Recent Developments: In May 2023, Black Sheep was bought out of administration by the Breal Group.

The Brewery Today

  • Location: Set in an old maltings overlooking the town of Masham.
  • Brewing Approach: Focus on well-hopped bitters to create a distinct product range.
  • Beer Range: Includes cask, keg, bottle, can, and mini-keg beers. Notable beers include Best Bitter, Riggwelter, and Golden Sheep.
  • Sustainability: Emphasis on sustainable brewing practices.
  • Visitor Experience: The Visitor Centre offers tours, a bar and kitchen, and the Sheepy Shop for merchandise.

Brewery Tours

  • Experience: Tours provide an in-depth look at the history and brewing process.
  • Schedule: Wednesday to Sunday with multiple time slots.
  • Pricing: Different rates for adults, seniors, students, kids, and family.

The Black Sheep Story

  • Timeline: Key moments from Paul Theakston’s departure from his family brewery in 1988 to recent expansions and acquisitions.
  • Family Legacy: Continued involvement of the Theakston family, with Paul’s sons Rob and Jo playing key roles.

Visiting the Brewery

  • Address: Wellgarth, Masham, North Yorkshire, HG4 4EN.
  • Hours: Open daily with varying hours.
  • Booking: Tours and table reservations can be made in advance.

The Final Sip…

Black Sheep Brewery stands as a testament to independent brewing in Yorkshire. With its rich history, unique beers, and engaging visitor experience, it offers a glimpse into the heart of traditional yet innovative brewing.

For more detailed information, you can visit Black Sheep Brewery’s official website and their page on Wikipedia.

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