Black Sheep receives £1m to turn brewery into ‘centre of excellence’

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Work has already begun: Black Sheep Brewery CEO Charlene Lyons
Work has already begun: Black Sheep Brewery CEO Charlene Lyons

Related tags Black sheep brewery Breal Group Finance Cellar management Cask ale

Black Sheep Brewery will receive a bumper £1m investment to turn its brewery into a “centre for brewing excellence”.

Work has already begun at the North Yorkshire-based production facility thanks to new owner Breal Group, which took ownership of Black Sheep in May last year​.

Black Sheep said the investment entails an entirely new tank farm and state-of-the-art brewhouse at the Wellgarth site, and the complete transformation of the capability and capacity at the Fearby Road packaging facility, both situated at the brewery’s home in the town of Masham.

This “significant” investment will facilitate the increased capacity via the expansion of its cold storage, bottling, kegging and racking facilities.

New employment

The brewery added it also secures the brewery for years to come, generating new employment for existing and future generations.

The move will support Black Sheep’s plans to continue expanding its customer base nationally, as well as developing exciting new products alongside its much-loved core range.

Breal Brewing Group chief executive Mark Williams said: “It’s an exciting time for Black Sheep Brewery and we are very much looking forward to delivering our ambitious plans.

“The Breal Group’s continued investment will allow us to take this fantastic brand to new heights while ensuring our much-loved beers are available to the whole of the UK.”

Quality and authenticity

Williams continued: “We’re incredibly passionate about the brewing industry, which is going through some tough times, However, quality and authenticity will always rise to the top, and that’s why we’re committed to investing in Black Sheep, which is bucking the trend, and has a bright future ahead of it.”

Black Sheep said since its takeover, the brewery has taken many positive steps, including its first ever brewing collaboration with Leeds-based Piglove Brew Co; the launch of its first craft ale, Side Quest; and the opportunity to work alongside and raise funds for rugby legend Rob Burrow MBE through the launch of Burrow’s Blonde – now the brewery’s fastest growing bottled beer.

Breal Group, which is an equity, lending and advisory services business, has been active in brewery acquisitions in the past year having taken the reins at Black Sheep and also at London-based Brew By Numbers​ in August 2023.

It has followed this up by acquiring Midlands-based Purity Brewing Co at the end of December 2023​.

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