Forty jobs saved as Black Sheep brewery buys York Brewery

FORTY jobs have been saved after The Black Sheep Brewery acquired the York Brewery.

The York Brewery entered administration on Thursday December 13, together with its parent company, Mitchell’s of Lancaster.

Black Sheep has acquired the £2.1m-turnover York Brewery and brands as well as four outlets in the business as part of the deal, which is for an undisclosed sum.

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The pubs include the Last Drop Inn, The Tap Room and The Three Legged Mare, which are all in York, and Mr Foley’s Tap House in Leeds.

Black Sheep Brewery Managing Director Rob Theakston (left) and Black Sheep Brewery Chairman Andy Slee (right)

The acquisition, which was secured by joint Administrators, Steven Muncaster and Sarah Bell of Duff & Phelps Ltd, builds on a positive year for Black Sheep, which returned to profit in 2018. The combined business now employs more than 140 staff.

Andy Slee, the chairman of The Black Sheep Brewery, said: “This acquisition fits perfectly with our strategy of developing our presence in our Yorkshire heartland and owning pubs.

“Entering administration was worrying for the team at York Brewery, but our deal offers some comfort that its successful brand can be maintained, and the pubs can continue to operate. York Brewery complements our strong brands and by acting quickly we have been able to provide a good outcome for both organisations.”

Rob Theakston, the managing director of Black Sheep Brewery, said: “Over the last 26 years we have produced some of the UK’s most iconic, award-winning beers, and the purchase of another longstanding brewery will secure the future of another well-respected Yorkshire brand.

“It also starts our journey into retail which was announced at the AGM in September. We are delighted with the acquisition.”

Steven Muncaster, managing director, Duff & Phelps, added, “Despite being a popular destination for both locals and tourists, York Brewery unfortunately continued to face cashflow pressures, ultimately resulting in it being placed into administration.

“However, we’re delighted to have secured a sale for York Brewery, which is especially pleasing so close to Christmas.”

Based in Masham, in North Yorkshire, Black Sheep brewed its first beer in 1992 after it was established by Paul Theakston, whose family had brewed in the area for six generations.