Black Sheep Brewery acquires York Brewery

Masham-based brewer Black Sheep has announced its acquisition of York Brewery for an undisclosed sum after the latter went into administration last month, saving more than 40 jobs.

Black Sheep announced the deal on 21 December, with chairman Andy Slee stating that it fitted “perfectly with our strategy of developing our presence in our Yorkshire heartland”.

In addition to £2.1 million turnover York Brewery and its beer brands, the purchase also includes four pubs owned by the brewer which including Last Drop Inn, The Tap Room and The Three Legged Mare in York, and Mr Foley’s Tap House in Leeds.

York Brewery, together with its parent company, Mitchell’s of Lancaster, entered administration on 13 December. Black Sheep has stated that it will transfer “in excess of 40 jobs to its business”.

Andy Slee, 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, 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”.

York Brewery opened in 1996 and was bought by Mitchell’s of Lancaster in 2008. It produces five core beers including Guzzler, a 3.6% golden session ale; Hansom Blonde, a 3.9% golden ale; Yorkshire Terrier, a 4.2% bitter; Otherside IPA, a New Zealand-style IPA; and Centurion’s Ghost, a 5.4% dark ruby ale.

The deal was administered by Steven Muncaster and Sarah Bell of Duff & Phelps Ltd.

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