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Black Sheep Brewery to go into administration

North Yorkshire-based Black Sheep Brewery has revealed it is entering administration due to “the pandemic and the sudden rise in all costs”.

In a local report, the Masham brewery announced that the situation escalated due to “a perfect storm” of pandemic-related pressures along with rising costs.

Back in February, warning signs were there for Black Sheep which had been left with no alternative but to hike its beer prices 19.5% forcing its managing director Rob Theakston to admit that cost pressures left the brewery with no choice but to implement price increases.

The move comes closely behind the brewery launching a “review of its strategic options” on 11 April with a potential sale being tabled as one option.

However, sources stated that by 27 April, Black Sheep declared that its shares were no longer for sale, however the resale of the business and assets would be considered.

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Despite discussions to salvage the business, Black Sheep admitted that its board had decided to file a notice of intention appointing Kristian Shuttleworth and Clare Boardman of Teneo Financial Advisory Limited as administrators to the Company and BSB Retail Limited and stated that it is taking this action to “protect the interests of its creditors”.

Charlene Lyons, chief executive and executive chair of Black Sheep Brewery, said: “The directors have done their utmost to deliver new investment into the existing corporate structure. This has not been possible, but we are progressing with our discussions around a sale of the business.

Lyons explained: “Black Sheep Brewery has great products, a compelling brand and is supported by a dedicated team of people who are capable of delivering great results for the business in a different structure. We are focused on achieving continuity of the business and employment and thank everyone for their support so far. We have taken the decision to protect the business and its creditors, during this period, by filing a notice of intention to appoint administrators.”

Lyons lamented: “The business has been hit very hard by the pandemic and the sudden rise in all costs. Covid loans were useful but, in the end, could not sufficiently compensate for reduced cash flow in the long term.”

Black Sheep was founded by Paul Theakston in 1992 and has since been run as a by his sons Jo and Rob Theakston. The business also includes four pub sites based in Yorkshire.

Last September, during a Cask Seminar, Black Sheep Brewery senior brand manager Jack Scott Paul insisted “at Black Sheep, we do believe we are on the cusp of the cask beer revolution” which makes the news from Masham all the more saddening to both the team and fans of the brewery.

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