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Black Sheep Brewery makes redundancies and closes three pubs

Black Sheep Brewery has made redundancies at its head offices in Masham and has closed three of its pubs in Leeds and York.

Speaking to the drinks business, the North Yorkshire-based brewery revealed that the “small number” of redundancies would be made in the retail arm of its offices, a move it lamented it is “saddened” to make.

Additionally, Leeds-based venues The Tap & Kitchen and Mr. Foleys as well as York-based pub The Last Drop Inn  have been forced to close “with immediate effect” following an “extensive review” of the business.

At the start of May, Black Sheep Brewery revealed it was entering administration due to “the pandemic and the sudden rise in all costs”, however later that month investment firm Breal Capital disclosed that it was in talks to buy the business. However, just weeks after the company was bought out of administration by the London investment firm, news of the redundancies and closures circulated.

The spokesperson for Black Sheep told db: “Having recently conducted an extensive review of our business, we have explored every angle to try to keep these locations trading profitably, but without success.”

According to staff at the pubs, some of them discovered that they had lost their jobs and the premises were closing via the pub’s social media and were not even told in person about the developments.

The spokesperson added: “Unfortunately, the only avenue left for us was the closure of these premises. It is always the last resort for us to make redundancies, and we are saddened to see such dedicated colleagues leaving us, at this time.”

Foley’s Tap House shared a post with its followers this week and stated: “Sadly, Foley’s tap house has closed its doors today. We would like to thank all of our loyal Black Sheep Customers for your support over the last couple of years. Thank you.”

One staff member, Laura Cheshire, commented on the post: “Well…what, I’m fired then eh? Ta Black Sheep Brewery.”

On Twitter, regular @PinderMr said: “So it looks like the company who took over Black Sheep are getting rid of their pubs..!! In Foleys in Leeds at lunchtime and was asked to leave mid pint and now looks as though Last Drop Inn in York had permanently closed. Let’s hope someone takes them on as viable pubs..!?”

Regarding the business’s future endeavours, the spokesperson insisted: “The Black Sheep Brewing Company Ltd are committed to the growth of the retail estate and are seeking profitable outlets that complement the Black Sheep brand and ethos. All the company’s other outlets remain unaffected by these closures.”

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