Rob Theakston takes over as Managing Director at Black Sheep

Well known Yorkshire brewery, Black Sheep, is welcoming an exciting change in the New Year with founder Paul Theakston handing control to his eldest son Rob who becomes Managing Director.

Rob has spent the last year working as Joint Managing Director with his father Paul Theakston, the founder of Black Sheep, who will now step down from full day to day management, but still retain responsibility for the export trade and spend more time campaigning on national brewing matters

Rob Theakston, aged 36 and himself the father of two sons, said: “When my father purchased the site in 1990 I spent all my spare time and holidays helping to build the brewery. I left school and trained in agriculture and animal science but brewing was in my blood and I quickly returned to the trade in 1997.

“I followed this by studying at Heriot Watt in Edinburgh and becoming a qualified brewer, then worked a two year stint brewing at Carlsberg in Leeds. I returned to Black Sheep as Assistant Brewer in 2007, looking after the Distribution and Technical services teams and have worked alongside my father for the last 12 months as joint Managing Director to learn from the best in the business.”

Rob’s appointment is one of the many developments at Black Sheep which aims to continue the revitalisation of the cask ale industry.

Rob said: “We have many ideas to drive the business forward and reach out to a new generation of cask ale drinkers, as they are the future of the industry. Black Sheep has grown to be a well known brand and we have survived probably the most turbulent times in British brewing history, out living many long- established brewers, and I hope to continue this success and innovation for years to come.”

Born of five generations of brewing in Masham, Paul’s love affair with brewing goes a long way back, however, his involvement began tragically when his father Frank Theakston was stricken with an illness and died aged 45 in 1968.

Paul said: “Before my father died he explained to me the importance of brewing and the family’s long association with Masham. I became Managing Director of the old family firm T & R Theakston aged 23 as a trained brewer but the company was swallowed up by Scottish and Newcastle in 1998 and it wasn’t the lifestyle for me. I wanted to stay in Masham and loved the small brewery life and so Black Sheep was born.

“I have four sons who are all very successful, two of which have chosen to work alongside me at Black Sheep. As well as Rob, my son Jo is now heading up the Marketing Team and has responsibility for the bottled beer sales side of the business. It will be a great experience spending the next chapter working with my sons and a great management team to take the business forward and continue the success we have had until now.” 

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