A North Yorkshire brewery has appoint administrators after failing to attract new investment.

The Black Sheep Brewery, which employs 50 people, said in April it was undertaking a review to look at funding options, including a potential sale or merger.

The company said it had been “hit very hard” by the pandemic and rising costs.
The board said the decision to appoint Teneo Financial Advisory Ltd would protect the interests of its creditors.

Charlene Lyons, chief executive and executive chair of Black Sheep Brewery, said the company had done its “utmost to deliver new investment” but it had not been possible.

“We are progressing with our discussions around a sale of the business,” she said.
Ms Lyons said the firm hoped to achieve continuity for the brewery and its staff.
“We have taken the decision to protect the business and its creditors, during this period, by filing a notice of intention to appoint administrators.”

A spokesperson for Black Sheep Brewery shared an update on social media, and said: “Thanks for all the supportive messages since our announcement, but we’ve not gone anywhere! We’ve just had 22 tonnes of malt delivered and are busily making more beer and can supply everyone as normal. So, if you’d like to help us, get out to your local and sup some Black Sheep!”

CAMRA’s Real Ale Cider and Perry Campaigns Director Gillian Hough said:
“The fact that one of the UK’s most recognisable independent family brewers has put out a notice to appoint administrators shows just how serious the cost-of-business crisis is for brewers and cider makers. Despite some support being available, CAMRA believes that Government simply hasn’t done enough to ensure that brewers are not forced to close by events beyond their control.
“Black Sheep is still actively brewing and producing beer, while their Board are working hard to secure a sale of the business which will protect jobs and ensure they can continue to trade.

“Imminent hikes in fixed costs like business rates and alcohol duty mean brewers and cider makers across the UK will be facing the same ‘perfect storm’ as the Yorkshire brewery. Black Sheep ales appear regularly at CAMRA events and their cask range is a much-loved sight at bars across the nation’s pubs, so we hope a solution can be found which secures Black Sheep’s future.”