Black Sheep Brewery

Wellgarth Masham North Yorkshire HG4 4EN

There's no "h" in Masham (it's Mass'm) but there is beer – lots of it. Not only is this the home town of Theakston's (of Old Peculier fame, founded in 1827) but also the 1990s' pretender, the Black Sheep Brewery, set up by family member Paul Theakston, and whose excellent beers are now widely available across the UK. The hoppy smell assails you from all parts of town, and the Black Sheep visitor centre and brewery tour is the place to get to grips with the beers themselves. You get the full lowdown on a guided (they say, cutely, "shepherded") tour of the brewing process, before ending up with a glass of ale at the (oh yes, they couldn't resist it...) baa'r – and there are enough branded Black Sheep gifts in the shop to keep any ale-monster happy. The bistro's not bad either, and is a pretty reasonable choice for a moderately priced meal in Masham even if you're not going to take the tour. The menu is full of typical bar-bistro choices, from fish and chips to braised beef, with the not-entirely-unexpected addition of their own ales in the recipes, whether it's "Riggwelter" in the gravy or "Golden Sheep" in the batter. Maa'rvellous (sorry, they've got us at it now).

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