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Black Sheep Brewery CEO steps down

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

The brewery was acquired in May 2023. Credit: Getty / STasker
The brewery was acquired in May 2023. Credit: Getty / STasker

Related tags Beverages

Black Sheep Brewery has announced that its chief executive Charlene Lyons is stepping down to “pursue other interests”.

Lyons was employed by the brewer for almost nine years and stepped up to the role of chief executive just prior to the start of the Covid pandemic.

However, her departure comes less than a year after Black Sheep was acquired by BREAL Group for £5m in May 2023.

New owner BREAL rebranded as Keystone Brewing Group earlier this month (February 2024), and the firm’s CEO Mark Williams is set to take over Lyons’ duties in the interim at least.

Williams is set to be assisted by John Hunt as he takes on the newly created position of Group CFO for Keystone Brewing Group. Hunt was formerly the managing director of Purity Brewing Co, a Warwickshire brewery that is also now owned by Keystone.

Reflecting on Lyon’s departure, Williams said: “We wish Charlene all the best in the future​.”

Keystone comprises of BREAL's portfolio of businesses within the brewing industry, including Black Sheep, Purity, Brick Brewery and Brew by Numbers.

Since the acquisition of Black Sheep in May 2023, Keystone has announced plans to invest £1m into its Masham site in North Yorkshire, with the facility set to become a “centre for brewing excellence in the region and beyond​”, a move that will consolidate the production of Black Sheep, Brick and Brew by Numbers beers at one site.

The investment will include an entirely new tank farm and state of the art brewhouse at its Wellgarth site, and the complete transformation of the capability and capacity at its Fearby Road packaging facility.

Black Sheep has also begun working alongside and raising funds for former rugby league player Rob Burrow MBE through the launch of Burrow’s Blonde – which is now the brewery’s fastest growing bottled beer.

In other news, The Vegan Food Group (VFG) is set to acquire plant-based manufacturer TOFUTOWN​, the firm’s chief mission officer Matthew Glover has confirmed.

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