Black Sheep Brewery CEO

Lyons became a minority shareholder in Black Sheep, following its pre-pack administration sale to private investment group Breal

Charlene Lyons, the chief executive of North Yorkshire-based brewer Black Sheep, is to leave the company after nine years.

In a statement, Black Sheep owner Keystone Brewing Co (formerly Breal Brewing Group) said Lyons was “stepping down to pursue other interests”.

She would be replaced at the helm of the Masham-based brewery by Mark Williams, CEO of Keystone Brewing Co.

Williams would be assisted by former Purity Brewing Co MD John Hunt, who would occupy the newly created position of group CFO, Keystone added.

“We wish Charlene all the best in the future,” Williams said.

Lyons’ departure comes less than a year after Black Sheep was acquired by private investment group Breal for £5m.

The pre-pack deal came after Black Sheep made a £1.6m loss in 2022/23, and left taxpayers and creditors facing a £4m shortfall, according to documents published by the brewery’s administrators.

After buying Black Sheep, the London-based Breal subsequently acquired south London outfits Brick Brewery and Brew By Numbers, and Purity Brewing Co in Warwickshire.

It has since rolled the four breweries into its newly renamed Keystone Brewing Co arm.

Speaking to The Grocer earlier this week, Williams said Keystone was targeting annual revenues of £100m by 2028, a goal he said the business would achieve through growth and further acquisitions.

Since embarking on its 2023 acquisition spree, Keystone has consolidated its operations by shutting Brick Brewery and Brew By Numbers, and moving brewing to Black Sheep, where it earlier this year invested £1m on production improvements.

Black Sheep’s beers are stocked with Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, M&S and Morrisons.