‘The Black Bull in Paradise’ is our Visitor Centre, a building situated within the brewery surrounds. Its name is derived from elements of our company history, linking the name of the inn, the Black Bull in which Robert Theakston founded his brewery in 1827 with Paradise Field, the land he bought a few years later in 1850 and upon which he built a ‘new’ brewery in 1870, the one we still use to this day.
For many years the building served as the home to our dray horses and dray and was also used as ‘warehouse’ to hold barrels and crates of ale. In an upstairs part of the building once upon a time lived our draymen!
After we introduced mechanised methods of delivering beer in the twentieth century, the building was then used for general storage before falling into disuse by the 1980s. With growing public interest in the company and beers, it was decided that a more useful role for the building would be as a focal point or Visitor Centre and so after some much needed refurbishment, our first visitors were welcomed in 1983. We believe that we were one of the first brewers to open such a facility.
Today the Black Bull in Paradise is at the core of our activity. Open every day of the year except Christmas, Boxing and New year’s Day, it is used as our company reception, the place in which new beers are trialled and tested and where the many thousands of annual visitors can come and soak up the historic atmosphere whilst sampling any of at least six different cask ales that are on sale all year round. We have a brewery shop stocked with a wide range of high quality branded goods, providing an ideal opportunity to buy gifts and souvenirs.
We have many interesting artefacts and items relating to nearly two hundred years of Theakston brewing tradition on display. We also have a roaring fire burning on all but the hottest days of the year to welcome you. Outside is a small beer ‘garden’ where it is possible to watch the everyday activity of a busy brewery yard and the perfect place for a pint after a trip round the brewery.
We even hire out the Visitor Centre in the evenings for private parties or events a facility which has proved to be extremely popular!