Magic Rock acquired by Lion

INTERVIEW: Magic Rock acquired by Lion

Australia’s Lion Acquires Magic Rock in 100% Buyout

In an interview with Pete Brown, Magic Rock’s founder Richard Burhouse explains the take over

It was announced today that Magic Rock had become the latest British craft brewer to sell to a large international brewing concern. Australian-based food and beverage company Lion acquired London’s Fourpure in a similar deal last year, and also operate Australian craft beer brands including Little Creatures. In turn, Lion Australia is part of the Lion Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kirin Holdings, a global, multi-industry food and beverages company headquartered in Tokyo.

Richard Burhouse, who founded Magic Rock in 2011 along with head brewer Stuart Ross, will remain in charge of the company and describes the move as fuelling ‘a shared promise to keep making great beer, on a bigger scale’. The brewery has a cult following among craft beer fans and is the winner of a great many awards. Burhouse describes the acquisition as ‘the best way for us to build on this legacy over the long term is to introduce Magic Rock beers to a much wider audience’.

While rumours of the buyout have been circulating on social media for days, the staff of Magic Rock were only informed of the move today, so it remains unclear whether there will be many changes in its 45-strong workforce, but in an interview Burhouse argued that the staff and the local community of Huddersfield were key factors in the decision.

“The brand we’ve created is a bit of a monster — it’s been really successful and now we need to step up to the next level, and I simply don’t have the skills on my own to do what’s required next. We’ve been approached by a few people over the last few years and none of them felt like the right fit. Lion did — they feel right for our shareholders and for our staff. We need a new brew system, new capacity, more space, and it’s not often that this kind of investment comes into Huddersfield.’

Coming less than a year after Lion’s acquisition of Fourpure, Lion’s Global Markets managing director, Matt Tapper, and regional director for the UK, Toby Knowles, didn’t rule out further acquisitions.

‘There aren’t that many brewers that have the X-Factor Magic Rock have,’ said Knowles.

‘Today we’re just enjoying this relationship,’ said Tapper. ‘We’re enjoying working with Fourpure and we’re opening a Little Creatures microbrewery in King’s Cross soon. But we’ll keep our eyes and ears to the ground and see how things progress.’

Pete Brown


Read the new look Original Gravity Issue 21 here for free

READ ISSUE 21 FOR FREE HERE

Our ‘Journeys’ edition marks the a new chapter for us as we’ve had a major redesign. Take a look

I’ve long believed that to get a full feel for the soul of beer, you need to travel, which is why journey and exploration are this issue’s themes.

Derby might not be everyone’s place of a destination but for Lottie Gross (p20) its beers and pubs make it essential; Beer Writer of the Year Emma Inch (p22) details her journey in home-brewing, while for Pete Brown (p26) beer doesn’t travel — or does it? All this plus regular reviews, digressions and whimsies, and Matthew Curtis’ (p24) photographic celebration of Nashville.
BTW like our new design? Rather cool if I say so myself.

Yours in drink,
Adrian Tierney-Jones, Editor

 

 


Exeter Beer Weekend announced for May Bank Holiday

EXETER BEER WEEKEND ANNOUNCED FOR MAY BANK HOLIDAY

THE FIRST EVER EXETER BEER WEEKEND HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED AND WILL TAKE PLACE OVER THE MAY BANK HOLIDAY FROM MAY 3-5

The first ever Exeter Beer Weekend has been announced and will take place over the May Bank Holiday from May 3-5. It will be a celebration of the city’s growing craft beer scene with special beers and events happening in a selection of bars and brewery tap rooms, including The Pursuit of Hoppiness, Topsham Brewery Tap, the Iron Bridge, the Beer Cellar, The Oddfellows and a special pop-up bar run by Powderkeg Brewery; there will also be a brewery history walk around the city centre and various other events. ‘Exeter is fast becoming a vibrant hive of beer and brewing excitement,’ says one of the organisers, award-winning beer writer Adrian Tierney-Jones, ‘and the weekend aims to celebrate this. It is an autonomous event with pubs, bottle shops and tap rooms organising their own events under the banner of the Weekend. For instance, The Pursuit of Hoppiness has collaborated with Topsham brewery on a special beer.

‘The modern beer scene is exciting and exuberant across the country and we wanted to reflect this in Exeter — the city now has three breweries with several on the outskirts and new ones popping up all the time. There is also the excellent bottle shop in Fore Street, Hops + Crafts. There will also be beers from elsewhere in Devon including New Lion in Totnes, Stannary in Tavistock and Many Hands in Dunkerswell. There are IPAs, amber ales, milk stouts and lagers being brewed, I don’t think beer has been this exciting in Exeter since the late 19th century!’

A programme, sponsored by Exeter brewery Powderkeg, will be available in April, giving details of all the events.

‘We are starting off small,’ says Tierney-Jones, ‘but we hope to demonstrate that Exeter is fast becoming one of the most exciting places to drink and enjoy craft beer in the south west.’

For more details email atierneyjones@gmail.com


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Closing date: March 20, 2019 at 23.59.

 

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