Australian-based food and beverage company Lion has acquired 100% of the UK’s Magic Rock Brewing Company Ltd.

The acquisition fuels a “shared promise to keep making great beer, on a bigger scale”, according to Magic Rock’s co-founder and managing director, Richard Burhouse, who will remain in the business.

Magic Rock is based in Huddersfield. It employs 45 people locally, with plans to build the team further in line with continued expansion. Its current focus is to continue to meet rising demand in the domestic market, building growth in pubs and retailers. Magic Rock is already exported to more than 25 countries worldwide and over time it sees opportunities to further grow this footprint with the support of Lion.

The modern UK craft market is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing globally in volume terms. It currently represents around a 5% share of the global volume of craft beer. Lion is already active in the UK and Europe, selling a range of Australian and New Zealand craft beers, such as Little Creatures and Panhead, plus New Zealand fine wines. Lion is committed to supporting Magic Rock to fuel its next phase of growth, to build its distinctive brand, and enhance the Magic Rock hospitality experience.

UK craft brewing pioneer

Founded by Richard Burhouse and head brewer Stuart Ross in 2011, within its first year of operations, Magic Rock was voted second best new brewery in the world (2012) in independent rating site RateBeer.com’s Top New Breweries awards. It has since been voted five times as a top 100 world brewer on RateBeer.com

Lion Global Markets managing director, Matt Tapper, said: “Magic Rock has been one the pioneers in the UK craft beer scene and has built a loyal following due to its relentless pursuit of authenticity and quality. We’re excited to have the opportunity to help Richard and the team build on their success. Lion has a long and proud history in craft beer in Australia and New Zealand and we see some great opportunities to help put Magic Rock in the hands of more beer lovers.”

Burhouse said: “With the support of our community, in eight years Magic Rock has become one of the UK’s leading craft brewers, distributing across the UK, as well as internationally. 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. We’re excited to be joining one of the world’s best brewing experts under the shared promise to keep making great beer, on a bigger scale, through their knowledge, expertise and investment.”

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