Lion acquires leading UK craft brewer

Magic Rock ALL-6-CANS_HeroANZ brewer, Lion, has bought UK craft brewer, Magic Rock Brewing Company, which is based in Huddersfield, Yorkshire.

The craft brewer, which has 45 employees, plans to expand the team to meet rising demand in the domestic market by focusing in pubs and supermarkets.

Magic Rock exports to more than 25 countries worldwide and eyes growth opportunities outside the UK with the support of Lion. Magic Rock co-founder and managing director Richard Burhouse will remain involved within the business.

“With the support of the beer 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,” Burhouse 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 into the hands of more beer lovers,” Lion Global Markets managing director, Matt Tapper, said.

Magic Rock was founded by Burhouse and head brewer Stuart Ross in 2011. The modern UK craft market is one of the world’s fastest growing globally in volume terms. It currently represents around a 6 per cent share of UK beer volume and 5 per cent share of global craft beer volume.

Lion is already an active player in the UK and Europe with its Australian brands including Little Creatures and Panhead brands as well as New Zealand’s wines. The ANZ business said it will support Magic Rock to fuel its next phase of growth, by building its distinctive brand and enhancing the Magic Rock hospitality experience.

“Lion is continuing to take a patient, long-term approach to capital investment in international markets to meet the demand for diverse craft beer experiences. The UK continues to be one of the most exciting places in the world to experience craft – and given its cultural similarities to Australia and New Zealand, now is a great time to partner with Magic Rock to invest in building their premium brands and to expand Lion’s presence in that market,” Tapper added.

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