The deal is Lion’s latest foray in UK and European markets after the vendor of a range of New Zealand fine wines, and Australian and New Zealand craft beers - including Little Creatures and Panhead - became the custodian for London craft brewery Fourpure Brewing Co in July 2018.
The operator of Australian Breweries James Boag and XXXX Castlemaine Perkins, Lion will offer Magic Rock the financial and strategic support to fuel further growth of its business, brand and hospitality experience.
According to Magic Rock’s managing director Richard Burhouse, who will remain with the business following the deal, the acquisition will help the Huddersfield brewer continue to deliver great beer but on a bigger scale.
Founded in 2011 by Burhouse and head brewer Stuart Ross, Magic Rock has been included in RateBeer.com’s top 100 world brewers on five occasions since being voted the second-best new brewery in the world at the website’s Top New Breweries awards within its first year of operation.
Magic Rock’s brewery, which opened in 2015, features a 4,000sq ft tap room and automated canning facility. Currently producing 2.7m pints, or around 15,500hl, of beer per annum, its products are exported to more than 25 countries.
The producer of two beers in partnership with local Premier League football team Huddersfield Town - Hat Trick Modern Bitter and Promised Land German Lager - as part of its range, Magic Rock employs 45 people locally with plans now afoot to further expand its team.
“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,” Lion Global Markets managing director Matt Tapper explained. “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.”
More UK craft breweries could yet be snapped up by Lion, as the firm’s managing director refused to rule out more acquisitions following the buyout of Magic Rock.
Magic Rock co-founder and managing director Richard Burhouse added: “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.”