Lion has acquired 100% of leading UK craft brewer Magic Rock Brewing Company.
It follows hot on the heels of the Australian drinks giant taking a 50% stake in Four Pillars Gin.
Magic Rock is based in Huddersfield, Yorkshire and exports to more than 25 countries worldwide.
In a statement it said it sees opportunities to further grow outside of the UK with the support of Lion. Co-founder and managing director Richard Burhouse will remain actively involved within the business going forward.
Burhouse, said: “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.”
Lion Global Markets managing director Matt Tapper added: “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.”
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.
The modern UK craft market is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing globally in volume terms. It currently represents around a 6% share of UK beer volume and 5% share of global craft beer volume.
Lion is already an active player 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.
Tapper said: “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.”
Lion has a growing portfolio in the UK and purchased London craft brewery Fourpure Brewing Co in July 2018.