Today we are hearing from the first of our breweries, Magic Rock, featuring in the ‘new this year’ keg beer area of the Great British Beer Festival.
How about you start by telling us about your brewery, who you are and what your role(s) at the brewery are?
Hello, I’m Vik, the Brand Manager here at Magic Rock. I’m the person that you’ll most likely be chatting to over our social media channels, keeping our followers informed of any new beers that are coming, goings on at the brewery and sharing our brand story. Inspired by local brewing traditions and the vibrant US craft beer scene, Magic Rock Brewing is the culmination of a lifelong passion for beer. Richard Burhouse (aided by head brewer Stuart Ross) started the brewery in 2011 in an old out-building of the family business (an importer of crystals and natural gifts) in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. Alongside a distinctive core range we produce an ever-changing line up of idiosyncratic beers with an innovative quality driven approach. Our ‘Same but Different’ beers are packed with intense yet approachable flavours which will challenge and inspire, but above all remain balanced and drinkable.
Can you describe Magic Rock in three words?
Same, but different.
What are your personal favourite styles of beer?
Between all of us at the brewery our enthusiasm for beer of all types knows no bounds – whether Belgian, Sour, IPA, Stout, Porter, Lager – you name it, we like it! But we do have a soft spot for an American IPA. Our love for this style was the foundation on which the brewery was founded and we are still as excited by beer coming from the USA now as we were back in 2011. We’re also fiercely passionate about a sessionable beer, our yearly festival SeshFest, highlights some of the best lower ABV beers available and we like to ensure that we brew a fair amount of session strength specials to sit alongside our higher ABV one-offs.
Which of your beers is the biggest fan favourite/most popular?
One of our most popular beers is the Cannonball series (Cannonball, Human Cannonball, UnHuman Cannonball NeoHuman Cannonball) – it’s built up cult status and they have a launch day in their honour (usually in May, but this year we’re doing something a little special and are launching later in the year).
Which of your beers would you recommend to a first-timer at your bar?
High Wire is an excellent introduction to Magic Rock; our tribute to the pale ales of the West Coast of America; it’s pale, fruity and easy drinking. If you’d like to try something a little different, Salty Kiss, our Gooseberry Gose is tart, lightly sour, fruity and refreshing with a defined saltiness and is an excellent accompaniment to food.
Best beer snack?
We’re a fan of the Hot Buffalo Wing Pretzel Pieces by Snyders – but they’re getting harder and harder to come by in the UK – heartbreaking.
If you could get one music artist/celebrity to represent your brewery, who would best fit your business and ethos?
We thought long and hard about this and decided that Bill Murray would be an excellent representation for our brewery. He’s a little eccentric, non-conformist, light-hearted, and takes genuine pleasure in making other people happy.
If you could make a beer using any flavours, and guarantee that it be delicious, which flavours would you love to use?
The freshest hops, tastiest yeast and the best barley, of course! We do like to add some adjuncts to some of our beers, but using the best base ingredients is the best way to start.
What are you looking forward to at the Great British Beer Festival this summer?
Visitors to the event having the option to taste our cask and kegged beer alongside each other; It would be great to convince some cask only drinkers that great beer comes in a keg too!
What makes the Great British Beer Festival special, and what has motivated you to come this year?
A collection of some of the best breweries in the UK, CAMRA has championed good beer for a long time and it’s exciting that kegged beers are finally being realised as good beer! We are proud to be exhibiting our beers and encourage visitors to try a cask version against a keg – you might be surprised that keg dispense suits the beer better for one, or cask for another.
What exciting things does your brewery have coming up?
The brewery is in an exciting phase at present, we’ll be extending into the adjacent warehouse and expanding capacity – we’re also in the planning stages for our second Taproom in Holmfirth, opening later in 2019.
Fancy trying their beers? Get your tickets to the festival today.