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Rapture, Magic Rock Brewing

Find the magic.

Magic. Rock. Two words that will make any beer fan feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Brothers Richard and Jonny Burhouse, aided by head brewer Stuart Ross, have captured the imagination of craft beer fans far and wide since starting the brewery in Huddersfield five years ago.

It began life in the rather humble setting of a family business outbuilding. For 40 years Richard and Jonny’s folks have been importing and wholesaling crystals, or as the brothers know them... “magic rocks”.

Their intention from the outset was clear... “to brew modern flavour-forward beers inspired in part by US craft breweries” said Rich shortly after their launch.

Beers such as Cannonball, Ringmaster (originally named ‘Curious’) and High Wire set out the brewery’s stall; incredible pale ales, as promised, inspired by beers the boys had been enjoying from over the pond. The core range has remained relatively unchanged in 5 years, but they’ve dabbled around the edges with beers that have a broader, more global influence, as well as brews that are more deeply rooted in their native Yorkshire.

Bearded Lady (a boozy imperial stout), Unhuman Cannonball (a triple IPA) and Clown Juice (an India Wit Ale) are some of the best, and bravest, beers to ever be brewed on our shores. A big shout? We mean it.

We asked them to introduce Rapture. “Rapture is our full-bodied, heavenly hoppy red beer with 5 types of malt and 6 types of hops. Uplifting aromas of grapefruit and pine, combine with pithy orange and tropically citrus flavours which are balanced against a deeply rich and malty body”.

When Magic Rock commissioned local hophead Richard Norgate to come up with some label artwork (he’d previously worked with the Arctic Monkeys and Bradley Wiggins) the brief was short but included the words “magic” and “iconic”. That’s how a new brewery on a fairly dull industrial estate in West Yorkshire ended up with one of the most recognisable and unique brands in modern craft beer. With a new design focus on the cans last year, Magic Rock has firmly established that status.

In 2015 the brewery moved to a new site in Birkby, Huddersfield and opened The Magic Rock Tap, a 1700sq ft area to the far end of the brewery that includes ten taps and five cask lines of the freshest Magic Rock beers anywhere. With food trucks and regular events such as SeshFest it's well worth checking out if you’re in town.

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