Good Beer Hunting

EP-133 Richard Burhouse of Magic Rock Brewing Company

EP-133 Richard Burhouse of Magic Rock Brewing Company

The county of Yorkshire has more breweries per capita than anywhere else in the UK. And though it’s home to buzzing city hubs such as Leeds and Sheffield, much of the brewing landscape is to be found within the county’s rural environment and smaller towns. It’s home to traditional breweries such as Theakston’s, Timothy Taylor, and Black Sheep as well breweries with a more modern outlook, such as Summer Wine and Rooster’s.  

Richard Burhouse, along with his brother Johnny and head brewer Stuart Ross, founded Magic Rock Brewing Company in the town of Huddersfield in 2010. Before the arrival of Magic Rock, Huddersfield already had a reputation for being a great beer town, as it was home to renowned pubs such as The Grove and The Sportsman. However, it was perhaps the arrival of Magic Rock, and subsequently its taproom in 2015, which really put the town on the national beer map.  

As well as being inspired by Yorkshire’s real-ale heritage, Burhouse was also fascinated by what was happening in the U.S., and has spent plenty of time researching beer in the States. The influence of West Coast breweries such as Stone, Green Flash, and Russian River is immediately apparent in his beers, such as High Wire Pale Ale and Cannonball IPA.  

Not content to rest on its laurels, however, Magic Rock is constantly adapting its brewing processes to keep pace with trends. The past 12 months has seen them release several New England-inspired limited release IPAs, some of which have been collaborations with the likes of Cloudwater and Other Half. At the same time, Burhouse is trying to balance his brewery in the local market by simultaneously offering a high quality, nicely priced range of cask ales.  

In this episode, we skip from topics such as pricing and quality issues, to the takeover of RateBeer, which has often showered plaudits on Magic Rock’s beers. We also speak briefly about the sold out Uppers & Downers London, where we’re super excited to have Magic Rock pouring a collab with Dark Woods Coffee this September. This episode was recorded in a working pub near my home in North London home, and as a result, there’s a couple occasions where there’s a little background noise. Thanks for your patience.