Bit of history on the blog for a change today, we caught up with founder and MD Richard Burhouse, about the origins of our unusual name…
One of the questions I’m asked most frequently when out at events is, ‘Why Magic Rock? Where does the name come from?’ We’ve never hidden the reasons behind our unusual name, in fact its right here in the About Us section of our website, but it’s fair to say we haven’t particularly shouted about it either.
When Stuart and I were planning the brewery back in 2010 the question of where to establish the brewing operations was never in doubt. I was lucky that our family business which I was working in at the time, had an unused outbuilding that with a bit of imagination and the correct permissions could be used to house a small brewery.
I spent probably 3 months thinking of what to call the brewery, racking my brains for something original. I was obsessed with US craft beer, the idiosyncratic names and branding which accompanied it. First and foremost I wanted to pick a name that was unusual and memorable to our new customers. I also didn’t want to just make a name up, it had to have a basis in reality and mean something personally to me.
So, why Magic Rock? The family business I worked in was established by my father in the 1960’s and is an importer and wholesaler of Crystals, Minerals, semi-precious Jewellery and Natural gifts. By the 1990’s many of the customers of the business were buying crystals believing them to have esoteric properties or ‘healing powers’. The family business had been successful enough over the years, that my father had the means to help me start the business. He loaned us the money we needed to buy brew kit and ingredients to establish operations.
Through the business, I was lucky enough to travel every year to the US. It was there, in around 2009 that I first tasted fresh US IPA and the idea to make similar beers in the UK started to form. After working with rocks and crystals my whole life and working with them for around 15 years, it was time for a change. I was obsessing about beer, I was focussed and I was driven to make the new brewery work.
I chose the name ‘Magic Rock’ for the new business as an acknowledgement of the opportunities the family business had provided me with and a permanent reminder of where we had started. In the years since 2011, my father has effectively retired and the family business has now been split into two distinct parts, Burhouse Beads and Rockshop Wholesale . They are run by my sister and brother respectively.
So, there you have it… if you’ve ever visited the seaside and been pestered by your kids, nephews and/or nieces into buying a little bag of fool’s gold or a fossil or gemstone necklace, there’s a fairly high probability that it came from my family’s business.
Since we moved to the new site in 2015 we no longer have a daily connection to the rocks and crystals, but when laying the new brewery floor, we made sure we threw a few crystals into the concrete as a good luck charm and a permanent reminder of the origins of Magic Rock Brewing.