Future Magic Brewing Co


Future Magic Brewing Co

32 Manilla Street
East Brisbane
QLD 4169

(07) 3159 4954
Open Hours

Thursday: midday to 9pm
Fri & Sat: midday to 10pm
Sunday: midday to 9pm


Before 4pm

Future Magic may sound like something from a sci-fi or fantasy book. But it comes straight from the history books.

Before microscopes were invented – or, at least, before their scientific findings reached rural Norway – Scandinavian farmhouse brewers didn’t know what yeast was. They thought fermentation was a magical process. And who could blame them? When they stirred the wort with their “magic sticks”, it turned into beer. When they didn’t, nothing happened.

Of course, we now know those pieces of wood carried yeast from previous batches of beer. But the brewers saw them as artefacts that put a bit of future magic into each brew.

Many years later, on the opposite side of the world, the story of these brewers with their magic sticks captured the hearts of Sean Astill and Rhys Pike. Sean and Rhys had known they were going to open a brewery together from the moment they met, and when the time finally came, they named their brewery Future Magic Brewing Co.

Future Magic is a community-owned, community-built brewery in East Brisbane. While a number of breweries consider themselves to be part of their community, Future Magic’s community is part of the brewery. Right back at the beginning, Future Magic opened up to the community by crowdfunding before they’d even built the brewery, and a couple of hundred beer lovers bought into the vision.

“We're super proud that we were the first to do this,” Sean says, looking around the brewery taproom. “They helped build this.”

The taproom itself is a statement of tasteful simplicity: original redbrick work with painted black trim, a spacious layout of picnic tables built from upcycled timber and a pair of Chesterfield lounges donated by Sean’s aunt, all with strings of fairy lights twinkling overhead. The pièce de résistance is a white-on-black mural of Norse gods: a hat tip to the part of the world that inspired the brewery’s name.

There’s also a handful of tables out the front, which are particularly handy when the brewery is full; Future Magic sits just a couple of streets away from The Gabba, so it gets shoulder-to-shoulder on game days.

The 12 taps offer up a “something for everyone” kind of range. There are the core beers that flit from Solar Lager, which won a gold medal at its first awards, to Daybreak, the pale ale that was named by Future Magic’s community of fans, to Galaxy Dust Hazy IPA, which came to life when Sean saw a mock-up label with filler text and said: “I’m going to make that exact beer.” And there are the seasonals and limiteds that push the envelope with high hopping rates and interesting ingredients.

But whatever the beer, one thing you’ll notice about all of Future Magic’s brews is their drinkability. Sean may love big hoppy beers and experimenting with new flavours, but he loves balanced beers above all else.

“I want to give people an experience of beer that’s well-rounded. It might not necessarily be what’s happening with the rest of the brewing industry right now, but it’s what I think makes an excellent, well-balanced beer.”

That said, there’s always an exception to the “something for everyone” ethos…

“We had a group come in off a party bus [and order the lager]… They ended up leaving, and gave us the feedback: ‘It doesn’t taste enough like Great Northern.’ And I said, ‘Thank you.’

“I don’t want it to taste like Great Northern. I want it to taste like our beer.”

For all the focus on beer, the food is definitely not an afterthought at Future Magic: it was always going to be wood-fired pizza.

“I think beer and pizza is an absolute classic combination. It’s something a little bit moreish that isn’t too heavy.”

But while the pizza isn’t heavy, the pizza oven sure is. At the time of build, they brought in the 1.6 tonne pizza oven with a heave and a ho; once it was in place, they knew it wasn’t going anywhere, so they built the kitchen around it. It’s here that they make the arancini and bruschetta fresh in-house alongside every batch of pizza dough.

“You see a little bit of the individuality of the person that made the dough. Just as you get signature flavour of beers depending on who’s made it, you get the same with dough.”

Sean describes how his chief pizza maker is as passionate about fermentation as Sean himself is, and chooses to pop in on his day off to mix up new batches of dough.

“You know the ethos of the beer also runs through to the whole venue here. Everything’s fresh,” Sean says.

“We short order a lot of stuff – juuust enough for what we need. That can sometimes mean a mid-service dash to the IGA for basil! But I’d rather do that and have little waste and keep everything fresh.”

The taproom is kid-friendly, with a thoughtfully fitted-out family room, and you can bring the four-footed family members with you as well. In fact, it’s the kind of place where everyone feels welcome, whether you’re a ring-in or a regular, because the staff are always there with a smile and a chat.

"People have surprisingly good bullshit detectors. They know if it’s a, ‘Would you like fries with that?’ kind of line. And they know when someone’s genuinely interested.”

At Future Magic, they’re equally interested in the beer they make and the people who drink it. Sean’s passion for brewing still drives him, and he remembers the talk he was given when he got his first job in a brewery – wisdom he later passed on when he hired his own assistant brewer at Future Magic.

“This can suck. It’s hot, hard work. You’re squatting and lifting heavy things in confined spaces. You’re wet most of the time. It’s not just people standing around talking beer recipes.

“It’s exactly what I thought it would be. And I’ve loved it ever since.”

So, whether you’re at the taproom for a buzzing trivia night, a bustling game day, or just a breezy Friday afternoon – or at home with a cold tinnie of Galaxy Dust – sit back and taste the magic.

Mick Wüst

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Stories featuring Future Magic Brewing Co

Core Range

Future Magic Daybreak Pale Ale
American Pale Ale
Future Magic Solar Lager
Australian Lager
Future Magic Magic Stick Session Pale
Session Pale Ale
Future Magic Galaxy Dust New England IPA
Future Magic Meteorite Stout

Limited Releases

Future Magic Nectar Amber Ale
Amber Ale
Future Magic x Seeker Citra For Safety Oat Cream IPA
Oat Cream IPA
Future Magic Biggles ESB & Lunar Schwarzbier
ESB & Schwarzbier
4.9% & 4.6%
Future Magic Total Eclipse Of The Tart & Raspberry And Vanilla Sour
Sour Ales
4.7% & 4.1%