Future Brewing’s Brady Hannett really did his homework before opening his brewery. After falling hard for big American West Coast styles as a hombrewer, he literally moved there in 2018 to study them at the University Of California’s renowned brewing school (think of it as Hogwarts for hopheads but with malt instead of magic).
“The Master Brewers course was awesome,” Brady says, who was an environmental scientist before the switch.
“It was a really intensive, science-driven six months. Eight hours a day, Monday to Friday, studying every weekend with exams on Mondays. Plus we did tours of famous breweries like Russian River and Sierra Nevada.”
After graduating, he worked at the award-winning Alvarado Street Brewery in Monterey for 18 months, starting out washing kegs and manning the canning line before brewing up a storm of his own.
Armed with experience and plenty of ideas, Brady and his partner Laura landed back in Australia in 2020 with plans to open a brewery of their own in Sydney. But, with COVID landing not long after they touched down, their Future plans were put on hold.
When lockdowns finally let up, they found a great site – an old heritage service station in Newtown’s famous King Street – only to discover structural issues in the initial development phase.
Thankfully, their bad luck got better when they came across a much bigger space at nearby St Peters and set about installing a brewhouse and accompanying huge bar, serving Brady’s take on lagers, hazies and, of course, his beloved West Coast styles.
“St Peters has such a good little community and neighborhood vibe,” he says with a smile. “A lot of people here love to support local businesses and that support has been awesome so far.”
You can visit the Future taproom Thursdays to Sundays; to find out more about their story, we invited Brady to be part of our long-running Who Brews...? series.
Who are you?
Brady Hannett and Laura Howard – we started Future Brewing in 2020. Before becoming a brewer, I was an environmental scientist and Laura worked in supply chain.
Where do you brew?
We opened our brewery and taproom in St Peters in September.
We’ve spent a lot of effort making the taproom a welcoming space to everyone. It’s got a big bar where people can sit in groups or by themselves, which I think is pretty unique in Sydney. It’s simple, easy and diverse. We don’t want it to be a boys’ club at all.
We’ve got a little beer garden out front with two picnic tables. We’re family- and dog-friendly too.
Why do you brew?
I enjoy the technical and hands-on side, but also love the creative and fun aspects of experimentation.
My background is environmental science, so I already had a big interest in science and homebrewing. Brewing is as scientific as you want it to be, but there’s also this creative side. Especially when it comes to choosing the names and can art, the styles, and expressing your own flavours.
Was there a beer or a moment that set you on the path to becoming a brewer?
Laura’s from Texas so, in 2014, we did a trip over to the US to meet her family. I was just blown away with the diverse range of quality breweries and the American beer scene in general. They were just so far ahead of what we were seeing in Australia at the time.
What’s the inspiration behind the brewery name?
The name Future Brewing comes from studying and working in the US. The idea was to bring those ideas and knowledge back to Australia.
What beer in your lineup best represents you and why?
Our From the Get Go West Coast IPA. It’s one of the first beers I made in the new brewery. It’s very clean and modern with plenty of hoppy, punchy flavour coming from the Nelson Sauvin, Mosaic Cryo and Motueka.
If you could have any person in the world join you on a brew day, who would it be, and why?
JC and the crew from Alvarado Street Brewery in Monterey, California. I worked there for 18 months and they’re now really good friends of mine.
I have a huge amount of respect for those guys and it’d be awesome to have them come here and do a collab beer.
If anyone drops in on brew day, what are they most likely to hear blasting from the speakers?
Khruangbin – they’re a psychedelic group from Texas. It’s got a good beat to it and not many words, so it’s great for brewing. I found out about them when I was in the States.
What beers are in your fridge right now?
Balter Cerveza. I’ve got a soft spot for Corona just for a beer that’s easy and crushable. Balter’s Cerveza is awesome, light and easy-drinking.
What would be your desert island beer of choice?
Alvarado Street Brewery’s Mai Tai tropical IPA. It’s the backbone beer of the brewery and pretty simple: just one malt and one hop, Mosaic. They’ve won multiple Great American Beer Festival medals and it’s what they’re known for.
We made a lot of it and it’s a beer that all the staff loved.
Which local beers have blown your mind in recent weeks?
Bracket’s hoppy beers and lager. Mike and Erik over there are making awesome beers. They’re definitely underrated and make such great West Coast IPAs and hazy IPAs.
Is there a particular style, ingredient, or trend in beer you'd like to explore further?
I really love West Coast pilsners: clean and crisp lagers meet hoppy West Coast IPAs. It’s the best of best worlds.
Where can people find your beers?
At our taproom. We have no intention of doing core beers, more threads of beers. So, we’ll always try to have a pale ale on tap, a pilsner and a range of IPAs: single, double, hazy. We’ll throw in some fruited sours, adjunct stouts for fun now and then.
We also have our first cans available now, which we’ll sell through the taproom and website. We’re aiming for new releases each month, but we’ll see how it goes.
Where do you hope your brewery will be ten years from now?
We hope to be putting out some of the best quality beers in Australia and, with that, have a busy taproom which allows us to stay relatively small and sell the majority of our beer direct to consumers. We could see adding another taproom in a coastal suburb by then too.
You can find Future Brewing alongside hundreds of other breweries and good beer venues in the free Crafty Pint app, designed to help you find your nearest good beer wherever you are in Australia.