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Future Magic Brewing Co

This old warehouse on Manilla Street is now home to a brewery pouring its own tipples, slinging pizzas made in-house and showing nearby beermakers some love.
By Sarah Ward
March 01, 2023
By Sarah Ward
March 01, 2023

Before Rhys Pike and Sean Astill opened Future Magic Brewing Co, Manilla Street in East Brisbane was already home to a brewery thanks to the Gold Coast-born Black Hops' Brisbane taproom. For many, setting up shop opposite another beer joint might've been cause for second thoughts, but not for this duo. Valuing community — cultivating Future Magic's own via crowdfunding, and celebrating the community it has joined in its new abode — is one of their guiding principles.

Pike and Astill did hear the obvious doubts, however. "We've had quite a few people ask us in really direct terms 'don't you think it's silly to open a brewery within 100 metres of another brewery?'," Pike says. "And our rationale is that, it's a weird concept but the rising tide will lift all ships. If there's a great brewery in an area, it will then change the way another brewery will operate, and make them make their processes better — and it means that the local offerings for beer and food and wine, and craft concepts like gin and so forth, will become better for everyone."

The pair met about seven or eight years ago, with Astill dabbling with home brewing and Pike running a craft beer blog and Instagram account, and both working for a technology business. "Sean presented me with a couple of home brew beers he had made, and I told him they were of very high quality and he should consider submitting them to some awards," Pike explains. Astill followed his advice, placed second in the state in the Queensland Amateur Brewers Association awards, and then fourth in the country. He'd next work for Ballistic Beer Co.

Bringing Future Magic to fruition sprang from there, with monthly catchups to work through the duo's plans, research into ideal locations and a 12–18-month search for the perfect property, which involved inspecting 40–50 properties. Pike and Astill went with the industrial brick Manilla Street warehouse — the home of a former packaging supplies company — for its feature wall, its capacity to host both a taproom and the brewing operations, and its room for growth.

"It's kind of cool and funny in its full-circle nature that the building has gone from a place that has housed boxes of pizza to serving boxes of pizza," Pike says. "We still get people coming in every week asking to buy pizza boxes and cake boxes."

Future Magic's pizza range is made in-house, with seven types available — plus two for kids — alongside mushroom arancini and bruschetta.

The main drawcard, of course, is the beer pumping through 12 taps. That includes its own brews, complete with a mango and passionfruit sour; a Thriller in Manilla Hazy IPA collaboration with Black Hops; and two ciders and a wine list from Witches Falls Winery well.

Images: Rhys Pike.

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