In the world’s most advanced beer market, the United States, it’s common to find breweries that focus on just one or two styles. Lately we’ve seen the same thing happening in Australia. Tasmania’s Two Metre Tall, Sydney’s Wildflower, Byron Bay’s Forest for the Trees and Fixation and Molly Rose here in Melbourne.
“They’re doing the one thing and doing it really well,” says Ian Jones, co-founder of Reservoir newcomer Future Mountain Brewing and Blending, which aims to do exactly that.
Jones and business partner Shane Ferguson met working at Braeside brewery Boatrocker and bonded over their love of yeast-driven farmhouse beers and bracing American-style sours. And you won’t find much else on the menu at their new taproom, formerly an auto repair shop, in Reservoir.
The 10 current options include a subtly spicy white ale; a biscuit-y rye pilsner and a puckering yet balanced golden sour that comes plain, or fermented with one of three fruits. Right now those are peach, cherry and apricot, but the duo will introduce new flavours seasonally. They’ve formed a relationship with a small orchard in the Yarra Valley that grows less common fruits such as feijoa.
A bourbon-barrel-aged oatmeal stout (for winter) and a collab with a gin producer are also on the horizon.
The bar area is surrounded by 55 barrels, inside which various brews are left to mellow and take on subtle oaky notes. The “blending” part of Future Mountain’s name refers to the mixing separate barrels in prudent ratios to achieve particular flavour profiles (more balanced, usually). This is common at traditional Belgian breweries and newer players in the US.
Behind a glass door marked “Culture Club”, a motley collection of beakers holds carefully nurtured yeasts and souring bacteria such as lactobacillus and pediococcus. Future Mountain doesn’t make wild or spontaneously fermented beer where ambient microorganisms are used to start fermentation. All the tanks are sterile until a resident of this room is introduced into them. Jones has been collecting samples for a number of years, including some from the most-hyped brewery in American craft history, Russian River, and others from Belgium’s most revered brewery, the 120-year-old Cantillon.
A brief food menu includes hot pies; sausage rolls; Middle Eastern flatbreads; and pork, olive and provolone twiggy sticks. Ferguson and Jones didn’t want to make it too complicated, lest it distract from the all-important beer.
Keen for more beer? See our guide to Melbourne’s Best Brewery Bars.
Future Mountain Brewing and Blending
703–707 Plenty Road, Reservoir
This article first appeared on Broadsheet on April 4, 2019. Menu items may have changed since publication.