True to themselves, Future Mountain Brewing & Blending appear to have spent lockdown been exploring wood, malt, funk and fruit, with the results there for all to see in these two releases. The first is Fortune Telling Lady 2020, a golden sour that spent time bathing in oak with Morello cherries from the Yarra Valley for company. Pouring a beautiful bright red, there’s a mix of funk and fruit from Brettanomyces, which also adds a smooth and luscious texture to the beer’s mouthfeel. From the base sour beer, you'll pick up a delicate and tart fruitiness, one followed by slightly richer tones from the cherries.
Then there’s Fireside, their recurring winter seasonal: a barrel-fermented smoked porter that's the Future Mountain team’s way of exploring different smoked malts. This one is a showcase of oak-smoked wheat malt, which pushes the beer into peated territory and, like many whiskies, brings forth leather too. There’s also a sweetness – akin to a reduced rich dark chocolate bar – plus vanilla from the oak and roasted notes that nudge the beer closer to coffee territory.