Former Future Brewing Company. Nearly every time I mention the name to a fellow beer lover, I get a puzzled, yet intrigued look, as if the person I’m talking to doesn’t quite know what to make of it. But if you take in the name and let your brain process it for a minute, it makes total sense. Former Future, defines exactly what owners James and Sarah Howat are looking to accomplish when they open their brewery in Denver later this year. The Howats are taking 19th century beer recipes, incorporating their own unique twist and turning them their own.
Although the Howats don’t have a place to call home for their brewery just yet, they’re still able to brew beer. Earlier this year, when TRVE Brewing bought larger fermentation tanks, Former Future was able to purchase TRVE’s original 4 BBL fermentation tanks. For the time being, the tanks are being housed at Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew, where James is using the OMF brew system to brew his own beer.
The husband and wife team behind Former Future have already begun to make a name for Former Future via Social Networking. They’ve used the platform to introduce their mascot, Professor Phineas Barleyhop, whose name was chosen in a contest among their Facebook followers.
The Howats also gave their Facebook fans the opportunity to attend the first ever Former Future tasting event, by giving away 50 free tickets. Tickets for the tasting, split between two 3-hour sessions, were snatched up in less than 90 seconds!
We were lucky enough to get an invite to the event, which was held last weekend at the classy Oxford Hotel in downtown Denver. Stepping into the beautiful hotel, which dates back to 1891, was like taking a trip back in time and provided the perfect setting for this unique event.
Shortly after our arrival, which was held in the Presidential Suite at the Oxford, we were greeted by the Howats, who took us on a sensory journey through their 4 initial offerings.
First up was The Harvester, a 4.9% ABV Saison, spontaneously fermented with wild yeasts James harvested from apple trees in Denver’s Baker District. This light golden brew was very easy drinking, slightly dry and had hints of green apple and bubblegum.
Next up was The Redcoat, a 6.3% ABV English IPA. The Redcoat was highlighted by moderate hops, bready undertones and big time drinkability.
The Chocolate Stout known as The Magistrate was the next new brew to get introduced to the beer loving audience. This 5.5% ABV beer (brewed without chocolate), was dark brown, roasty and sweet.
Our last selection of the night was a unique salted porter, appropriately named The Mariner. I’m admittedly a poor judge of salted beers, Gose beers, etc, but The Mariner kept me interested throughout. Weighing in at 5.5% ABV, there was a bit of prunes, raisins and other dark fruit lingering behind a healthy dose of saltiness.
The Howats used the tasting session to not only introduce their first four beers, but also as an opportunity to collect feedback along the way, a practice they plan to continue even after they open.
We enjoyed the introduction to Former Future and I couldn’t help but try to pick their brains and see what other treats they’ve got in store for the local craft beer scene. There’s an American IPA in the works, which will be more of a West coast style hop bomb. This should make for a nice contrasting beer to The Redcoat English IPA.
I’m also excited to report there’s a 12% ABV Sour Peach Quad in the works. I’m a sucker for anything sour and can’t wait to try this one. They’re hoping to have the Peach Quad ready to share in time for the South Denver Beer Fest in May, but due to the small batch size, it may only be available to VIP attendees.
For now, they’ll continue to brew and stockpile for the upcoming festival season. If you missed last week’s tasting, your first chance to meet the Former Future team and try their beers will be at the South Denver Beer Festival, coming up on May 4th – 5th in Littleton, CO. Tickets and info can be found HERE.
We’re excited for James and Sarah and their vision for Former Future. Follow them on Facebook to keep up with the latest news as they get closer to nailing down the perfect location. As always, we’ll continue to keep you updated right here as well.