Sunday, April 14, 2013

Former Future previews beer in a presidential setting

Former Future Brewing CompanySome beer recipes have been around for hundreds of years. What Former Future Brewing Company hopes to prove is that you can take something old and make it new again. Sarah and James Howat of Former Future Brewing Company put on two small tastings in the Presidential Suite this past Saturday for 25 people per session plus some additional guests and came up with 4 old style recipes and put their own special twist to it.

If you haven't heard of Former Future Brewing Company, don't worry. They aren't even open for business yet, but they are already starting to make a name for themselves with some clever branding and some unique recipes which they debuted at Saturday's tasting. The Howats were using these first initial tasting sessions as a community round table to get feedback on their recipes so that they could help improve their style choices and recipes before they open later this year.

Searching for a new brewery location isn't easy as Howat couple can tell you. They are currently looking for a permanent location in the already busy Denver craft beer market. James stated that they are looking at the Baker area of Denver. So how are they managing to make beer already for this tasting? Simple, they bought some good used equipment from TRVE Brewing Company and are sharing their equipment with Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew who has it installed and working at their business in Denver. In exchange for letting Our Mutual Friend use their equipment, Howat can brew his own beer at that location until they find their own place.

Sarah and James Howat of Former Future Brewing Company
James Howat got his degree in microbiology and is currently teaching Biology classes in the Denver area. He plans to quit his job shortly and go full time into devoting himself into his beer recipes and opening the business. Sarah plans to keep working her day job and help out at the brewery on the side.

The Howats brought 4 beers to the tasting for sampling. The first was called The Harvester - a wild yeast Saison made with yeast found on an apple tree in their neighborhood. The Harvester is around 4.9% ABV and 23 IBU. This beer was light gold in color with a bright white head. The aroma was filled with the scent of sweet fruit, but wasn't sweet in taste. It was a rather good sessionable brew that was dry, but very satisfying.

The second brew on tap was The Red Coat - an English style IPA. This was based off of an old classic traditional English recipe, but made with brown malts instead of Crystal malts and hopped with several English hops to give it a less sweet and drier finish. The result was a beer with a dark golden color, a big off-white head, a spicy / citrusy aroma, and a roasty spicy bitter flavor. This was a popular pick by many guests. They also plan to make a West Coast American style IPA called The Revolutionary later on. The Red Coat weighed in around 6% ABV and 50 IBU.

The third beer that was served was The Magistrate - a sweet chocolate stout. This stout pour very dark with a moderate light brown head. The aroma is definitely of chocolate although no chocolate was put into the brew. This beer was designed to be sweeter than most stouts and less roasty. This brew weighed in around 5.5% ABV and 20 IBU. The taste was definitely on the sweeter side than most stouts and felt like a good choice for after dinner and pairing with one of the sweet cookies they had on hand made by The Cookie Brewer, who by the way made 3 different cookies for the event all using beer from Former Future in the cookie recipe.

The last beer they pour was a most unusual one, one that you won't find many brewers making. This beer was called The Mariner - a salted porter. And by salted they do mean SALT. The salt is definitely noticeable on the first and every sip after. The taste will definitely take you by surprise due to it's salty flavor. This beer poured a medium cloudy brown color with a soft light tan head. The taste definitely takes a little getting used to as there is a big salty taste and not much roast in this porter. The beer was as salty as the pretzels they were serving. The crowd was split on this one, with some calling it their best best and others seemingly didn't know how exactly to judge a salty beer. They suggest you judge this one for yourself and give it several sips before you judge. One of the cookies available was made with this beer and had a soft subtle salty flavor at the end. No stats were given on the ABV or IBU on this one.

After the 4 initial samplings of beer, each attendee was given two tickets that they could then trade in for a full pint of whatever beer they enjoyed the most. I ended up going for their English IPA and wild yeast Saison in the end. Everyone there were also given evaluation cards to fill out on each of the four beers and there were a lot of cards filled out and turned in.

The Presidential Suite at the Oxford Hotel turned into quite the cozy and elegant tasting environment. From the 5th floor windows you could see a great view of the LoDo area and of Coors Field just a few blocks away. About 25-35 people was all that could fit into that suite, but the beers and the craft beer fans that were there made it all worth while.

Related articles:
- Left Hand Brewing continues tremendous growth spurt. (2013)
- Colorado Brews debuts on Rocky Mountain PBS.
- FATE Brewing Company - Grand Opening.

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