ZAGAT | 30 Under 30

Rock Stars Redefining the Industry

James Howat and Sarah Howat

“Divide and conquer, right?” laughs Sarah Howat of the separate roles she and her husband, James, play at their Platt Park hit, Former Future. As head brewer, James relies on both his fascination with history and his training as a former science teacher to build beers on the twin foundations of tradition and innovation — be it his signature salted porter or his Singularity Principle series: Each release showcases a single malt and hop variety. All his mad tinkering serves the couple’s shared vision, however. “In early America, the local pub was the place people would meet — if there wasn’t a church in town, they’d have church services in the pub,” James says. “We’ve always wanted to have a real community-focused place.” That’s where Sarah comes in — not only to manage the bar but to coordinate outreach efforts like the membership program, the success of which has exceeded even her expectations. “One thing that’s surprised me is how diverse this neighborhood is,” she says. “Any given Saturday, we have people who just turned 21 and 70-year-old couples, people who come with their kids and bring the dogs. It’s awesome.”