Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales is announcing ROSWELL, a once per year bottle release party spanning two days, July 22-23, 2017.
ROSWELL is a new series of “super-fruited” beers that are Lambic-inspired, spontaneously fermented, barrel aged, and then refermented with high levels of one of six different fruits. ROSWELL is 100% spontaneous, meaning it was cooled in a coolship overnight allowing the hot wort (unfermented beer) to collect microbes from the air. These microbes are wild yeast and bacteria, which ferment the beer and naturally sour it. ROSWELL was brewed in the fall of 2016, when Black Project expanded into their new barrel cellar, adding over 140 oak barrels, four puncheons, a small 12hL fouder, and a custom-built copper coolship.
In August 2016, Black Project took over the taproom of Former Future Brewing Company, retiring Former Future. Both businesses are owned by James and Sarah Howat, but the husband and wife team decided to focus their attention from clean ales (non-sours) like porters, cream ales, and stouts to spontaneous and wild ales, like sours, mixed-culture saisons, and Lambic or Gueuze inspired beers – a blend of one, two, and three-year-old spontaneous barrel-aged beer. While customers may think that Former Future and Black Project are two separate breweries, both breweries opened on January 1, 2014 and used the same brewing system. Black Project beers were originally cooled on the roof of the building using two 2BBL / 60gal stock pots and then the beer was fermented in barrels. This kept the sour beer separate from the clean beer, preventing wild microbes from souring non-sour beer. The first Black Project spontaneous beer was brewed in late February 2014 and in August 2014, Black Project released Colorado’s first spontaneous ale, called “FLYBY”.
FLYBY went on to win a medal at the Great American Beer Festival that year. This was followed by another medal in the same category the year after. As Colorado’s only 100% spontaneous and wild brewery, every beer that’s produced by Black Project off of South Broadway in Denver, is made with only yeast from the environment, either from the air or from fruit and flowers that have been foraged. As a former microbiologist and high school science teacher, James Howat – brewer, blender, and co-owner – uses his experience and background to create a one of a kind beer that cannot be replicated at any other brewery, down to the individual cell.
This release of ROSWELL follows the brewery’s mission to “innovate in the research and development of spontaneous fermentation” and was created to showcase a concept they call “super-fruiting”, where the brewery uses as much fruit as possible, while still calling it a beer.
ROSWELL is made once per year during the late spring from a Lambic-inspired wort that was brewed earlier that fall. This gives the beer a depth of flavor but with a lower acidity than it would have after spending a summer in the barrel – ideal considering the amount of acidity naturally present in the fruit. ROSWELL has a rich and beautiful spontaneous flavor, with a distinct funk, and complexity that stands up to and melds into the heavy amount of vibrant fruit flavor and aroma. The true wild-caught microbes mean that the beer is deliciously dry while still packing an incredible amount of fruit flavor. Flavors include apricot, blackberry, cranberry, guava, raspberry, and blueberry.
On July 22, Black Project is releasing five of the bottle variants of ROSWELL to the public with a special BrewedFood pairing of Tender Belly Bratwurst with pain de mie bun, kimchi and, gochujang mayo with a side of Hop Ash potato chips, first come first serve. Then on July 23, the brewery is hosting an exclusive, onsite only release of SIGN, the blueberry variant, with a limited preview of and upcoming Biere Brut / Biere de Champagne made with Red Fox Cellars Barbera grapes.