Beer is crafted from water, yeast, and barley, and at Former Future Brewing, it is also crafted from love, and a dedication to community.
James and Sarah Howat, the husband and wife owners of Denver’s newest brewery, are a collegial couple of kindness, smiles, and beer brewing expertise. James, a former high school science teacher, prolific homebrewer, as well as head brewer, and Sarah, marketing virtuoso and bartender, are the dynamic duo responsible for crafting some of the most delicious libations available in Denver proper.
The brewery, located at 1290 S. Broadway, is artfully decorated and emanates the same sense of warmth and community that the Howats do. All of the items that help make the building what it is, from top to bottom, from the floor to the ceiling joists, to the barrel-hoop light fixtures, and to the beautiful Cessna wings bar top, come from reclaimed sources. (Seriously, the bar is formed from reclaimed wings from a 1970s Cessna aircraft and is arguably the most beautiful bar top in Denver.)
Although they’re new to the Denver beer scene, they’re not new to beer. Former Future’s brews focus on traditional techniques remixed with modern styles. “We want to nail all of the beer in it’s simplest form before adding to it…you can have an extensive amount of flavors from wild yeast, hops and grain without adding a lot to it,” says James.
Upon opening, there were four beers in rotation, including an Oatmeal Saison, a Belgian Wit, an English IPA, and their best seller, a delicious Farmhouse IPA that was so popular, some of Denver’s drinking denizens quickly ensured that it was tapped out.
Former Future won’t be keeping their great beer strictly within the confines of their walls, however. You’ll soon be able to partake in their completely quaffable imbibements from the comfort of your own couch, backyard, or otherwise dedicated sipping space. They intend to expand their beer program quite significantly (and soon), pushing out into the market in March with special edition bombers, the first being a bourbon barrel-aged porter, aged in barrels from Stranahan’s Master Distiller, Jake Norris. Other beers will follow, as the Howat’s intend to establish an extensive barrel-aged sour program on top of their special releases, while still maintaining their easier drinking neighborhood favorites.
For James and Sarah, the beer can be great, but community, and the people that form the neighborhood are what it’s all about. “You can have a huge impact if you stay local,” says Sarah. The Howat’s love their customers, and when you’re there, they strive to make you feel like part of their family. They have a shared vision of creating community, and above all else, that’s what they want Former Future to do – whether you’re coming in with friends on a Friday night for an evening of brews and laughs, or on Saturday afternoon with the kids and the canine (well behaved for both please)
“Some of the best moments of my life have been with good people, drinking good beer,” says Sarah. Luckily for Denver, Former Future has the very best of both, in spades.
*Side Note – Not content with just making amazing beer, Former Future also plans on partnering with local South Broadway neighbor and coffee roaster, Corvus Coffee. Together, Corvus and Former Future will be offering specialty coffee beers, tailored with specific beans and roasts, hopped coffee on draft (yes, you read that right, hopped coffee), as well as educational classes on both coffee and beer. Hop heads and caffeine junkies unite!