Once under the radar, Black Project made its formal debut this year on South Broadway in Denver, replacing its sister operation Former Future. James and Sarah Howat’s brewery specializes beer that is spontaneously fermented with microbes in the open air, creating beer with complexity and a sense of place. Other yeast strains are isolated in the lab to make unique saisons and India pale ales.
Black Project “continues to push boundaries with their methods of harvesting and isolating wild yeast from their Denver rooftop and their marketing decision to solely focus on native microflora for fermentation,” said Chris Marchio, the former brewer at Joyride Brewing.
The unique approach gave Black Project the nod, but this category was close, with a dozen breweries in contention. Four of the state’s IPA masters finished tied for second place: Cannonball Creek, Cerebral, Comrade and Odd13 are redefining styles and pushing hop flavors to new places with each brewery hitting a new level in 2016.