DC Beer’s Richard and Adam visit Reckless Ale Works in Columbia, Maryland to talk about the brewery’s emergence onto the Maryland beer scene and how it is promoting its “reckless” brand.
A Maryland Brewery on the Rise
The story of Reckless Ale Works starts with its owner, Adam Carton, a former two time NCAA gymnastics champion and seven-time all-American athlete. After his gymnastic days, Adam went into the restaurant business. In 1996, he opened Frisco Tap House in Columbia, Maryland. Twenty years later, he opened Reckless Ale Works next door as a spin-off to Frisco’s brewing operations.
Another key figure in Reckless Ale Works is Brewmaster Tim Mason. Tim has a long history of brewing, having previously worked for Magic Hat Brewing Company in Vermont and then Lagunitas Brewing Company and Revolution Brewing in Chicago. He eventually moved back to the East Coast to be closer to family and to join the Reckless Ale Works team.
Another key figure is Brewery Manager Zach Price. Zach and Tim work closely together to brew and distribute the beer across Maryland. They brew larger batches at their Reckless location and brew smaller experimental batches at the Frisco Tap House brewing facility next door.
Beer and Axes: A Winning Combination
The Reckless Ale Works taproom, managed by Mike Cermatori, is essentially an adult playground. In addition to its billiards table, foosball table, basketball court, and dartboards, the “reckless” taproom is best known for its ax-throwing lanes. Groups can make reservations to have ax-throwing tournaments while enjoying some excellent beers.
The taproom currently accepts group reservations, but it is not yet open to the general public. Mike expects the taproom to have a public opening sometime in the near future.
“The Best Brewers in World Keep Learning”
Tim and Zach have developed a diverse beer selection at Reckless Ale Works. They are always looking for ways to tinker with and improve the beers in each iterative brew. One highlight is Cascade Falls, a California-style IPA that uses Cascade Hops to deliver a clean, consistent, and high-quality bitter taste. Another popular beer is a citrus pale ale called Action Figures, a tribute to Adam’s passion for motocross (“Action Figures” is the title of a Travis Pastrana movie on Motocross). In addition, Death Metal Diva is a coffee milk stout that captures flavors of coffee without its bitter aftertaste.
You may also notice that the Reckless Ale Works canned beers have some pretty impressive illustrations. These are the work of Daniel Govar, a talented comic artist who works at Marvel.
Moving forward, Reckless Ale Works hopes to continue to improve its current beer offerings and experiment with new brews. Its beers are now distributed throughout Maryland, including in Montgomery County (near Washington, DC). It is poised to continue to expand its distribution in the region.