When your brewery name is an adjective, you’ve got a question to answer: is it a fitting description of your brewery?
So: is Reckless Brewing as reckless as the name suggests?
The answer is yes… and no.
Yes, because it was started by three friends who threw caution to the wind and entered the highly-competitive brewing industry off the back of “We love beer!”…
…but they are well-equipped people who followed this up with considered decision-making. Within the team of three – Grace, Jarrod and Alice – they bring brewing expertise and business experience to bear, as well as a focus on consistency and quality.
There’s a mix of personalities in the crew, so the joyful abandon of one person is always balanced by the careful analysis of another. One makes a list and checks it off one item at a time, while another member charges ahead excitedly; someone dives in headfirst, but someone else has already done a depth check.
In their words: “Take a chance, be adventurous, but not stupid.” (Apparently, “Recklessness Within Reason Brewing Co” was already taken.)
So, what does this all mean for the beer?
Each beer begins life with Jarrod and Alice throwing out ideas like “Summer!” “Friendship!” “Rainbows!” and Grace, the head brewer, develops a recipe to match (and somehow captures these vibes perfectly). The aim is always to make flavoursome, hop-forward beers, but with a focus on being approachable and suited to the Aussie climate.
“Whatever we produce has to be easy to drink, no matter how complex,” Jarrod says. “There is a way to give people these flavours from the outset without being in your face.”
The Reckless crew have no interest in blending in; as a proudly female-led brewery in a male-dominated industry, they’re happy to stand out in the crowd. So, while their beers are easy-drinking, they refuse to make boring beers that don’t do the independent beer scene justice. They have a habit of dumping large amounts of hops into each brew late in the process, with the result of pumping out beers that positively sing with high aroma and low bitterness, setting them apart from many traditional “gateway” beers. The distinctive bright colours of their tinnies help them to stand out in the fridge, too.
As a brewing company which initially operated without its own home, the Reckless brand is all about the vibe of the people who make it and the people who drink it. It transcends place, and yet carries characteristics of where it comes from. It has the buzzing but effortless cool of Sydney’s Inner West, that global hotspot of independent brewing where Reckless was launched before moving to Bathurst, but also the relaxed nature of the small regional town where Jarrod and Grace lived at the time. (See these vibes come together in the videos they filmed during COVID lockdown, where they talk tasting notes and hop varieties in the middle of nowhere three hours from Sydney.)
Think street graffiti and peaceful sunsets; dive bars with strangers and barbecues with mates.
Of course, you don’t need to know the story of Reckless to drink their beer. You might find the bold-coloured cans catching your eye. You might get a chance to taste one of their bold-flavoured beers. But, whether it’s the vibrance of the palette or the vibrance on the palate that draws you in, once Reckless grabs your attention it doesn’t let go.
And, as of September 2022, you can experience Reckless at their own brewery home in Bathurst. The site is a gorgeous heritage-listed flour mill, complete with rustic timber and a fireplace. Read all about that here and in this article all about head brewer Grace.