Reckless Brewing recently re-opened on Thursday, May 28, 2015, almost a year after its previous brewery, Wet N Reckless burned down. Dave is still here brewing many of the same beers he brewed before–he liked what he made before so why would he stop? The newly opened location is bigger and now located closer to the rest of the breweries along Miramar Road–right across the street from the new Ballast Point restaurant.
Wet N Reckless was not a very popular brewery when it was open before among the general San Diego beer community. Very few of the beers they brew are to style (made according to the styles that exist already in brewing) and so they don’t always taste like what you would expect. I dropped by two days after the grand opening to see how the beers are because it has been a long time since I visited them the last time. Now that they are newly opened they have taster glasses and no more plastic.
I tried all 12 of the beers that they had available on tap. I tried them in an order that I thought would generally save me from having my palate destroyed. Though after trying all of them I don’t think that is something you really need to worry about. The first flight I had was Honey Badger Don’t care, The Dude Abides Rye, Harmless Fun (hoppy imperial wheat) and Beowulf’s Mead. Second I tried the Oral Pleasure, Golden Boy (balanced IPA), More Cowbell (double balanced IPA), and Sultry Black (smoky black ale). Finally I tried the Genocide, Destroyer of Worlds, Down and Out Stout, and Merlout.
For the first flight I was surprised by the Honey Badger Don’t Care beer. It was darker than I remember and quite well balanced. It had a nice sweet dark fruit flavor that balanced well with the honey. The Dude Abides rye was mostly dominated by the flavors of the rye, which gave it a bit of a sweet and slightly spicy flavor while being mildly bitter. Harmless fun was a strange brew to me that didn’t have much of a distinctive flavor. The floral hops were hidden in the background of a strange strong wheat beer. The mead was a nice strong honey beer with a light color and body. It wasn’t really my thing but a few people there with me loved it.
The oral pleasure was quite floral and a bit sticky, and the lightest of the various IPAs on tap. Though it isn’t technically an IPA it is closes to the West Coast style. Golden Boy and More Cowbell were both very similar in the malt bill and the overall flavor. More Cowbell was the more balanced of the two beers, with the extra bitterness going better with the malt flavors. Both were dark amber color and the malts tended towards the dark fruits. The Sultry Black was an interesting black ale with a lot of smoky flavors and medium bitterness. This was the closest to a typical stout on the whole list.
Genocide was a strange amber colored beer with Columbus hops that was close to a balanced IPA more than anything else. The malts didn’t really go with the hops though. Destroyer of Worlds was a tasty dark fruit malty beer with a color almost black though still heavy amber. Down and Out Stout was too sweet and a bit strange tasting to me. I got a little caramel in the very end but I wasn’t a big fan. Finally, the Merlout was an attempt at getting to a red wine flavor while brewing a beer. The flavors were close to a sort of cheap grocery store red wine with some cloying sweet flavors and some intense cherry. I wasn’t a fan of this one and none of the friends I was with wanted to finish the taster.
Overall, Reckless is not going to impress anyone who wasn’t already a fan of the previous brewery. Those who loved a beer or two they made will want to come back and see if their favorites are still the same. Aside from adding proper glassware they now have a lot more seating and tables so you can enjoy your beer away from the bar. They also have a popcorn machine that is constantly popping for those who love a nice light snack with the beer (no charge for the popcorn).
Top 3 beers:
Honey Badger Don’t Care (dark honey ale)
More Cowbell (balanced double iPA)
Destroyer of Worlds (dark malty ale)