OUR STORY

“We believe great beer, great food, and great music bring people together.”

We're more than just a local brewery;

we’re an untamed and unconventional destination that pushes the boundaries of tradition. We offer a variety of craft beers brewed in-house, radical dining and next level entertainment all under one roof. We embody a sense of freedom, empowerment and confidence that’s infused into our brewing craftsmanship, menu options and event execution.

The Reckless Shepherd name was inspired by the brewery owner’s fearless German Shepherd, Radar. Each sip of our brews is a testament to the daring and resilient energy of this remarkable breed. Its unique characteristics perfectly mirror our dedication to customer loyalty and commitment to delivering the finest quality beers, menu offerings, events, and service.

Our one-of-a-kind space provides something for everyone. We offer a casual atmosphere with a nontraditional dining experience, high-quality food, beer, and cocktail menus with weekly specials, and an electrifying nightlife scene fueled with live music performances and other unique events. Because we believe great beer, great food, and great music bring people together.

Indulge in the boldness. Embrace the adventure. Experience Reckless Shepherd Brewery – where the heart of the German Shepherd meets the soul of exceptional craft beer and memorable experiences.

OUR HISTORY

It all started

with Adam Carton; a proud Columbia native turned visionary brewery owner. Adam's culinary journey began in San Francisco, where the discovery of delicious, budget-friendly burritos on the city streets ignited his curiosity. This revelation was especially captivating for him, a two-time NCAA champion and Team USA gymnast from Penn State, who also happened to be a vegetarian seeking new and creative diet-friendly options. Post-college adventures then led Adam to Colorado, where a day of hiking in Frisco inspired him to name his new German Shepherd after the town.

Early Days

1996

Adam made his way back to Maryland, where he established Frisco Burrito in Towson. This quaint eatery was born out of his culinary experiences in California and Colorado, featuring burritos and other southwest-inspired dishes. Paying homage to his four-legged companion with the name, Frisco Burrito was a true testament to a journey that spanned coast to coast, with his dog by his side every step of the way.

2000

Frisco Burrito opened its second location on Stanford Blvd in Columbia.

2006

Beyond its origins as a unique, walk-up burrito spot, Frisco blossomed into a full-service restaurant and expanded its space and menu offerings. Now officially known as Frisco Grille & Cantina, the establishment served a diverse range of cuisines alongside its signature west coast-style burritos, as well as 20 craft beers on tap.

2010

Frisco outgrew its first location in Columbia and found its next home on Dobbin Road with an impressive 50 draft lines. This is also when the re-brand to Frisco Taphouse happened. Throughout this journey, Frisco became the premier destination in Howard County for indulging in rare and highly coveted craft beers. People would come not just for the great food and beer, but because it became a true neighborhood staple where you would always run into someone you knew.

2011

This was also during the pre-Untappd era, so Adam pioneered his own digital display system for the ever-changing beer list, a necessity given the menu's dynamic nature, with updates occurring up to ten times a day —making traditional printing impractical. Additionally, he implemented an innovative inventory tracking system in the absence of the functionality provided by POS systems at the time. This commitment to innovation solidified Frisco's standing as a pioneer in craft beer culture.

Becoming a Brewery

2012

The addition of a 7-barrel brew system inside the restaurant called Push Brewing, inspired by Adam's fervor for motorcycle racing, marked a transformative moment for Frisco. This expansion elevated Frisco beyond being a casual local restaurant, firmly establishing it as a brewpub known for offering some of the finest, innovative beers sourced from breweries all over the world, as well as ones made in-house. It soon became very clear: people from all over would come just for the beer and then stay longer for the food.

2016

Frisco Columbia expanded its horizons by integrating a dedicated production facility adjacent to the restaurant. Equipped with a new 20-barrel brewhouse, this project was initially aimed at statewide beer distribution. However, recognizing how crowded the local micro beer packaging industry had become, a strategic decision was made to move away from distribution, redirecting efforts toward crafting exceptionally good beer exclusively for the loyal patrons of both Frisco locations. This turning point saw the evolution of Push Brewing into Reckless Ale Works, guided by a new brewmaster committed to elevating the beer's quality to the next level.

TODAY

Finally, in a landmark move in October 2022, the business found its perfect, permanent home off McGaw Road, unveiling a spectacular transformation into a one-of-a-kind destination where the Frisco Columbia restaurant and brewery coexist side by side in an expansive space spanning 17,800 square feet. While originally coming aboard when Frisco Crofton opened, Adam’s friend, Chris Swann, officially became his business partner once the new and current Columbia location opened as well. This pivotal moment also marked the official rebranding of the brewery to the beloved Reckless Shepherd, complete with a redesigned logo showcasing the charismatic Radar, Adam’s current German Shepherd.

Radar the German Shepherd
Radar the German Shepherd. A good boy.

"Where the heart of the German Shepherd meets the soul of exceptional craft beer and memorable experiences"

The new venue boasts a brewery that accommodates both the 7-barrel and 20-barrel brew systems. Beyond brewing excellence, the space has been curated to be a hub of entertainment, featuring a state-of-the-art stage and sound system with a 20’ LED wall backdrop and projection mapping, and a one-of-a-kind venue for local and regional musical acts, corporate parties, and special events. The dining experience is nothing short of unusually brilliant, with large communal tables, spacious yet cozy booths, and a user-friendly self-ordering system. It’s not just a space; it’s a testament to the brewery’s commitment to exceptional brews, delightful dining, and unforgettable moments.