Through her years in the brewing industry, Reckless Brewing’s Co-Founder Grace Fowler has found a love for making great beer, fostering a collaborative spirit, and championing women in the industry.

Fowler’s brewing career began while she was working at a liquor store, at which time an old friend introduced her to Brodie French, now the Head Brewer of Hawke’s Brewing.

“It was a case of the right place at the right time. Brodie’s workplace at the time was looking for a brewer and I thought, why not? I like beer and I’m ready for a change,” she said.

From then, Fowler joined French at a large production brewery, where she worked for a year. Subsequently, she spent another five years working at a smaller independent brewery, and in 2019, started Reckless Brewing Co. alongside co-Founders Alice Wilson and Jarrod Moore.

Located in Bathurst NSW, Reckless moved into its own production facility in 2023, which Fowler named as a significant milestone in her career.

“In our first year producing beer at our own facility, we picked up two champion trophies, one for champion Australian Pale Ale at the AIBAs and another for Champion Porter/Stout at the INDIES for our XPA and Stout. It really felt like vindication for all the hard work.

“Opening the venue was another huge milestone. Not only was it in record time, but we also opened two weeks after my second child was born,” she said.

The brewing community is one of Fowler’s favourite parts of the industry, especially the enthusiasm for collaboration.

“We are a bit removed from it all up here in Bathurst, so whenever there is a chance to make a trip to a festival or collaborate, we jump at the opportunity,” she said.

When asked about her mentors, Fowler had many to name.

“This industry is amazing and always super supportive, so I’ve been very lucky. I worked closely with Brodie in my first brewing job, and he is an excellent teacher and great friend.

“Sam Fuss is just an inspiration, probably to many people in the industry, but for me she started the idea that I could start my own brewery. Sam is still an inspiration and again a great friend. And Dave Padden from Akasha really showed me what it takes to run a business, and how to ‘boss’. I really fell in love with the art of brewing while working with Dave,” she said.

Fowler feels that Reckless is particularly effective at fostering a sense of community and support within the brewery team.

“We love to make beer and feel we do it pretty well, but the other thing I’m most proud of is the team we have. We have a great and diverse group of people who are bloody great at what they do. I hope that’s a testament to our brewery being a safe space, and space where people can flourish. Our brew team is three-fifths women, and women make up half of our leadership team. We are the largest majority women-owned brewery in Australia,” she said.

Fowler’s goals for the future are simply to keep doing what she loves.

“A few more trophies would be good, but honestly, we just want to keep making great beer. If we can do enough of that to keep paying the bills and compete with the big guys, we will be very happy.”

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