Brian Roberts is no stranger to the concept of concoctions. After 20 years as a scientist, Roberts accumulated quite the resume- focusing on diagnostics for infectious diseases and working for integral projects within the confines of Fort Detrick. Traveling across the globe following large disease outbreaks, including deployment time with the armed forces to research diseases over seas, Roberts has always been a busy man.
It wasn’t until a walk through the Frederick Fair with his wife that a hobby even became a consideration. “She told me to find a hobby,” the scientist said. “I walked by a ‘home-brew’ section at the Fair and I thought- I’ll try this! I drink beer…I like beer…why not make beer!” With the purchase of his first home-brew kit, Roberts produced three “partial mashed” brews and all three placed the following year at the The Great Frederick Fair. Not a bad start for the newer-brewer. Thus, Mad Science Brewery (MSB) was born!
Brian and his family reside in Adamstown. His wife, Louisa, runs Thanksgiving Farms, a nursery and produce farm that most recently participated in the “Farm to Fork” Initiative in Frederick. “All of our fruits and flavors that go into the beer are hand picked,” Roberts said. “It’s a therapeutic passion- much like cooking!” While his wife manages the farm, the whole family often shares in the picking process for Brian to use fresh ingredients in the production of his craft beer. “My family is on board and supports me,” Roberts said. “That makes a HUGE difference!”
Now a certified Class A Farm Brewery, MSB is ecstatic to continue its growth as one of six in the entire state. To be classified as such, brewers must grow at least one ingredient on their farmland to include in the brew’s production. This brewer has it covered, especially since all of the fruits, vegetables, and hops that are used to create the beer is picked off of his own land. “It’s an honor considering there are only four in Frederick and six approved in the entire state of Maryland. It’s just really cool.”
With each season comes new flavors, depending on what fruits and veggies are in season. Featured flavors have included Blackberries infused into the notorious base brew-Helles Belles. Other favorites include Helles Belles with peaches, a scrumptious concoction of vanilla and coconut named Mad Cow, the Julian CJD, and base brews infused with blueberries. Notice the names keep the theme of scientist’s lab in mind! The farm where his brew is sold also holds a small bar decorated with a vintage periodic table from 1979.
October is a big month for MSB, marking its 11th year in production… and the Mad Scientist is only looking at more and more opportunities to grow. In 5 years, Roberts hopes to be a full-time brewer with his own bar adorned with lab benches, high school chemistry-style tabletops, old-school light bulbs and flasks that look just like beakers.
The brewery continues to grow and produce new favorites to be poured all over the Frederick area. Local bars like JoJo’s Taphouse enjoy serving MSB brews at “Tap Takeovers”, which introduces the public to these fastly-favored flavors. The beers you choose to taste are also available for check-in on the widely popular smartphone app- Untapped.
Keep an eye out for new flavors and upcoming events on The MSB website HERE. You won’t want to miss any chance you get to try these “mad” concoctions of seriously tasty beers.