Removing restrictions. Celebrating creativity. Rejoicing in freedom.These simple observations merely annotate the intense drive and passion behind
the founders of Jailbreak Brewing Company in Laurel.
Justin Bonner, a chief executive officer for an IT security firm in Maryland for more than a decade, met Kasey Turner through his business more than three years ago. A friendship developed and they realized their careers created an unbearable emptiness within themselves and in their personal lives.
They effectively “became imprisoned in corporate life,” said Justin, adding that for him, “winning became everything,” an endless pursuit of higher profit margins with no real meaning, a lonely race with no finish line.
Both men, who were born and raised less than 35 miles from each other in western Pennsylvania, decided to abandon the rat race—the cons outweighed the pros— that had consumed their lives and open this brewery and taproom, aptly named Jailbreak.
The name implied “a sense of us departing from our old lives,” said Justin.
Their professional rebirth— Justin as CEO and Kasey as chief operating officer—introduced them to people motivated by creativity and risk-taking. Bill Green, the official artist for The Big Lebowski festivals, designed nearly all of the can labels with whimsical and humorous illustrations.
And the founders’ being fans of The Big Lebowski is evident in the taproom itself. On a wall shelf sits a bowling pin signed by Jeff Bridges, the Dude himself.
Next to the bar is a painting by Danni Daniels in which the Dude, Walter and Donny are outlined with actual lines from the movie.
The creation of Jailbreak’s unique brews rests with brew master Ryan Harvey. His 20 years in the industry includes a resume from Alaskan Brewing Company in Juneau, Alaska, to Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Del.
Each beer is kosher because of the stringent standards and made with fresh local ingredients and fruits. No preservatives. No additives. No natural flavors. No artificial flavors.
Just beer that anyone can watch being made through the nearly floor to ceiling window that opens up into the guts of the operation.
Justin and Kasey opened the taproom and brewery three years ago and they have plans to expand. In October, the taproom will be extended for a restaurant and kitchen featuring fast casual dining, such as street tacos and sliders.
The restaurant and taproom will be separated by a retractable glass garage door that is removed in the evening to maintain the beer hall environment. In addition, they are planning to add an outdoor patio to the front of the building.
At Jailbreak, enjoy the ease of pushing boundaries. Jailbreak Brewing Company is located at 9445 Washington Blvd. For more information and to learn about upcoming events, visit JailbreakBrewing.com and its Facebook page.
Signature Drink – Dew Right
When the melons arrive at the Laurel brewery, they are given an additional three to five days to ripen for optimal juiciness. The beer’s name was derived from “Do Right,” Jimmie’s Chicken Shack’s 1999 top hit. The Maryland band’s lead singer and guitarist Jimi Haha designed the label for the beer.
by Therese Umerlik | Editor