Brewmaster Kelly Taylor
I’m cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs — and Honey Smacks, Shredded Wheat, Fruity Pebbles and Kix. I love all cereals, admittedly, even professing my eternal devotion to the breakfast deity with a tattoo on my left leg. Seriously:
Kelly Taylor, conversely, is cuckoo for collaborations. The brewmaster of Fort Greene’s Greenpoint Beer Works, home to Heartland Brewery and KelSo Beer Co., Taylor is constantly brainstorming with others to create intriguing exclusives — even brothers, recently teaming with Jon Bloostein, owner of Heartland, and Oren Bloostein, owner of Oren’s Daily Roast, for a coffee-infused porter. I attended one of these powwows for One Hop Stop, brewed under KelSo (which he also owns with his wife, Sonya Giacobbe) for Hudson Common.
Taylor invited me and the staff of Hudson Common, a 3,000-square-foot, beer garden-style space in the lobby of the Hudson Hotel, to discuss the recipe for a house beer. This included a 25-minute lesson on smelling hops. Both parties decided on a pale ale uncharacteristically fermented with a lager yeast, inspired by KelSo’s now-retired Hop Lager. They also chose to use only one hop variety: Galaxy, grown exclusively in Australia, gushing with citrus and passionfruit notes.
“Most beers are brewed with several different hops,” Taylor explains. “Ale yeast produces esters, which can temper a hop profile. By using a lager yeast and only one hop, the Galaxy’s tropical notes are allowed to pop out of the glass. You really know what you’re smelling and tasting.”
While One Hop Stop debuted at Hudson Common on April 24, KelSo has another unique collaboration shipping to accounts this week — with us! Rhubarb Gose is the second installment of Edible Ale, following Red Rye IPA in our quarterly series of beers with New York-sourced ingredients.
Gose (pronounced goes-uh) is an obscure style that originated in Goslar, Germany during the 16th century. It’s an unfiltered and soured ale brewed with wheat, coriander and salt. Taylor adds: “Gose is a really interesting and refreshing style — the salty and sour play off each other really nicely. The mash is traditionally soured overnight but we decided to rely on the rhubarb to provide that characteristic. I’ve never brewed with rhubarb before so that was definitely a reason to go for it.”
Rhubarb Gose was created with growings from Lakeview Organic Grain, Gro-more Farms, O’Mara Farms, Oechsner Farms and Samascott Orchards. As with Red Rye IPA, which raised $1,020, a portion of each sale will be matched by Manhattan Beer Distributors and donated to City Harvest.
“The goal is to get some cash to City Harvest and our local farmers,” Taylor says. “If I call a farmer and order 2,000 pounds of grain for a beer, I know the money goes right into their pocket. We have photographic proof of that now. This project supports our agriculture and in turn, supports our communities. What’s great is that basically everyone who ordered the first wanted two of this one. It’s a win for everyone.”