Edible Brooklyn

PHOTOS: Introducing Edible Ale

3 comments so far | December 23, 2013 | By

“I’m really excited about this,” says Kelly Taylor, perched atop a steam-spewing, 30-barrel brewhouse at Brooklyn’s Greenpoint Beer Works, home of KelSo Beer Company.

“This” isn’t referring to KelSo’s recent foray into cans, which currently includes Pilsner and Nut Brown Lager, or an ambitious project to age Industrial IPA in a slew of different cabernet sauvignon barrels.

“This” is KelSo’s newest beer, “Edible Ale,” which will launch a quarterly, locally inspired series with Edible Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island and East End. The series will feature beers containing different New York–sourced ingredients, serving as a “microphone for what we both believe in very strongly,” says Taylor, co-owner and brewmaster.

It’s an ale for awareness. An alewareness, perhaps…

Taylor, who is also brewmaster of Heartland Brewery, launched KelSo with his wife, Sonia Giacobbe, in 2006. The brewery’s slogan is “Beer Helps.”

The genesis of Edible Ale began on September 27, during Edible Manhattan‘s screening of A Place at the Table at The Times Center. The film was “an eye-opener,” says Taylor, “about our country’s problem with access to nutritional food.” The objective is “to get people talking and, hopefully, to get retailers to donate a portion of every beer sale to organizations working to educate about healthier, local food, like NYC Coalition Against Hunger and City Harvest.”

Taylor initially wanted to create an all–New York beer, but “that amount of ingredients wasn’t available, so it’s about 75 percent local.” This includes hops—Chinook and Cascade—from Pedersen Farms in Seneca Castle, and malt—caramel and pale—from O’Mara Farms in Canastota. Triticale, a hybrid of wheat and rye, is also grain-featured in Edible Ale. It was grown and malted by Hadley, Massachusetts’s Valley Malt.

“Triticale combines the breadiness of wheat with the spiciness of rye and has a really soft texture,” says Taylor. “[Edible Ale] will definitely be hoppy, but we’re going for balance. It’s basically a red IPA.”

KelSo created the first batch of Edible Ale on December 6, and Taylor anticipates readiness “sometime in early January.” The name will remain Edible Ale for subsequent batches, but its recipe will differ with every release, dependent on availability of ingredients, and Edible magazine’s theme.

“If the issue is featuring, say, local fisherman, we may do an oyster stout,” says Taylor. “The possibilities are basically endless.”


About Niko Krommydas

Niko Krommydas regularly contributes to several branches of Edible, including Buffalo, East End, Hudson Valley, Long Island, and Nutmeg. He is also a columnist for Long Island Pulse and Yankee Brew News.

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  • N

    As long as we’re people’s good natured heart strings.. it’s worth pointing out that Kelly Taylor’s Heartland Brewery make’s the beer for Guy Fieri’s “Guy’s American Kitchen” which is part of Heartland’s restaurant group… If Edible’s readership knew this, they might see the romantic ‘beer making’ pictures in a different ‘marketing’ sort of light. Not that Guy Fieri is an evil monster but if you’re going to go through all the trouble of shoehorning “local” down people’s throats, it’s worth pointing out the whole picture and not obfuscating a large part of one’s business practice.

    The objective is “to get people talking”…………………and, hopefully, to get retailers to donate a portion of every beer sale to organizations working to educate about healthier, local food, like NYC Coalition Against Hunger and City Harvest.”

    Since it’s half of this project’s objective.. maybe a follow up on how much money “a portion of every beer sale’ FROM THE RETAILER equates to?

  • Edible Brooklyn

    Thanks for your comment, N. At this early stage, we don’t have much more to add to what we shared in this piece. All the same, we do promise to continue reporting on what we are making, where it is sold and what causes we are supporting as those details develop. We assure our readers that we don’t have anything to hide with this project. As for our partner brewery for Edible Ale, Kelso of Brooklyn does brew for Heartland Brewery and its restaurants, including Guy’s American Kitchen. We think that’s a great thing, considering that Kelso is one of a few big breweries based in the five boroughs, and that Kelly Taylor is among the biggest advocates of brewing from ingredients grown in the state, not to mention bottling, canning, malting and generally localizing the beer food chain in New York. For that reason, we are proud to work with Kelso on this project and hope it further raises the bar for local beer making.

  • Kelly

    We are looking forward to this project, and are confident that the retailers will be supportive. Even trying to get our wholesaler on board with sponsorship (more of a stretch) .We try to make the best beer we can, and fit it into the diverse and complex market known as the NYC beer scene. I am pleased and honored to not only brew for the Heartland Group (including Guy’s ), but to have my own line of beers (KelSo) to put my own mark on and ship around the NYC area. To be able to expand our “Beer Helps” reach and brew for a group like Edible Magazine, with a portion of proceeds to charity is an exciting and meaningful step for us. Additionally, with over 75% of the ingredients in this beer sourced locally, the majority of the money spent on making (and buying ) this beer goes back into the local economy. And that ain’t nothin’. Hope you enjoy. Remember, Beer Helps.