The name "KelSo" is an amalgamation of the Brewmaster's name, Kelly Taylor, and that of his wife, Sonya Giacobbe. It was their goal to create flavorful, fresh and easy drinking beers for the people of Brooklyn and greater New York City. Since inception in 2006, we have met scores of people who have an association with the name Kelso. Whether a home-town (WA state and Scotland have towns named Kelso), a friend's last name, or a TV character, we've been happy to note that those associations have been markedly positive. We hope to consider the trend.
Kelly got his start in the brewing industry in 1991 at Karl Strauss Breweries in San Diego, where he worked in the brewery and restaurant through college. In 1994, he designed and built the 7BBL Eagle Brewing Company in his hometown of Mukilteo WA, and brewed for the 15BBL Glacier Peak Brewing Co/ Flying Pig Brewery in nearby Everett. In 1995 he became Head Brewer and General Manager at Whidbey Island Brewing Company of Langley, WA, overseeing brewery production, brewpub construction, and expansion to Seattle and North County markets. In 1996 Kelly left Whidbey Island to work with Pyramid Breweries in their Special Events/Marketing department in downtown Seattle, and was on the training staff that opened the Pyramid facility in Berkeley, CA later that year. In 1998, Kelly moved to New York, where he eventually became Head Brewer at the Heartland Brewery restaurant group. In 2002 he designed, built, and brewed at the Heartland facility in Brooklyn, and in 2006 launched KelSo. Kelly currently oversees production for the entire Heartland Brewery group, and runs KelSo Beer Co out of their facility in Brooklyn.