Kelso’s can plan: Clinton Hill craft beer could go aluminum

Kelso co-founder Sonya Giacobbe is hoping to start canning her company’s craft beers.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

These Brooklyn beermakers have a can-do attitude — and a can-do business plan.

The Clinton Hill microbrewery Kelso of Brooklyn needs help packaging its craft beer in aluminum cans — a venture that could bring its fancy suds straight to the borough’s bodegas — so the brewers are seeking a $250,000 small business grant.

Going from kegs to cans is a heady decision, according to Kelso co-founder Kelly Taylor.

“People identify with a nice six pack — and our beer is very personal, so it makes sense,” said Taylor.

Winning the grant would allow the brewery to double its beer output and distribute roughly 1.5 million cans annually, according to Taylor.

The funds would also give beer hounds access to $12-Kelso six packs at grocery stores and shops around the city — not just bars and the brewery itself, where folks would still be able to fill growlers and sample beers such as St. Gowanus Belgian pale ale and Newtown Kriek cherry ale.

Taylor isn’t the only brewmaster to jump on the aluminum can wagon: Sixpoint Craft Ales, based in Red Hook, and Brooklyn Brewery, based in Williamsburg, already sell beer in the less expensive, eco-friendly friendly packaging — which some brewers prefer over bottles for ease of shipping and fresher taste.

Taylor said the company is working on a “clean and uncluttered” design, which will likely feature blue lettering on a cream-colored can.

Winning the Mission: Small Business grant would give the company the freedom to do some creative branding — and find new fans, Taylor said.

“It’s a way for us to grow our product — and put ourselves out there,” he said.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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