Russell Kelly embodied all that makes Telluride unique and special—he was an adventurous soul, a world-class skier and a music fanatic. Coping with Russell’s death has been one of the hardest things in my life, which is why I wanted to create a beer that captured his spirit. Russell Kelly Pale Ale is a tribute to a great friend who left a lasting impression on me.
Of course, Russell’s true essence can never be packaged, but at least now we can take his memory with us on our many adventures.
- Chris Fish, TBC Chief Brewing Officer and Co-Owner
The flavor profile for Russell Kelly Pale Ale (RKPA) was inspired by Russell's favorite beer, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but with a higher ABV percentage and hop profile added to match Kelly’s vivacious personality and his passion for Class V Whitewater. He was one of the top expedition kayakers in the world who successfully accomplished many first descents of some of the world’s most challenging rivers.
Known for its earthy, floral and fruity notes including blueberry, tangerine and hint of grassiness, Mosaic is the prominent hop showcased in the ale. A gentle current malt bill, German rye and American wheat add depth to the brew, while Chinook hops, primarily used for bittering the beer, round out the flavor profile, adding aroma notes of grapefruit and Pine. Head brew-master, Chris Fish, maintains that the production secret to Russell Kelly Pale Ale, is cranking the dial to maximum volume while listening to Jerry and Co. throughout the entire production process, as Kelly was a dire Grateful Dead fanatic, and had attended more than 100 shows.