Chris Kelley Brews for Pro-Am Gold at Great South Bay Brewery

Chris Kelley Brews for Pro-Am Gold at Great South Bay Brewery

From Left to Right: Head Brewer Greg Maisch, Lead Brewer Jon Gomez, Mike Pedersen, Home Brewer Chris Kelley, Owner/Brewer Rick Sobatka, and home brewer Greg Kelley.

From Left to Right: Head Brewer Greg Maisch, Lead Brewer Jon Gomez, Mike Pedersen, home brewer Chris Kelley, Owner/Brewer Rick Sobotka, and home brewer Gregg Kelley.

It’s Friday, and the temperature inside Great South Bay Brewery (GSB) is fifteen degrees hotter than the blistering heat outside but the brewery is still a whirl of activity—bottling and kegging happening at one end, Lead Brewer Jon Gomez hosing down the equipment at another, and Head Brewer Greg Maisch buzzing back and forth, overseeing all operations.

In a corner, home brewer Chris Kelley leans over the 2-barrel (bbl) system (1 bbl Blichmann with 1 bbl extensions) of boiling wort. He quickly scans the screen of his phone, and calls to his brother, Gregg Kelley, who is assisting him with today’s brew. They carefully collect three pre-measured cups of hops and on cue, they are simultaneously poured into the two kettles. The first hop addition is complete, with two more on their way.

Chris Kelley’s beer Go Bigg or Go Home, an IPA, which is being brewed today, is one of three beers that won the Long Island Beer and Malt Enthusiasts (LIBME) monthly home-brew competition. Others winners include Ken Heiss for his Shark Eye Rye IPA, and Royal Flush English brown ale, brewed by Alex Catania.

LIBME’s monthly competition isn’t just for bragging rights. One of these beers will be chosen to be brewed on an industrial scale at GSB and head to the Pro–Am Competition at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF). GABF is a premier beer festival held on October 6–8, in Denver, Colorado. Last year, competition judges evaluated 91 Pro-Am entries from all over the country. Home brewer Brain Giebel won Gold at the competition with Muscat Love, a Belgian tripel, in collaboration with Great South Bay Brewery.

Great South Bay Brewing Basil in the Rye labelThis isn’t Chris Kelley’s first time brewing with GSB. In 2014, his Basil in the Rye won the preliminaries and went all the way to GABF. It did not medal, but it was brewed on Great South Bay’s large 30bbl system.

Starting Saturday, July 30, Go Bigg or Go Home IPA will be available on tap exclusively at in Great South Bay’s tasting room, located at Drexil Av, Bay Shore, New York, for a limited time.

Go Bigg or Go Home* IPA

  • 6.5% ABV / 65 IBU
  • Hops: Nelson Sauvin, Citra, and Mosaic
  • Malt: 2 Row, Vienna, Munich, Victory, and White Wheat