Right near the heart of downtown Morgan Hill sits Kelly Brewing Company, a brewery that has been the talk of the local scene since they opened their doors less than a year ago. With aspiration to put a new spin on a classic brewing technique – Ross Kelly, founder and head brewer, is living the American dream as he’s built his brewery from the ground up alongside his family.
When you first walk into the large taproom, you’re instantly greeted by the bartender standing behind a beautiful, hand-crafted Ponderosa Pine bar that spans almost the whole length of the room. As you continue walking through towards the game room you suddenly be brought to a full view of the fermentation room. These tanks aren’t your typical tanks… they have no tops! Is this good for the beer? From Ross’s European travels, this is how the vintage brewmasters used to brew. You’ll taste this difference as it’s much cleaner in finish. Kelly Brewing Company has an extensive selection of beers that is always changing. There are always ten beers on tap, and you can build your own tasting flights! Don’t forget to look up into the rafters, as you’ll see all the past beer placards and retired speciality blends from the beer board.
This South Bay brewery is also the most colorful taproom and brewhouse I’ve ever seen, and they even unveiled a hand-painted ceiling mural a few months back. Ross says he hopes to have the entire ceiling covered in murals just like the Sistine Chapel, impressive! If you’re lucky enough to go back to the brewhouse, you’ll see that the conditioning tanks are painted with homages to classic rock stars and bands like the Grateful Dead and Jimmy Hendrix – a real Bonehead Brewer if I say so myself. During the weekend, you can hear live music and grab a bite from Ricky’s Grill BBQ as you sit outside on the patio.
Kelly Brewing Company is slowly starting to become a destination. From the incredibly clean tasting, open air-brewed beers to the colorful taproom itself – what makes this brewery truly stand out is the spirit that comes from this son of Morgan Hill, Ross Kelly.