Nestled in a conspicuous row of stores of a small mall in Derry, NH, hides Kelsen Brewing, a nano brewery who is getting noticed. In business only a few years, friends Paul and Erik had made some homebrew together and enjoyed the process so much that they decided to start doing it professionally. Since then, business is booming and they are happily brewing almost daily to keep up with demand.
Both Paul and Erik are of Nordic decent and their brews reflect that tradition. Each of their artful labels resemble axe-wielding figures of old. Their recipes are there own and have been perfected in each edition as they gain more notoriety. Their line-up of both annual and seasonal beers are the award-winning Paradigm Brown Ale, Battle Ax IPA, Hoplite IPA, Draken Robust Porter, Double Battle Ax, and our focus brew, Vendel Imperial Stout. You can learn more about them at kelsenbrewing.com
“Vendel” is part of the Brewer’s Reserve Series and it is something truly special. It’s deep, dark and luscious with huge coffee and dark chocolate notes. Pouring it into a tulip glass which offers your nose a grand tour of this light brown foamy and aromatic head, you will be greeted by yet more chocolate and coffee as you take the first sip. With a wildly satisfying mouthfeel, this creamy gem delivers copious amounts of rich flavors as you continue the experience. According to their website, Kelsen brews this 9.4% ABV stout with locally roasted coffee which helps with the bittersweet ending. Rated at 50 IBUs, the malty match to bittering is perfect.
Folks on BeerAdvocate.com are ecstatic over this creation with scores of 4.5+ out of 5 and officially scoring at 92 out of 100 which affords it an ‘Outstanding’ rating. Looking over the top rated beers of New hampshire voted by the public, Vendel rates #4!!!
Distributed in 22 oz bottles, Kelsen’s great beers can always be found at Case-n-Keg in Meredith and Laconia as well other fine beer providers. As this is such a popular beer, yet a small-batch production, it is hard to find. But the purpose of letting you know how well this jewel is made also lets you know that you must seek it and grab it for your own enjoyment!
Jim MacMillan is the owner of WonByOne Design of Meredith, NH, and is an avid imbiber of craft brews and a home brewer as well. Send him your recommendations and brew news to