Indigo Imp Brewery by: Steph Doan
Bigger is not always better, proves one craft beer maker, who keeps quality high by ensuring quantity stays low. Well, at least low enough to brew things on a small scale, like seven barrels at a time small. It’s a focus on quality.
What else is small? Imps. That’s why the name of this devilishly good beer is perfectly marked Indigo Imp.
Owner and founder Matt Chappel runs the small brewery, located in Cleveland. The brewery has 4 employees and has been in operation for just 5 years. Matt was able to triple production since opening, from 200 to 600 barrels a year.
Plus, Matt’s got a great business partner … his wife Kathy.
“A lot of people warned us about that,” he joked about their dual partnership in life and in business.
But it’s a secure feeling, he says, to know the two are in this together. The two began playing with home brewing 15 years before starting Indigo Imp. They started getting good at it and decided to give the trade a try. Although the big boom for micro brewing happened in the 90s, the couple saw the trend continuing and dove in.
Their homegrown hobby has brewed up a real success story for the Indigo Imp family.
What is an Imp Bottle?
The makers of Indigo Imp believe everyone has an impish side to them, as does every pack of beer. That’s why every six-pack houses one bottle dipped in wax.
Besides letting the imp stand out, the brewery also believes in doing good, too. All bottles, imp or non, are recyclable. Sustainability is a goal for the brewery. The facility takes green initiatives, like reusing water from brewing for cleaning and giving spent grain as feed for cows.
Small touches like this are what allow the brewery to stay so hands-on. Every batch is different, thanks to the open-tank fermentation process. It crafts a unique beer by allowing the wild yeast to influence each craft differently.
No wonder the Indigo Imp Brewery has seen such steady success.
“Slowly but surely is how we’ve been growing, “ Matt said.
Stop On In
“You can almost see the whole brewery from the tasting room,” Matt describes.
It’s a rustic space with an industrial chic feel, he said. There are no formal times for tours, so stop by the tasting room and swig a beer while checking out the operation.
Beer equipment is fascinating enough to gawk at with or without adding a pint from tap!
Come see where the great Indigo Imp gets its first breath of life. After all, Pittsburgh was the company’s first city outside of Ohio, and Matt calls us a “great beer town.”
Time to return the favor.
This is the brewery’s flagship beer as well as their best seller. It’s American Blonde Ale, full of citrus tang. The hazy blond holds sweet malts tinged with a bit of sour. The tastes are also citrus and sugar sweetness balanced with a light tartness. A great ending of nutty flavor leaves the tongue. It has a 6.2 percent alcohol percentage and proves itself a really great craft beer.
A pale ale like this is no joker – it’s packed to the brim with delightful flavor. The flavor is clove and banana and a lot of malt. The hoppy finish rounds out the fruity zing like a perfect melody. It’s a beer fit to entertain a king.
Malt, chocolate, it has all the great makings of a delicious porter. The smell of milky heaven fades into tart cherry upon tasting and finishes with the bitter warm cocoa. It’s a deliciously rich beer meant to invigorate all beer lovers. It has an alcohol level of 5 percent, so enjoy a couple, despite how dark it appears.
Multicultural is one word to describe this light amber that is brewed using American, British and Belgian ingredients. This twist on an IPA contains spice, fruit, malt and, of course, the expected hoppy bitterness. This beer leaves you scratching your head while also rubbing your belly – it’s both fascinating and satisfying!
Matt says this beer is perfect for the chilly time of year. Curl up with the deep amber bodied ale that’s brewed with four different malts and familiar Cascade hops. The taste warms the soul, hence the name, with notes of cinnamon, caramel and orange peels. Sit and sip this one for an hour or so, says Matt; it’s got a lot of flavor and a 7.2 percent alcohol percentage. It’s only available during the winter months – so jump on it!