Beer Name: Firebrand
Brewery: Indigo Imp (Cleveland, OH)
Beer Style: Belgian IPA
Size: 12oz Bottle
Beer Advocate: 80
Untappd: 3 caps
Upon hearing that the BCS will now end in a four-team playoff, I decided I needed a beer to celebrate. I frolicked (whilst humming the OSU fight song) to my fridge and grabbed an Ohio beer. The new system is not perfect, but we are stuck with it until 2025 so we should embrace it – at least until bitching about it matters a bit more. Would forming super conferences and sending eight teams into playoff games that are still named after the bowl games make more sense? It absolutely would. Who wouldn’t watch a regional playoff game sponsored by the fine car parts of Meineke? In any event, it is an improvement over sending two SEC teams without giving anyone else a shot.
The beer I selected for my celebration was Indigo Imp’s Firebrand. I have had a few of the Indigo Imp beers, and I really fell in love with the Bombshell Blonde. I do not feel that their open fermentation works for every style, but I thought a Belgian IPA should be tasty.
The beer pours quite easily and has a very nice dark orange color. It smells like a Belgian beer with that wonderful clove and rotten banana scent. Even with the laser-etched elephant in the bottom of my D.T. tulip, there was almost zero carbonation. I think the lack of carbonation actually hurts the beer a bit here. The Belgian half of the duo does its job very well, sweet and spicy notes are accompanied by Belgian yeast and subtle fruit notes. The IPA side is much less pronounced. The beer finishes a bit dry and bitterness does its best to wrap around your tongue, but in the end it just doesn’t do enough to warrant an IPA label. I think more carbonation would bring out some of the biting IPA bitterness that seems to be absent.
The beer is still pretty tasty and very drinkable. If someone were to tell me it was a saison, I would be believe them. The beer has absolutely zero lacing and a very light mouthfeel. I wouldn’t steer anyone away from this beer, but it is a bit pricey for a four-pack and doesn’t really deliver on the Belgian IPA promise.
Sessionability: Easy to drink a 4-pack.
Overall: I give it a 3-pack in its style; would be a 4-pack if they called it something else.
Would Best Be Consumed: Outside; its lightness screams patio drinking.
Beer Name: Gate Keeper
Brewery: Indigo Imp Brewery (Cleveland)
Beer Style: American Porter
Size: 12oz Bottle
Beer Advocate: 77
Untappd: 3 Caps
After a long day of managing the family business, I decided to stop by The Anderson’s General Store to peruse their beer selection in an attempt to find some Ohio beer that I’ve yet to experience. I found a few bottles from a couple different breweries and the first one I cracked open was Gate Keeper, an American Porter from the Indigo Imp Brewery in Cleveland. Knowing nothing about this brewery, I took a look at their website and found that the way they brew is different than most breweries as they use open-air fermentation for all of their ales. For those of you that aren’t familiar with the technique, they leave the fermentor open so that the beer can collect the wild yeast strains that are in the air. It gives their beer an interesting appeal seeing as each batch may be different than the previous, but I read a few reviews that stated some of their beer comes out sour because of this method.
WARNING: Be careful when you pour this beer or any other from Indigo Imp out of a bottle! Why? Well, because all of their beer is bottle conditioned (naturally carbonates in the bottle) and if you pour the beer too hard you’ll kick the yeast off the bottom of the bottle and straight into your glass! That said, I highly suggest you drink this beer from a glass. You risk disturbing the yeast if you’re constantly picking up the bottle.
Now with that out of the way, on we go to the review! The beer pours dark brown with a small fizzy tan head that quickly dissipates which leaves no lacing as you drink. A roasted malt and chocolate aroma is very present with the first sip, and the taste throughout is pretty much the same with the roasted malt taste up front and chocolate on the back end with a slight coffee flavor. I expected the beer to feel a little thicker; it was pretty thin and very carbonated (maybe a result of the bottle conditioning), but overall this is not a bad porter.
Sessionability: I give it a 4-pack as you can easily drink a few of these coming in at 5%.
Overall: I give it a 3-pack. After reading the website I had my hopes set high to try a porter that went through an open-fermentation process, and for what it’s worth I look forward to trying their other offerings because of that process, but I wasn’t overly impressed.
Would Be Best Consumed: Early fall just because I prefer a more hearty porter the colder it gets.