q&a with indigo imp’s matt chappel

I’m not a huge beer drinker (though my appreciation is growing). But when I do drink beer, I prefer craft beers. When entertaining, we often try to support local breweries – like we did for our daughter’s baptism and first birthday party. This is where I first tried Indigo Imp (Gate Keeper and Blonde Bombshell). I liked it, and more importantly – our guests enjoyed the beers and were turned onto something new.

1. What’s your favorite thing about Cleveland and what drives you nuts? My Favorite thing about Cleveland has to be the way its people really seem interested in supporting local businesses.  My least favorite thing is rush hour traffic.  Morning, lunch, evening – I’ve been in them all and don’t like any.

2. If you were mayor for one day and could pass any law, what would it be? No more Traffic Enforcement Cameras.

3.  How did Indigo Imp come to be? My love of beer and a desire to change it from a hobby to a career.

4. What’s different about your brewery? Other than being on the small side even for a micro-brewery, the most unique thing about us  is our open fermentation process.  All of our beers are fermented in open vats that allow wild yeast to mix with the beer along with the brewer’s yeast that we add.  This process is similar to many Belgian breweries and creates some interesting fruit and citrus flavors in the finished beer.

5. If Cleveland were a beer, which one would it be? I believe Cleveland would be a stout.  Stouts have layers of interesting flavors and though their popularity waxes and wanes they always persevere

6. What’s your best seller? Why is it so well-liked? Indigo Imp’s best selling beer is Blonde Bombshell.  I think people find it refreshing and easy to drink due to its low bitterness and refreshing hint of citrus brought about by our fermentation techniques.

7. How much beer do you brew at a time? We brew 7 barrels per batch.  A barrel of beer is 31 gallons.

8. What new brews are you working on? We just started working out the details for a summer seasonal.  Let’s just say Belgian-style…

9. Where did the name come from? An Imp is a mischievous little devil.  The Indigo Imp is friendly and likes to drink fine ale of all types.

10.  What’s your favorite restaurant in Cleveland? Superior Pho.  Did I mention the brewery is in Asia Town?

11.  Favorite beer pairing? Blonde Bombshell and Morbier Cheese from a part of France called Franche-Comte.  The cheese has a strong aroma while the flavor is rich and creamy with a slightly bitter aftertaste.  Hmmm, sounds a bit like Blonde Bombshell.

12.  Last meal on Earth? Bacon cheeseburger, medium rare, with fries.

13.  Favorite use for beer other than drinking? Baking beer bread.

14.  Other than Indigo Imp, what other beers currently impress you? I always enjoy the unique beers produced by Jolly Pumpkin in Dexter Michigan.

15.  Reader question, courtesy of Kyle Roth, amateur craft beer aficionado: What was the tipping point for when you made the leap from home brewer to brewer? Although I homebrewed for the last 16 years or so it was only the last 3 or 4 that I felt that I was consistently producing beer that was at least as good as what I was buying and I had some different ideas to contribute to the beer scene.


This Q&A was sponsored by Heinen’s. All Heinen’s locations proudly carry  Indigo Imp. Coincidentally, it was at Heinen's Logo PMS 350 & 209Heinen’s where I first learned about Indigo Imp. I told the guy what it was for and that I wanted to serve all local beer. He helped me pick  out a nice selection and strongly encouraged me to try the Blonde Bombshell. Good call on his part.


  1. fatty mcgee
    Posted March 21, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    You need to check out Bac Asian American in Tremont. Mind-blowingly good. Bar menu is exotic and delicious and kobe burger with bacon and avocado is delicious.

  2. Posted March 22, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    my friend’s dad used to homebrew and we were his guinea pigs. I vividly remember the one called “lawnmower.”

    It wasn’t any good, no matter how many different batches he made.