With that ridiculous ESPN decision and the start of NFL season, it's been tough for a proud Cleveland expat to sit back and boast about something. To the rescue comes Indigo Imp, an up-north brewery carving out a significant Columbus niche.

Brewery: Indigo Imp Brewery Ltd.

Beer: Blonde Bombshell

Type: American blonde ale

ABV: 6.2 percent

Price: $9.39 for a six-pack

About the brewery

With that ridiculous ESPN decision and the start of NFL season, it's been tough for a proud Cleveland expat to sit back and boast about something. To the rescue comes Indigo Imp, an up-north brewery carving out a significant Columbus niche. Staff brewmasters prefer bottle-conditioned real ales, which are naturally carbonated, unfiltered and unpasteurized. Theirs is a bold and deliciously old-fashioned method.

When to drink it

Blonde Bombshell is available year-round and isn't tied flavor-wise to a particular season. It's a veritable Omar Vizquel of a beer. (For non-Clevelanders, this means the brew is reliable, soft-spoken and always ready to go.) It trades the flashy, hoppy punch of some real ales for subtlety, a surprising lack of bitterness and a clean, snappy finish.

Why to drink it

In short, because real ale rules. Blonde Bombshell is fermented in open tanks, so wild yeast plays a part in making batches slightly different. Each delivers lemon and banana notes on the nose and a sweet taste that's sharp, not syrupy. Also enticing is the crisp carbonation, which bears the enjoyable fizz of good champagne. It's rare for a brew to be so intricate and refreshing in the same sip.