The Alefest that Wasn’t

This past Saturday was Scene’s second annual Alefest.  I went last year mostly because I won the tickets on twitter (yes, I’m a dork, I have a twitter account.  Go ahead, try and find it).

Anyway, last year, I wanted to buy tickets, but there was so little information available before the event that I wouldn’t risk the ticket price to get in.  We went and it was great.  I realize it was the first one so things were bound to be a little inefficient but still, I would have happily (ok, maybe happily is a stretch) paid the ticket price to attend.

This year, advertising was much better but I had another activity planned for the day.  I was truly disappointed.  Also, this year there was no twitter contest for tickets.  But Scene did give away tickets at almost every Cleveland event for the two weeks leading up to Alefest.

One of the best things that happened at Alefest last year was trying Indigo Imp’s Blonde Bombshell.  I had no idea that this wonderful little brewery and this tasty, tasty beer existed.  Really, when I smelled it, I didn’t want to taste it.  But when I tasted it, marvelous things happened.  The birds started singing, unicorns came prancing across the field, rainbows flooded the skies, my children stopped fighting.  Ok. Sorry.  Now you know I was exaggerating.  My children never stop fighting.

Indigo Imp is on Superior in Cleveland.  They have a store at the brewery but it’s only open on Fridays for a few hours and all sales are cash.  About 10 minutes into my drive home last Friday, I decided it would be cool to stop and get  some beer from the brewery to celebrate the Alefest I wasn’t attending.  I was especially interested in picking up a small batch sample pack that they released a month or so ago and I haven’t been able to find in any local store.

Well, I ended up passing the exit that I should have taken. And then, even with my GPS, I got a bit lost.  And, only in Cleveland, I couldn’t find an ATM that you could actually get out and use.  I passed a couple, but I would’ve had to pay for parking in order to use them.  And my problem was that I didn’t have any cash!

So, after a very frustrating 40 minute ride around Cleveland, I gave up and hopped on the shoreway to go home.

Then, my husband told me that someone had posted (on Indigo Imp’s Facebook page) that they had purchased the small batch sampler at Simone’s Beverage in Lakewood.  So, I decided to take a detour there before I finished my journey home.

I’ve only ever been to Simone’s once before.  I headed to the cooler, found the Indigo Imp and left.  This time, I went to the coolers in the back and, alas, no small batch sampler.  So I started looking around at the beer on the shelves.  Unfortunately, there was not a sampler to be found but, oh my, the selection of beers was amazing.  I couldn’t even decide what to get.  I just kept wandering around the shelves trying to decide what to get.  And they have all kinds of kegs!  Like Bell’s Oberon in a keg.  Sweet!  It was a bit overwhelming.  I spent some time considering a credit card balance because I just wanted to buy one of everything I’d not tried before, and there were lots and lots that I had not tried before. This place is awesome, I’m definitely going back, but not too often because my liver couldn’t handle it.

So, I picked 3 – 6 packs. Of course I bought Indigo Imp’s Blonde Bombshell.  If you’ve not been lucky enough to try it, you should.  It is what beer is meant to be.  Then I picked up Bell’s Cherry Stout. I really almost bought a lambic instead.  I love lambics.  Lindemans is the sh&t.  I want to try all the flavors, but they’re expensive and I get distracted by beer. And finally, Bell’s Amber Ale (the reason for two Bell’s beers is this: we, me and the mouse in my pocket,  just recently tried Bell’s Oberon and we enjoyed it so much we brought home a growler).

Anyway, on Saturday evening, instead of going to Alefest, we had our own beer fest.  The Indigo Imp, as always, was amazing.  I didn’t try it, but my husband liked Bell’s Amber Ale.  Bell’s Cherry Stout is very tart.  And yummy.  I liked it. It’s not for the weak.

Well, I didn’t get to go to Alefest, but there’s always next year.  I didn’t like my futile attempt to visit the Indigo Imp brewery store, but hey, maybe next time my trip will end in success. I liked the beer I picked though.  And I found a new place to buy beer.  All in all, I call that a success.

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