“Clowns are questionable but the shoes make me laugh”

-Gregg Berman, Founder of Clown Shoes

The founders of Clown Shoes originally submitted the name to a Beer Advocate contest to name a new brew in celebration of the 2010 Extreme Beer Fest.  After the submission didn’t crack the top 5 finalists, the wound festered until the founders realized that they could make their own Clown Shoes beer.  Thus inspired, they made one batch of beer, and when people liked it, they continued with their new brand, brewing from Ipswich, Massachusetts.  To Gregg Berman, Founder of Clown Shoes, the name reminds him “about humility and to find humor in life.”  He says that the brewery’s mission is to “produce beer without pretension while being free and a little crazy.”  In the cafe, we recently poured Tramp Stamp IPA, and coming this week are Clementine and Hoppy Feet.

The Clown Shoes website explains that like its namesake, Tramp Stamp IPA is “about not so subtle seduction.”  The beer pours a cloudy auburn color and smells of a wheat beer, with wafts of grassy hops and a little sweetness.  The taste follows with cloves, banana and yeast notes, along with hops, grass, and citrus bitters.  These characteristics put the beer firmly on the “Belgian” side of the Belgian-American spectrum of IPAs.

Clementine also follows the Belgian style, but as a white ale.  It pours a hazy yellowish color, and smells of ripe banana and orange zest, with a very faint hint of hops.  To the tongue, the malt taste comes through first, along with a good dose of wheat twang and just a hint of grain. Afterwards comes a flavour of coriander and strong orange peel.  The finish involves more orange and a hint of grapefruit from bitter American hops.

Hoppy Feet, of course, is all about the hops.  It combines Premium malt with Amarillo and Columbus hops.  The beer pours black, with a 2-finger brown head that leaves nice foamy lacing on the glass.  The smell is quite delicious, with roasted, chocolately malt and citrus American hops, with a strong grapefruit kick.  Hoppy Feet tastes of burnt coffee and bitter hops, with a hint of citrus, feeling very smooth to the mouth.

Now that you know about some of the beers, feel free to stop by the cafe to try them out… as long as you are feeling unpretentious, free and a little crazy.

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