Two Reasons To Love Clown Shoes

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It’s an awesome craft beer company with a serious sense of humor.

We’ve been fans of Clown Shoes for a few years now. Originally, it was for their beer labels, which, following the company name, always featured clown shoes in them…though often in ways that one wouldn’t expect. Sure, many times they’re been worn by someone…but just as often, they’re not quite so obvious.

For example, here’s the label for Clown Shoes Tramp Stamp Belgian IPA. Can you find the clown shoes in the pic? (not the pair in the logo)


They’re in the actual “tramp stamp”.

So finding the clown shoes becomes the game whenever a new Clown Shoes beer comes out. It’s like an activity book for people 21 and over.

And Clown Shoes is always coming out with new beers. They do it like it’s their job or something.

With names like “Extremely Angry Beast” and “Breakfast Exorcism”, limited-edition beers appear…and then, one day, when you finally decide to buy one (or is often the case with us, you buy one, have it and want to buy another one) it turns out they’re all gone…and they’re not coming back.

Typically, though not always, they’re big, high ABV beers only available in 22oz bombers…and just one bottle will do a serious number on you if you’re not sharing with friends. That said, even the lower-octane varieties, like their Mango American Kolsch are still very interesting beers.

There is one tactic that Clown Shoes uses that drives us up the wall. They’ll brew limited-edition beers specifically for one state. They’ll announce a beer, you’ll think “that sounds AMAZING!!!” and then you’ll read that it’s only going to be available in California…or Texas or whatever state is way out of driving range of Rhode Island. What’s the point of living in a state next-door to where they’re brewing the stuff if you’re going to ship all of it to the other side of the country? If Grey Sail was going to try something like that with their Captain’s Daughter or Pour Judgement IPA, Rhode Island craft beer fanatics would be grabbing pitchforks and torches and heading over to Westerly.

As good as they generally are, that’s enough about the limited releases. There’s two “regular” beers that encompass this brewery.

1. Space Cake Double IPA

Space Cake label

So in case you’re a little confused by what your eyes are trying to tell you…yes, that’s a superhero and his dog, in space, with cupcakes shooting lasers at them. If you’re wondering “How high did someone have to be to come up with that?”, we suggest you google “Space Cake”.

Space Cake has been one of our favorite double IPAs for a few years now. The guys at Bridge Liquors pushed it pretty damn hard for a while…and a lot of their customers came back and bought more. It was one of the few beers we’d buy as a repeat. We’d get 3-4 beers we hadn’t had yet…and toss on a Space Cake, because it’s so damn good.

It’s got those West Coast hops and malts that just create that dank bitterness that you find yourself craving the day after you’ve had one.

2. Undead Party Crasher


This beer was called “Vampire Slayer” until it turned out that another company was importing a Belgian Pale Ale called Vampire…and one of the owners of that company is a trademark attorney.

If you’ve been following the craft beer world over the last decade, you’ve probably realized that trademarks are a huge thing…and people find breweries suing each other to be one of the most annoying aspects of the industry. Recently, Lagunitas announced it was suing Sierra Nevada over the “IPA” logo they used on their Hop Hunter IPA. The public backlash that occurred over the next couple days was massive enough that Lagunitas founder Tony Magee decided to drop the matter entirely.

In the case of Clown Shoes’ 11% ABV American Imperial Stout, there was a very good chance that they could win in court, provided they coughed up the $3-400,000 needed for a legal defense.

So they changed the name…and came up with a label that let everyone involved, especially the trademark attorneys, know what they thought of them. The label sugar-coats it a bit, but turn on the audio on this Vine to hear what was probably the original sentiment:

Anyhow, if you’d like to try these beers (and a few more from the company) Caleb & Broad is hosting a beer dinner at 7:30 tonight and there are a few tickets still available. Clown Shoes owner Gregg Berman will be present…and they’ll be showing It on the big screen.

Otherwise, just head on over to Bridge Liquors anytime for a wide-selection of Clown Shoes craft beers.

-Tristan Pinnock, Blast Craft Beer Correspondent

Tristan's just this guy, ya know?