Reindeer Games
Clown Shoes

Reindeer GamesReindeer Games
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IPA - American
Ranked #3,758
Ranked #21,388
3.86 | pDev: 9.07%
Clown Shoes
Massachusetts, United States
Very Good
Reindeer GamesReindeer Games
Notes: Beautiful, malt-forward and red-hued IPA that is crafted with both German and American hops and malts. Let the games begin!
Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 250 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of dsa7783
dsa7783 from New Jersey

4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Twelve ounce can copped from Ridgedale Liquors in East Hanover. Pours a golden, effervescent hue with moderate frothing. Assertive aroma replete with notes of grapefruit and citrus. Similar overall flavor profile. Good stuff.

Feb 22, 2021
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bubseymour from Maryland

4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown /orange with a really interesting malty, toffee aroma. Really enjoyable blend of a bock and an IPA. Actually meets right in the middle and it’s quite good and unique hybrid beer. Clown Shoes really did nice mad scientist work with this one.

Jan 23, 2021
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reindeer Games from Clown Shoes. Purchased 16/11/20 for $ 28.00 (Including tax) for 12-pack of 12 oz cans ($ 0.194/oz) from Franklin Beer, Franklin, PA. On shelf at store and stored at home at 42 degrees. Reviewed 12/1/21.
Stamped on the bottom “Best By 1/31/21”. Served at 46.4 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter. Final temperature 52.8 degrees.
Appearance – 3.25.
First pour – Medium Amber (SRM 12), clear.
Body – Amber brown (SRM 18), murky and opaque. When rear-lite, deep amber and slight haze. Lots of fine precipitate resting on the sides of the glass.
Head – Large (Maximum four cm, aggressive center pour), fawn, medium density, short retention, leaving a two to four mm crown, and a thin complete cap with a rocky center island. Tiny pieces of lacing remain on the glass as the head retracts.
Lacing – Low end of fair. Narrow broken ring of tiny bubbles, too narrow to be torn curtains. See also above.
Aroma – 3.5 – Weak malt and hops, no yeast.
Flavor – 4 – Begins slightly malty and bitter, no yeast. No alcohol (7 % ABV, as marked on container) taste or aroma. No dimethylsulfide or diacetyl. Ends bitter and slightly malty.
Palate – 4 – Medium, watery, lively carbonation.
Final impression and summation: 3.5 Seems like an over-carbonated average lager from some small Bavarian/Franconian brewery. Very drinkable.

Jan 12, 2021
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mushroomcloud from Texas

3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can with a best by date of 1-31-21. Opened 1-9-21.
1 finger sand colored head. Retention is good with early lacing clinging to the glass as it slowly falls.
Amber with limited clarity. Full sheets of lacing.
Caramel, bread crust/pretzel, pine, herbal, with some citrus.
Lemon, tea leaves on a malt base that's light caramel and toast.
Bright entry, light body, medium carbonation. Some sweetness in a lingering, mildly bitter finish.
Good to Very Good..

Jan 10, 2021
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can. Poured out a clear, reddish amber color with a small, off-white head of foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass. It smelled of roasted malt, toffee, caramel and piney notes. It tasted piney with a sharp bitterness and toasted caramel.

Jan 02, 2021
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cyclonece09 from Wisconsin

4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Day 2 of the 12 Beers of Christmas pack. Poured from a can into a pint glass. Pours red orange with a fluffy white head. Smells of beautiful citrus hops with nice grain backbone. Tastes of nice citrus and earthy hops with nice grain. Beer is light bodied and easy drinking, good carbonation. Overall, a very good beer.

Dec 30, 2020
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BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the 2020 Clown Shoes Christmas Pack (Number 2), the can pours a slightly hazy caramel color with a modest head that soon reduces and leaves lacing. In the nose, the scent is citrus with a base of malt. In the mouth, it is similar, with a bit of roasted and caramel malt and citrus hops. Nice.

Dec 22, 2020
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damndirtyape from Ohio

3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz can, best by 01/31/21 260 16:53. Served in a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Dark amber, mostly clear, with a very light tan/off white rocky foam. Thick sheets of persistent lacing.

Smell: Citrus, pine, noble hops.

Taste: Sweet orange/lemon citrus up front, then bready malt middle, some pine and a wee bit of noble hop finish. The noble hops are a bit muddled under the other ones.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, nice thickness, maybe even a little chewy. Good carbonation. A bit sticky on the teeth from the hop oils.

Overall / Drinkability: Easily drinkable, and this would pair well with a lot of food. I would not mind another one. I'm not quite getting what makes this a Bavarian style IPA as the noble hops are just barely present in aroma, and not really in taste. This is a mild AIPA. Tasty, full bodied, but not really expressive in hops. But it's more than the sum of its parts and is really really easy to drink.

Dec 22, 2020
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Pegasus from Texas

3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Modestly hazy dark amber in color, with a large, moderately coarse tan head with good retention. Scattered islands of foam adorn the glass walls. Bubbles, some fat, some minute, drift lazily to the surface.

Aroma: Grapefruit rind and pine hops dominate the aroma. There are notes of sweet orange rind, as well. Caramel and dark bread present, but the ABV of 7% seems completely absent from the aroma.

Taste: The taste opens with a wave of tropical fruit hops, soon followed by pine hops and some grassiness. Beneath the relatively robust hop presence, there is a sturdy base of caramel malt, and dark bread flavors. Interestingly enough, the ABV of 7% offers nothing in the taste, and only a faint warmth. Later in the taste, the hops turn medicinal and earthy. Finishes with a moderate, though lingering bitterness.

Mouth feel: Quite soft and full, and pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: A quite nice and very drinkable example, for those of a hoppy persuasion. This is the second beer in the Clown Shoes "Twelve Days of Christmas" package.

Presentation: Packaged in a standard twelve-ounce aluminum can, served in a Duvel tulip glass. "Best By" date is 01/31/21.

Dec 15, 2020
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Steve_Studnuts from Pennsylvania

3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best by 1/31/21

Never had a "Bavarian" IPA before. 'Tis a blend of German and American ingredients, apparently. It certainly looks different than your standard IPA, what with the caramel body and tannish head. Hop scent is muted a bit, but there is a nice malt character on the nose; caramel and rye bread are what I'm picking up. Also something kind of grainy and grassy. Mild (but lingering) hop bite up front followed by a pleasantly sweet malt mid-game and a rather dry finish. 'Tis a pleasant beer that I reckon doesn't have much place in the modern market. It does have cool label art, though, as all these Clown Shoes brews seem to.

Dec 13, 2020
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CodyBasden from Texas

4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: dark brown copper with a thick 3 finger tan sudsy head that holds thick haziness with little bits of carbonation bubbles
S: good hoppy citrus smell grassy orangy
T: the taste follows the smell with a little bitterness bite no real alcohol taste and ends with a malty after taste
F: medium bodied low on the carbonation, leaves the mouth and tongue moist and not dry
O: good IPA it has the smell and a good mellow bitterness that doesnt kill you, the color is a bit darker than a normal IPA but besides the color its a damn good one

Dec 09, 2020
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brewme from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked-up a can as part of a mixed twelve-pack for about eighteen dollars. Have had many brews from these guys before. Pretty good brew, would get again.

Nov 07, 2020
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Darkmagus82 from Texas

3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a pint glass
Appearance – The beer pours a deep golden amber color with a one finger head of off white foam. The head has a decent level of retention, slowly fading over time to leave a decent level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the brew is strong of a caramel smell mixed with aromas of some herbal and earthy hops. Along with these smells comes some toast and a decent showing of some fruit aromas of pear and apple. There is also a little bit of hay that rounds out the aroma, with the mix of aromas giving a more subtle, but approachable smell overall.
Taste – The taste begins with a quite malty taste of a slightly grainy bread flavor that is mixed with some more subtle hop flavors of some pine and earth as well as a bit of caramel. There is a little bit of fruit of apricot and pear that are present upfront, with these getting slightly more potent as the taste advances. Toward the end the hop increases a little bit and is joined by a touch of hay, leaving one with a malty and lightly dank hopped taste to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is slightly thicker and chewier side for an IPA of 7 % with a carbonation level that is a bit on the lower side. A little higher carbonation and a lighter body would have been slightly better for the more subtle flavor profile and made for a slightly easier drinking brew overall.
Overall – There’s nothing really wrong with the beer, but there is also nothing really all that great either. Just OK..

Nov 05, 2020
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

WelCAN back to my New "Don't Call Me a 'Clown' Until You've Drank a CAN of Beer in My Shoes" Beer Sunday (Week 736) & naturally, it involves The CANQuest (tm).

From the CAN: "Our Mission: To Produce Beer without Pretension while Being Free and a Little Crazy"; "Bavarian Style India Pale Ale".

I am drinking all sorts of styles today, but I am SO curious as to what this one will entail! I Crack!ed the vent & beCAN a very slow, gentle Glug as this one has been awaiting my attention for some time. It foamed up nicely to form just under two fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, light-tan head with fantastic retention. Color was Deep-Amber/Light-Copper to Copper (SRM = > 9, < 13) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a distinct AmeriCAN Amber-like maltiness with a hint of spicy, minty hops.

Had they not identified it as an AIPA, I would have been perfectly happy with it as a modern AmeriCAN Amber Ale. The early iterations of AmeriCAN Ambers were too heavily reliant on malt, IMHO, which is why I rejoiced when they became more hop-oriented. Sadly, there are increasingly few Ambers of any stripe in our current age, but I think that this would have been better identified as such.

Ah well. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but on the approach. The taste, while malty and biscuity, also had a very pleasant minty pine-like quality. It was more like an English IPA than an AmeriCAN version, but since a Place Admin is in place, they seem to be okay with its current designation. I found this to be an easy-drinking beer with only a mild hoppiness, more malt-driven than anything. It was not really aligned to the style, hence my scores, but it could improve with a re-designation. Finish was semi-dry with the malt adding a more biscuity/crackery taste than an outright sweetness. I looked upon it as more of a novelty than something of which I would want a CANtinued quantity. YMMV.

Mar 31, 2019
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dcotom from Iowa

4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 16-ounce can into a glass tumbler. Caramel-colored body, with a thick off-white head that left lots of sticky lacing. This example was quite malt forward on the nose and palate. Caramel and dark bread, with citrusy notes and lots of resiny bitterness. I also detected a slight umami character. Medium bodied, with a clean finish and lots of lingering bitterness on the tongue. Quite a bit of alcohol warmth, as expected. This is quite good. Let the games begin!

Dec 18, 2018
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jngrizzaffi from Texas

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Canned 10/25/17. Pours a hazy dark amber color with a finger width foamy head. Head retention is very good as is lacing. So I have never heard of a Bavarian Style IPA before, so I am not sure what the expect. I definitely get the Bavarian yeasts in the aroma. There is some slight citrus, slight bitterness and some spruciness. Definitely odd. Taste follows the same way. There is a lot of maltiness - some citrus and caramel. It has a decent sprucey bitterness at the end. Somewhat astringent with a more bitter aftertaste. Light bodied with moderate to heavy carbonation. I didn't like it at first, but I am warming up to it a bit. Still not quite my cup of tea, so to say, though.

Jan 03, 2018
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princessbay710 from Texas

3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Christmas gifted to me by my boss. Pour is a bit darker than I expected, 50/50 transparency, little to no head with minimal lacing. My first thought is it smells a bit tropical, but without the punch. Faint grass, grapefruit, rounded out by something floral. The taste reminds me of a paler, lower percentage Grapefruit Sculpin by Ballast Point. Quite session-able, hop forward flavor with citrus rinds and medium-light carbonation. Merry Christmas!

Dec 24, 2017
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andrewh995 from Arizona

3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark amber with a white head. Smells of malt, hops, and citrus. Tastes of malt, bitter hops, orange zest, pine, and floral notes. Medium in body and carbonation. Overall a pretty good IPA.

Dec 23, 2017
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BB1313 from Ohio

3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

They call this a "Bavarian Style IPA". Canned on 10/25/17. 16oz can poured into a tulip. Pours amber with some clarity to it; small off-white head that falls leaving great retention and sticky lacing. The aromas are subtle and mild. Hints of caramel and spruce. Lots of malts. Mild hints of citrus. The flavors are very clean and crisp. The bitterness is on the lower side. Hints of caramel and pine. Mild hints of citrus in the mix. Malts do their thing. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is very nice. It's medium-bodied with moderate to active carbonation. It's fluffy, smooth and fun to drink.

This is a solid brew. It's like a "hoppy amber", "hoppy red ale" or a "Red IPA". It's not an intense or flashy brew, which really works for it. It's very clean, crisp and refreshing. The craftsmanship is on point. It's fitting for this time of year.

Nov 17, 2017
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darktronica from Indiana

3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2017's offering of Reindeer Games is only 7%. Pours much darker than a standard American IPA, more like an amber, with a finger of head and good lacing. Bready, with malty sweetness and jackfruit complementing some piney and floral hop bitterness.

Nov 10, 2017
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russpowell from Arkansas

3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an effervescent copper with 3+ fingers of tan head. Solid head retention & lacing

S: Grassy, bready, piney, nose fades fairly quickly

T: Follows the nose, dryness as well up front. Pineyness really picks up as this warms, along with lime & dryness with just a little caramel & bready sweetness, fairly catty as well. Finishes, with slight caramel & much more cattyness, plus dryness

MF: Medium body, light carbonation, pretty good balance

A good offering that is plenty dank/piney

Nov 09, 2017
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SawDog505 from New Hampshire

3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a 13 oz Alchemist Teku glass canned on 10/25/17 and 7% ABV now. Pours a very dark ruby red, with a 2 plus off white head that leaves thick consistent streaks of lace.

Smell is caramel, toffee, tangerine, biscuit, and a little pine.

Taste follows very malty caramel, biscuit, toffee, tangerine, and pine.

Mouthfeel is a big medium, moderate life, not dry, and drinks bigger than its 7% ABV but goes down rather easy.

Overall having IPA on this is strange for sure and will probably upset some, but it is different and pleasant in my opinion.

Nov 08, 2017
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Myotus from Texas

4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured at 47°F from a 22oz bottle into a Spiegelau IPA glass.
LOOK: Pours with a finger and half worth of khaki foam. At 45 seconds, the foam becomes rocky and spacious. Well after 3 minutes, the foam head has spectacularly maintained its height. Amber in color with a high amount of cloudiness. There is a massive amount of medium and small-sized rising bubbles. Lacing is high and both thick and very thick in various areas.
SMELL: Strong aromas of sweet bread and caramel are backed by subtle aromas of grapefruit, oranges, and tangerines along with hints of spicy and earthy hops. This is extremely malty and I can see how this can turn away someone looking for a hoppy IPA.
TASTE: Strong sweet bread and caramel flavors enter initially are immediately followed by mild bitter hop flavors and subtle flavors of spicy and earthy hops. Subtle grapefruit, orange, and tangerine flavors enter lastly as all previous flavors persist.
FEEL: Somewhere between full-bodied and medium-bodied. Carbonation is moderate. Goes down smooth and somewhat creamy. Ends with moderate dryness.
NOTE: This was extremely malty for a DIPA... And I LOVED IT! This greatly resembled the English IPA that I fell in love with not too long ago, except with more alcohol, which I couldn't even taste. Once again, I loved it. Hop lovers, this is not your beer.

Dec 17, 2015
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TX-Badger from Texas

3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy coppery color with off-white head. Caramel, pine, light fruits, and yeast on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with caramel and pine.

Aug 19, 2015
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Jadjunk from Georgia

3.59/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Ever felt left out? Mistreated? Alone? Well, screw tuat! Anyone who wants to can hang out with us (as long as you don't mind the occasional snowball to the face). Reindeer Games is crafted with German and American hops and malts, including Bavarian Red X. Winter, here we come, baby!" Brewed in the style of an American Imperial India Pale Ale, available in 22 oz. bottles and limited draft as a one-off winter release.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a tulip glass. Served above 62 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a foamy cream head of a caramel cream color over a moderately hazy caramel body with soft, relaxed carbonation and little sediment. Retention is very good and lacing is light and spotty. 4

(Smell) Fruity, juicy tropical and delicate pine hops forward atop a smooth malt body of biscuity caramel, buttery toffee and sweet pale malt. Reserved aromatic bitterness, but a nice balance of malt and hops overall. Potency is moderate. 3.75

(Taste) Malt flavors of toasted bread, caramel grains, light ethanol. Little hop flavor but more dominant hop bitterness, delicate fruit and pine hop profile. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is smooth, lightly syrupy, medium grainy, mildly dry. Carbonation is light, generating a moderate frothiness and a lightly crisp finish. Body is shy of medium for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is slightly grainy and earthy bitter over sweet. Alcohol presence is low and there are no off characters to note. 3.5

(Overall) I was a bit underwhelmed by the hop profile in this beer, but found the malt base satisfying with a nice German spin, very smooth and highly drinkable. This might be a bit off-the-map for an American Double IPA, or even a standard IPA for that matter, but it's a decent beer. If it comes around again, I'll have to get to it a bit sooner than summer. My bad. 3.5

Clown Shoes'
Reindeer Games Bavarian Style India Pale Ale

Jul 14, 2015
Reindeer Games from Clown Shoes
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 250 ratings