The Stranger
Clown Shoes

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Pale Wheat Ale
Ranked #69
Ranked #22,641
3.84 | pDev: 8.59%
Clown Shoes
Massachusetts, United States
Very Good
Notes: American Hefeweizen Ale
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 67 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A thanks to the commander of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a rich golden color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of bananas, light citrus. Taste is of banana, citrus hops, a touch of wheat. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an interesting take on the style, but I prefer a traditional Hefeweizen.

 349 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is simply CANother of 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".

How CANious! My current CAN marks it as being an "AmeriCAN Hefeweizen Ale", which is how I will be reviewing it.

I Crack!ed open the vent & beCAN a heavy-handed Glug since after all, it was a Hefeweizen. I was a little surprised when it foamed nicely, but the cloudiness/haziness usually associated with the style was not forthcoming. Had I done something wrong? I wound up with just under two fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, French Vanilla-colored head with very good retention. Color was an oh-so-slightly-hazy Yellow-Gold (SRM = 4 - 5). Nose smelled of bananas and pink bubble gum with just a hint of cloves. Hmm. Not my bag, but quite apropos for the style. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but close. VERY big for a Hefeweizen. The taste was quite spicy, much more clove-oriented than the nose had led me to expect. Sure, I still got banana bread, but it was less in-yer-face than usual. Finish was pleasantly spicy & dry & I was unexpectedly satiated. Well done, Clown Shoes!

 1,273 characters

Photo of Bryan12345
5/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If Budweiser and the perfect Hefe had a baby, this would be it. If the goal was make an “American Hefe,” then this hits the bullseye, no question!

 150 characters

Photo of Ronl12
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

16 oz into classic pub glass. No date.
Look is semi-clear golden orange. Nose light tangerine, grassy and bready. Taste follows and definite hefe banana notes. Feel is medium. Overll, it is what it says it is. I was hoping fore more ale than hefe but this is nicely done and very good.

 285 characters

Photo of metter98
3.76/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short white head that quickly died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and a narrow collar consisting of medium-sized bubbles covering the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of bananas and clove are present in the nose.
T: The taste starts off following the smell, having flavors of bananas with strong notes of honeydew melon and hints of cloves that linger into the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a very unusual IPA that smells and tastes a lot more like a German hefeweizen.

Serving type: can

 689 characters

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

05/07/18 canning date.
Poured into a weizen glass, the appearance was a semi-bronzed golden color with a sly transparency about it. A two finger white foamy head slid off erratically to leave some bubbly messy yet sticky in the lacing.
The aroma had the normal traits of a German hefe - subtle sweet banana, crushed clove and a small sweet wheat base. Then the grassy to earthy Americanized hops enter in to impart Clown Shoes' creative yet unique character to this. At the end, subtle notes of vanilla trickle in for a further unique experience.
The flavor moderately yields to the sweet side of the banana and wheat. Earthy hops grab some bitterness to add to the balance. Slight aftertaste of sweet wheat, banana, clove and bubblegum.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sessionability about it. Carbonation felt fine. ABV felt as promised. There's a slight sticky banana and wheaty finish.
Overall, as a German hefeweizen, I can see it categorized in the style with a unique creativity thought up by Clown Shoes. But, I can't rank this up there with a Weihenstephaner.

 1,088 characters

Photo of JamFuel
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange with a high, thick cap of foam.

Smell is piney and citrusy up front, with plenty of banana and cloves in the back.

Taste is more wit than IPA, with the cloves, yeast and pepper taking control of the pine and medium bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium, well carbonated.

Overall, a well put together beer, but I would prefer it more on the IPA side of the hybrid. Still tasty.

 394 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.44/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murked up amber with a pinky of beige colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Tangerine & faint breadyness

T: Pomelo, dryness & a little grapefruit on the edges up front. Bitter citrus, grassyness & dryness dominate as this warms. Finishes with a little sour orange juice & just a touch of sweet tangerine

MF: Medium body, slight carbonation, alright balance

This beer is past it's prime. I will use this review as a placeholder, but I supsect this is better fresh

 496 characters

Photo of Greywulfken
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, canned 9/2/175 - my bad for not checking the date... Essentially opaque golden color with a fat off-white head... Not bad really - fluffy citrusy with fleshier, more tropical-like fruit undertones and an appreciable wheat/malt element - just doesn't really pop, and it probably did when it was fresher...

 310 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Huge head which dissipates slowly leaving lots of craters and chunks. A couple of thin rings form as it recedes. The liquid is cloudy with an orange to amber color.

Relatively clean smell of flowers, grapefruit rind and apricots. Very light wheat nose in the background.

Mild malt start with the hop bitterness kicking in very quickly. Interestingly, the swallow features a bit of pit fruit (peach, apricot, plum) along with the heavily peppered bitterness. Long aftertaste of dried leafy spices. The body leans rich and the carbonation is muted. I don't get any wheat flavors in the tasting.

 601 characters

Photo of TheRougeBastard
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Classified as a "Wheat IPA"...initially thoughts were of a hefeweizen but aftertaste was all IPA. 16oz can, poured a golden wheat color into a pint glass with minimal head.

 172 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

From the 16 oz. can dated 09/25/17. Sampled just about two months later on November 21, 2017.

The color of the pour is a hazy, pulpy golden tone with a modest white head that fades with some lacing.

The aroma brings out characters of grapefruit, fruit, white bread, and banana.

The body is in the medium range but also kind of effervescent. Smooth.

There is an obvious grapefruit character in the taste but also a muted white bread sweetness. The banana I got on the nose is not as obvious. Mild, lingering bitter ending.

 530 characters

Photo of ZAP
3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

L-Hazy peach color....rising 1-1 1/3 inch frothy head

S-Yeasty...Belgian IPA impression on the aroma..Spicy phenols along bubblegum and hint of banana along with some citrus..

T-Light impressions of oranges and tangerines, yeasty....spicy...

F-Highly carbonated....medium bodied.

O-This kind of misses the mark for me....a bit muddled with the flavors with the biggest impression being the yeastiness.

 406 characters

Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy orange yellow color with a thin foamy head. Head retention is mild. Lacing is decent. Definite wheat aroma with some bitter hoppiness. Maybe some very mild citrus at the end. Wheat taste of front with a good amount of piney bitterness. There is a nice refreshing citrus at the end. Lighter bodied with mod carbonation.

 340 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a lightly hazy medium golden apricot in color with slightly heavier than moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising quickly from the bottom of the glass and moderate golden yellow + burnt orange colored highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy white head that reduces to a couple of small patches of thin film surrounded by a large patch of very thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Slightly stronger than moderate aromas of sweet (almost candied) citrus/grapefruit + citrus/orange zest hops over the top of moderate aromas of wheat malts.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of wheat malts with a light amount of grainy sweetness. That is followed by slightly stronger than moderate flavors of sweet (almost candied) citrus/grapefruit + citrus/orange zest hops which impart a light amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp with a hint of dryness in the finish.

O: Easy to drink with a well hidden alcohol and lighter mouthfeel. Enjoyable though not one that I would be going out of my way to find again

 1,226 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
3.99/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you SawDog505 for this can.

A - Very hazy orange in color with a white frothy lacing ring and head.

S - Yeasty candy sweet grapefruit.

T - Lots of yeast, grapefruit...and grapefruit.

M - Big medium body with silky texture.

O - Chewy, yeasty, and citrusy.

 265 characters

Photo of andrewh995
4.29/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an incredibly hazy yellow/orange with a white head. Smells of tropical fruits, hops, wheat, and citrus. Tastes of delicious and sweet tropical fruits, slightly bitter and very fresh hops, wheat, orange/grapefruit zest, and maybe slight banana. Medium creamy/crisp body with medium carbonation. Overall an incredibly delicious hazy wheat IPA. I think it deserves FAR higher ratings than it's given.

 404 characters

Photo of ichorNet
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hey, a new canned offering from Clown Shoes! I know they just started canning recently, and this is one of several hoppier beers with entirely new recipes being put into 16 oz "pounder" cans... I think Josh the Guava King was another from a month or so ago. Anyway, this is marketed as a "wheat India pale ale" and clocks in at a very specific 7.77% ABV. What should I expect here? Lots of IPAs these days end up utilizing wheat and/or oats in the grist, especially those coming from New England with the "hazy" M.O., so I'll let the beer speak for itself, I suppose.

Pours a very-nearly-opaque orange color with a great, retentive head. Lace is characterized by consistent sheets coming down as the three-to-four fingers of foam recede downwards to the top of this beautifully-colored ale. Swirling this beer gives me about another half-finger of head and re-rouses the whole hazy surface from before. Great legs and seemingly quite-active carbonation. Impressive looks!

The nose immediately reminds me of a hoppier witbier, and I'm transported back, impulsively and involuntarily, to a time long ago... I think it's been about five years, but this reminds me a lot of Item Nine, a strong wheat IPA by a brewery called Brash. They were friends of Clown Shoes, from what I remember, and contract-brewed out of the same place Clown Shoes brews and packages beer out of, Mercury Brewing in Ipswich, MA. This is very similar to that beer, with bright citrus fruit upfront followed by musty Belgian-ish yeast. Indeed, this is similar in character to a style which was quite popular a few years back: the "Belgian IPA."

Item Nine was a fortified Belgian IPA, somewhat like Raging Bitch by Flying Dog or Green Flash's Le Freak and this has a similar pedigree. Strong, spicy phenols and fruity esters combining with dank hops and leafy greenish elements. The hops do a good job puncturing through the façade of heady yeast and hefty white wheat malt.

Flavor is forward on bright esters and funky phenols. I did some research and learned that this was actually fermented with a Hefeweizen yeast... so, it's not exactly a Belgian-influenced wheat element here (rather a German influence), but the concept is fairly similar. I guess, then, that it's a little like Baxter's "On The Count of Three" aka "Coastal Haze" in that case. I still feel like I get more citrus than banana or clove here, but the Mosaic. Huell Melon and Amarillo hops are probably screwing with my senses. Strong elements of pine, grassy funk, peach and apricot with some light notes of cantaloupe and delicate florals. Crackery wheat-focused malt bill with some pillowy and dense aspects that come across nicely on the tongue. Very solid... I like it a lot!

Feel is heavier than your average IPA clocking in at a bit under 8%, but it's not too heavy overall. In fact, I really like the dry "balancing act" that happens towards the finish of each sip. This has a satisfying and very drinkable/"quaffable" characteristic that lends itself just as well to solo-session drinking as it does to splitting with a few friends. I love that this reminded me so much of a previous beer experience with a related "sister"-ish brewery, and I think this will be one of the most personally-memorable Clown Shoes beers for me in quite a while. They haven't been blowing my mind over the past, say, year and a half... but this is a really good effort that I certainly appreciate.

 3,430 characters

Photo of darktronica
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The Stranger is a strange beer, indeed. I'm a big fan of Clown Shoes, but this was still unusual. Labelled as a "Wheat India Pale Ale", I'm unsure what category this should be in, but it drinks a lot more like a witbier than an IPA. The grain bill is certainly more prominent than the hop bill, providing biscuity overtones on the whole experience. Getting past that, there are some citrusy notes that imply more than a half-hearted effort at being an IPA. Altogether, it doesn't quite work.

 491 characters

Photo of BB1313
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is a "Wheat IPA". Canned on 9/19/17. 16oz can poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy golden orange with a small white head that fades leaving nice retention and sticky lacing. The aromas have a nice amount of wheat and yeast along with some orange. Some banana and bubblegum. Malts are there. The flavors follow the nose. Wheat and yeast. Some orange and grapefruit. More banana and bubblegum. Hints of clove and black pepper in the mix. Malts do their thing without dominating. Moderate bitterness. Alcohol basically goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with moderate to active carbonation. It's smooth and fun to drink.

This is a solid brew. It drinks just like a Belgian IPA. The craftsmanship is on point. Enjoyable stuff.

 732 characters

Photo of SawDog505
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a 13 oz Funk Brewing Teku glass canned 9/25/17. Pours a murky dark yellow, with a massive 2 inch sticky white head that leaves behind thick patches of lace.

Smell is apricot, clove, banana, caramel, candy apple, and grapefruit rind.

Taste follows clove, apricot, banana, toffee, hard candy, and grapefruit.

Mouthfeel is pretty big, plenty of life, maybe a little dry, and excellent drinkability for its size.

Overall this reminds me of a less aggressive Raging Bitch. Really different and tasty, very happy I purchased.

 535 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy peach nectar gold with a finger of head that recedes to a collar with some soapy lacing. Mostly bread with a trace of banana. Taste follows nose with a bit of a bitter tail.

 197 characters

Photo of HorseheadsHophead
4.54/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Woohoo! First to review this.

Comes in a gorgeous cloudy golden-orange color, mostly opaque but a lighter, translucent yellow at the bottom of the glass. Topped with a sticky eggshell white head that retains fairly well and leaves spotty lacing.

The aroma is mostly hefeweizen, but there is a hop presence as well. Overripe, mushy bananas, bubblegum, honey, bready sweetness, floral, a touch of clove, honeydew and cantaloupe melons, orange peel, lemon-lime zest, some pear and white grape as well.

The taste is beautifully balanced and an excellent hybrid of hefeweizen and IPA. You get white bread with honey, banana-flavored candy, Juicy Fruit bubblegum, a little bit of clove spice on the finish, and then you get white grape, white wine, cantaloupe and honeydew melon, a little bit of orange and grapefruit pith, but no real bitterness to speak of, and lime juice. Finishes dry but very clean.

The mouthfeel is very soft, doughy, pillowy, deceptively light, very lightly carbonated.

This beer is excellent. The best hop-forward beer from Clown Shoes I've had thus far, and excellent hybrid-style with excellent wheat and hop characterstics.

 1,158 characters

The Stranger from Clown Shoes
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 67 ratings