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Hoppy Feet | Clown Shoes

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very good
426 Reviews
Hoppy FeetHoppy Feet

Brewed by:
Clown Shoes
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jlindros on 12-26-2009

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Reviews: 426 | Ratings: 1,452
Photo of JamnesCameron
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a MJ tasting glass (tulip).

Pours an oily, jet black, with ruby highlights around the edges. Two finger tan, creamy head that drops after a few minutes. Nice lacing.

Aromas of piney resins, spring leaves, flowery, dark roasted coffee, molasses.

Flavors of pine, citrus, coffee, dark roasted malts, hint of cocoa. Finish is long, roasty and bitter.

Mouthfeel is full, resiny, mouthcoating. Creamy, with a good level of carbonation, no real prickle or carbonic bite.

Good drinkability. Nice mix of dark roast flavors, hop flavors, and bitterness.

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Photo of GweedoeBRew
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a pint tonight on tap. I had a Black IPA earlier in the day from the Amherst Brewing Company and this one blew it out of the water!!!

This is what I think a Black IPA should be. A really nice Dark color with a roasty aroma with a hint of hop aroma... Then when you drink it there is a nice Roasted Chocolate Malt flavor, but with an IPA bitterness.

I had two pints tonight... it was very good and I was very surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did.

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Photo of CHickman
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black color with a little dark brown when held up to light, and a 1 finger tan head that faded slowly leaving good spotty lacing.

Smells of piney hops, grapefruit, citrus hops, herbs, cocoa powder, lemon zest, coffee grinds, toasted grains, caramel, grass, light brown sugar and then more hops and roasted malt; aroma has trailing chocolate and mint notes that somehow reminds me of cinnamon raisin bread, and that’s meant in a good way.

Tastes like it smells, with piney hops, grapefruit, citrus hops, herbs, cocoa powder, lemon zest, coffee grinds, toasted grains, caramel, grass or hay, chocolate malt, brown sugar, mint, spices like pepper, light yeast, orange peel and then smoky notes like burnt wood, peat moss or very burnt coffee that brings a nice bitter finish that is on the dry side; very mild spices, the citrus hops and roasted malts wrestle for control in a nice balanced struggle for attention. The bitter aftertaste is similar to both a burnt cup of coffee and an IPA, which to me was very nice and on point for a Black IPA as I welcomed the roasted bitterness and assault on my taste-buds.

Mouthfeel is oddly creamy and crisp at the same time, with very tight carbonation, a medium to heavy body and bitter finish that ends dry with a roasted hop combo residue coating the tongue.

This is a fun beer and to me was highly drinkable. This beer is a hot mess and controlled chaos at the same time, so I suggest picking up a bomber and giving it a go as I really liked this brew and recommend trying it.

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Photo of jakorpi
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The more I have of this beer, the more I like it, so it's time to share my impressions. I tend to prefer wine over beer because, compared to many beers, wines offer a wider range of flavor characteristics. However, this Black IPA will make any wine drinker with an open mind about beer sit up and take notice.

Its nearly totally black color tells you up front there's a lot of beer here, which is confirmed by a rich aroma of chocolate and coffee with a hint of citrus.

On the palate it's rich and moderately creamy with flavors of chocolate and coffee mellowed by a touch of sweetness and brightened by some citrus. As the beer starts to leave your palate, the hops kick in with exactly the right amount of bitterness to offset the preceding robust flavors.

The finish is clean, pleasantly bitter, with lingering chocolate and a little caramel.

I had the pleasure of having this beer with some grilled herb sausage (savory, not hot) along with steamed broccoli. The experience was truly memorable, similar to what happens when a wine and food pairing is spot on. The Black IPA mingled with the flavors of the sausage to create flavors that were better than either one alone. Even the potentially bland broccoli came alive!

In short, Clown Shoes Black IPA is big and well-balanced hoppy beer that's a pleasure to drink by itself, and with food, it's really outstanding.

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Photo of drinkiusmaximus
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a deep brown almost black with bits of light peeking through,three fingers width coffee colored head.

S-grapefruit,pine,lemons with roasted coffee and burnt toast.

T-follows nose with a lingering roasted ash flavor that is slightly smoky and bitter.

M-medium bodied creamy and smooth

D-this is a very nice representation of this style immensely drinkable grab one soon.


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Photo of jjboesen
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

The Hoppy Shoes pours out - or should I say kicks out? - a mammoth pillow of beige foam that crowns a tar black body, Let it sit and take a whiff: there is an intense miasma of caramel and charcoal that is brazenly backed with some fearless hints of dark chocolate.

The initial taste is a bit chalky - imagine chalk with cocoa powder, actually. This is supported by a relaible reinforcement of Amarillo and Columbus hops - all this with an 80 IBU accompanied by the 7% abv. There is some serious structure here; yet, neither the hops or the malts are dominant. A Fair and Balances Black Ale is what we have.

This is a serious beer, but not an intimidating one. There is the chalky mouthfeel; however, this simply leads to a more substative quaff that handles all its ingredients well and allows for one sturdy sessional quaff - two, at least.

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Photo of Kono52
4.26/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black with a 'root beer" like head. Smells more bitter than it tastes. Taste is very smooth. One of the better black ales that I have tried.

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Photo of GoldHorde
4.26/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My second CLOWN SHOES offering from Mercury Brewing in Ipswich MA is their Black IPA. I have had a handful of Black IPA's - some of which I have reviewed here - and I am certainly a NOVICE to this style in my own consideration.

THIS particular brew rings the bells of what I first expected in the category pf "Black IPA": namely an IPA style (highly hopped) straddling the category with STOUT. I think the category would make more sense as a "hopped stout" rather than a black IPA but, nonetheless, THIS beer DEFINES the category the BEST so far. It has all the aggressiveness of an IPA with the smoky, creamy charm and appearance of the STOUT.

WELL DONE Mercury! I think this beer should define the category...course, I'm far from done in sampling this style - BUT for now CLOWN SHOES BLACK INDIA PAL ALE holds the crown of Black IPA.

A = Opaque dark brown with a tan head and medium lacing
S = Definitely more STOUT than IPA at the SNOUT - only a hint of citrus hop
T = Smoky coffee STOUT with the familiar IPA hop kick and afterburn
M = Creamy

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Photo of lovindahops
4.24/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Some hoppy feet to end the evening on a late march friday

A- black as night brew with a slight mocha head that has some lingered lacing. Looks hearty

S- roasty pine with wicked citrus and earthy scents. The dark hops end up dominating and I love it!

T- a mild roast of malt that has a wicked bitter taste and finishes like the sahara on a 100 degree day

M- medium bodied dark bitterness good flavor

D- hoppy brew that dances around the palate as a roasty brew. A great first impression

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Photo of CASK1
4.24/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber to a tulip glass.

A - Almost black with good clarity. Light tan head that falls slowly to a persistent thin layer to the bottom of the glass. Nice lacing.

S - Lots of piney, resiny hop aroma. Low bitter chocolate and coffee-like roast malt aroma. Low sweet alcohol aroma. Low berry-like esters.

T - Complex and balanced. Dry roasted malt, with notes of bitter chocolate and coffee. Medium-high hop bitterness. Strong resiny hop flavor, with some low citrus in the background. Definitely hop forward.

M - Medium to medium-light body. Dry, slightly astringent finish. Very low alcohol warmth.

O - Very enjoyable black IPA.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.24/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Okay, I am reviewing this beer that was bottled in December 2014, so there may be some changes in the hop flavor during that time. It pours a nice, pitch black color with a thick, brown, foamy head. Head retention and lacing are both excellent. Still has a nice piney aroma with some roasted malts and coffee. I would like to try a fresh one, but I don't think that much has really left this beer since bottled. Still has a nice bitter hop. Tasty roasted maltiness and coffee at the end. Moderately astringent bitter aftertaste. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Very good.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the Great Lost Bear in Portland, ME

I suspect this is their best beer at Clown Shoes. But of course I don't know that, this is my first one. If they're all this good, then this is quite the brewery.

Pours...well, black. Not thick, there are some hints of ruby and mahogany. 1 finger white head. Looks good. Delishhh

Somewhat chaotic aroma. Sometimes the roasted malt comes out, sometimes the piney hops. It's a nice blend whatever comes forth.

Dark, toasted bread backbone. Some chocolate and molasses. But the hops dominate here. Pine and earthy, some zesty spice, but mostly the 'robust' hops. Bitter? Yeups. Nice. It sorta depends on what you're thinking about that determines which flavors come out more; malt, some smoke, chocolate, pine, raisin, leather, and/or zest. me like

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Photo of Pittsburgh
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice pour on this beer, builds a huge amount of foam that dissolves down to a nice thick topping, that slowly dissolves into a thin lacing.

Dark brown color, very dark as should be expected by the name/description.

Taste is very good to excellent for me. Just the IPA side of it alone it good enough for me, very hoppy and bitter but not over the top, but then it's go that stout/brown ale quality to it that is balanced almost perfectly in that the presence is noticed, but it doesn't seem like you are drinking one. IPA taste shines through more, but a very well balanced complex beer, tastes more like a brown ale in the middle but finished like an IPA. Slight coffee hint mixed in the middle.

I've only had one, maybe 2 other brown IPAs and I wasn't really impressed, but this is a game changer for me, I really liked it and would recommend trying it.

 859 characters

Photo of bylerteck
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the Potsdam IGA.

A - Beautiful pour into my Tripel Karmeliet glass. Three finger chocolate milk head. Black body with good carbonation coming up. Good rings of lacing with an island of that head remaining.

S - Heaps of chocolate, very little citrus, roasted malts, nuttiness, and pine as well.

T - More nutty and chocolate notes with alot more pine than citrus. Some coffee is there too. The flavour starts with coffee and chocolate and moves to the hop notes in the finish, making this seem very structured and not just a thrown together beer. Nice.

M - Good carbonation to moves things about and a slightly creamy medium body with a decent bitter bite.

O/D - A quality Black IPA. The more popular this style has become, the less I've actually enjoyed trying different versions of it. The novelty has definately worn off. That said, I still liked this for its complexity and balance. Drinks like a hopped to hell stout. Good.

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Photo of alexgash
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle. Bottled first week of February 2011.

Dark cola brown with a thick, tall, dense, dirty khaki head. Very good lacing. Nose is a mix of dark chocolate, caramel, licorice, pine needles, Scotch tape, and juniper.

Roasted malts and piny hop bitterness up front. Coffee, light molasses, and a little smoke sneak in, before big hop bitterness steals the show. Piny, resinous, herbal, and even a little aspirin in there. Finish stays bitter, with lingering caramel and roasted coffee flavors. Medium-full body, with a creamy feel. Very nicely done.

 556 characters

Photo of Act25
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ipswich MA is the east coast San Diego.
Love Clown Shoes brews.

A. espresso color and a sea-foam beige head that lasts nicely and leaves lots of lace.

S: Roasted malts appear first, with wood char and peat fire, but then piney/minty hops emerge as if thrown on the fire.

T: Blacked dark bread, then piney hops assault with a minty-bitter-peppery direction. Lots of complexity, good sipper.

F: Medium body with prickly, carbonation, and nice cream feel.

O: This is a major, bitter explosion on the buds without much fruit and mostly dark char, fire, pepper, pine, mint, herbs. Like herbs thrown on a fire pit.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

black as night with a light colored head that rose up about an inch and a half before settling down into a nice broken crown that stayed throughout the session. The aroma was very bright, lots of citrus here, orange and tangerine mostly and a wonderfully bright lemon like aroma that rose up, not at all what you would have expected from something that looked so fark. Nice medium body with a smooth and mellow carbonation and a lightness to it that again was outside what I was expecting. Smooth flavor, clean, crisp, loaded with bitter citrus hops. Lots of grapefruit and pineapple here. Such a tight and very hoppy big IPA. I was very pleased with this one for sure.

 669 characters

Photo of sk8man121
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Great Lost Bear in Portland, ME.

A: Pours engine oil black with brown highlights. Nice fluffy tan head settles down quickly but reappears when roused. Attractive brew.

S: Grapefruit, smoke and a hint of chocolate in the nose. This literally smells "creamy;" I like that.

T: VERY bitter hops up front, mellowing in the finish. Dark malts are thankfully evident; this doesn't just taste like an IPA with a mask. Rich and bold palette-wrecker.

M: Incredible mouthfeel. Strong carbonation quickly turns smooth and creamy, making this a joy to put back.

D: I just looked at the ABV (7%); came into this thinking it was 9% and was going to say it hides it well. Even so, Hoppy Feet is quite rich. I had a 22oz glass and wouldn't want another. That said, this is a really good beer, and exactly what I want out of an "American Black Ale."

Worth repeat visits.

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Photo of vtfan77
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Very dark brownish red, almost black when not held up to the light. Lives up to its "Black IPA" claim in terms of color at least, which is more than some examples of the style can claim. Pours with a good inch or so of beige head and leaves quite a bit of lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Big piney hop character backed by a cake batter-like sweetness, as well as coffee and dark chocolate. Good roasted malt presence here.

T- Similar to the smell, with piney hops at the fore and bitter cocoa backing them up. A touch of sweetness runs throughout, but the flavor is mostly dry. Finishes with a strong, earthy bitterness and lingering burnt malt.

M- Medium-bodied and quite smooth, almost creamy with a moderate carbonation level.

This is quite the beer. It really embraces the Black IPA (or American Black Ale or whatever) style. The roasted malt is just as much a part of this beer as the hops. It could almost pass for a hoppy stout; in fact, it kind of reminded me of Storm King. Whatever the case, this is a very good beer. Recommended.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #44 (Sep 2010):

The hops provide an impressive head, not pitch black, though certainly dark enough for the style. Soft resin hop nose builds to piney, minty and ruby red grapefruit heights--combined with brownie batter and a faint alcohol there's a complex aroma. Very lush and creamy body; a pleasure to sip. Hoppiness is bold but not too aggressive, though the bit- terness does come on strong. Dark chocolate and toasted bread graininess displays a great base. Some yeast and fruiti- ness in the back are covered for the most part by the blanket of piney citric hop flavor. East Coast flexing its muscles.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Really dark brown color with mocha head. Aroma is definitely on the hoppy side with nice resiny and earthy notes, but you also get some milk chocolate and coffee. Taste starts really balanced with the hoppy notes and also chocolate and roasted malt. Finish is even more roasty and bitter with some coffee notes as well. Medium, smooth feeling body with soft carbonation. I really enjoy black IPAs and this one is really well made and tasty.

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Photo of Farrell
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to Clownshoedreams for the sample!

While I am not sure that an IPA can actually be black, it hardly takes anything away from this otherwise surprisingly tasty beer. With the traditional floral, pine and hop flavors of an IPA, this beer also boasts a unique blend of flavors more commonly found in thicker styles. Hints of of chocolate and coffee are noticeable as well as an overall toastiness that never overpowers.

The beer ends with a nice hop bite and pleasant aftertaste.

A very decent beer and a nice spin on the IPA , if I ever see this beer available for sale where I live I wont hesitate to pick up another bottle.

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Photo of Fluke828
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a dark, opaque black with a healthy 2+ finger head that dissipates rather quickly but big frothy bubbles remain with significant lacing sticking to the walls of the tulip.

Smells more of citrus and pine than coffee roast. Coffee is more present in the taste with malty undertones and a hoppy bite as it heads throat-ward. A couple more sips reveal some kind of burnt, nutty flavor that really makes this seem complex

It feels mid-bodied and definitely a bit creamy in the mouth with the bitterness, as mentioned, present towards the finish. Not sure how many I could have in one sitting however it is quite drinkable especially for the 7%.

Overall I was impressed by this beer. Have not had too many Black IPAs yet and this is certainly a solid offering, however I fear that I am drinking it a bit too cold, perhaps a return edit is in order once it warms a bit) As others have noted, would love to try this on tap. Would have it again from the bottle though.

EDIT: Not too much to add here except that once this brew warmed up the balance really showed through. Perfect symphony of roasted malts to hoppy bitterness...really magnificent...

 1,197 characters

Photo of gopens44
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Incredibly black, as a "black ale" should likely be I guess... Couldn't begin to see through it, or the nice thick foamy creme colored head.

S - Nice earthy hops. A little grassy type of "earthy" smell I reckon.

T - Massive bite of those aforementioned earthy hops with an immediate following of coffee and roasted malts sneaking up. Great balance and disguise.

M - Well carbonated yet medium bodied and somewhat smooth with a nice short lived bitter aftertaste.

O - Very well done! For "black/cascadian/whatever dark IPA" haters out there, try this one. You'll become seduced by the dark side for sure.

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Photo of chocosushi
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4oz->Cuvee de Trolls Chalice
A ~ Black with an inch high cap of tan head that is a akin to frothed milk with a thick texture. Stout-like in body.

S ~ Coffee w/ Milk, Ashy wood, HOPS, and hints of vanilla bean & burnt caramel.

T ~ Roasted malt lending notes of Burnt wood, steadily fading into coffee...strong coffee. Hops are very floral & resinous, providing notes of forests & ripe fruit. A nice undercurrent of dark chocolate really carries everything home.

M ~ Bitterness on alll ends: Malt provides an initial sharp, woody bitterness, while hops continue bittering in a long lasting & resinous way. Very dry.

D ~ A black IPA with a simple charm that I enjoy quite a bit. Pick it up if you enjoy Imperial Stouts or Malt-forward Black IPAs. Definitely will revisit.

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Hoppy Feet from Clown Shoes
3.89 out of 5 based on 1,452 ratings.
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