Hoppy Feet | Clown Shoes

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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 426 | Ratings: 1,455
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 Beatnik4913
4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark like a stout with a brownish head. Smells like grains with bits of aroma hops.

Tastes like roasted chocolate with a nutty finish. The body is very creamy like a stout should be. Unbelievable lacing all the way down the glass, not just rings where the beer used to be.

This is an excellent beer. I love that it's creamy and smooth like a stout but finishes like an IPA. I wish I had tried this beer sooner. If you like stout for it's creaminess and IPA's for their potency and bitterness, this is the best of both words. Buy this if you see it.

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Photo of CuttDeez
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A strong black with brown notes in the light. Very large mocha shade fluffy and lacy head.
S - Notes of pine hops and sweetness. Slight fruits. Then a good mix of roasted coffee and some slight darker fruits and chocolate. It is strange to see the color and look of the beer and have such an interesting and complex smell.
T & M - Awesome hop body right up front with sweet citus like you would expect with the nose and then the notes of espresso and chocolate come in on the back end. It was medium bodied with slight carbination, smooth. It is so interesting and un expected but lovely and balanced I thought.
O - I really enjoyed this beer. It was fresh, complex, and crazy. I felt like every look, taste, and smell were a ride. Very cool brew.


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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 rapidsequence
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Bottled March 2011. Six bucks from Pints O'Plenty.

Appearance: Pours black, but looks a dark, reddish brown in the light. Great looking head and lacing.

Smell: Citrus and pine hops. Burnt toast and a crumbled up oreo. Pretty intense roast and hops smells that don't come together as well as they could.

Taste: Bitter hops and bitter, burnt roasted malt. Piney, citrusy, and earthy. Charcoaly, almost smoky. Its very flavorful, but the bitterness is over the top in intensity.

Mouthfeel: This is a very smooth, slightly creamy, medium-full bodied beer. Spot on carbonation. The downfall is the astringency, which makes it feel too dry on the finish.

Overall: More debittered roasted malts please! To much roasted bitterness spoils what would otherwise be an excellent black IPA. By the bottom of the bomber, its grown on my some, so I've bumped some scores a little.

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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 OakedCanuck
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into cervoise

A - Straight black with brown edging. Tannish head that left decent sticky lacing

S - Coffee roast, pine and lemon hops, smoke

T - Very smoky. The roasted malts almost are bordering on burnt. The citric hops are there, and are nice but they are a bit overshadowed by the ashy smokiness of it.

M - On the thinner side. Effervescent, and the smokiness leaves a weird aftertaste

D - Just another average BIPA. Nothing overwhelming but it isn't too bad. Could use a bit less smoke but not too hard to drink.

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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 rowingbrewer
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark brown to almost black color, with a decent tan head. The smell is hoppy with a nice roasted malt character to it. The taste is hoppy biiterness and roasted malt bitterness balanced well. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and overal this is a good black ipa one of the better ones I've had

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Photo of PBoegel
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle dated bottled in February 2011.

Poured into a Sierra Nevada Tulip Pint.

While pouring the beer shows off a light coffee tone, with red highlights as it builds into the glass the color becomes a deeper dark brown to near black hue. Against the light you can see dark ruby highlights in an otherwise dark looking body with a two finger light brown sugar head, nice tight foam and good lacing appears while drinking.

Aroma is subtle chocolate, crushed coffee bean with strong tones of orange, spearmint, some pink grapefruit. No alcohol in the nose, very clean malt profile beyond the subtle roast and chocolate.

The first palate sensation is dark chocolate with a quick wash of orange, tangerine and clementine fruit followed by a touch of roast malt in the finish combined with a prickly carbonation and sharp bitterness. The balance between roast and chocolate malt with citrusy american hop character tips toward the malt. Clearly not the malt profile of a stout, closer to a porter with hops. The hops come out brighter as the beer warms a bit and the dark malt character sits deeper in the finish interwoven with the bitterness and a touch of alcohol, the latter being a more palate drying sensation vs. a hot stingy sharp alcohol.

The body of this beer is as the style requires deceptively light. There is some faint roast astringency in the finish, medium carbonation and nice dry finish enhanced by the dark malt, bitterness and alcohol.

Still trying to find my way through this style of beer. This a solid beer, but like many of the beers in this style that I have tried it comes off as more of a hoppy porter. Worth a try for sure.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Many thanks to azaaron for the extra! 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a rich black body that supports a creamy, towering tuft of tight tan head. Solid lacing left behind on the glass. The aroma is that of freshly hopped wort, or the first whiff of a vacuum-packed bag of hops before they get dumped into the boil. It's a fresh hoppiness, and very aromatic, but a little cloying with hop residue and sweet maltiness.

Flavor is hoppy up front with a dark chocolate presence, and again I'm reminded of tasting homebrewed wort with respect to sweetness. The finish, however, is highly astringent with flavors of both hop bitterness and malt husks. Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated with a medium-light body, but the bitter finish is a bit too much to stomach, and I normally love this style.

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4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz into snifter.
A: Good head formation and a bit weak on the retention. Body is a deep black, while the head is a light tan. Lacing is present and carbonation is near to impossible to see, due to the very dark body.
S: The aroma gives away to the very floral hops used from the West coast. No real malty flavor found.
T/M: Body is medium to heavy for style and the malt presence is found, making this a bit of a thicker, more full bodied "American Black Ale". ahem BIPA> Carbonation is light and suited. A pine aroma is found in the front, while a roasted note comes through on the finish. Bitterness makes up the lingering taste.
D: All in all a very drinkable brew, one of the BIPA's that I have enjoyed, but with my homebrew version, a bit too heavy on the roasted/dark malt character.

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Photo of Florida9
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: As to be expected, this one is black in color, with only the faintest amount of light peeking through the sides of the glass. Forms a large tan colored head that eventually settled down to a thin surface coating. Copious amounts of lacing.

S: Lots of roasted malts. Maybe a little citrus in the mix, but the roasted malt dominates.

T & M: More roasted malts, now with baking chocolate. Dry and chalky in the mouth. Moderate bitterness, but it seems to be more of a charred malt bitterness than a hoppy bitterness. I'm assuming there are some hops in this one, but the heavy taste of roasted malts is crowding them out. Beer is medium in body, but it feels thinner than it really is. Carbonation is fairly active.

D: A decent beer, but not what I would think of for a black IPA. Tastes like a thin stout or porter, though it drinks just fine.

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Photo of BeerMePlze
4.8/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: pours oil black, but not very viscous. Nice amount of tan head

S: I get both the hops and the roasted malt equally, very well balanced.

T: Amazing!! apparently I need to drink more black IPAs if this is what the style can taste like. Along with the smell, the balance of almost charcoal malts with the west coast IPA style bitterness creates one of the most amazing flavors i've ever experienced.

M: Coats the mouth fully with the bitterness of the hops, but the malts put out the fire perfectly.

D: I could drink this all day (until I pass out!) This is such a delight!

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Photo of kzoobrew
3.29/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of cadaugherty, Cheers my friend!

Poured into Stone IPA glass. Even with a careful pour a monstrous four finger cafe au lait head develops. The retention is very impressive. Broken moth eaten lacing is left clinging to the walls of the glass. The body appears black until the glass is held to the light. With the light beaming down a deep crimson brown color is shown. Very good looking American Black Ale.

The aroma is much more subdued than what I expected. The roasted malt sits pretty heavy, not a good sign in my opinion. The aroma is not really showing me what I would expect from the style, the malt is outweighing the hops. Pine and subtle soft citrus hops seem to be submerged by the malt. An issue of balance here, the beer smells good but is just out of balance.

Out of the glass strong roasted malt and dark chocolate coat the tongue. The piney hop flavor develops mid palate and is very complimentary but does not develop the intensity I expect. The roasted flavor is a bit bitter and astringent on the back of the palate. The flavor is not bad but just leads to confusion, not sure what style this is but it is not a Black IPA as labeled.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. While the deep roasted flavor lays of the tongue, the finish is quite dry.

Not a bad beer but a poor example of the style. With some expectations for the style this beer did not meet them. I can easily finish the bomber but it is just not what I wanted. I am not sure I would enjoy more than a single serving of this beer, not my thing. Glad to have had the opportunity.

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Photo of twelvsies
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clown Shoes - another offshoot of Ipswich / Mercury? Not sure exactly how this brewery(ies) works exactly but they all tend to make decent to great beers so I'm happy to see this distributed up to Maine as of late - I remember this coming out just as I moved from Boston. Anywho... a fresh sample (Feb '11) poured into my imperial Nerax pint. Brown with red tints, nice head receding to an espresso-esque foam, laces well. I smell chocolate, resiny west coast hops, and a nice earthy musty note. More hops up front at first gulp - nice and bitter, piney and sappy, a touch of citrus, finishes with a nice dusty chocolate malt backbone. I really like this beer - I have to admit to being a bit of a sucker for this style - I get a kick out the debate that the Black IPA seems to stir up, and I also get a kick out of drinking it. Hoppy, malty, and somehow balanced, and refreshing and drinkable and robust all at the same time. What's not to like? Look forward to (re)trying some of the other beers these guys have to offer.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beer bottled the first week of February, poured into my Rodenbach glass... The body is surprisingly dark sheeny glass black, like a moon rock, with a hint of clear crimson in the middle. Looks awesome. A light tan head with great retention and lacing. Best looking black ipa I've seen... The aroma instantly makes me think of a west coast dipa with wonderful fruity grass hop notes, bet this is even better fresh on tap. Once you get past the hops on the front there is a caramel backbone with a hint of smoke. Really really solid. My only complaint is that wish it was a little stronger... Wow, this is strong, threw me off guard for sure. Tons of char, ash, alcohol, very bitter pine hops, and a hint of chocolate. At first I'm almost disgusted way too strong, the more I drink and the warms settles a bit, however wish this was a touch more subtle with a better mixture; balance... The mouthfeel is very sticky with tons of lasting pine and alcohol.... The finish and alcohol make this a little tough to crush. One glass is enough for me, especially considering this is only 7%.

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Photo of wburch1967
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Both beers tried from Clown Shoes have been hoppy and bitter as heck. Good thing, because I like that!

This beer is black with some red higlights when helf to the light.

Smells like roasted malts, pine, and grapefruit, tastes was pretty much the same.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are the only thing keeping this from being one of my favorites ever, as i can't see have more than one bottle or a couple of pints.

Still, great black IPA.

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Photo of andrewinski1
2.51/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The bottle says it was bottled in the first week of February. Poured into a tulip. Nice dark black color. Light colored almost mocha colored but not quite head. The lacing is nice and sticky. The head is about half an inch large.

The aroma is a 50/50 split between burnt char and orange juicey hops. The burnt aroma doesn't really work well here for me; it seems a bit harsh and a bit much. It reminds me a bit of burnt bacon a bit.

Despite their best efforts, the hops are overwhelmed with roasted bitterness. The hops merely add a hint of mint and herbal qualities in the finish; though not enough to warrant the advertised hoppiness. Though I can't site anything offensive in the taste, it is very underwhelming.

The body is relatively light and the mouthfeel is slightly crispy, allowing for a nice drinking experience. Overall, this is not a very good example of a hoppy black ale. I can think of a few others I would much rather have.

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Photo of TK5150
2.97/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

On draft at the GLB

A- Dark brown with some ruby/light brown highlights. Small beige head consisting of small bubbles.

S- Dark malts with hints of piney american hops.

T- Dry cocoa powder and the bitterness from piney hops and roasted malts. The bitterness becomes the major taste of the beer as I continue to finish off the glass. I really enjoy dark hoppy beers, and this was majorly disappointing. Not much hop flavor, nor much complexity.

M- Medium bodied and low carbonation. If this had higher carbonation I probably would not have finished the beer, so in this case it helped.

D- Not conducive to drinking another glass. Liked it less and less as I drank. Will not get again.

I have only had two beers from Clown Shoes, this and Brown Angel. Brown Angel was very nice, this was not.

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Photo of mynie
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Man, I sure do wish there was some formal boundaries between Schwarz's, American Blacks, and Black IPAs. And I wish there was like some kind of Brewer's code that made sure they weren't improperly labeled.

This beer tastes like super roasted malt and decent kick of dry hops. It's more like a dry stout mixed with a little bit of citrusy American hops than it is an IPA. And there's nothing wrong with that, really, except for that this was labeled as a black IPA and I'm in the mood for a black IPA.

There's also a little inconsistency in the flavor, even though the aroma is pretty tight. It starts off like coffee, moves into a blend of dry and citrus hops, and then on the very back end there's this hint of like nitrogen, only it's not nitrogen it's just a little unpleasant medicinal gas.

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly black body with reddish brown hues and a huge, dense and foamy tan head that shows at least some proof of its sticky existence for the duration of the beer.

Earthy and piney hops jump from the glass, followed by chocolate malt and maybe even hints of espresso.

The palate features biting earthy hops, but also roasted and chocolate malt. Quite a unique, yet tasty blend of characteristics.

Drying mouthfeel from the dense hops with generous carbonation and a medium body.

This is quite a good example of the Black IPA and really shows the difference between this style and an intensely hopped RIS.

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Photo of bishopdc0
4.19/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer is very similar to stones sublimely self righteous

The look is dark brown with a thick thick tan head

The aroma sweet to start it is hops that speak the loudest. Citrus and spicy hops love it

The beer starts with a sweet malt it quickly becomes light in the tongue but hops take over, spicy and citrus pair to a dry slight roasted finish leaving a big bitter on the tongue

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Photo of EricCioe
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours black with a light tan two finger head that dissipated quickly but left some bubbles and lacing. On the nose there is a deep musty pine aroma with roasted malt underneath. In the mouth the toasty flavors hit first, not your basic porter/stout coffee/chocolate combination but something a bit simpler, plain roastiness. The hops then come out, piney and quite bitter, combining really well with the bitter roast. It's a medium-body that goes down easy but the bitter notes linger around back for a while.

I was quite happy to see this on the shelves in Chicago, a big, very welcome surprise.

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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...

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Hoppy Feet from Clown Shoes
3.89 out of 5 based on 1,455 ratings.
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