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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: 1,450
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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Photo of Ipatsfans
3.69/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber without a date. I am a little worried that this beer is not super fresh, as the label is different from some other Hoppy Feet bottles I see in the store.

A - Lots of head on this one, which fades unevenly with a few craters in the foam. Beer is a dark brown, coffee like coloring.

S - Roasted coffee aroma. Just a hint of the citrus and pine mentioned on the label.

T - Strong roasted flavor, a little burnt for my liking. Lots of flavor going on, bitter notes coming through at the end.

M - Bitter hints lave a slight sour taste. The 7% ABV is hidden nicely.

D - one bomber is enough for me. The flavors are strong, but I don't love it overall.

Not my favorite Clown Shoes offering, but I will definitely try it again if I can find it on tap.

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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 EgadBananas
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to jlindros for this treat!

Nice dark pour, black, light tan head, very nice spongy lacing.

Big notes of pine and flowers, and equally big notes of chocolate, roasted malts and hints of coffee.

Nice bitterness, piny, light citrus, chocolate, roasted malts, toach of coffee bitterness. Very enjoyable.

Creamy, slick, smooth, nice carbonation, medium in body.

Good drinkability. One of the best BIPA's I've had.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of ShogoKawada (thanks again for introducing me to this wonderful brewer); poured from a 22oz bomber into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Ridiculous rocky six finger and growing head of light tan foam forms an obscene phallus of a head which refuses to dissipate. Way down underneath the cavernous hollows lurks a ruddy dark brown liquid with chocolate highlights. Quite dark but seemingly good clarity. Stupendous sticky three dimensional lacing overwhelms the glass. Unparalleled retention.

Cocoa powder, vienna roast coffee, leaves, fresh grassy hops, sencha, and creamer in the nose along with some black malt and a hint of esters. A touch of candied ginger comes out as it warms.

Dense bitter chocolate ganache palate entry with heavy roast malt, a hint of tobacco, laurel, and apricot pit grows more bitter as the hops arrive - the flavor is crisp and suggestive of hemp and potting soil rather than citrus or pine. Dry toasty finish lingers on for a good while, demanding another sip to combat the thirst it engenders.

By the appearance, I feared this would be over-carbonated, but it is just right actually. Zippy and mildly astringent (though not burnt).

Quite dry, bitter, and roasty - a good example of a burgeoning style.

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Photo of beerdepartment
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pleasant looking mixed bubble froth over dark coffee colored fluid.

Grapefruity hops with slight malt sweet smell in the fumes.

A warmer temp allowed for more of the roast malt grain; when cold mostly hop flavor dominant; bitterness is strong and lingering, perhaps owing to roast level on malt; wish it was less bitter, but I just made a homebrew equally bitter and I'm calling it a success. So the bitterness is OK.

The thickness (medium to heavy) of the mouthfeel helps balance the bitterness.

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Photo of ms11781
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

Pours a deep, dark brown color with a big, 3 finger tan head. Color is almost black but the reddish colors on the side and bottom of the glass tell me it's not quite. Foamy lacing covers the majority of the glass.

Nose is very hoppy at first, only to be balanced out by a heavy malt presence. Grapefruit and piny hops come on first before some roasted malts aromas (and perhaps some chocolate notes) fill in.

A good dose of grapefruit shows up first in the taste before a huge roasted malt flavor comes in. Not getting the chocolate notes that were in the nose but the malt presence is still high. As big as those flavors are, the taste is dominated by a hugely bitter, piny, resinous, bitter finish.

Crisp, clean mouthfeel. Light body for the style (not a bad thing here) with carbonation on the higher end of medium. Bitter finish that lingers for what seems like forever.

Pretty good drinkability. The lighter mouthfeel makes it ideal for having more than a pint or two but the bitterness of the hops may make you reach for something else after.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed this 22oz bottle today at The Liquor Shoppe for $7.99. Perhaps a bit steep? We'll see...

Into my Portsmouth tulip goes about 12oz... These Hoppy Feet are quite dark, an opaque, dense mahogany, with a frothy, fine tan head. Lacing is quite nice as the head slowly ebbs. Lots of rindy citrus notes waft up from the glass. Some roastiness is evident, but the grapefruit is front and center. Body is medium, and there's not too much in the way of negative waves for the actual feel.

The flavor does exhibit some roasty notes, with a bit of bitter, dark choco present, but the hops soon take over. It has a lot of pithy citrus which makes the palate pucker a touch. It's a little resiny, as the hops softly layer themselves on the tongue. At the finish, the hops linger slowly while segueing into some mild bitterness. Pretty good, though a tad pricey. 'd likely still go with a Victory Yakima Glory or, when on tap, Portsmouth Black IPA. Zum Wohl!!

look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4


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Photo of BenjieK
4.73/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Almost black, big tan head slow to fall, lots of lace

S: Chocolate, coffee, pine, grapefruit. Intense.

T: Even better than the nose, because those flavors actual balance.

M: Well carbonated and smooth.

D: Very, considering this beer is loaded with super bitter hops.

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Photo of chrisgn
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This way my first black IPA and I really enjoyed it. Almost totally black in color with a 2 inch head and great lacing. The hops and roasted malt sweetness comes right through in aroma and taste a like. The citrusy hops certainly dominate as any good IPA, but there is a sturdy malt back bone the great a full bodied beer. The mouthfeel is very nice and its flavor is very intense in the beginning, but doesnt linger on the palate. Very drinkable IPA. Nice marriage of roasty malts and loads of hops.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

"Whatever you do take care of your shoes." -Phish

Pours dark brown but settles black in my glass. Rocky clay colored head looks like it will hunker down for awhile but alas I must have scared it off. Wispy skim with a few lacey droppings. I like the new bottle art better than the old label.

Smells like chocolate ice cream and minty grapefruit hops. Some booziness comes through. Taste is brownies, and grapefruit/pine hops. Bitter. Like the aroma, dark, chocolatey malt complexity is more fun than the accompanying hops. Finishes with mild booze. Lush mouthfeel.

Great chocolate malt profile that's just too boozey. If they toned down the heat I could really dig this. I find that C hops accentuate heat and that may be the case here.

I should probably try their brown ale.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber to black in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, mix of pine and grapefruit like hops, and a nutty sweet roast as well. In the taste, starts pine to grapefruity hops and a sweet to dry nutty maltiness. A small bite and medium to a bid bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry grapefruit like hop in the aftertaste. Nice hint of roast and nuttiness, and huge hops, which was not expected.

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

Poured from 22oz. bomber into Mug.

A: Pours a very dark brown/almost black color with a nice frothy, khaki head that leaves some nice lacing down the side of the mug.

S: Has some nice hoppy notes with some pine and citrus (grapefruit) scents and faint hints of roasted malts.

T: Hops hit the palate up front that turn into the roasted malts, more noticeable in the palate than the nose, also a bit of citrus flavor but is overshadowed by the malts. The finish has a bit of a nutty characteristic that is followed by slight bitterness.

M: Medium bodied, has good carbonation, feels a bit creamy and very smooth.

D: This is a good example of one of my new favorite styles, Black IPA. It is very smooth and highly drinkable. Even better is the Hoppy Feet 1.5, though this is still a very good beer.

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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 Huhzubendah
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A gift from Gregg Berman. Thanks a lot!

A: This brew appears a dark mahogany color, with a dense inch of light beige head which exhibits great retention and leaves plenty of lacing on the pint glass.

S: Aromas of roast, hops, and pine.

T: The beer is a combination of roast and hop flavors, with some chocolate notes in there as well. The beer tastes a little too bitter, with a slight hop astringency emerging in the back end.

M: OK feel, but a bit imbalanced in the finish.

D: An alright beer. I'm still not sold on this style. I really enjoy IPAs and roasty brews, but not sure that marrying the two is the best idea.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by the other Matt, a gift from the brewer, thanks guys.

Beer is dark black and opaque with a thick head of small off white bubbles that recedes quickly leaving some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is a mystery on this one.

The aroma is quite piny in the hop department with some mild roast, I'm now thinking this is going to be one of the bittered BIPAs.

Well...this beer is decently bitter with both roast and hops, like a simcoe kind of bitterness with some midpalate lead ins on the road to more hoppiness. The forward is a little thin with some sweetness. There is too much happening the back half of the beer, I think ultimately that it is OK but there are better pairings with roastiness and hop bitterness than these malts / hops make.

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Hoppy Feet from Clown Shoes
3.89 out of 5 based on 1,450 ratings.
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