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Hidden Gems Redux: Clown Shoes Hoppy Feet 1.5

December 23, 2010

Way back in June, I reviewed Clown Shoes’ Hoppy Feet Black IPA (Hidden Gems: Clown Shoes Black IPA). This month, Clown Shoes (based in Ipswich, MA) released their one year anniversary ale; Hoppy Feet 1.5, a double black IPA. At 10% abv, it is much smoother than the original, but now has more pronounced fruity hop flavors in the back, though it still retains the resinous piney hoppiness and roasty core that made the original so memorable. It reminds me of a German Schwarzbier, with its opaque blackness and slightly sweet, complex hoppiness (anyone who has tried Avery’s Seventeen will have a good idea of what I mean). Black enough for fans of stouts and porters, hoppy and flavorful enough for IPA fans, and strong enough to command respect, this is truly a special kind of beer.

I was on the fence about Clown Shoes for a while, but I have to admit that they have finally won me over. After all, why would you call your company Clown Shoes? Well I guess the joke’s on me, because they have consistently proven that they are here to stay, and are not to be taken lightly. As I mentioned in my previous post, Black IPAs are a relatively new style around here (having originated in the Pacific Northwest), and Clown Shoes have definitely just raised the bar.

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