The folks at Clown Shoes Beer have a sense of humor. With names for beers like Muffin Top, Eagle Claw Fist, and Tramp Stamp, the company doesn't take itself too seriously. It also happens to make really good beer.
The latest Clown Shoes creation is a massive, hoppy imperial amber. It's a collaboration between Three Heads Brewing out of Rochester, N.Y. and Clown Shoes, which is brewed in Ipswich. The beer is 50 percent Eagle Claw Fist Amber Ale from Clown Shoes and 50 percent Loopy Oatmeal Red Ale from Three Heads.
First of all I love the concept. Marrying two different beers, one from Massachusetts and one from New York, sends a fun message during campaign season. Three Heads founding partner Geoff Dale appears in all his bewhiskered glory on the beer's label. A blog post explaining the beer on the brewery's website quips, "Ask not what your country can brew for you. Ask what you can brew for your country."
The marketing suggests a departure from the status quo, and that's mostly true of the product as well. There's nothing conservative about this beer. Liberal amounts of Simcoe, Centennial, and Citra hops form a massive nose. The beer pours a dark amber with a big, off-white head. Oatmeal, caramel, and bready malts combine to balance out the bitterness of the hops on first sip. There's a lot in this beer, and you can taste it all, though it's not always easy to distinguish individual parts. At 10 percent ABV you would expect a thick mouthfeel, and that's exactly what you get. This is a beer you need to take your time with. You'll also need to share it with friends, another good message during campaign season. Now if only we could get this baby on the ballot.