In the past, I have mentioned that I’m a sucker for good packaging, and while the label is provocative, the potentially blasphemous image of a bikini clad angel was not the selling point for Clown Shoes Brown Angel. Instead, it was the $2 off sign that was good enough for me to pick up a 22oz bottle from Binny’s Beverage Depot in Highland Park, IL. I have had several other Clown Shoes beers and always found them to be well balanced and unique in an off-kilter way. The side of their bottle generally claims that Brown Angel is a brown ale in the modern, sexy American fashion.
Brown Angel holds true to it’s name with it’s Coca Cola brown coloring. I had a really hard time pouring this beer into a glass without creating way too much foam. Most of the time my glass with 3/4 full of dirty white, sticky head. Don’t take me for an amateur, I know how to pour a beer, but I couldn’t figure out what was going on. The head did not diminish fully after five minutes and left gobs of lacing on the glass. The taste bursts of sweet malty flavors that echo hints of coffee and caramel – a classic brown ale. However, this brown ale surprised me at the end with a no nonsense quality finish that will linger in your mouth for some time.
Overally, I enjoyed Brown Angel for its gritty, well balanced flavors, but Brown Angel is just too much beer for me. This is an in your face brown ale that is probably best enjoyed with heavy, salty foods. If this were the Middle Ages, kings would guzzle this by the barrel and barely remember the festivities. Clown Shoes Brown Angel sells for around $7 for a 22oz bottle and is one of the more widely available from the Clown Shoes line. Brown ales generally are not my favorites nor is this my favorite from this brewery, but I can appreciate a well developed beer when I taste one. For those of you that appreciate darker beers, Brown Angel is certainly worth your consideration.