Clown Shoes Clementine came to me with special recommendation from an enthusiastic employee at the recently opened Pepperell Beverage. Clown Shoes Clementine is a witbier, or Belgian style wheat beer, brewed with coriander, orange peel, and clementine essence in Ipswich, Massachusetts. The beer I most frequently recommend to friends is a witbier: Allagash White. So, Clementine has a lot to live up to. How does it measure up, then?
Clementine pours a very pale yellow, and crystal clear. This is peculiar, since witbiers are usually a bit cloudy. There’s a big, fizzy, white head that quickly settles down to a thin lace. The taste doesn’t necessarily wow you at first. There’s the typical witbier orange and spice. The malt tends towards the sweet side, like cake or white bread. Clementine is definitely as pleasantly dry as Allagash or Hoegaarden, but thankfully, it’s not overly sweet like Blue Moon. It sneaks up on you how good this beer is. As you sip it, you notice more and more complexity. Despite the clarity of the beer, there is some earthy, nutty yeast flavor present. The hops are very subtle, giving just a hint of lemon and a bit of an herbal character.
I won’t be recommending this one over Allagash White, but, if you see Clown Shoes Clementine on your local beer store shelf or on a tap list, you would definitely do well to try it. It’s a refreshing, balanced, and surprisingly interesting beer.