Category Archives: Five Beer Caps Club

The rare Five Beer Caps Club.

Hoppy Feet 1.5

Clown Shoes – Hoppy Feet 1.5

I got this beer in a trade after I sent a few bottles to the city of Chicago. It’s a very peculiar name for a brewery and I had to go online and read the reason for it and luckily, it was on their website and this is what it read… “Clown Shoes? Very long story, but to condense it a group of us submitted the name to the Beer Advocate contest that resulted in The Wrath of Pecant. Our submission didn’t crack the top 5. This burned me up inside. While driving one day the epiphany came: I could make my own Clown Shoes beer.

What’s with the odd brewery name and now a 1.5 in the beer name?! They might not have liked the first batch, upgraded the software, and the new release worked out a few bugs and worked. All joking aside, this was a good beer.

Turns out Hoppy Feet is available year round, but for their anniversary they decided to dry hop this beer twice and thus they present to you, Clown Shoes 1.5. This is a Double Black India Pale Ale with an aroma of malt, lots of hop, alcohol, and I caught a bit of roasted coffee. The beer was creamy, a really nice feel on the tongue. Almost all beers you find out there have a dominant flavor, but not with this beer. Each sip was very enjoyable as it gave me a balanced combination of hop and malt; I haven’t had this in a beer. You’ll find sweet notes of malt and toffee and will have a hop bitter finish.

This is a very solid beer and I’d say that it’s one of the best Black IPA’s I’ve had. Black anything seemed to be the thing that everyone was doing during 2011 in the beer world here in the States, it’s caught on and with this beer Clown Shoes has really nailed it. I had this beer with some chicken tika masala (a spicy tomato sauce); it was a good combination as the spiciness from the dish went really well with the malt/hop flavor in the beer. This is an IPA I truly enjoyed and will rate Five Beer Caps out of Five. I was surprised by the beer, especially when the label has a clown on it and I couldn’t take it seriously. I’ve done this before where I’ll skip the beer and won’t buy it based on the label, but lesson learned, again, don’t judge by the label or name! Sadly we don’t get any beers from Clown Shoes in the Los Angeles area and can only hope to get some more when and if I trade. Thanks RVD for sending this one my way.

Throw one back for me ~ cheers!


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Pliny The YOUNGER!

I’m sure I don’t have to explain how limited Pliny The Younger is and how just a lucky few, get a chance to taste this.  I’m one of those lucky bastards that had a chance of drinking Younger, but it was an experience years in the making.

The long lines that accompany this beer.

I got my A ticket… that’s for the older generation, to remember Disneyland.

I find myself at home now writing this Younger experience and I have to say, damn, it’s been too much bullshit just to get a drink of it.  I’m going on a few years now trying to get a drink of Pliny The Younger; last year being the one that left me disappointed the most.  For years I wouldn’t go out of my way to get a taste of Younger, but last year I said OK, I need to put an effort into it, if I’m not taking a drive to Santa Rosa California, I need to find it here in Los Angeles.  I would try to go get in line after work somewhere only to find out the line had an hour wait and my chances were slim to none at getting a taste; after two attempts, I gave up.  This year, I tried going to a few places and I missed it just by a few hours, I’d read about it on twitter or facebook and by the time I got there, they were tapped out.  I had a few places near me that I was going to try to make it to after work, but I just knew it would be impossible to get some if I weren’t in line like a Twihard camping, waiting for the midnight showing.  This is where 38˚ Ale House and Grill come into play.  It was a location away from the West Side and Los Hipstaland Angeles, and I knew, my chances would be greater at this event.

I was scheduled to visit Eureka Burgers in Claremont this past Thursday for a tasting of Younger, but family responsibilities forced me to cancel and had me searching for another place that would be serving Pliny The Younger this late in February.  Luckily I found out that 38˚ Ale House and Grill in Alhambra, would have it as of 11:30 a.m. this Saturday morning, I was all over it.  They were going to be selling flights of Russian River beers and one of them would be Younger.  The flight consisted of Damnation, Blind Pig, Pliny The Elder, and Pliny The Younger; people on my Facebook post were calling it, the Holy Grail of Beer.

Needed some grub for the tasty beer.

Based on my previous experience of long lines and it tapping out early, I asked my buddy Rich to be at my place at 7:30 a.m. as I didn’t want to take any chances.  Had an issue with my phone and my alarm not going off and the wife woke me up at 7:40 a.m.  Luckily we got there and there was no one in line and had time to go across the street for some coffee.  We let the line grow a bit and crossed the street, at this point we were about 15th or so in line.  We had a chance to meet Joel and Norm in line and chatted about beers as the clock ticked to 11:30 a.m. and how they heard of Pliny on the radio and this was their first attempt at trying to have it.  This pissed me off a bit as I wanted a back story of how they traveled through the Mojave on foot for two days without a guide and water to get here, but no, it was their first attempt and they were in; it’s all about luck I tell ya!  They turned out to be great guys; we sat next to them at the bar and had a celebratory cheer when we had our first sip.  I hope I see them again as I mentioned I’d go visit them at Verdugo Bar, a place I haven’t been to, but it’s been on my radar.

Norm & Joel

So here we are, the moment of truth when I get a chance to sip the beer and say to myself, OK so what do you think Omar?  Well Internet, I wasn’t let down, it was FANTASTIC!  I knew it would be, but in the back of my mind I thought, this might be like in Citizen Kane (spoiler alert) where Rosebud turns out to be a fucking sled from Kane’s childhood that’s thrown into the basement furnace at the end of the movie; all the hype for nothing, is the point I’m trying to make.  And although I think Citizen Kane is the best movie ever made, I wouldn’t go as far as calling The Younger the best beer I’ve had, I just can’t, but it’s a damn great beer and close to it.  All these years of chasing the unicorn were worth it and I’m glad this one has been marked off the bucket list.

A flight of Russian River Beers & New Belgium.

The beer had a fruity aroma where peach and grapefruit were dominant, pine citrus hop showed up and alcohol.  The aroma was deceiving as I thought I’d have a very sweet beer, especially at 11% ABV, but it turned out to be quite the opposite.  The light carbonation gives it a nice body and mouth feel, the citrus and grapefruit flavor played well off each other and it was tart enough to make you pucker and invite you to sip again.  The sip of beer warms up in your mouth and you can taste the delicious bitterness, you will have alcohol burn when it washes down.

Pour, pour, pour favor!

My second ticket.

I had two pours of it and it was enough.  I was satiated and the morning turned out to be a great one for all beer lovers in that bar.  I have to say that the staff worked their Asses off to make sure everyone had a chance to sample the beer and they were pouring the four beers of the flight non-stop for the first few hours.  I was expecting a nightmare in there to get my beer and the rest of the beer crowd; well done 38˚ Ale House.

Five Beer Caps for Pliny The Younger!

Throw one back for me ~ cheers!


Posted by on February 26, 2012 in Beer Outings, Five Beer Caps Club


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