Massachusetts-Based Clown Shoes Barrel Ages a Beer Especially for Minnesota


Somebody's got a crush on Minnesota.

In the brewing world's version of making a mixtape for your boo, Clown Shoes Beer, based in Massachusetts, has made a special, limited edition beer for the Minnesota market: the Itasca Loonidragon Russian Imperial Stout. Released only in Minnesota, the beer is a bourbon barrel-aged version of their Russian Imperial Stout, the Blaecorn Unidragon.

Why us? We like to think it's because we're pretty and popular and have a quiet confidence that is endlessly attractive. Oh, and because we drink all the beers.

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"We decided to do this because [Minnesota] moves through our barrel-aged releases much faster than the rest of the country," says Clown Shoes brand manager Sean Geary. The stout is, like most barrel-aged beers, in limited supply, and it's going fast. Clown Shoes shipped over 350 cases and 50 kegs to the state in total, with Muddy Waters serving the beer on tap and liquor stores such as Heritage Liquor, Eagle Liquors, and Boozemart Beer selling 22-ounce bottles.

Itasca Loonidragon is the company's first time barreling the stout, and it has been well received. However, it's not their first foray into making beers unique for different markets. "We've done a 14.5% stout for Texas and a much lower-ABV stout for Ohio due to their alcohol laws," says Geary. "We're planning on releasing a barrel aged barleywine soon as well as a special IPA for other markets."

Oh. So we aren't the only ones they're making mixtapes for? Clown Shoes is lucky we love beer or we might feel played.

"We'll look into doing it again next year," says Geary. "We may add a little something to it, but we haven't planned that out yet."

As for the Itasca Loonidragon, it can still be found at select sites around the state before it goes into hibernation. Clown Shoes was founded in 2009 and contract brews on location at the Mercury Brewing Company in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

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