Discussion boils over on Clown Shoes Beer labels


(Lexington, MA) – Following the recent release of Clown Shoes Lubrication, a discussion has broken out on Beer Advocate around the brewery’s label artwork.

Update: Blog post on this from label artist, Stacey George

Update 2: Made the local news station

After about three hours, we are already at over 325 replies to comments made by Beer Advocate Events Director, Candice Alström. Here is an excerpt:

“Granted I didn’t find this one nearly as bad as Tramp Stamp and Brown Angel. But on Twitter, the first thing people pointed out about it was the “dong.” Of course the title of the beer is gross with that in mind. And with this Clownshoes being the tacky brand that they are, I have no doubt that it is all about the dong.

I don’t get it. I don’t get why they have to go there to sell beer. We don’t need this kind of crap. Of course he can do whatever he wants, and I ask no one to agree with me if they don’t see my point of view here. I just don’t think we need to go there to sell beer. If these beers were any good, he wouldn’t need to go there to try and sell it. They are average at best and these dumb labels do nothing to help/change that.”

Here is an excerpt from Clown Shoes’ Gregg Berman’s response:

“I used to sit behind a desk and answer phones, push buttons, and combat life threatening boredom. Now I get to do this. I want to do this forever if possible. Who wouldn’t? But I am realistic about the life of brands. So I am trying in three ways to keep Clown Shoes alive:

1. Make the best beer we can dream up and keep dreaming up more
2. Travel to markets, supports customers and reps, attend fests and give out swag
3. Put out the most creative marketing my (not trained in marketing) brain can conceive of. When my group of friends and coworkers agree overall, we roll with a new idea. The edginess is intentional, but not meant to be extreme or particularly offensive. Each label has been a unique inspiration.

Ok, all that being said, I guess I fall into the V camp too, because today is the first I have heard of a ‘dong’ in the Lubrication label. You may believe it or not, but G rated was the goal, with the direction to the artist being “reflect classic oil cans in the art somehow.” The name is provocative enough, I didn’t feel the need for a racy label.”

Let’s be honest. It has been a slow news holiday weekend hangover-type day so now is as good a time as any to ask…

Do you find these labels distasteful or not?

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63 thoughts on “Discussion boils over on Clown Shoes Beer labels

  1. having just returned from vacation in Mass, i was lucky enough to try a few of Clown Shoes’ beers and:

    1) liked the beers
    2) liked the art – thought it quite unique, quirky, flirty, and funny
    3) i’m a woman

    nuff said. some people just need to get a new life/hobby. the shlock found 24-7 on tv these days is far more repulsive than the Clown Shoes labels. Stacey’s art is great and i look forward to hopefully tasting more of Clown Shoes beers while admiring her artwork on their labels 🙂

  2. Beer Advocate needs to relax. While I love their publication they are not as relevant as they once were and this is a perfect example. This speculation that jumps to judgment (I see a dong so it must be a dong!) is the equivalent of the cranky old man yelling “Get off of my lawn!” at the neighborhood kids. While some people see it as a tacky or salacious marketing ploy it will ALWAYS come back to the beer. If it’s good the Craft Beer Drinking Public will buy it and drink it.

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  9. Clown Shoes Blaecorn Unidragon is the best beer I have ever had, I don’t care what is on the label, it could be a fecal tornado, but at 8.99 for a 22 ounce 12.5% ABV bomber at Roche Brothers in Westwood, it’s the best deal going.

  10. I find several of the labels to be very racist and sexist. If that is what the company thinks is edgy, then they are pretty lame. But I don’t really care, I just won’t buy it. 🙂

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