Clown Shoes Mango American Kolsch

Review Date 12/6/2023 By John Staradumsky


You know, I used to love Thanksgiving. In recent years, though, it has become so hectic that I have begun to dread it. The wife and I spend the entire day cleaning, cooking, and preparing for an onslaught of kids, grandkids, and guests, and then when the feasting is done, cleaning up and putting away leftovers. It is so much work, and leaves us totally exhausted.

Not this year, though. Oh no. This year was to be different. We were going to eat out, just the two of us, my wife and I. So, we headed out around 1PM down to Kennesaw for Golden Coral’s famous Thanksgiving buffet. Mind you, we had never eaten out on the holiday before, and while we expected to wait in line, what we saw was…nothing like we expected. The line snaked around the building into the parking lot, which was packed with more cars than GM makes in a week. I think. The wait time to get in the building was three hours, and then what would the lines to get to the buffet stations be? We decided to make another choice.

Just about every restaurant we passed was closed, but Cracker Barrel was open, so we stopped there.  We gave them our name, and they told us we would have to wait an hour, which we understood because, hey, it was Thanksgiving. We looked around the country store until we heard our name called, and proceeded to our table.

They had Thanksgiving dinner! Their version of Thanksgiving dinner anyway. My wife ordered it, but asked of our server, might she be able to swap out pecan pie for the pumpkin? “No substitutions!” our server announced in a perfunctory fashion, as if she had heard this drill before, and wasn’t in the mood to tolerate it again. “Ok,” I asked, “How about we just add a slice of pcan pie and we will pay for it?” This our server was only too happy to do, no doubt calculating the increased tip on the now larger check.

I wasn’t interested in their version of Thanksgiving Dinner, which did not include mashed potatoes and gravy. How can you have Thanksgiving dinner without mash potatoes and gravy? I ordered the fried turkey cutlet, which did include mashed potatoes and gravy, but was promptly informed they were out of that. I had a question to ask, but I already knew what the answer was.

“Might I get the Thanksgiving Dinner, but substitute mashed potatoes and gravy for your “famous” sweet potato souffle? ‘NO SUBSITITUTIONS!” was the answer I suspected and, in fact, the one I got. I did not want the sweet potato souffle, not that I don’t enjoy sweet potatoes, I do actually, but their souffle is loaded with sugar. I do not like overly sweet foods and they spike my blood sugar. My wife protested this to the server, who made a face, appearing to consider our appeal, but then after overcoming her momentary lapse of sanity, rejected our entreaty once again.

 We walked out without our Thanksgiving Dinner, and had none that day. Mind you, I am not complaining, as there are others in the world who had nothing to eat at all that day. We did not eat turkey, but we did not go hungry. The drama thickened the next day all the same. I was at Costco, and they had a turkey dinner left! A turkey breast, stuffing, their delicious amshed potatoes, and fresh green beans. What’s more, it was $20 off, and this feast could be had for a meager $18.99! I called the wife to ask her if she would eat this (she can be particular in that department at times), and got her approval. As I pivoted from the call to grab my precious turkey dinner, two arms reached into the cooler and carried it away.

Like Neil Page protesting as Del Griffith stole his cab, I silently raged against the machine of life that seemed to be conspiring against me and my Thanksgiving dinner. “Come back here with my turkey!” I mentally screamed, to no avail, as the woman who took the last turkey dinner bragged to a friend what a great deal she had scored. The whole thing seemed surreal, indeed like a scene from a movie, or a nightmare.

I eventually did get a turkey dinner, though not without a further delay. I bought one (half price!) that Sunday, and was determined to cook it upon returning home from running errands on Wednesday (I was on vacation that week). Upon arriving home, however, our yard was full of water, and we ended up needing to get our septic tank pumped. My Planes, Trains, and Automobiles experience as someone absconded with my turkey dinner was to be followed, you see, by a Christmas Vacation vibe. Shitter was full! The septic tank had not backed up, thankfully; instead my neighbor’s water line had burst the night before, but we had the tank pumped anyway while they were out and able to do it.

Obviously, there was no cooking of turkey that day, nor the next when the actual pumping was done, but I finally made it on Friday. By now, I am sure, you are asking yourself what any of this has to do with Clown Shoes Mango American Kölsch. I am quite sure this is what you came here for, and I thank you for bearing with me as I recount my tale of holiday woe. I write it as much so I can go back to read it as I do for your enjoyment, but I assure you there is a point.

That is because there is still a lot about Thanksgiving that I love, and that includes the Clown Shoes 12 Beers of Christmas sampler pack, which is released right around this time. I picked mine up the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and after our adventures I was ready the evening of Black Friday for a beer. The first one I popped was Clown Shoes Mango American Kölsch.

The Clown Shoes 12 Beers of Christmas sampler is not an Advent calendar; you just open it and drink the beers in whatever order you so desire. This one was close to the top and seemed a perfect refresher, great for first beer of the night. In that department, it filled the bill nicely.

Clown Shoes says:

Crunkle Sam wears what he wants, does what he wants, and you can bet he drinks what he wants too. When he wants to take a Kōlsch and adjust it to his liking, his liking is exactly what you’re going to get.

Clown Shoes Mango American Kölsch has an alcohol content of 5.5% by volume. I paid $29.99 for the 12-pack, same as last year. The beer is not exclusive to the sampler and Clown Shoes has sold it in 4-packs of pint cans. Hops used are ;isted as Columbus and Huell Melon. To me, this is a fruit beer and not a Kolsch. My can is stamped Best By 01/31/24.


Clown Shoes Mango American Kölsch pours to a brilliant golden color with a moderate sized head of spritzy, short-lived foam and a nose of bright tropical fruit. Taking a sip, the beer is crisp and biscuity malty, very refreshing, and bursts with tropical mango fruit. I get a little apricot, too, truth be told. There is a sot of Fruit Loops cereal malt and fruit combination. Finishes sweet, perhaps too much, but a decent enough first beer of the night refresher.

Beers of the 2023 Clown Shoes 12 Beers of Christmas pack:

Space Cake Double IPA

Galactica Dank Nebula West Coast IPA

Mad Perf Sesh Session IPA

Mango Kolsch

Tecoh’s Mexican Cerveza

Aurora Orangealis IPA w/orange zest

Coconut Sombrero Mexican Stout

One Man Holiday Belgian Quad

Reindeer Games Bavarian IPA

Blaecorn Yuledragon Spiced Imperial Stout

Royal Standard Wee Heavy

Burnt Caramel Brown Ale

Cosmic Waffle Belgian Style IPA

Glad I tried it?  T

Would I rebuy it??


*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, Canned