Reindeer Games Bavarian Style India Pale Ale

    Review Date 11/29/2020 By John Staradumsky

Sing along with me!

Rudolf, the red-hued rein-beer!

Had a very fruity nose!

And if you ever drank it,

You would have a merry glow!

All of the other rein-beers,

Used to laugh and call it names,

They never got old Clown Shoes,

To brew them up as Reindeer Games!

Trying to stay safe from Covid and yet still snag some really great Christmas beers, I headed to Total Wine on a pre-dawn raid to see what I could see. OK, it was pre-dawn when I left; the sun was up at 8AM when Total Wine opened. One of my prizes was the Clown Shoes “The 12 Beers of Christmas” holiday sampler. I grabbed one of the few they had without hesitation, not even looking at the price. My goal for 2020 is to have tasted 6750 different beers by the end of the year, and then 7000 by the end of 2021. I am a bit behind due to Covid; no vacations, beer festivals, or brewery trips to rack up the numbers. I’ve had a few of the beers in this Clown Shoes sampler, but most of them will help me make my goal this year. I have 26 new beers to go by year end; think I can make it?

I’m drinking the beers in order, and beer 2 is Reindeer Games Bavarian Style India Pale Ale. This one is new for me. Here’s what Clown Shoes, a division of Harpoon, says on their website:

Beautiful, malt-forward and red-hued IPA that is crafted with both German and American hops and malts. Let the games begin!

Ingredients, also from the website:

Saaz, Mandarina, and Mosaic hops; Munich malt

We will assume they throw some two-row barley malt in there, too.

Clown Shoes Reindeer Games Bavarian India Pale Ale has an alcohol content of 7% by volume. It is only available in this 12-pack. I paid $30.99 for mine, and was distressed when, that same morning, I saw it for $24.99 at Sherlock’s. We live and learn. My can is stamped Best By 01/31/21.

Clown Shoes Reindeer Games Bavarian India Pale Ale pours to a deep russet color with a thick fluffy head and a nose of tropical hops mixed with spicy Saaz notes. Taking a sip, the beer is medium malty, a little toast nutty from the Munich malt, stewed malts and red berries, and then tropical fruity from the Mosaics. A gentle kiss of bitter Saaz round out the whole affair, but only a gentle kiss. I think I might like more bitter Saaz and less tropical fruity ones, but that’s me. An interesting beer and one I would buy again because I do like the malt here.

Of the two beers from this 12-pack I’ve enjoyed so far, I would say I prefer the Double Dry Hopped YeeeHaaw New England Style IPA, which is the reigning champion of the 12-pack with 10 more to go.

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

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

(B)=Bottled, Canned