Controversial, Bizarre, Funny: The Label Art of Clown Shoes

Drink Galleries Clown Shoes
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Controversial, Bizarre, Funny: The Label Art of Clown Shoes

Though the name of the brewery articulates their wicked sense of humor, Clown Shoes Beer has faced a fair degree of backlash for some of its original art, which included an illustration of a tattooed woman’s back for their Tramp Stamp Belgian Pale Ale and the artwork for Lubrication, which displays a ’50s-style robot fueling up at a gas pump by pouring the goods into one particular body part. And they offered a pretty tongue-in-cheek response when that broke back in 2011.

A lot has changed since then. The Ipswich, MA-based brewery which was founded in 2009, was acquired in 2017 by the Mass Bay Brewing Company, brewers of Harpoon and UFO beers, which widened the brewery’s distribution considerably. And they also acquired a new artist; the first labels were drawn by Stacey George, but the newer ones—the ones that lean heavily into comic book and fantasy/sci-fi influences—are penned by Michael Axt, and they’re some of the most impressive cans on the shelves these days.

Their current gallery of labels on their website isn’t complete—several new releases have hit the shelves this spring, with some pretty amazing can art that we’ve included below. But do check out the veritable rogue’s gallery of archival labels, which includes more than a few of their controversial options as well as some shockingly awesome examples of all the playful madness at work at Clown Shoes.