Archive for the ‘Trader Joe’s Brewing Company’ Category

The other half stopped at Trader Joe’s last week because we needed a few things and didn’t manage to put in a Fresh Direct order. She picked up a mixed six-pack of some summer themed beers and this was in there as well. I haven’t had the best luck with Trader Joe’s beers. The price is low and they’re alright, but nothing to write home about. Hopefully, this beer will change my mind.

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ABV: 7%

Style: Maibock/Helles Bock

Trivia: This brew is made by Gordon Biersch in California.

Random: I’m really starting to like the glass that I used for this beer. I got it on vacation with Val at The Brewer’s Art. It’s a good size and it’s pretty too. I’m going to start looking for other glasses like this. They’re pretty good when I don’t want to use a shaker pint.

This brew poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated slowly and left a touch of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear amber color. There was moderate carbonation visible as well. The nose had some biscuit and caramel malt, not much else. The taste was a bit sweeter. I got some caramel up front with biscuit and cookie dough notes. There was also some light nuttiness, almond perhaps? There was also a bit of an alcohol aftertaste that didn’t help the flavor profile. The body was on the thicker side of the style with lower than expected carbonation. The finish was rather fast with biscuit. This beer wasn’t all that great and not one that I’d have again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

As you can probably tell by reading this blog, I like watching things on Netflix. The latest series that I’ve started watching is “Carnivale.” I never watched it when it was on HBO, but I heard good things about it. Since the other half has HBO Go on the television, I started watching it. I’m five episodes in and I can honestly say, I have no idea why people liked the series. It’s alright, but the first few episodes were really, really boring. I keep watching it in the hopes that it gets better, but I don’t have high hopes. Anyways, the other half picked this one up at TJ’s awhile ago. Let’s see if I liked it…

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ABV: 7.3%

Style: Maibock/Helles Bock

Trivia: “Prost” is an honorary toast in German.

Random: I will say, the costumes on the show are amazing.

This beer poured with a two finger white head that dissipated almost instantly and left no lacing on the glass. There was a crown that was left on top as well. The body was a clear mahogany color with light carbonation. The nose was super malty with dried dark fruit, specifically figs and raisins. The taste was even more malty with lots of butterscotch, which was overly sweet. There were some figs present in the taste as well. There was some caramel and biscuity malt, but the sweetness really put it over the top, and not in a good way. The body was on the thicker side with heavy carbonation. The finish was long and overly sweet. Like most of the Trader Joe’s brews, this beer was only okay, but the price point was good, so I guess it’s worth a try.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Sometimes I pick up beers to review to see how bad they really are. I haven’t had a beer of this style in well over a year, so I was curious to see how this economical beer from Trader Joe’s was.

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ABV: 4%

Style: Light Lager

Trivia: According to traderjoes.com, “Here’s our story. For years, we searched for an independent brewery in Mexico with whom we could create a beer-crafting partnership. Problem is, a couple of big Mexican breweries have a virtual monopoly on the market, so there didn’t seem to be a way in. We kept searching, though, until we finally found a small, independent brewer eager to create high quality Mexican beer, without being part of that monopoly. Lucky for all involved, this brewer was also eager to partner with an American retailer interested in high quality Mexican beer at a tremendous value. Such serendipia! Trader José’s Light Premium Lager is a golden-hued, all malt, handcrafted brew. It’s smooth and slightly bitter, with only 3.8% alcohol and a mere 120 calories in every bottle.”

Random: The meow has made himself very comfortable on the ottoman while watching “True Blood.” He seems less than excited for baseball.

This brew comes in a clear glass bottle, which is not a great sign. I could smell the skunk as soon as I opened the bottle. I have a feeling that this beer would have been better enjoyed out of the bottle, but for review purposes, I poured into a glass. It poured with a finger of very light, white head that was shockingly slow to dissipate with some lacing left on the glass. The body was a light clear yellow with very low carbonation. The nose was nothing short of awful. I got straight out skunk and corn, which was really strong. The taste was even worse. It was really skunky with some corn and a touch of artificial lime added as well. The body was very thin with carbonation that was way too low for the style. It had a thankfully short finish with corn. This beer was just awful. I wouldn’t have this one again, even if you handed it to me.

Untappd Rating: 1.5/5.0

Yesterday was definitely a long day for me. I got home around 8 PM, after being stuck in traffic for awhile and then started cooking dinner. We get our groceries from Fresh Direct (which by the way, is an amazing service, and I highly suggest trying it if it’s in your area) and we had just gotten a hanger steak. I made a quick rub and threw it on the grill with peppers and zucchini and it turned out really well. It also helped that I was absolutely starving. Anyways, the lawyer picked this one up for me while at Trader Joe’s. Let’s see how it went.

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ABV: 7.5%

Style: Doppelbock

Trivia: This line is contract brewed for Trader Joe’s by Gordon Biersch, a beer chain that I still haven’t been to.

Random: The meow has now moved on to playing with his sushi toys. They’re shaped like sushi and some are filled with catnip.

This beer poured with a half a finger of off white head that dissipated at a moderate pace. It left very little lacing on the glass. The body poured with a clear, dark chestnut color with heavy carbonation visible. The nose was oddly metallic and off-putting initially, but a touch of nuts and maple came through after that improved it a bit. The taste had a significant raisin presence with a touch of licorice twang and some sweet nuts with maple at the end. The metallic note that was in the nose was luckily not in taste. There was a bit of an alcohol burn at the end. The body was on the thicker side with lots of carbonation. Despite the thickness, it went down easily. It had a long finish with raisins. This was a decent brew, but with the warmer months coming, you won’t get to see it again until next year.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

The other half really likes to shop. My qualification for the term “likes to shop” involves enjoying shopping slightly more than me, which really does not take much. One of the places that she tends to go to quite often is Trader Joe’s, especially because it’s on the way home from work. She picked up this bomber for me a few weeks ago. Let’s see how it went.

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ABV: 9%

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Trivia: According to traderjoes.com, “The 2013 Vintage Ale has an amber-mahogany hue, abundant with coffee & cream colored foam. The ample aromas are of cocoa and malt, with added notes of lemon and ginger. A single sip leads to the true discovery — mildly sweet and malty flavors, with a captivating suggestion of cocoa, citrus and spice. It’s ready to enjoy right away, chilled but not ice cold. We recommend you forego the beer glass in favor of a wide-rimmed goblet — a glass like this will really showcase the flavor and striking color of the brew”

Random: I’m really into watching the Olympics, except for the ice skating.

This brew poured with a huge three finger, light brown head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color with some carbonation visible throughout. The nose was very boozy with lots of raisin and sweetness apparent. I also got some Belgian yeast and candi sugar as well. The taste had a lot of plum, raisin and dark fruit. The booze was hidden pretty well, but there was a decent amount of yeast apparent. The body was thick with moderate carbonation. It had a long raisin finish. The beer was pretty good and definitely a sipper. I would have this one again, especially with the reasonable price tag.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

I’ve fallen off the wagon with reviews. It has been a crazy week at work, probably one of the worst weeks since I started there 7 years ago. I’ve basically been hitting the gym and coming straight home. Yesterday, I was at the gym, totally tearing it up, when the owner comes over and tells me he put me in the annual strongman competition (ladies division). Now, for my size, I’m pretty strong, but I’m only 5’2″, so I’m not completely sure I’m going to do it. It’s also on Saturday, so it’s not like I had time to train for it. But, my buddy took me out yesterday after my two-hour workout to go flip tires and it went decently well, so we’ll see. Anyways, this is the other brew that I bought from Trader Joe’s.

ABV:  5.2%

Style: Dunkelweizen

Trivia: And this would be another Trader Joe’s offering that is contract brewed by Gordon Biersch.

Random: The tire that my buddy will be flipping is taller than me.

This brew poured with a two finger white head that dissipated and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy chestnut-brown with moderate visible carbonation. On the nose, I got banana and a bit of clove and nutmeg. I also got a bit of lemon. The taste was less pleasant than the nose. I definitely got the banana flavor and a bit of spice. The lemon came through on the end. But, the carbonation definitely was a bit lacking. After a few sips of this, the banana definitely hit me as the overwhelming flavor and lasted onto the finish. Not a bad dunkelweizen, but definitely not even close to the best one I ever had. I wouldn’t rush back to have this again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0