1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Trader Joe's Bohemian Lager - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Trader Joe's Bohemian LagerTrader Joe's Bohemian Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
73
okay

209 Ratings
THE BROS
74
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 209
Reviews: 123
rAvg: 3.12
pDev: 17.31%
Wants: 1
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style | ABV
Czech Pilsener |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Boilermaker88 on 01-17-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Trader Joe's Bohemian Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 209 | Reviews: 123 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of puboflyons
3.11/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

From the 12 fl.oz bottle with a best by date of 07/17/14. Sampled on March 13, 2014.

It begins with a mostly yellow to golden yellow pour that erupts into a modest white fizzy head and settles back almost as quickly. I would have liked it to be headier.

The aroma is in step with the style with pale biscuit malts, barley, grass but there is this buttery sensation that kind of crashes the party.

Light body for the most part but smooth.

For the taste I get the same biscuit and malt characters up front along with the butter but there is a more vibrant clean, crisp hop finale that gives it a new lease on life.

puboflyons, Mar 13, 2014
Photo of McStagger
3.11/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: Borderline straw/golden. Some haze. Vigorously carbonated with large bubbles rising to the surface. Finger of bleach white head. Rapidly dissipating. Looks fairly pedestrian.

S: Smells that way, too. Lot of doughy malt in the nose. Borderline diacetyl. Some nondescript herbal hop characteristic, but this one definitely runs sweet.

T: Runs sweet through the mouth, too. Grainy, again a little doughy, with an unexpected pop of hop bitterness on the very end. Nothing over the top, but it is noticeable. It quickly fades and the aftertaste herbal and slightly vegetal.

M: Amply carbonated. Perhaps a bit high strung. The bubbles are vigorous and come off a tad seltzer like.

O: Nothing to write home about. Strictly average. Still, for 6 bucks a sixer you can do worse.

McStagger, Jan 10, 2014
Photo of IntriqKen
3.1/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear goldenrod yellow with a slightly off white head of medium bubbles that melt quickly leaving a bit of a map on the side of the glass in it's wake.

Aromas of fresh lightly toasted malt and faint citrus hops.

Light and refreshing but not really a whole lot going on in the flavor department. Slightly sweet toasted malt with a bit citrus hops biting the tongue at the same time then creating a balance with the malts as you swallow and in the aftertaste.

Like a stranger saying 'hi' as you pass eachother on the street, it's pleasant and refreshing but don't expect a long conversation from this one.

IntriqKen, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of wedge
3.1/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear pale yellow with a thin, creamy ring of a head. Light, clean pilsner malt aroma...not much in the way of hops, some faint grassiness. Lightly sweet grain, a bit of hop bitterness...nothing really stands out. Totally unoffensive but uninspiring. Light and refreshing.

More of a Helles lager if you ask me. Very simple, meant more for refreshment than anything else. Far from terrible though...I'll get it again in the summer or whenever I feel like a decent, cheap drinkin' beer.

wedge, Mar 17, 2008
Photo of TMoney2591
3.1/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

The pour results in a clear pale straw topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises very light florals. ...That's it. I made sure my nose is still working (whatever fabric softener I use smells nice...), and still nothing much here. Okay. The taste holds notes of flowers, very light honey, watered-down caramel, wheat, and corn. There's a fake-feeling sweetness to everything. The body is light, with a light moderate carbonation and a wet feel. Overall, an okay pils at best, just a bit to sweet and artificial (if that makes sense) for my tastes.

TMoney2591, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of Pauly2X
3.1/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Solid bright golden color, full finger head.

S- Very grainy, no real discernable hop aroma.

T- Bready malt with some light caramel sweetness dominates. Toward the backend there's an extremely light floral hop note. The finish is a little off as though the flavors couldn't agree toward the finish.

M- Nice body but, a little low on the carbonation.

D- Overall it goes down easy, although bland.

More of a Bavarian Helles than a Pils. Easy to get along with but nothing special by any means.

Pauly2X, Mar 16, 2009
Photo of GMB
3.1/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A standard pour of Josephs Brau Bohemian Lager yields a typically golden body and a thick, 2-inch head. Unfortunately, the head has less staying power than one would hope. Carbonation is slightly more intense than I expect from a lager. Bubbles are large and cling in large numbers to the side of the glass.

The nose is malt-forward. Hops are appreciable only after a bit of warming and a few swirls around the glass. The swirls do help to open up the beer's aroma, which comprises an appealing mix of toasted bread, lemon, and faint notes of lavendar.

My first sip is too sweet. Too much malt asserts itself and the bittering hops, though almost immediately palpable, are unable to stop the malts from sticking to the palate. Hoppy flavors do assert themselves. Sometimes flavors of apricot, honey-roasted rosemary, and sweet basil manage to suggest themselves. But for the most part, the sweet malt just masks them. The beer's heavy mouthfeel follows its malty flavor profile.

The powers-that-be at beeradvocate.com might do well to reconsider how they have classified this beer. I'd say that it is a Munich Helles Lager, not a Czech Pilsener. One can easily be misled by the words "crisp" and "refreshing," which appear prominently on the bottle, and which are typically the differentia specifica of Pilseners. I wouldn't use either of these words to characterize JB's Bohemian Lager. That said, I'd gladly drink another bottle. This beer was too sweet, but tasty nonetheless.

GMB, Sep 27, 2013
Photo of jwinship83
3.1/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with no freshness dating, only a batch number. it cost me only a dollar, and i poured it into a standard pint glass.

A- this one pours a very clear golden yellow colored bodied with lots of visible carbonation rushing to the top of my glass. a small skin of bright white head forms before quickly becoming no more than a crown. little to no lacing left behind.

S- the smell is very subdued. grainy and bready malts. thats about it.

T- sweet bready and grainy malts. a mild noble hop finish. not much else. not bad, but not great either. pretty simple.

M-light, crisp, clean, and refreshing. the best part of this one.

D- easy to finish and a good alternative to the american macro lager. at this price, its similar in cost. not one of the better beers from here.

jwinship83, Jun 17, 2009
Photo of falloutsnow
3.1/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from Trader Joe's in Omaha, NE
Best by 2012-05-09
Poured into a standard US pint glass

Trader Joe's in-house Czech Pilsner seems to deviate from the norm by emphasizing its malts more than the bitterness and floral aspects that continental hops can provide. While it's a drinkable beer, it's not one that I would make any effort in returning to, due to its somewhat imbalanced characteristics for the style.

Off-white head composed of medium-sized bubbles, vanishes rather quickly (30 seconds or less), becoming a perpetual cap atop the body, but leaving no lacing. Body is a transparent golden-orange in color, with yellowish highlights when held near a lamp. Carbonation is easily visible, but sluggish.

Aroma offers sweet malt with grassy and floral hops. Malt character dominates, deviating from what I often think of being the hop centrality to this style. Comes across as overly sweet, with hops in the background.

Taste opens with sweetness, mostly from malt and seems like some corn adjunct possibly, or at least the corn taste is apparent. Hops pick up in mid-palate, giving this a light bittering component and a substantial lift in floral and grassy character. Still, this is malt-heavy compared to something like Pilsner Urquell. Aftertaste is mostly malt sweetness, with some lingering bitterness in the far back.

Mouthfeel is medium, with a bit of wateriness around the edges. Carbonation is present, but beer comes across as feeling creamy due to it, rather than crisp, as I would normally want a Czech pilsner to be. Finish is semi-dry, as could be expected due to the apparent malt domination of this pilsner.

falloutsnow, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of Boilermaker88
3.08/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Part of a mixed-bag of brews I picked up recently at my local Trader Joe's. In discussions with other SoCal BA's it's been decided this brew and others under the "Trader Joe's Brewing Co." name are probably brewed by the Gordon Biersch brewpub in San Jose. The 12oz bottle had a batch number of 11:08 12/23/04.
Poured into a pilsner glass, this beer had a clear golden color, a good level of carbonation, and a fizzy white head that rather quickly settled down to a thin crown.
The nose had a decent grainy malt aroma and a real modest floral hops note. Seemed more sweet than herbal or citrusy. The taste was somewhat sweet and grassy. The hops were seriously downplayed. Can't say I really found much in the way of hops here at all. The feel was headed for the medium side of light, crisp and refreshing.
Overall, this was a pretty in-offensive beer. On the back label it stated that Bohemian Lager weighed in with 18 IBU's, explaining the serious lack of any bittering. Still, certain elements made this rather appealing. The feel was nice and made it easy to quaff. I really wasn't expecting a whole lot here. At least I wasn't turned off and disappointed.

Boilermaker88, Jan 17, 2005
Photo of Mardukk
3.08/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep golden color with somewhat large off white head, lacing is also present. Nice looking beer.

A pretty non descript smell slightly metallic and maybe a hint of hops.

The taste is pretty thin for a pilsner. Not much to speak of in the way of malt. A light hop bite in the finish along with a metallic taste. The finish is fairly dry and clean.

A fine light carbonation suits this beer well and improves the drinkability. Almost any beer this dry is gonna be drinkable.

This is a fairly average to below average pilsner. It is a bit light on the hops and malt for my taste for the style.

Mardukk, Mar 04, 2010
Photo of Morey
3.08/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours golden in color with brilliant clarity. Little head to speak of following a medium pour. Some lacing on the sides of my glass, but not much.

Pretty mild aroma. A touch of grain and some sweetness also being detected. I'm not a big fan of the sweet smell.

A combination of hops and carbonation (mostly carbonation) hit the palate first, followed up some malty sweetness which rounds things out. Not as crisp as I like my Pilsners.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side with a moderate carbonation level.

An average Pils overall.

Morey's Bottom Line: Not the worst Pils that I've had, but the lack of crispness coupled with the overdone sweetness makes this not worth spending money on. I'd drink it again, but it would have to be given to me (and this was).

Morey, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of gpogo
3.08/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Brilliantly clear deep golden body with a white head that dissipated.

A- Lightly sweet malt aroma

T- Rich malty flavor almost bready tasting. Spicy hit of bitterness. I'm also getting some very light notes of diacetyl.

M- Medium-light body, perhaps in part from the diacetyl tastes with a moderately high carbonation.

D- I'm not too impressed by this beer as a Czech Pilsner, I think there are better examples out there. This might be a nice way to push a BMC drinker into branching out, but the amount of buttery diactetyl in this beer bothers me.

gpogo, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of
3.08/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This has a very crisp, clean appearance. Light gold in color. The small head fades quickly.

Has mild bitterness with some bready flavors. Could be more crisp.

Medium-high carbonation. This is decent. I probably wouldn't buy this again, but considering the price I have no regrets.

, May 20, 2010
Photo of metter98
3.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has a very light amount of carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: The smell has aromas of grassy hops along with notes of buttery corn.
T: The taste has flavors of bready and grainy malts along with notes of butter and a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and clean on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink but seems to have an off taste compared to others in the style.

metter98, Jul 22, 2012
Photo of Zorro
3.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden beer with just a bit of head.

Smell is clean with a bit of grain malt and hops in the scent.

Taste is on the dry side with a fairly sharp hop bitterness. Mostly the flavor is light with a crisp hop bite to it. It is a rather basic Pilsner.

Mouthfeel is OK.

A basic drinkable Pilsner, nothing to go out of your way to get. It exists as an OK beer that doesn't cost too much.

Zorro, Jan 23, 2005
Photo of daliandragon
3.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Picked this up today at TJ's new location in Cary along with a sampler of his other brews. I consider myself a conniseur (sp?) of the style, even if I can't spell the word. Let's see how an American supermarket that prides itself on frugal imitations deals with Bohemia's pride and joy.

Pours a golden straw with a thin but everpresent crown of white froth and a remmarkably robust carbonation count. Nose is Saaz bittterness almost to a tee, slightly metallic but not half bad.

The hop presense is there, if a bit neutered, but its the moutheel that really lets this brew down. Too watery, despite all the bubbles. The aftertaste is metallic and lifeless. Bitterness shouldn't mean hurting the tongue but this one does. This is about what you pay for and little else. I'll have a Budvar, please.

daliandragon, Feb 26, 2007
Photo of dbrauneis
3.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a crystal clear medium golden yellow in color with light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a quarter finger soapy white head that reduces to an extremely thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: There are aromas of grainy malts with some lighter notes of corn sweetness. There is something slightly off in the aroma of this beer that might be metallic in nature. Additionally there are light hints of grassy hops.

T: Moderate flavors of bready and grainy malts with a slight metallic hint (similar to having coins in your mouth). Light to moderate flavors of grassy hops with some light lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp and clean.

O: Not really anything special but certainly a decent beer considering the very reasonable price. Easy to drink and sessionable but not one that I am likely to buy again.

dbrauneis, Jul 23, 2012
Photo of barczar
3.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a chill-hazed deep golden with a half inch cream head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving sheets of lacing.

Bready, toasted caramel malt and a touch of skunk are the only elements detectable in the aroma.

Flavor is fairly sweet, with caramel malt forming the backbone. There's an offputting metallic element underlying the profile. The finish is a bit bitter. Floral hops emerge late.

Body is a little watery, with moderate carbonation and a decidedly astringent finish.

Metallic flavor kills the brew. Fairly nondescript, otherwise.

barczar, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of dpodratsky3
3.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: head starts off great, .5 finger bone white head, but like all their beers, quickly settles to almost nothing, beer is gold with light hints of orange with great clarity

S: Almost no aroma to speak of, a slight skunk but even that seems mild

T: For a Pils its lacking hop flavor, their other Pils is better (but not by much), all I taste is skunk, not super strong, but there is almost nothing else going on

M: Pleasant, mild dryness, light-medium body, super easy to drink

O: There is nothing "wrong" with this beer, give it to an unassuming, not-picky beer drinking on a summer evening and they won't even pause to think twice, however as far as a craft pilsener goes it doesn't taste like anything. Again, no off flavors stand out (other than the purposely added skunk), but there is just nothing here.

dpodratsky3, May 17, 2013
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Much closer to tangerine than gold, with corn silk hued highlights and a light shower of downward drifting yeast. The bone colored crown is bubbly on top and just sticky enough to leave a bit of itself on the sides of the glass.

Name aside, are we sure this is a Czech pilsener? The nose is more lightly corny pale lager with very little hoppiness. 18 IBUs (when fresh) indicate that hops aren't the main focus by a long shot.

Not a bad little pale lager. This is a decent choice if you have the right mindset going in. It's balanced, it's easily drinkable (read: inoffensive), and it should pair up well with most foods. Not great solo, but then what do you expect for a buck?

Untoasted bready grains are the flavor focal point... and I'm still getting a faint corniness that isn't unpleasant. Lightly sweet is nicely offset by lightly bitter. The hops are close to grassy, but don't scream SAAZ! with every sip. No real high points and no real low points equates to... average.

The mouthfeel does what it needs to do. A tendency toward wateriness on the back end almost dragged the score down one notch, but the bubbles have precisely the right amount of lightly sparkly energy.

Trader Joe's beer is surprisingly good, all things considered. Bohemian Lager, while not one of their best, isn't a bad choice for warm weather cookouts. Beats the hell out of what you're likely to see in the vast majority of backyards this summer.

BuckeyeNation, May 18, 2011
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear gold appearance. Average beer aroma, nothing setting it apart or to style.

Taste, straight forward, not bad, not adventurous. Prickly carbonation in place of hops, kinda true to style. Just doesn't taste like a whole lot, for better and for worse. This is the purgatory between BMC and craft brew. Hook this up for a friend who is looking to get initiated into something beyond diet beer.

Beerandraiderfan, Jul 11, 2010
Photo of LXIXME
3/5  rDev -3.8%

LXIXME, Apr 24, 2014
Photo of mdaschaf
3/5  rDev -3.8%

mdaschaf, Nov 14, 2013
Photo of tdm168
3/5  rDev -3.8%

tdm168, Feb 02, 2014
Trader Joe's Bohemian Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
73 out of 100 based on 209 ratings.