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Trader Joe's Hofbrau Bock - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Trader Joe's Hofbrau BockTrader Joe's Hofbrau Bock

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

265 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 265
Reviews: 187
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 8
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style | ABV
Maibock / Helles Bock |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: rowew on 01-19-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 265 | Reviews: 187 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of goschool
3.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another single from my trip to Trader Joe's. I must admit that I don't particularly care for this style.

Appearance: The pour is light copper or dark gold with a foamy white head that abandons ship at the half way point.

Smell: Sweet and toasty malts and quite a bit of them fill the nose. No hop aromas, which is fine for the style, but that's part of the reason I don't like the style.

Taste: As expected the flavor profile is heavy on malts. Sweet malts up front linger as toasted malts come in towards the middle. There's nothing to balance out the sweet to brink of cloying malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied texture leaves behind a sticky feeling.

Drinkability: This is an average example of, what is to me, an unappealing style.

goschool, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of abcsofbeer
3.08/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought at Joes in Centerville. 06-19-06 freshness date. Pours a golden yellow-orange color topped by a 1 finger white, rocky head that leaves some decent lacing.

The aroma is weak and hints of butter, fruits, honey and some wine-like notes.

The taste is tangy with very light hops in the backend.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a decent enough flavor.

Pretty easy to drink, and not bad for a grocery house brand.

abcsofbeer, Oct 20, 2006
Photo of andrewmartin
3.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a sixer at the local Trader Joe's. There hefeweizen was very nice, so I figured I'd give this a try. Date of 7/11/06 with a list of ingredients in the back.

A: Pours a hazy gold, almost orange color. Finely beaded head

S: Not surprising, malty, but this is where it gets wierd-for lack of a better determine, I detect a bit of funk under the malt. I decide to forge ahead anyway!

T: Not bad at all, starts off with a clean malt in the front, finishes with a very mild hop bit. There is an undercurrent of alcohol, but not strong

M: Very clean tasty, although the beer is fairly malty, there is enough hops and alcohol to make it nice and crisp.

D: This one is easy to enjoy, very drinkable despite its moderately high alcohol content.

Have to say that I enjoyed this one despite the initial smell. A nice well balanced beer that should go well with a range of foods. Crisp enough for summer, enough alcohol for a cold winter's night.

andrewmartin, Oct 19, 2006
Photo of dbalsock
2.73/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours orange (like slice) with high carbonatin and about 1 finger of white head. There is very pour head retention.

Smell: The aroma is of sweet caramel and has a slight citrus presence.

Taste: Less caramelly than in the smell, but the sweetness is still present. Piney hops mix witha bitter malt presence and it lets me down at this point.

Mouthfeel: It's light to medium bodied, which is alright, and has some substantial bitterness and noticeable alcohol.

Drinkability: For the price it's worth a try, but I really want trader joe's to do more with there brews.

dbalsock, Oct 08, 2006
Photo of TastyTaste
3.25/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear gold body, nice looking fluffy white head. This is deifinitely more like a maibock, with the light colored body, and spicy alcohol and malt. Not much more than a light graininess on the nose, this is along the quality of the other TJ's offerings, not bad, but not that great, either. Some spiciness, but not really the full experience you want with the style.

TastyTaste, Aug 15, 2006
Photo of ZAP
3.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a maibock in my book....deep golden color...spicy noble hops and a little bready maltiness on the nose..

Taste has some nice bready maltiness along wit hthe spicy noble hop flavor..

Body is medium...carbonation is about right..

Decent maibock...reminds me some fo the Summit maibock..definitely worth the low price..

ZAP, Aug 11, 2006
Photo of Bighuge
3.08/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear light golden. Slight, wispy white head. Moderate lace. Light malts. Sweet aroma overall. Not much hop presence, but that's o.k. Would like some more bready malt aromas though. Taste starts with light caramel malts and a hay like accent. Nothing special here, but nothing bad either. The mouthfeel is agreeable enough. Lightly carbonated. Medium-full obdy. Pretty easy to drink, but not as malty as I like my maibocks. Average beer here.

Bighuge, Aug 09, 2006
Photo of bluejacket74
3.23/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass it pours golden and clear, with a small white head which goes away fast. Not much lacing. It smells sweet, mainly like grain/bread with a small bit of citrus. The first taste is of grain, but there's a good hoppy bitterness at the end with a slight aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium, with medium carbonation. This is drinkable, but I just wish it had a stronger taste to it. I could drink this now and again, and for the price it's a good deal. But overall it's a little above average, nothing great.

bluejacket74, Aug 05, 2006
Photo of scruffwhor
3.68/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very bright, golden amber hue with lazy bubbling. The aroma starts out a very, veryy bready malt when its cool. The aroma gets a tit finky as it warms. The taste is a light toasted malt mixed with subtle German hops. The palate is very clean. But not refreshing. Although the aftertaste leaves a good lingering flavor of toast and candi sugar.

scruffwhor, Jul 22, 2006
Photo of kgotcher
3.68/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear golden color with a fairly weak head.

Aroma is nice and malty, kind of toasty grainy malt without a lot of fruity esters. I did detect a bit of yeastyness which was strange. Taste is clean with a grainy malt flavor, slight bitterness but nothing really noticable. Nice smooth mouthfeel with a slightly dry finish. A tad of alchohol is noticed but with the high ABV It's really not bad.

At $4.99 a 6 pack this is a great beer. Sure there are better bocks out there but this one is good enough and really affordable. One of my favorites from the Trader Joes/Gordon Biersch line.

kgotcher, Jul 10, 2006
Photo of Dogbrick
2.95/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pretty typical from my experiences with Trader Joe beers. Pours pale golden-orange with a medium thick bone white head and decent lacing. The aroma is a little musty, with sweet malt and a bit of citrus. Medium-bodied and clean with sweet malt flavoring, as well as some citrus and hops in the background. Lingering spicy hops aftertaste keeps the malty flavor from becoming cloying, yet overall this brew is not quite balanced enough to be an enjoyable session beer. Just a little below average, but worth the roughly 83 cents per bottle.

Dogbrick, Mar 28, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
3.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a golden orange with very little head that disappears to no lacing.
Aroma is slightly sweet malt with faint citrus
Mouthfeel is substantial for this style of brew with lots of carbonation in the mouth and a fullness on the tongue
Taste of toasted sweet malts balanced with light hops bitterness and a slight citrus and hops aftertaste.
A nice brew for drinking at the onset of autumn....much heavier than a summer brew yet not so overpowering and to need to sit down to drink one, however the alcohol, 7%, is still a tad strong.
It does leave you with a nice warming 'glow' after you swallow

IntriqKen, Mar 23, 2006
Photo of DogFood11
2.65/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Quite the golden colored bock, I ran into this recently with a Kiper Bock that was also very pale, Retention is an afterthought. It runs contrary to what I'm used to but hey lets give 'er a rip.

Whoa....this baby was all over the map. There is a sweet malt syrup that clings to back of your mouth. Grain, Cereal climb into the picture only to be slapped down by a rather large Alcohol slammer on the backside Mcgilicutty. Alot of stuff going on to the point of being a mish mash of flavor and texture. A bit too much in my opinion and the alcohol is not shielded at all. It is amazing how much malt flavor they managed to pack into this without turning it a shade darker than sunshine, but its just not the right mix for this kid.

Notes: For a Trader Joe's beer this was one of the better products I've had. For the price this is OK and when in a pinch I would consider it again, for now I'm out.

DogFood11, Mar 16, 2006
Photo of ncbrewerbun
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz. bottle, shared with a few other homebrewers at a tasting. (Came in 6th out of seven beers, but the other beers were very good to excellent.)

Appearance is gold with a white head that dissapates rather quickly.

A clean beer with a malty nose. A hint of caramel toastiness.

Medium to medium full body.

This was a very clean beer. It was enjoyable and quite drinkable. A better beer than I was expecting from Trader Joe's.

ncbrewerbun, Feb 25, 2006
Photo of Hautacam
3.45/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark gold , clear...white head..dissipates quickly.
Smell very faint..hops..a bit grassy....metallic.
Tastes of crisp hops..almost sweet..slight alcohol...not very complex, but pretty good.
Medium mouthfeel... medium to high carbonation.
Dry hop-bitter finish.
Pretty drinkable...it's cheap..it's not bad at all , and not too high in alcohol.
This was an 89 cent single.
I would buy a six.

Hautacam, Feb 16, 2006
Photo of AltBock
3.38/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle with a nice picture of the top of German churches on the front and with some info about the beer, Born on date, Batch Number, and time it was bottled. Mine is 11/01/05, HB 124, and 09:47. It states that Hofbrau means "the brew of royalty" in German and this beer is at 7% ABV and with 22 IBUs.

It poured a pale golden color with a head of foam that was about 1in. in height. The head receded fast, but just a little skim of foam still remained during the entire duration of drinking. The aroma was kind of grassy with fruits, hops, and some malts in the background. The taste was about above average, not too complex, but still had plenty of flavor. What I could detect was a moderate hoppy taste up front and with a slight malty aftertaste at the end. Nothing too special with the mouthfeel except for the usual light, carbonated, bitter, and somewhat watery mouthfeel. While this may not be the brew of royalty to me, this did make a nice affordable beer that would come through for me if nothing else was available.

AltBock, Feb 07, 2006
Photo of aforbes10
3.08/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A bottle my wife picked up at Trader Joes in Chicago. Pours golden to yellow, big rising bubbles, quarter inch head gone in less than a minute. good lacing. all around nice looking beer. Odor is not so good. slightly skunky smell, some hops. my wife said "it vaguely smells like beer". wheaty, biscuity flavor, reminded me of sour oranges. kind of like a hefe that died before adulthood. hoppy aftertaste. pretty smooth with a tiny bite. this would be too weird to drink all the time. not the best i've had from TJs.

aforbes10, Jan 31, 2006
Photo of Hibernator
3.83/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Trader Joe's Hofbrau Bock
12 oz brown bottle
Batch # 07/22/05
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a golden yellow/orange blend. Nice white colored head at first, but quickly vanishes to a thin lace. This beer appears lighter than most bocks that I've had. Interesting.

Whiffs of pears, apples and grass.

Taste lends itself to a sugary sweet honey flavor and a spicy finish. Hints of apple juice. The mouthfeel is very soft and this makes it rather easy to drink. The 7.0% ABV is very well hid.

Yet again, another solid beer at a very reasonable price at your local Trader Joe's.

Hibernator, Jan 17, 2006
Photo of Jason
3.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle with a batch # and freshness date on the back label.

A- A quick froth quickly turns into a thin pasty looking off white lace. Deep golden hue show a good clarity off.

S- Big grassy aroma of hops and malt. Spicy from the alcohol and hops as well ... relatively clean.

T&M- Semi-thick chewy body with ample crisp and smooth features. Spicy palate of bitter hops and a slightly fuming alcohol. Solid pale malt palate with a slightly rough biscuity character. Big waves of herbal hops and toasted malt run through the semi-sweet finish.

D- This beer is not half bad. Quite a deal @ 5.29 a six-pack. Nothing earth shattering but certainly worth the try ... a good beer to mix things up a bit but not something I'd stick to all night.

Jason, Jan 11, 2006
Photo of Shovelbum
3.83/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a generous creamy off-white head over a translucent golden-copper body. A few large carbonation bubbles drift upward through the beer. Decent head retention and lace. Aroma of wholesome fresh bread, but otherwise very clean. Moderate amount of sweet malt flavor, light diacetyl and just a nip of hops. Alcohol is well-hidden. Medium bodied with light carbonation. Slight crispness in the mouth with a lingering dryness.

Well-balanced and fairly straightforward. There is definately a good bit of malt in here, but it's not exactly the most exciting malt profile I've ever tasted. If I'm going to pummel my liver with higher ABV beers, I'd rather do it with something that has a bit more panache.

Shovelbum, Dec 05, 2005
Photo of soulgrowl
3.95/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep, sunflowery orange-yellow with a fizzy, parchment-colored head. The head is pretty thin and disappears in the blink of an eye with splotchy lacing, followed by no lacing at all. I like the color, but it doesn't make up for the lame head.

Smell: Strong caramel malts, with a pronounced edge of honey. There is a slight yeasty sourdough flavor, but combined with the honey aroma, it's almost more like an English muffin. Not much happening in the hops department, but the sweet smells are nice as they are.

Taste: Yum! The malts are a little sugary, but balanced out by a surprisingly strong hoppy bitterness. Alcohol comes through quite a bit as well, adding a different kind of sweetness and a little tartness.

Mouthfeel: Very light bodied, but the big, lively carbonation expands to fill your mouth nicely.

Drinkability: The more I drink, the more syrupy this gets. Still, these go down pretty easy, especially if I had some buttered bread and/or bratwurst to go with it.

soulgrowl, Nov 08, 2005
Photo of xoqx
3.83/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – This very light-looking bock pours clear golden; significantly lighter roast than most bocks. A minimal white head leaves some light lacing along the glass.

Smell – There is a very grainy smell that conveys a bit of corn, though I don’t know that this brewer has resorted to using cheaper grains. A bit of yeast permeates the nose.

Taste – This is enjoyably dry and crisp across the palate; more so than typical bocks. Spicy-hoppiness comes across in the very limited hop contribution in this beer. Graininess abounds.

Mouthfeel – This is medium bodied and I think the alcohol is adding some of the heft behind the mouthfeel. That said, the 7% abv is deceptive. While strong, the beer does not come across as 7% strong.

Drinkability – This is an enjoyable beer that I would have again, and it’s superbly priced for its quality.

xoqx, Oct 11, 2005
Photo of charlatan
3.48/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light amber colour with very little head. Smells like a pilsner infused with brown sugar. That might sound like a nasty clash, but it doesn't make me wince. Very slightly yeasty taste gives way to a rich malty flavour backed with a suitably tangy hop profile. This brew isn't outstanding, but it is certainly well balanced. The 7% abv is not particularly apparent. This is much better stuff than the Shiner which Texans are apt to wax lyrical about.

charlatan, Oct 09, 2005
Photo of Frozensoul327
4.05/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a good beer. Should it be called a Bock? No. Not even close. Blond Bock? Yes. That would be a more accurate description of this brew. Poured out to a golden color with a nice foam head. Medium level of carbonation. Some lacing noted in the glass. Aromas of fresh malts and grain, with some toastiness. Nice. Taste was along the same lines as the aroma. Very straightforward flavors of malt, hops, grain and some unsweet-butterscotch. Aftertaste was smooth and satisfying. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and quite enjoyable. A good level of drinkability, this could be a "fallback" beer to keep in the fridge for BMC drinkers who frequent your home to introduce them to good beer, yet keeping the Duvel and such from being wasted on those who wouldn't appreciate it. Hell, I'd keep it in the fridge for myself. Recommended.

Frozensoul327, Oct 04, 2005
Photo of macpapi
2.7/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is my first Trader Joe's brewed beer. I really want to like their beers, because of the respect that I have for the store's products--quality and price-wise--in addition to the continuous search for a good beer that combines value and taste, effectively. However, my search will continue.

Hofbrau Bock pours a very light orange, almost golden color. It has a minimal head, and active bubble rise throughout. Smells overly malty, with a bit of sweetness and minimal hops. Sharp and crisp, but not terribly complex or overly impressive. The taste is nothing to write home about. Typical lager flavor--almost in a macro sort of way--is the best way I can describe it. Malts dominate, followed by a bitter, and umpleasant aftertaste. Not the most offensive flavor, but nothing special. In the mouth this bock is pretty highly carbonated. Again, its sharp, bitter aftertaste remains on the tongue briefly, but is not really appealing.

As much as I wanted to enjoy this beer, I was not impressed. This is a below-average bock. It's taste does nothing to encourage me to buy another. Not a hard beer to drink, but for me, nearly an impossible beer to enjoy.

macpapi, Sep 04, 2005
Trader Joe's Hofbrau Bock from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 265 ratings.