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Josephs Brau Oktoberfest - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Josephs Brau OktoberfestJosephs Brau Oktoberfest

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
72
okay

128 Ratings
THE BROS
76
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 128
Reviews: 92
rAvg: 3.05
pDev: 16.07%


Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-13-2006)
View: Beers (21) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 128 | Reviews: 92 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by 2ks4:
Photo of 2ks4
2ks4

Virginia

3.48/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice copper color with a decent head.

S - Nothing noteworthy, but nothing unpleasant or overpowering. Average beer smell.

T - Starts with a pleasantly sharp taste that lingers.

M - Good mouthfeel - substantial without being too heavy, good level of carbonation.

O - I'm kind of new at this, so I don't have the experience/vocabulary to comment on the hops and malt and suchlike, but overall I like this as an everyday kind of beer. There isn't anything that sets it apart as a special occasion beer meriting the "Oktoberfest" designation, but I'm enjoying it and feel it's a good value for the price.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2011 03:26:45 | More by 2ks4
More User Reviews:
Photo of DOCRW
DOCRW

Washington

3/5  rDev -1.6%

02-23-2014 03:38:54 | More by DOCRW
Photo of Bolivian22
Bolivian22

Virginia

2.5/5  rDev -18%

01-22-2014 16:03:39 | More by Bolivian22
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

3/5  rDev -1.6%

12-29-2013 03:18:30 | More by BillRoth
Photo of javlin624
javlin624

Texas

3.75/5  rDev +23%

12-17-2013 05:17:22 | More by javlin624
Photo of vette2006c5r
vette2006c5r

Minnesota

2.84/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Oktoberfest pours an amber color with a large frothy lacing head. There is a metal like aroma. The taste is overly sweet, apple juice like flavors, with hints of metal. Tough to stomach, flat feeling. Overall its overly sweet, fruity and metal like, not the best.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 05:20:03 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of Wedcat
Wedcat

California

3/5  rDev -1.6%

11-10-2013 05:47:50 | More by Wedcat
Photo of Mosul
Mosul

Arizona

3.25/5  rDev +6.6%

11-03-2013 07:11:46 | More by Mosul
Photo of tpauer
tpauer

New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev +14.8%

11-02-2013 22:51:39 | More by tpauer
Photo of tommy5
tommy5

Michigan

3/5  rDev -1.6%

10-31-2013 01:47:10 | More by tommy5
Photo of RobinLee
RobinLee

Wisconsin

3/5  rDev -1.6%

10-20-2013 21:33:14 | More by RobinLee
Photo of TwoTrees
TwoTrees

Washington

3.25/5  rDev +6.6%

10-14-2013 03:47:39 | More by TwoTrees
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psmith161

Indiana

3.25/5  rDev +6.6%

10-10-2013 16:11:17 | More by psmith161
Photo of jibjib513
jibjib513

Ohio

1.75/5  rDev -42.6%

10-09-2013 21:45:02 | More by jibjib513
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

3.49/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium to dark coppery amber with a two finger off white head with decent retention and lots of lacing. Lots of carbonation. Aroma of bready and slight toasted malt, hint of grassy hops. Faint sulphur. Flavor is dominated by sweet bready malt, light caramel with a grassy, slightly toasted malt finish. Medium bodied with a hint of creaminess. Pretty much delivers on what it advertises; an inexpensive marzen style fall beer. Too sweet for the style, but drinkable. Surprisingly pleasant body. Might do if you hit Oktoberfest time with a tiny budget. German beers are already so reasonable, that it seems to be an odd thing to get cheap about.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2013 20:39:09 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of TheMarkE
TheMarkE

California

3.49/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Copper colored, like a shiny new penny. Decent foam and lacing.

Smell: Bready malts, caramel.

Taste: Bready malts, hints of caramel.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, slightly creamy.

The Verdict: Not bad. Trader Joe’s affordable take on this Autumn style is about what you would expect, and nothing more.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2013 21:50:18 | More by TheMarkE
Photo of AndrewMichael
AndrewMichael

Virginia

3/5  rDev -1.6%

09-27-2013 18:43:48 | More by AndrewMichael
Photo of GMB
GMB

Japan

3.53/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A standard pour of Josephs Brau's Oktoberfest yields an amber body and a thick. off-white head with some staying power. Neither the body nor the head are especially impressive. The former is a bit lighter than I expect from a märzen. The latter doesn't stick around as long as I had hoped it would. Still, though the head falls quickly, it leaves behind a thin crown of foam that's sticky and appealing.

The nose is malt-forward, which is typical of the style. The malty aromas aren't as bold as I had hoped they would be. Let's see what happens when we put this beer on the palate.

The taste is much fuller and richer than the nose suggested. Sweet, roasted malts dominate. Faint notes of bittering hops keep the bold malt from outstaying its welcome, but don't get in its way. This is a rich, sweet beer that begs to be sipped slowly.

The mouthfeel is almost too full. Foam is pleasantly rich and thick. But the beer's body does feel heavy on the palate as I make my way through the bottle.

If you're curious about the Oktoberfest/Märzen style, I encourage you to pick up a bottle of Josephs Brau's rendition. It has all the characteristics we expect: thick, sweet, medium-toasted malts balanced with moderately bitter, moderately aromatic noble-type hops. There are much better renditions out there, but this one does the job nicely.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2013 20:36:58 | More by GMB
Photo of Tschnab
Tschnab

New York

3.75/5  rDev +23%

09-18-2013 14:38:07 | More by Tschnab
Photo of rojocorsa
rojocorsa

California

3.25/5  rDev +6.6%

09-16-2013 06:28:16 | More by rojocorsa
Photo of dhannes
dhannes

Wisconsin

2.69/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Poured @ about 50º into a Perfect Pint.

A=Dark golden color, but no reddish tint; great cream colored head.

S=Hint of malt, but also uric acid/urine.

T=Tangy, sour, sharp...not robust nor creamy...seems like too much hops. Too sour (I checked the date and it said best consumed by 2/11/14). IBU stated 25, which I am finding a bit hard to believe.

M=Just the right amount of carbonation...body was great for a standard lager, but a märzen should have more body and robustness than this.

O=I don't know why I expected more out of a $5.99/6-pack beer...I fell for the package copy, which greatly oversold this beer. Not worthy of buying as a märzen or a lager. Another one requiring apple cider to turn into a snakebite.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2013 21:54:01 | More by dhannes
Photo of njhopspop
njhopspop

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev +6.6%

09-08-2013 00:11:15 | More by njhopspop
Photo of ExaltedNecrosis
ExaltedNecrosis

Texas

2.06/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a stein.

A - Clear brownish orange, one finger of off white head. Looks like highly carbonated apple juice.

S - Smells like an adjunct lager. A bit of corn and the smallest hint of caramel.

T - Definitely not what I was expecting. Tastes like a corn adjunct lager, with an offputting metallic flavor. There's a hint of caramel at the end, with a bitterness to round it out.
I have no idea why this is called an Oktoberfest.

M - Its most redeeming quality is the mouthfeel, which isn't even that good. High amount of fizzy carbonation, which almost makes this refreshing. It's still on the thin side, and nothing like the Oktoberfests I'm used to.

O - I'm glad this only cost me a buck, as I definitely won't be getting it again. My worst Trader Joe's beer to date. I'll stick with with their oatmeal stout.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2013 17:27:36 | More by ExaltedNecrosis
Photo of BillV
BillV

Georgia

1.35/5  rDev -55.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I hate blind dates, but I am stubborn.

Let me explain: I saw this beer in my local Trader Joes and was excited to buy and try. Hence, my beer blind date.

First, lets talk about what a Marzen is supposed to be: A rich, slightly malty beer with a slight hint of toasted character from Vienna malt. No roasted or caramel flavors are present, and the beer has a fairly dry finish. Noble hops are present though should be only lightly perceived in the finished beer which is decidedly malty.

This beer should not have been called an Oktoberfest / Marzen. It looks similar to a Marzen, but after you get it in the glass, you can see there is something disturbing right away about the look of it. While the color, slightly amber and burnt orange sits for a few minutes, it takes on the appearance of what I can only compare to a sports drink of the same color.

The nose is your first real clue right off the bat, though. The hint of malt and toasted characters are not there. Instead, what I encountered was a bitterness and a highly carbonated scent that does not seem to subside. Again, I felt like this might be some kind of weird fizzy drink. On the first sip, there was a slight, very slight hint of malt but that was quickly beaten down by a bitterness that washes over your tongue that does not fade into a cozy Noble hoppy-malt daydream like a real Marzen would do.

Instead, I found myself quickly trying to get rid of this, guzzling it down to try and get rid of it; too proud to just pour it down the drain and too stubborn to believe that I had spent money on this with such high expectations only to be let down. I felt as if my palette was on some nightmarish blind date that was going increasingly wrong with every moment and I just wanted it to be over. As I quaffed it down trying not to wince now at the bitterness that was fully ensconced in this brew like an encounter with an ex-wife, I could only try and hold on to the fantasy of returning the rest of this remaining six pack to the front curb of Trader Joe's with a curt nod and a tight smile as I spin my tires and peel off into the night.

While I have had other Joseph Brau beers which I thoroughly enjoyed and even raved about---having sought them again on several occasions--this beer will definitely not be one of them. This alcoholic fizzy drink should be renamed and branded along with similar type drinks appropriately sold in convenience stores in college towns.

When I finally finished the beer, I was clearly angry at something having swallowed the bitterness of some disgruntled Teutonic brewer somewhere who obviously hated Oktoberfest and had nothing but contempt for anything festive or joyous in the way of celebrating this fine, time honored tradition which the German people wholeheartedly wish to share with each and everyone of us.

This is not an example of an Oktoberfest style beer. If you are looking for another, better example, then please refer to the Beeradvocate website as there are many other fine examples for you to read about and try. I may try and use the remainder of the six pack to experiment with to try and find a workaround to the bitterness that ruins this beer experience for me and for others, I suspect.

I hate blind dates, though I am admittedly stubborn, I try to see the best in the worst of things and to this beer attempt, I can only say that it might be recoverable if the brewer could reformulate it. But there are too many other fine examples of Marzen to spend too much of your valuable time worrying about it.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2013 02:51:51 | More by BillV
Photo of ToMakeEndsMeet
ToMakeEndsMeet

Texas

3/5  rDev -1.6%

08-30-2013 22:07:40 | More by ToMakeEndsMeet
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Josephs Brau Oktoberfest from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
72 out of 100 based on 128 ratings.