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Josephs Brau Oktoberfest - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Josephs Brau OktoberfestJosephs Brau Oktoberfest

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

155 Ratings
THE BROS
77
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 155
Reviews: 93
rAvg: 3.11
pDev: 16.08%
Wants: 4
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 155 | Reviews: 93 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by GMB:
Photo of GMB
3.53/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

GMB, Sep 25, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of blackearth
2.3/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Purchased at Trader Joes. Pours a light amber body with a thin white head that quickly fades. Aroma of lightly toasted caramel malt. Mouthfeel is light with a crisp carbonation. Flavor is astringent and slightly skunky. Drinkability is quite poor. Won't be getting this again.

blackearth, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of Guden
3.24/5  rDev +4.2%

Guden, Sep 21, 2014
Photo of Jason
3.33/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

A- A bit of foam off of a hard pour, lace does not hold together all that well. Clarity is fine, pale copper color.

S- Sweet maltiness, hints of caramel and brown bread.

T&M- Subdued maltiness only show little bits of toasted grain and sweetness. Hop helps to balance with an ample bitterness but goes no further. The body seems a bit weak which lets the crispness through with a little bit too much sharpness. Finishes semi-dry.

D- Drinkable, no doubt. But I don't think of Oktoberfest when I drink this beer. This is a great filler beer, meaning ... its a great beer to cut that barleywine that might be a bit too hot.

Jason, Oct 19, 2006
Photo of Cavanaghty
3.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appaearance: Copper color and clear with an off white head that last a few minutes and left medium lacing on the glass.

Smell: Light hoppy smell with roasted malts.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium to light bodied. Taste of roasted malts and pine. Bittersweet at the end.

Overall: Not horrible, I hosnestly did not expect more from it anyway. Neat that Trader Joe's has their own brewery.

Cavanaghty, Sep 07, 2012
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light brown with clarity for a brown, mild to no head. Aroma was slightly nutty, barley.

Taste, smooth, aftertaste was a little more metallic than I wished. Hopping kept out. Not much else going on. Easy enough to drink, pretty light. Despite the color, owes more to nuts and toffee than it does caramel. Tobacco woody notes at the end.

Not my cup of tea, but not offensive.

Beerandraiderfan, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of chinchill
3.25/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, BB dated Feb. 2013, of Josephs Brau Oktoberfest from TJs served in a Sam Adams lager glass.

Pours clear, golden-amber in color, and with an impressive, authentic looking off-white head. The head evens leaves substantial sticky lacing on the glass, however, it has limited retention. Very fine-grained visible carbonation.

The mild scent [2.75] is rather unremarkable and not enticing. The flavor is certainly better, with a decent malt base and good sweet/bitter balance. Better, stronger and more lasting aftertaste than expected.

M: medium-light body; medium+ carbonation; semi-dry finish.

O: A respectable American Märzen that is true to style and low cost.

chinchill, Oct 26, 2012
Photo of richkrull
3.48/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I found this one in my parent's fridge yesterday afternoon.

Poured a light amber color, good amount of head. Nothing really overpowering on the nose. Good tasting beer but a little on the weak side. I thought it would be a fuller bodied, stronger tasting beer. Still decent flavor though. Very smooth and easy to drink.

richkrull, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of pwoods
2.98/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz. brown bottle purchased at Trader Joe's. Poured into a pint.

A: Pours bright orange with good visibility. Small 1/2 finger white head forms and falls fast. A bit of patchy lacing.

S: Green apples and yeast. Smells like rice was used.

T/M: Grainy and toasted malts with a controlled sweetness. I hate it when marzen's are overly sweet, but that might just be me. Hops add a fresh citrus twist. Green apples come out some more and really hinder the brew. Body is right where it should be but the carbonation seems quite high.

D: Not extremely terrible but there are far too many excellent fest brews to pick from, especially here in Cincinnati.

pwoods, Jan 09, 2008
Photo of LXIXME
3.25/5  rDev +4.5%

LXIXME, Apr 24, 2014
Photo of Fuzzycuffs
3.25/5  rDev +4.5%

Fuzzycuffs, Oct 14, 2014
Photo of sloejams
3.25/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If there's a new beer in the singles section of Trader Joe's, I'll always give it a try. Such was the case with this Oktoberfest.

It's pours orange in color with a slight peachy head. The aroma is sweet and malty with a slight nuttiness. It starts a bit sweet then the nutty malts even it out. It finishes quite dry.

My review, like this beer, is not very exciting. Certainly worth the try, but there are far better Oktoberfests out there.

sloejams, Oct 23, 2006
Photo of javlin624
3.75/5  rDev +20.6%

javlin624, Dec 17, 2013
Photo of TheSixthRing
3.29/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - Pours clear and golden orange in color with a finger width beige head. Sub-par retention, resulting in a thin, broken layer of surface suds. Virtually no lacing.

Smell - Notes of caramel malt and touches of lightly toasted bread; equal amounts of grassy hop and lesser floral character round out the aroma.

Taste - In tune with the nose. Caramel and lightly toasted breadiness met quickly by the grass hop character. Hops strengthen in the finish, leaving a bitter grassy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body with moderate carbonation. Goes down easy enough before a semi-dry finish.

Overall - Fair Oktoberfest. Probably a tad too hoppy for the style, but it's drinkable in the least. Frankly I'd look for other options before buying this again.

TheSixthRing, Oct 01, 2014
Photo of augustgarage
2.78/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Harriet pils glass. Best before February 2nd, 2013.

Brilliantly clear Princeton orange liquid with a lasting thin white cap. Pasty lacing and good retention.

Sweet dusty malt aroma without the character or toastiness of the best examples of the style. Not-unappetizing, but bland.

Slightly toasty and sweet lager with low vegetal (grassy) elements and a subtle metallic/adjunct element as well. Some decent malt notes and a low bitterness are present, but neither can hide the imperfections. Finishes dry but with a lingering cheap-breakfast-cereal element in the aftertaste.

Medium-light bodied, well carbonated, and just a touch slick.

One of the more disappointing offerings from this Trader Joe's contract brewer; I suppose this was meant to be imbibed in such quantities that its deficiencies would go unnoticed, but I can't say I'd reccommend it.

augustgarage, Nov 05, 2012
Photo of haddon
3/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

rusty orange in color with a 2-finger head that dissipates quickly. little carbonation and very translucent

not much on the nose. perhaps orange peel, spice and a bit of hops

maybe a little hoppy bitterness and spice. but nothing singles itself out. very watery

light body that is very dry and crisp. medium carbonation

average beer at best. good thing I just ate a pizza and was really thirsty for a beer to gulp

haddon, Feb 13, 2010
Photo of tdm168
3.5/5  rDev +12.5%

tdm168, Aug 27, 2014
Photo of ElGordo
3.88/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saw the new cheap 6-packs at Trader Joe's and figured I'd give it a try. Pour san orange-amber hue topped by a half-inch or so of creamy white head that quickly settles into a thin layer on top. Aroma of roasted caramel malt and a little bit of light sweet fruit. Palate is better than I expected - sweet caramel malt with a subtle roasty character, along with some tangy Euro hops lingering in the background. A little sweeter than the traditional German marzens, but still pretty tasty. Body is a touch creamy, just about ideal for a marzen. Very easy to drink. Good job, Trader Joe's.

ElGordo, Oct 24, 2006
Photo of cliff1066
3.25/5  rDev +4.5%

cliff1066, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of njhopspop
3.25/5  rDev +4.5%

njhopspop, Sep 08, 2013
Photo of Shumista
2.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. All of the food I've had from Trader Joe's brand has been great, so hopefully their beer will be good too.
A- Pours a dark straw color with a 1 finger head. Nothing to write home about in this category for sure.
S- Not a lot of aroma coming off of this beer. If anything I would say it smells like sweet toasted malt but it is very lacking in the aroma category.
T- Taste is a little thin, but not quite as thin as the aroma was. I taste sweet malts up front and the taste finishes somewhat dry and bitter.
M- Nothing much to say, pretty average medium bodied beer.
D- You could definitely throw back a few of these no problem. I think I would like to move onto something a little more complex after a few though.

This was my first "Oktoberfest" beer and from what others have said it is not exactly the best representation of the style. I'm looking forward to trying some others in the next month or so to get a better feel for the style.

Shumista, Sep 17, 2008
Photo of DOCRW
3/5  rDev -3.5%

DOCRW, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of CharlesDarwin
2.6/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

12 Oz Bottle - Dec 20, 2007. Aroma drips of honey and Munich Malt. Lightly dusty. Pours a bronzed gold, with white creamy head. Flavor is a washed out, lightly skanky Munich malt. Traditional but lacking. More honey and a gooey hop cone pollen chewiness at the back drop. There’s some awkward bitterness for no apparent reason. Coarse. Thin.

CharlesDarwin, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of HalfFull
3.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours rather clear and in a deep golden color, offering only a fleeting head and minimal retention. Notably lighter in color than expected for the style.

Nose is somewhat thin with only a hint of toasted malts. Otherwise reminiscent of a Pilsener as for the hop scents.
Taste is decent with a light malt kick and good carbonation. A bit of lingering fruity malt sweetness on the close helps the feel.

A light bodied Ocktoberfest, it appears that fall is just about upon us.

HalfFull, Sep 04, 2008
Photo of beveritt
3.3/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. The label has a purple background and shows a large beer stein. No discernible freshness date.

Appearance: Pours with just over 3 fingers of very light tan head. This settles into1 finger, leaving behind some sticky lacing. The beer itself is amber and perfectly clear.

Smell: Slightly sweet malt with just a hint of the caramel so normally present in Oktoberfest beers.

Taste: Caramel malt flavor is a little more noticeable in the taste than it was in the smell. Slight creaminess and very low bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is decent, very slick.

Drinkability: All in all, not that bad, just not the flavor profile I expect from an Oktoberfest. More of an Oktoberfest light.

beveritt, Sep 07, 2008
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Josephs Brau Oktoberfest from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
73 out of 100 based on 155 ratings.