1. American Craft Beer Fest is this weekend in Boston, Mass. Join us for 640+ beers from 140+ brewers! Tickets for Friday, May 29 are still available. Cheers!

Josephs Brau Oktoberfest - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Josephs Brau OktoberfestJosephs Brau Oktoberfest

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
73
okay

161 Ratings
THE BROS
76
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 161
Reviews: 96
rAvg: 3.12
pDev: 15.71%
Wants: 3
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-13-2006

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (20) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 161 | Reviews: 96
Reviews by GMB:
Photo of GMB
3.52/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of blackearth
2.33/5  rDev -25.3%
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.

Photo of Jason
3.34/5  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.

Photo of Cavanaghty
3.08/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of chinchill
3.21/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of richkrull
3.46/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

Photo of pwoods
2.91/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

Photo of sloejams
3.27/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.29/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Photo of augustgarage
2.79/5  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.

Photo of haddon
3/5  rDev -3.8%
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

Photo of ElGordo
3.85/5  rDev +23.4%
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.

Photo of Shumista
2.89/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Photo of CharlesDarwin
2.6/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

Photo of HalfFull
3.32/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Photo of beveritt
3.28/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Photo of likestoswallow
2.33/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle.

A: Pours a light amber color with a small off-white head.

S: The aroma is a mess, it is relatively weak with corn, molasses, rock candy and saccharine.

T: Very sweet with lots of rock candy, biter almonds, brown sugar and lager yeasts that remind me of macro stuff.

M: The palate is thin and watery. The finish is long with lingering rock candy.

D: Way too sweet for me. If you love overtly sweet beers then this for you, otherwise skip it.

Photo of dhannes
2.71/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

Photo of BeerSox
2.7/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into mug.

Crystal clear amberhue with a one finger light tan head that settles to a thin cap.

Very light cracker like malt aromas with a little bit of brown sugar.

Once again, light bready malts with maybe a little bit of hop flavor coming through. Light bodied with good carbonation. The finish is a touch of lingering grain.

Not an awful beer, but it's not what I want out of an Oktoberfest. Light flavors with characteristics that wouldn't fit with any style.

Photo of bluebrew17
2.33/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Picked up a six pack of this beer at Trader Joes... Pour was nice, decent white head. Color is medium amber. There is a hint of diacetyl on the sniff, and a taste confirms. This beer was alot like carbonated popcorn. Very buttery. I'm fairly sensitive to diacetyl so its hard to get past to get to any other flavors.

Photo of wedge
3.53/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright copper with a large, thick head of foam on top. Sweet, toasty honey and caramel malt aroma. More of the same in the flavor, but with the addition of a noble hop touch. Toasted malty sweetness and a moderate bitterness. Slightly noticeable lager character. Medium-thin body. I assume this is very fresh at this point in the year and it certainly tastes like it. Not bad at all to go along with watching some Sunday football. Drink it fresh...

Photo of Brewsmith
3.48/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz. bottle purchased locally. Aroma is bready and a little sweet. Deep gold color with a thin off-white head. Malty, grainy and just a little bitterness. Light to medium bodied and not too much carbonation. Clean, refreshing. Not bad, especially for the price.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.48/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.17/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

amber color with a great clarity fills the glass. Nice streams of bubbles that rippled up toward the surface gave it a good bit of depth and created a nice moderate to medium capping of white that clung to the sides for a little while before letting itself go. Muted bready malts. Hints of light grain and a touch of some light spice, but everything was too light and muted for me. Not enough in the way of herbal hoppiness or depth to keep me interested. Same could be said as I took the first sip, while not really being bad in any way, it was just rather uninteresting. Bready grains, hints of something musky, and a touch of light pine maybe, but very muted

to view more.
Josephs Brau Oktoberfest from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
73 out of 100 based on 161 ratings.