Josephs Brau Oktoberfest - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Josephs Brau OktoberfestJosephs Brau Oktoberfest

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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 (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 161 | Reviews: 96
Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.81/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Best before 2/20/13.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy orange-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and some slight caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with an assertive and medicinal hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty poor beer that has an unbalanced bitterness that isn't very pleasant.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bright tangerine topped with almost three fingers of orangish beige, whipped cream-like foam. JB Oktoberfest is much lighter than the usual rustic or burnt orange of most versions. Will it be less toasted and/or less malty overall? Perhaps. The head is the best part of the appearance, right down to the amount and quality of the lace it leaves on the glass.

Amber lager noses aren't exactly distinctive, but that's what this beer smells like to me. It isn't ballsy enough to be an Oktoberfest. The malt doesn't make much of a statement, nor do the Hallertau hops. I think we're looking at a pretty tame beer here.

This is an okay brew, even if it tastes like an Oktoberfest mixed 50:50 with a Euro pale lager. Something about the mustiness of the hops puts me in mind of the latter style. We aren't that far past the season, so age can't be a factor like it sometimes is (usually is?) when drinking European lagers.

Nothing much happens prior to the finish, just a lightly sweet graininess balanced by earthy and herbal hops. Eventually, the toasted Munich maltiness makes an appearance and allows one to assign the proper style after all. I like it a little more in the bottom half of the bottle, but I'm still not doing handstands. Neither impressed nor offended results in... an average score.

The body/mouthfeel is closer to light than to medium and is probably appropriate given the lack of assertiveness in the flavor profile. Neither too few nor too many bubbles keeps this score at solidly average as well.

Most Gordon Biersch beer (in my admittedly limited experience with it) qualifies as lackluster. Although it's a damn sight better than most of what BMC puts out, it comes up short when compared to most craft beer. Oktoberfest is no different. If you missed this one, you haven't missed anything.

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

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.75/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden-amber body with a thin, white head.

Smell: Lightly toasty malts with hints of spicy hops and apple.

Taste: Faintly toasty, sweet malts in the foreground that fade away with an encroaching watery quality. This opens the palate up for some spicy hops and a light bitterness. Minor hint of apple. Finishes dry, crisp, but oh-so watery.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation. I'm afraid it's a tad watery.

Drinkability: Mostly an Oktoberfest in name only. A bit watery, but you get what you pay for, I suppose.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.18/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

"And this ballgame is ovah!" Man, it's never easy against the Tribe, is it? Luckily we had a fourteen-run cushion. And I had this beer in the fridge. Here goes: It pours a clear bronze topped by a finger of cream foam. The nose comprises caramel, lightly toasted biscuit, toffee, and a touch of grass in the background. The taste moves more in that grassy direction, along with some dark greens (clover-like) and balsa. The maltiness is still there, but it's decidedly less pronounced, apparently cuckolded by the grasslands springing up all around. A dull chlorophyll-laced bitterness unsurprisingly pervades. The body is a rather light medium, with a just-light moderate carbonation and a progressively dry finish. Overall, an underwhelming brew. ...That's all I can really say.

Photo of mactrail
3.13/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pleasant coppery lager with a sharp edge. Less of the mellow malts in this. More like a regular lager with just a touch of malty flavor. Touch of cardboard in the aftertaste. I can't give the hops much credit. Faint beery smell. Slightest bit of sweetness in the first few sips. Finish is the dirty hops and rather unpleasant bitterness.

Quite lovely color and decent carbonation. Just quite uninteresting and less refreshing than many light beers.

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 kojevergas
2.98/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in Los Feliz, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average. Acquired as part of the 12 bottle variety pack for $9.99. Best before 02/02/13 14:30.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Not paired with food.

A: Pours a one finger head of soft rolling slight cream, nice thickness, and average retention. Colour is a clear pale copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Generally appealing.

Sm: Oats, clean full-bodied expressive malts, cream, and some barley. Some vague stale hops. A slight rauchbier-esque smokey note - that's unexpected. An average strength aroma.

T: Some nice rolling cream. Clean bright malts. Vague stale misplaced hops. Clean barley. A bit toasty. Simple and restrained, but enjoyable.

Mf: Smooth, clean, and wet. Thickness is decent. It supports the flavours in a general sense.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but far from great. I might get it again. It's a good value beer at 83 cents per bottle. Good fare for what it is. That said, it won't blow your socks off.

C

Photo of smcolw
3.11/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Potent head that becomes large bubbles and flattens to nothing and leaves absolutely no lace.

Raw grainy smell. Low hop as would be expected.

Quite dry flavor with nearly no bitterness. The aftertaste is extremely brief with a raw grainy finish. Nice "round", full body with relatively low carbonation.

A disappointing Octoberfest that appears worse than it really is. It is an innocent beer that will not offend.

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 Halcyondays
3.83/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a clear deep amber with a medium white head, with a soft white head, limited lace.

S: Light Munich malt, sweet toffee, caramel notes.

T: Straightforward Munich malt flavour. Lightly sweet, bready. Light hop finish. Well balanced.

M: Light-bodied, crisp and smooth. Creamy.

O: This is a pretty darn good Oktoberfest at a great price. Nice to find in this fall beer wasteland.

Photo of Zorro
1.99/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This beer is a clear orange colored ale with a skimpy white head.

Smell is not much. Mild hop aroma and a little sweetness.

Taste is mildly smoky and mildly sweet with a little Nobel hop bitterness to it; and that is about it.

Mouthfeel is average.

Not much to taste here don't bother.

Photo of plaid75
3.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a clear amber hue with a two finger frothy white head. There good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a grainy cereal malt, caramel and a metallic element.

The taste consisted of a grainy cereal malt of moderate depth with a metallic twang.

The mouthfeel was thin for the style.

Overall a decent marzen. Not too bad 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 Tone
2.83/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark golden color with little head and little lacing. Appears a little dull and lackluster. Smells of a clean yeast aroma; as per usual for European lagers. Not as strong as I'm used to for an Oktoberfest lager. Light body with a crisp feel, but only lightly carbonated. Since it was only $3.99 for a six-pack it's worth a try but not a noteworthy Oktoberfest member.

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 scruffwhor
2.92/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pretty crappy to look at. Fast head with ok bubbles. Nothing notable, good or bad, about the malty amber hue. Syrupy and watery aroma of slightly sweet caramel malts and only balancing malt presence. Taste is a watery, adjuncty malt. Some sweetness, but little and very watery. Ok to guzzle, which is what I think of when I think about this style. But still had plenty of room for improvement.

Photo of Cyberkedi
2.73/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice golden amber with a fairly thick but none too persistent whitish head. Aroma is malty and a little yeasty and a bit wan. Flavor is crisp and malty, fairly mouth-filling, but not complex. Texture is smooth, only a little tingly, and leaves a slightly unpleasant metallic aftertaste. Palatable, but no cause for a "Tweet."

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle courtesy of fthomasl pours a clear gold color more in line with the newer festbiers as opposed to traditional marzens. Fluffy white head does not last too long, but does leave nice lace.

Nose is grainy, fresh, slightly sweet caramel popcorn...a little buttery even. Probably dome diacetyl issues but that is not always a bad thing.

It definitely has diacetyl issues, but I don’t mind it much in a beer like this. The butterscotch flavors behave well with the light, grainy malts. Not much of a hop presence, even considering the style. I don’t think the beer is all that great, but I won’t have a problem finishing the bottle and actually am enjoying the butterscotch flavors.

Photo of tavernjef
3.75/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden coppery color with a decent clear body. Small amount of foam sits briefly before leaving a steady whisp of thin faom always present. Lacing is mostly drippy and not sticky with just a few spots here and there.

Aroma is apples over mildly golden toasted bread spritzed with some honey sweetness.

Flavor is mildly toasted with a simple tone of sweetness that carries some caramel, honey, apples, and bread dough. Simple, clean, and kind of short on length of flavor, but it'll do for some quick drinking.

Feel is a lighter medium body with a simple, clean smooth texture. A small dryness hits in the finish with a bit of toasted grains and grassy hops.

All in all, not too bad, drinkable by many pint fulls. Just comes up short on some lasting complexity.

Photo of blackie
2.88/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a: Pours a decent khaki head that soon recedes. The beer is a bright amber color.

s: Smells pretty okay. Spicy, though somewhat dull noble hops accompany moderately sweet, amber and pale German grain. Notes of sweet corn mash and dough.

m: Medium-high carbonation and a medium body, comes across as overly heavy

t: Decent malt and hop presence but there's a really gross flavor that grows into the aftertaste that I can't stand...mix of soured grain and rotten vegetation. After a few sips it fades or I get used to it, and the taste is a little better. German grain with a somewhat corny sweetness and low hops that are somewhat enjoyable. Overbearing aftertaste that could clean up a little more nicely, and the sweetness in general is unbalanced. Low-moderate bitterness. A touch of "skunk"

d: drinkability suffers from the flavor

single from TJ Cary

Photo of notchucknorris
3.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber color with a very thin cream colored head.

S: Smells very malty with some caramel, yeast and bread as well.

T: The majority of the flavor is caramel malt and roasted malt with a nuttiness and toastiness in the background. A slight bit of hop resin on the finish. Overall, a pretty solid oktoberfest.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.96/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - a diluted pumpkiny orange pour, thinly bubbled cap which manages some decent sticky lacing.

Aroma - an initial burst of caramel and spice. Settling of the beer yields a more macro-ish grain nose and cooked veggies.

Taste - not a real *big* flavor, there is a presence of caramel and toasted malt. Turns grainier and a little sourish on the swallow. A tickle of hops, there perhaps? Subsequent sips provide less and less OFest character and more grainy beer quality. Ends with a hope of a dry bitter hop nip, but that has an unpleasant, empty bitterness with it. Saving it IMO is a little reprise of the toasted grain quality to go with.

Mouthfeel - good carbonation, medium bodied with a feel somewhere between crisp and smooth.

Drinkability - I'd probably pick it above Warsteiner but below most of my favorite OFests. Its got some character, just not enough of what I'm looking for.

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 Monkeyknife
3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle a clear amber-gold with a razor thin white head and wet lacing.

The smell is primarily sweet and malty with a slight spice accent.

The taste is on the thin and watery side. Again, mostly a malt presence.

Light-to-medium mouthfeel and carbonation. The mouth feels dried out after every drink.

Nothing real memorable about this Oktoberfest. I'd compare it to what the big macros put out.

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