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Josephs Brau Oktoberfest - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Josephs Brau OktoberfestJosephs Brau Oktoberfest

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161 Ratings

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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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 161 | Reviews: 96
Photo of hmk22
2.83/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Not bad for the price, but a little thin-feeling in the mouth. BA lists this as a Marzen and the label says "German style lager" and it seems a little closer to the latter given the mouthfeel. A nice entry-level hoppy beer that won't alienate casual beer drinkers, but not quite bitter enough for hop-heads (like me). Guess I'll stick with IPAs for awhile.

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

11/5/10 poured from bottle into 16oz tulip glass

a - amber color with decent head that quickly dissipates, see through it like glass

s - caramel, malty smell, faint but there

t - sweet malty taste, a little strong on the caramel tones

m - light feel in the mouth, carbonation seems lacking a bit

d - pretty drinkable, definitely could down a couple of these, especially with a nice, heavy meal

overall not my favorite brew - but, then, it's not my favorite style. Would probably grab another one of the Trader Joe's brews instead of this guy. Compared to other local Oktoberfests (esp. Harpoon, Sam Adams), though, considering expense and value, definitely a decent choice, especially if you're entertaining a bunch of people for Oktoberfest and want to provide a solid, inexpensive brew.

Photo of DJED69
2.83/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

My wife grabbed a six today at Trader Joe's---just having one while I relax on the couch. Pours a tad darker than you typical macro. Has a thin head that seems to stay. Carbonation is medium. Taste is so-so. A touch of malt with some hop bitterness. Has that marzen flavor, but it's on the lighter side. I prefer a maltier, bigger tasting brew.

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 FreshmanPour77
3.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 11-25-09
Cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Golden brown color, 3 fingers of foam, layer of lacing, pretty good carbonation

S - Sweet caramel malts, faint hop smell nothing to overpowering

T - Light bodied, sweet flavored, little malt aftertaste, didn't notice any hop flavor

M/D - Another drinkable Oktoberfest but seems lighter than most other Oktoberfest bews though, light bodied and smooth on the tongue. Another good brew from Trader Joe's, the price makes it hard to pass this brew by. A must try!

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 hossua34
3.97/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Somewhat pale looking, light amber-orange. A smallish head that nevertheless retains well. Some (watery and fast sliding) lacing.

S - Toasty malts, molasses. I swear that I can smell pumpkin in there too, but I think I am just imagining it. Somewhat light scented.

T - A bit watery, a bit adjunct-tasting, but not bad. Rye bread toast and sugary sweetness. Alternately stated, crackers and burned sugar. A hint of tartness.

M - Could be a little bit thicker, but OK. Carbonation is right on.

D - Not a half-bad Oktoberfest. Definitely one of the better Trader Joe's selections, and a great pickup for the price ($5.99 a six pack).

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.28/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a deep orange with an off-white frothy head. Some light lacing.

Caramel and bread toast scents, some light citric hop notes.

This is Ocktoberfest? A touch of caramel sweetness, but on the whole, alot of toasted malt and light citric hops. Not very complex, and not very marzen-like. Flavors are a bit subdued, but still fairly pleasant. Decent.

Medium bodied and decently carbonated.

Overall, not a bad brew, just not what you'd expect from an Ocktoberfest label. Fairly smooth and decent flavors, so not hard to drink, but really nothing special either. If filling a cooler for a party, might be worth buying a 6 or two.

Photo of TheQuietMan22
2.8/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a light copper. Two fingers of thick, billowy head developed and dissipated very slowly to leave a spotted lacing and thick ring around the outside. (I poured it straight down, as I recently read is, strangely, the way to do it.)

Smell: Sweet caramel malts, mostly, and there is a scent of grapefruit citrus.

Taste: The caramel malts from the smell are much more bread-like. The citrus is a grapefruit tang, and there's a well-balanced hop presence.

Drinkability: It's not a bad brew, but not the best Oktoberfest beer.

Photo of mwagner1018
3.48/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Mild amber color, golden and noticeable carbonation, slight creamy colored head, quickly diminished.

S- Fresh, bread notes, with significant caramel sweet maltiness, but in a consistent medium/dry package...

T- Crisp and clean, definite creamy malt at the forefront, fits the style, ends with a good hallertau hop finish, mild and balanced.

M- Nice representation of the style, medium body, good balanced carbonation.

D- Surely a drinkable beer, smooth and clean, definitely invites me to have another one. Good medium ABV at just over 5%, great for the fall season...puts me in the Oktoberfest spirit.

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 jwinship83
3.75/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle picked up for cheap. drank out of a standard pint glass.

A- this one pours out a clear golden with a hint of amber colored body with a modest beige colored head. carbonation can be seen racing to the top. head lasts a while and leaves small spotty lacing on the sides of my glass.

S- lots of bready malts. a slight metallic note. decent amount of the classic noble hops.

T- stats out very bready and ends mildly hoppy. about what i was expecting.

M- medium bodied and fizzy with carbonation.

D- easy to have a couple of in an evening, especially this time of year. cant beat the price either.

Photo of steveh
4/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A 2009 update for me. I didn't get any of this last year, so I stocked up and hope it's as good as 2 years ago.

A -- Clear, orange side of amber with a persistent, light tan head.

S -- Wow, an Okto with nose. Good, bready, toasted bread malts up front with spicy hops making the right amount of presence known. Mild DMS back.

T -- Good breadiness up front with, again, the right amount of hops to balance out the mix. Mellow graininess in the finish. Nice breadiness in aftertaste. Starts sweet, finishes dry and clean -- sounds like Okto Märzen to me.

M -- Soft and smooth mouthfeel with a slightly lighter than expected body for the style - light medium.

D -- This is a very, very nice version. Not sure why it doesn't get love from others, but maybe there's a big lack of Oktoberfest understanding. For those learning -- this is a great benchmark that only falls a little short.

I also find it funny that the same beer, bottled under the Gordon Biersch label, averages a B- overall. Just a leeetle brand prejudice there?

Photo of RJUGA03
2.8/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A-Coppery amber transparent body with a slightly laced off white head.
S-Carmely, sweet, and a bit malty
T-Seasonally spiced on the draw with a syrupy slight hopped finish.
M-Again syrupy with a dry finish.
D-For me this is not a beer I would drink regularly at it's 5.99/ 6pk price point.

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 ATLbeerDog
2.88/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a twelve ounce brown bottle - Pours a light copper color with no haze and a small white head. Smells of sweet malts, adjuncts and light hops present in the nose. First sip is mostly malts and a slight hop profile. There is a bitter finish here but overall not too bad - not too good either.

Photo of Mistofminn
2.99/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz brown bottle

A - Sort of a copper color. Minimal off-white head

S - Some sweetness and malts detected. Can't get a hint of hops to be honest

T - Mildly toasted with a hint of caramel. Finishes dry and bitter.

M - Heavy carbonation, thin and watery

D - Its definitely drinkable. It's a little different from others in the style, but overall it's not bad. I didn't expect much coming from Trader Joes but I was pleasantly surprised.

Photo of CHSLBrew
3.27/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass.

A-Poured a 1-finger off-white head, relatively low retention. Pristine deep-amber beer with a hint of orange.

S-Some hints of sweetness and malts. Minimal hop aromas.

T-Mostly light toffee for malts, countered by some minimal, but present, bitterness that keeps this beer in line. Finishes clean, crisp.

M-Medium body, medium-high carbonation. Leaves my mouth feeling clean and refreshed.

D-Highly drinkable, as is true of the bulk of Oktoberfest-style beers. It's smooth and enjoyable going down, so it's a shame I've only got one of these.

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 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 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 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 josiahschlender
3.3/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty cheap at TJ's. Didn't set me back much to try this. Plus, I like that their single bottle prices are 1/6th of a six pack. Why don't more stores do that?

I haven't drank many Oktoberfests, but the looks aren't too bad on this one. Copper color, decent off-white head that lasted a little bit. No lacing.

I let the bottle warm a little bit before pouring, and the nose improved as it warmed up even more. Very sweet malts, caramel and raw sugar. Maybe just a hint of yeast, but I think I'm trying to reach for that.

Flavor is also sweet and mild. Pleasing, but not outstanding. A couple other reviewers have noted it seems light compared to others of the same style. If so, I look forward to more substantial taste of the same. I pretty much always like my beers more full flavored and bodied, but this didn't strike me as particularly watered down. Balanced for what it is.

Easily drinkable, especially with the reasonable price. Lots more going on than macro lagers. I'm partial to American craft brewers exploring lager styles... let's see bigger and better Oktoberfests!

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 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.

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