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Josephs Brau Summer Brew - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Josephs Brau Summer BrewJosephs Brau Summer Brew

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

104 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 104
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 3.05
pDev: 13.77%
Wants: 3
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style | ABV
Kölsch |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Zorro on 06-13-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 104 | Reviews: 59 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.03/5  rDev -0.7%

Pours a clear honey orange with a 1 inch puffy off-white head that settles to a thin film. Small spots and broken rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is somewhat lacking, but what I do get is grains and light fruits. Taste is surprisingly bitter right off the bat with a bready/biscuit flavor and some citrus zest on the finish. The bitterness is somewhat assertive on the palate after each sip. An average mouthfeel with a decent carbonation level and a crisp flavor. Overall, this is a pretty average beer and the bitterness is a bit too much to be a truly enjoyable Summer beer in my opinion.

08-19-2011 21:09:16 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.2/5  rDev +4.9%

Light yellow in color with a nice head of white on top that faded gently into a thin veil that left the top bare after just a few minutes. Light bready notes and some grains in the smell, a bit light for me, without that top notch banana aroma you would see in a really good version of the style. Smooth mellow flavor, albeit light. Even and well balaned with a light bready note and a touch of light grassy notes towards the end. Smooth and easy drinking as this one went down effortlessly into the night

12-04-2011 03:56:38 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of kjkinsey


3.25/5  rDev +6.6%

06-16-2014 23:02:43 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of GRG1313


3/5  rDev -1.6%

09-28-2013 04:26:06 | More by GRG1313
Photo of Knapp85


2.03/5  rDev -33.4%

Kolcsh styles aren't supposed to be heavy or extremely flavorful but I felt that this was far too light even for the a Kolsch style beer. The color was a very clear yellow. Not too much happening in here. The beer is for sure a summer time brew. This wouldn't really fit well in the colder months

03-25-2011 00:35:13 | More by Knapp85
Photo of TMoney2591


2.42/5  rDev -20.7%

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

"You can put it on the board...YES!" Definitely in a good mood after home run number two (this one's Carlos Quentin's) makes the score 6-0 ChiSox in the third. Time for a kolsch. This one pours a lightly hazy grapefruit yellow topped by a finger of short-lived white foam. The nose comprises dusty orange, dry wheat, and plenty o' butter. Hm. The taste isn't really more heartening, with notes of funky wheat, sour mandarin orange, and straight dust. A light but still very obvious bitterness gums (not enough tooth to bite) the tongue a bit at the end. The body is a hefty-feeling light, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a sad kolsch, straight up.

04-01-2011 20:53:11 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of zeff80


3.6/5  rDev +18%

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly, pale gold color with a white, two-finger head of bubbly foam. It did not leave any lace but that's not uncommon for the style.

S - The aroma was uninspiring. It was mostly caramel and grain aromas. There were hints of floral notes, too.

T - Better than average flavor. It has a sweet caramel taste with a mild spiciness - hints of pepper and yeast.

M - This one is really sharp and crackles on the tongue. A light bodied, easy-drinking ale.

D - I scored the drinkability high because I could see myself grabbing it again and again on a summer day. It's light and tasty.

07-07-2009 18:44:23 | More by zeff80
Photo of mactrail


3.58/5  rDev +17.4%

I guess this could be called a Kölsch, given the way the neighborhood is going. A bitter edge to it, rather thin as expected. Not much fragrance, which would seem to be essential in this fragile style. Lovely mouthfeel with good carbonation. Pleasantly quaffable but a total lack of any malt character, which may be in keeping with the style. Still it's a better choice than most of the anemic lagers and certainly a bargain if you're looking for a light beer and have a Trader Joe's handy.

Best by date is 1-22-12. New and rather attractive label.

08-11-2011 04:00:00 | More by mactrail
Photo of kojevergas


2.5/5  rDev -18%

Best before 11/07/12. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average. Kolsch style. 4.8% ABV.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a half finger beige colour head of no real cream, merely okay thickness, and flat out bad retention (<20 seconds). Lacing is nonexistent. Colour is a clear pale yellow-copper. Not particularly inviting. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Straw, poorly chosen malts, off barley, and indistinct background hops (floral only in character). Meh. An average strength aroma.

T: Clean malts, some cream up front, floral hops, and clean barley. Not particularly full-bodied. Balance is messy at best. Somewhat thrown together, but still palatable all around. Its simplicity holds it back.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Entirely too think and heavy on the palate for the style. It's meant to be light and refreshing. Carbonation is adequate.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable, even for the price. Trader Joe's contracts far better brews in the same price range. There's really no reason to get this again. Dreadfully boring.

High D+

08-01-2012 01:18:44 | More by kojevergas
Photo of GClarkage


2.75/5  rDev -9.8%

09/09/09- Purchased at Trader Joe's in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Darker golden pour..very dark for a kolsch. Head is quick to form a 1/2 inch and quick to fade in an instant. No lacing involved.

Smell- Sweeter than expected. Some light malt and some citrus notes.

Taste- A touch of skunk way in the back. Think I got this one right as it's beginning to turn the corner. Light lemony notes with a lightly bready toasted malt backing.

Mouthfeel- Kinda dry in the finish with an average carbonation level.

Drinkability- Had to try now that my Tj's is selling single bottles rather than whole six packs. Not disappointed, but not impressed...just another beer.

09-09-2009 19:03:46 | More by GClarkage
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.05/5  rDev 0%

A: Pours a crystal clear pale to medium yellow in color with moderate amounts of fine active visible carbonation rising quickly from the bottom of the glass as well as some faint straw yellow highlights. The beer has a two finger tall sudsy foamy bright white head that reduces to a large patch of thin film surrounded by a very thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to heavy amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aromas of bready and grainy malts with a very light amount of grassy hops aromas towards the finish.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of bready and grainy malts with just a very light hint of sweetness. That is followed by light amounts of grassy hops which imparts a light amount of bitterness which does not linger for too long.

M: Light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp.

O: A fairly average example of the kölsch style but easy to drink and somewhat enjoyable. A nice beer for the summer, especially considering the price.

08-06-2014 23:54:14 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of Zorro


3.4/5  rDev +11.5%

Clear straw colored beer with a small white head that doesn't last.

Fruity and malty smell with quite a bit of biscuit malt scent. Hops just aren't a standout here and I can't ID anything from smell. Would guess noble hops because of the style.

Starts out Grainy and near neutral sweetness and light dry grassy hops leave you with a well-washed palette. Light beer with out a lot of heft to it, just a dry wet beer for hot times of the year.

Mouthfeel is light.

More drinkable than say a Budweiser, this has a bit more flavor. No a great beer but good for its stated purpose of Summer Brew.

06-13-2009 01:55:54 | More by Zorro
Photo of plaid75

New York

3.03/5  rDev -0.7%

Poured a medium straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a sweet grainy adjunct grain with a dull hop spice.

The taste consisted of corn, sweet malts and a drying hop.

The mouthfeel was a bit sticky.

Overall a plain ale with a predominantly macro feel.

07-28-2009 02:35:35 | More by plaid75
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


2.98/5  rDev -2.3%

Yellow, white head, 1" deep, lots of bubbles and carbonation, not really good clarity or vibrance to the whole thing. Smelled like it was a geniune kolsch, if unadventurous at that, but it wasn't standard bmc lager yeast either.

Mild undercurrent of corn, wondered if this was the trader jose with lemon. Bitter and metallic wheat character at times. You get what you pay for, at least this comes in at a decent price. No off flavors.

02-05-2012 01:45:53 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of beertunes


2.43/5  rDev -20.3%

Poured into 9oz pilsener glass. Poured a light-medium straw color with less than a half-inch of white head that instantly dissipated and left very light lacing.

The aroma was mostly neutral, the beer had almost no aroma at all. There was some sweetness and just the faintest hint of grain. The flavors were also neutral, almost to the point of not existing, a little bit of caramel and an odd funk (maybe from the yeast?) were the noticeable aspects.

The body was a bit too full for the style and was also sticky. Drinkability was OK, you could drink a couple at a cook-out, or any situation where you're not focused on the beer. Overall, an OK brew, neither terrible or great. You can do worse, and better, for a bargain sixer.

07-06-2012 19:27:46 | More by beertunes
Photo of LiquidAmber


3.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a light golden amber with a thin white head that dissipates to a thin film and ring around the glass. Aroma of neutral malt, wheat and slight citrus sourness. Flavor is slightly tart bready malt, citrus and light wheat, finishing with wheat and grassy hop bitterness. Light bodied. A light, refreshing, but unremarkable summer beer. Light and low malt for a kolsch, but the light color and flavors are within the kolsch universe. A bit astringent in the finish, but pleasant and drinkable for a light summer beer, as advertised.

08-02-2013 01:33:14 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of popery


3.28/5  rDev +7.5%

I'm no expert on the style, so I will gladly defer to future reviewers, however this beer is just alright to me. The beer is a transparent, light golden liquid with a puffy white head. Lacing fairly coats the sides of my makeshift stange, but head retention on the liquid is fair at best. The smell is average all-malt lager with a fair bit of caramel sweet malt, like a slightly sour dessert bread dough. Generously stated, there's a floral note in there along with some grassy, spicy hops. The flavor doesn't have enough of the fruitiness that makes a good kölsch. That said, it's certainly a not a disagreeable beer. I would definitely pick it over a macro lager. The caramel malt and the grassy hops give the beer a fair if mild character. The mouthfeel could be a touch smoother - there's a touch of graininess, but overall it's an easy drinking beer, a good cheap beer for a hot day.

Note: Sorry, I got the name a bit wrong. It should be "JosephsBrau Summer Brew" like their other Trader Joe's contract beers.

06-07-2009 03:13:09 | More by popery
Photo of cdwil


3/5  rDev -1.6%

06-22-2014 13:19:08 | More by cdwil
Photo of harrymel


3/5  rDev -1.6%

Best by 07NOV12

Pours a golden yellow with a slight orange hue; topped with dissipating white foam and has excellent clarity. Nice floral and straw nose here with a good dose of grass and corn. Nice slight bitterness up front with some grain and corn with a sweetness about it - a little dry. Light bodied with moderate carb and wet finish. Average beer I'd share with people.

07-25-2012 01:36:12 | More by harrymel
Photo of wedge

North Carolina

3.4/5  rDev +11.5%

Clear solid yellow with a soft, lumpy white head that fills up the rest of my glass. Nice biscuity Pilsner malt aroma, sweetness, noble hops, and a subtle fruit note. Sweet grain and peppery/grassy flavor with enough hops to add a crispy bitterness to the finish. Light and refreshing.

For $6 a 6-pack, I'll take this to the pool or beach over your average macro lager any day. Not the most exciting beer in the world, nor is it a great example of the style (seems to be more of a Pils), but it's an inexpensive summer beer and in this NC heat, it's pretty satisfying.

07-11-2010 21:23:51 | More by wedge
Photo of KevMo84


3.5/5  rDev +14.8%

06-09-2014 01:27:01 | More by KevMo84
Photo of Falcone

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -1.6%

06-11-2012 02:30:21 | More by Falcone
Photo of ktrillionaire


3.1/5  rDev +1.6%

A – Very brassy gold, no real head or lacing sticks around after initial pour.

S – A bit lemony and just a hint of buttery caramel.

T – The taste is more of the same, but it seems a little bit spiced, especially with the stronger citrus notes. I am not either impressed or unimpressed with the amplification of flavors compared to a traditional Kolsch, subtlety would’ve worked just as well.

M – Kolsch always has good mouthfeel, it is one of its hallmarks, to me. No exception.

D – This is ok, but not as good as the real German Kolsch.

02-13-2010 17:56:13 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of Offa


3.05/5  rDev 0%

Gold, med-big off-white head steadily shrinks to ring and wisps.

Aroma is nice grain, grass, apple pear.

Taste is good, a nice full grain with light fruity sweetness, some apple and lightly bitter grass and pepper. Simple but solid, firm with good depth and balance, a nice full feel, it’s not very good, but it's a decent kolsch.

08-12-2011 05:24:40 | More by Offa
Photo of notchucknorris


2.68/5  rDev -12.1%

A: Pours a honey color with a really thin off white head. The head dies almost completely down very quickly.

S: Honey, a hint of wheat and some overripe fruit (honeydew and orange). As it warms, a bit of yeast come out as well.

T: The carbonation was a bit high for me and the body is a little too heavy for this to be a good summer beer. It's just not refreshing. Some honey upfront followed by a hint of stale hops and maybe a touch of aspirin towards the finish. The middle has some orange in it as well. It's not the worst of the Trader Joes lineup (see Kennebunkport Wheat) but it's not really worth picking up.

06-22-2011 05:16:21 | More by notchucknorris
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Josephs Brau Summer Brew from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
72 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.