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Josephs Brau PLZNR Czech-Style Lager - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Josephs Brau PLZNR Czech-Style LagerJosephs Brau PLZNR Czech-Style Lager

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BA SCORE
76
okay

132 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 132
Reviews: 50
rAvg: 3.28
pDev: 12.8%
Wants: 0
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style | ABV
Czech Pilsener |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: notchucknorris on 12-21-2011)
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Ratings: 132 | Reviews: 50 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by GMB:
Photo of GMB
GMB

Japan

3.88/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Josephs Brau PLZNR pours a somewhat unexpected, though appealing, darker-than-straw body. A standard pour yields a small, bright white head with tons of staying power. In fact, the head outlasts that of JosephBrau's Bohemian lager, whose head was initially more impressive. Indeed, PLZNR's head is so enduring that there is still a thin cap of sticky white foam as I take my first sip a full 5 minutes after the pour. Carbonation in the brew is medium. Regularly dispersed small bubbles move steadily in streams towards the surface. I predict that this brew will have a moderate feel and yield a frothy foam.

PLZNR's nose is balanced between mild, citrus-floral hops and lightly sweet malt. Dried apricots are balanced with coriander seed, pepper, lavender, and faint aromas of grapefruit.

I the thick, sticky malt of Bohemian Lager from my palate before delving into PLZNR. The latter is crisper, more sophisticated, and better balanced than the former. Prominent flavors are butterscotch, lightly toasted crackers, thyme, the zest of an unripe orange, and perhaps a touch of rosemary. Sweet grapefruit appears late, develops, and moves to the fore as the brew's flavors hang on the palate.

The first few sips are crisp and clean, but soon thereafter, malty flavors begin to dominate. The aforementioned flavors remain, but the sweet malt knocks things somewhat off balance. This brew is too sweet, especially for a Czech Pilsener. A thinner, lighter (that is, less toasted) malt profile would yield a crisper finish and allow the beer's lovely bouquet to open up more and develop further on the palate. The word "dry" should come to mind when describing a Czech Pilsener. In this case, it comes to mind only because I can't use it. Instead, I'm forced to write that this beer is dryish.

What crisp character does come through in this this brew is helped by its mouthfeel. A swirl around the tongue yields a respectable foam that's viscous enough to please the palate but not so sticky as to dull the beer's spicy notes or to dampen further the moderate dryness of the finish. Nice.

As a Czech Pilsener, PLZNR certainly outperforms Bohemian Lager. In fact, I submit that JosephBrau's Bohemian Lager isn't a Pilsener at all. Its richer malt profile and muted hoppy flavors suggest that it is best categorized as a Munich Helles Lager. The powers-that-be at BeerAdvocate would do well to consider reclassifying it as such.

I'd gladly drink either of these tasty beers again, but, if given a choice between the two, I'd reach for a PLNZR.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2013 19:52:28 | More by GMB
More User Reviews:
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CED

Ohio

3.25/5  rDev -0.9%

07-08-2014 21:39:28 | More by CED
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ElijahRivera

New York

3.25/5  rDev -0.9%

07-05-2014 17:29:27 | More by ElijahRivera
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argock

Virginia

3.66/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Best by 10/22/14 stamped on back label. Purchased at Trader Joe's (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Crystal clear straw-gold with 2-finger stark white, frothy head with good retention and a nice strip of lacing at the top of the glass.

S: Crisp sulfur at the front followed by grainy, slightly sweet pilsner graininess and capped by a healthy dose of floral, spicy noble hops

T: Really good flavor, fairly sharply bitter, really pushing the limit for the style and quickly approaching German pilsener territory. All in all this beer is pretty high quality and a pretty clean lager with no major flaws. A little too sweet and grainy and not quite toasty enough in the malt component for a Bo/Czech pils but with a good noble hops character. Very enjoyable, especially for $5.99 a sixer.

M: Crisp and refreshing with light-medium body and a medium dry finish. Carbonation is high as you'd expect.

O: PLZNER is another high-quality, low-priced TJ beer that really delivers the value. A few little tweaks to decrease the sweetness and moderate the bitterness (which is too sharp and needs to be softer), and this would be an excellent example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2014 02:18:43 | More by argock
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monkeybeerbelly

New York

3.75/5  rDev +14.3%

07-01-2014 23:02:16 | More by monkeybeerbelly
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MidwestBA

Illinois

3/5  rDev -8.5%

06-25-2014 02:57:31 | More by MidwestBA
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mojohawk21

Missouri

2.5/5  rDev -23.8%

06-22-2014 22:20:15 | More by mojohawk21
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KevMo84

California

3/5  rDev -8.5%

06-09-2014 01:28:58 | More by KevMo84
Photo of RonaldTheriot
RonaldTheriot

Louisiana

2.89/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

JosephsBrau Plznr has a thick, pureed-type off-white head, a clear, bubbly, golden appearance, and significant lacing left behind. The aroma is of sweet, biscuit grain and grassy hop oil. Taste is of those elements, with an even slightly citrus hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium and a touch chewy, and JosephsBrau Plznr finishes crisp, refreshing, and semi-dry.

RJT

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2014 13:08:46 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of boddhitree
boddhitree

Germany

3.56/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First, I had a Josephsbrau's Plznr Czech Style Lager. On the back label they say it's "a celebration of noble hops."

Appearance:
Looks like a Pils. Deep golden yellow? Yep. Snow white head? Yep.

Aroma:
A decent amount of Pils malt aroma, sweet as usual, and a hint of Noble hops behind it. Not bad, so far.

Flavor:
Up front: Very sweet Pils here, and some bitter, too. The bitterness is definitely a Noble hop, a heavy bitterness that's not too bitter but still enough to feel it.

Mid: Again, more bitterness, pretty much a the same as before, with some grassiness, again, classical Noble hop flavor. Though y'all won't believe me, there's a decent amount of tartness/astringency here as well. Surprised? I'm not, since it's a nice part of a good Pils.

Back: Yet again, there's lots of Noble malt bitterness and the tart/astringent flavors. There's again lots of sweet Pils malt toasty, bread.

Aftertest: Less Pils malt sweetness here and almost only Noble hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Not bad, quite thick and chewy, yum, just like a German Pils.

Overall: I hate to say this, but this beer isn't at all a Czech Pils, not at all. It's not soft enough; it's too dry and well, too GERMAN Pils like. It's also not a bad German Pils, but it's not in any way a Czech style. So, is that bad marketing? Or just a complete misunderstanding of styles?

Now, as a German Pils, it's again not bad at all. It's got lots of Noble hop bitterness and the tartness I expect, but it's lacking enough Pils malt flavors to make it keep it from being a one note wonder. It's definitely a "a celebration of noble hops." Yet it's not much more than, though. On the back label on the bottle it says it's 32 IBUs, which is again what it tastes like, which is a now what most German Pils' are. Again, it's not bad, but not up to the standards of the beer I've been drinking from Franken and from other Bayernbiere. A 3.5 of 5.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2014 04:41:42 | More by boddhitree
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JohnBender

Texas

3.25/5  rDev -0.9%

06-01-2014 00:54:54 | More by JohnBender
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Waveoff

Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -8.5%

04-20-2014 00:50:50 | More by Waveoff
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gshak

Texas

4/5  rDev +22%

04-19-2014 22:53:31 | More by gshak
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Matt2509

Ohio

3.25/5  rDev -0.9%

04-05-2014 00:31:04 | More by Matt2509
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Pog-Mo-Thoin

Michigan

3/5  rDev -8.5%

03-25-2014 03:12:03 | More by Pog-Mo-Thoin
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AlCaponeJunior

Texas

3.34/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Yellow with an ok head and lace.

Aroma and taste have grassy, dry hay, noble hops, a fair malt backbone. Body is fairly light, carbonation is a bit lower than expected. Finish is dry hay and grassy.

Overall it's refreshing enough, not TJ's best but drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 06:41:04 | More by AlCaponeJunior
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Fettpopps

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +37.2%

03-16-2014 14:52:15 | More by Fettpopps
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mnredsoxfan69

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev +6.7%

03-15-2014 03:22:20 | More by mnredsoxfan69
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tdm168

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev +6.7%

03-01-2014 01:45:18 | More by tdm168
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Irrationalist

California

3.25/5  rDev -0.9%

02-11-2014 07:03:49 | More by Irrationalist
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Onenote81

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +14.3%

02-03-2014 16:40:04 | More by Onenote81
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Spikester

Oregon

3.66/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear pale gold with one finger of white head that recedes rather quickly but leaves a good amount of lace.
Smells like saaz or noble hops earthy and slightly skunky. Light malts a some yeast.
Taste is hop forward with a crisp bitterness. Malts are true to the style. Just enough to smooth the flavors.
Mouthfeel is medium with adequete carbonation. Has a medium dry bitter finish.
Overall a decent if not stellar example of a Czech pilsner beer. Easy drinking and certainly a value brew. My bottle says brewed in San Jose not Monrovia.
Best before date 5/20/14 so it was pretty fresh.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2014 06:46:25 | More by Spikester
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Johnny_Muir

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev +6.7%

01-28-2014 02:51:37 | More by Johnny_Muir
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Guyute

California

4/5  rDev +22%

01-09-2014 04:18:36 | More by Guyute
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jawlessbody

Indiana

3.93/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours darker than a lot of pilsners, with a dark gold/coppery hue and a fluffy 3 finger head.

Smell: Sweet, bready nose with a little bit of citrus acidity that'll tickle the nostril hair.

Taste: It fills out the mouth with a tingle of floral hops that quickly fades into a cracker-like maltiness, soon finishing out into what I can only describe as a orange juice like acidity combined with a light bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Again, quite similar to orange juice. It's not really the carbonation, but the sharpness from the acidity that takes over the mouth feel, but it still remains smooth going down with just a bit of a tickle at the back of the throat.

Overall: Sadly, I only had one at my disposal or I probably would have had 4 or 5. It's low enough in alcohol content to be a very sessionable beer, but doesn't overpower the palate to the point where you only want to have one or two. It's light, crisp, refreshing and has a perfect balance of flavors for this style. I'm really impressed.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2013 16:59:38 | More by jawlessbody
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Josephs Brau PLZNR Czech-Style Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 132 ratings.