1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

140 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 140
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 3.3
pDev: 12.73%
Wants: 0
Gots: 3 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 140 | Reviews: 51 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Fettpopps
4.5/5  rDev +36.4%

Fettpopps, Mar 16, 2014
Photo of BrianCuoz
4.25/5  rDev +28.8%

BrianCuoz, Mar 13, 2013
Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.1/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pilsener glass- pours a clear golden color with two fingers of head, decent retention, a few streaks of lacing, visible effervescence.

Smell is appropriate for the style- grassy, lemony hops, some pale malt sweetness, and a little bit of that signature lager yeast.

Taste is perhaps not as lovely as the nose- a little heavier on the malt sweetness, but still good noble hop bitterness and flavors, not really tasting the yeast. Grass keeps coming to mind (and palate), but not in a bad way. Crisp.

Mouthfeel is pretty good as well- light body, moderately full carbonation, some residual sweetness and grassy hops in the finish. Hell, this is a damn good beer for $6.49 a sixer, and even not considering the price I like it for an American pilsner. I've never quite been able to put my full support behind Prima Pils. I think I'll get this one many more times considering this price and worthy taste.

Hopdaemon39, Sep 10, 2012
Photo of steveh
4.1/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got into my local TJ's for the first time in a while and happened on this new label. I find it odd that this beer rates so much lower than the same beer -- but carrying the Gordon-Biersch label. Tell me blind tasting isn't the best way to review.

A -- Clear, deep gold with a long-lasting dense white head. Picture-perfect Pilsner.

S -- Spicy hops up front with a mild fruitiness and DMS back. Some vague breadiness back.

T -- Good balance of spicy hops and bready malts up front with the hops finally winning out. The breadiness lingers into the finish, but light citrus and spicy bitterness dominate the aftertaste.

M -- Mouthfeel is crisp and dry with a medium-light body.

O -- When I first grabbed this beer I was afraid it was just a re-labeling of the Josephsbrau Bohemian Lager, but this is a much nicer brew. While not so much Czech as German in its Pils character, it's a great rendition of the style from a US micro. Very easy-drinking and perfect on a warm summer day.

steveh, Jul 09, 2012
Photo of elwoodjblues
4/5  rDev +21.2%

elwoodjblues, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of SonicAddict
4/5  rDev +21.2%

Agree with Argok, but just had a better opinion of it.

My bottle had a different label, but i'm not sure if that means I had a newer version of the beer.

SonicAddict, Aug 27, 2014
Photo of gshak
4/5  rDev +21.2%

gshak, Apr 19, 2014
Photo of kepp
4/5  rDev +21.2%

kepp, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of ynoT0207
4/5  rDev +21.2%

ynoT0207, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of Guyute
4/5  rDev +21.2%

Guyute, Jan 09, 2014
Photo of jawlessbody
3.93/5  rDev +19.1%
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.

jawlessbody, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of GMB
3.88/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

GMB, Sep 27, 2013
Photo of McStagger
3.8/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ah, the good ole TJ's brand beers. Always a good value. How does this one stack up?

A: Poured into a standard pint glass. Slightly darker than straw yellow with a touch of haze. Most clear, though. Rapid pour leads to two finger bleach white head. Dissipates rapidly with moderate lacing. Ample carbonation, with large bubbles.

S: Sweet malts, lemon zest, spicy and floral hops, touch of skunk.

T: Light, crackery malts transition into a spicy bitterness. Floral notes, green apple, touch of sulfur, lemon oil. Fairly strong bitterness smacks you right in the mouth. The bitterness is borderline resinous and soapy. Finishes fairly dry and bitter.

M: Spot on for the style. Okay, maybe it feels a little mass produced, but I've definitely had worse examples.

O: Pleasantly surprised, to say the least. Tastes like a ten dollar a six pack beer. Instead, only 5.50. Damn.

McStagger, Jun 14, 2012
Photo of damndirtyape
3.78/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (best by 06/02/12) poured into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Clear golden yellow, plenty of carbonation coming up through the beer. White foam upon pouring quickly died back to form the barest ring of foam at the edge of the glass. Lacing at this ring quickly slid back down the glass.

Smell: That classic crisp pilsner smell, but hoppier than your typical mass-market pilsner with a crisp malt smell - maybe a tiny hint of honey in there at the end.

Taste: Earthy and spicy hops right up front and at the end as well. Crisp and dry finish with the tiniest of lingering hop finish. Some clean malt in the middle, but the hops dominate in this beer flavor. Quite the nice pilsner.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation on the tongue, some thickness to it, otherwise just above average for a pilsner.

Overall / Drinkability: A nice pilsner - good flavor and smell but a tad disappointing in regards to appearance. Nice to see the Czech/German hops typical for this style so well represented with this beer. Went quite well a meal (Sicilian corkscrews & beans) and would go well with a lot of other food as well. Good drinkability as well, I could have another without hesitation.

damndirtyape, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of IchLiebeBierZu
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

IchLiebeBierZu, Oct 12, 2013
Photo of rhino54
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

rhino54, Aug 09, 2013
Photo of twiggamortis420
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle courtesy of fthomasl pours a clear gold color with a nice cap of white head. Nice lacing!

Nose is very grainy...pretty good representation of the style. Hops are floral and a little grassy. Not bad, but does not smell super-delicious.

Taste is a nice combo of grainy malts with a herbal, grassy hops. Not bad..this is one of the more affordable pilsners out there and it is better than 60% of the imports that are more expensive. I like it, but unfortnately a TJ is about 30 miles away!

twiggamortis420, Oct 13, 2012
Photo of Beermazter310
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Beermazter310, Jun 11, 2012
Photo of RonKoch
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

RonKoch, Aug 10, 2013
Photo of Onenote81
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Onenote81, Feb 03, 2014
Photo of halfbarrelbrew
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

halfbarrelbrew, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of mwar
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

mwar, Dec 02, 2012
Photo of monkeybeerbelly
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

monkeybeerbelly, Jul 02, 2014
Photo of mattparsons
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

mattparsons, Oct 08, 2012
Photo of Spikester
3.66/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

Spikester, Jan 30, 2014
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Josephs Brau PLZNR Czech-Style Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 140 ratings.