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

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Josephs Brau PLZNR Czech-Style LagerJosephs Brau PLZNR Czech-Style Lager

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BA SCORE
77
okay

59 Reviews
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Reviews: 59
Hads: 178
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 12.91%
Wants: 0
Gots: 12 | 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:
Beer added by: notchucknorris on 12-21-2011

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Reviews: 59 | Hads: 178
Photo of BucannonXC5
3.57/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My house on July 8, 2012. Bottle into pint glass. Two fingers of head. Honey pale color. Foamy white lacing. Below average-to-poor retention.

Smelled honey, corn, wheat, grass, bread and light lemon hops.

Tasted honey, corn and bread mostly. Also grain, cereal and toast. Also some light lemon hops that brings everything together.

Light body. Thin texture. Average carbonation. Refreshing, but abrupt finish.

Not a bad beer overall. A decent, refreshing pilsner. Great for the summer. (493 characters)

Photo of secondtooth
3.71/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a clean gold, with a full head of clean white suds. Attractive and thick lacing.

Aroma: Creamy, malty grains and some sweetness. Typical (and faithful) for style, and certainly not bad.

Taste: Malty, clean, bready, and with a sharp zing of hops. A highly drinkable and enjoyable pilsner, and one I could easily enjoy again. As well, a nice price $1.25/bottle at Trader Joe’s. (397 characters)

Photo of Cresant
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served this 12 oz. brown bottle in a shaker pint. Best by: 8/28/12. The body was golden and clear. The white cap left some lacing.

The smell was slightly skunky Nobel hops. Light crackery malts give it a graininess.

The taste started with a bright snap of crisp hops. Clean.Crackery malts and lemon. Slight mineral notes. Husky, which I like in a pilsner. Very drinkable.

The mouthfeel was medium with lively carbonation. With the Trader Joe's label one automatically thinks "cheap" but this is a solid Czech style pilsner in my book. (537 characters)

Photo of augustgarage
3.65/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Harriet pils glass. Best before February 5th, 2013.

Clear pale gold body with a thin finger of white soapy suds. Faint lacing, but decent retention.

Clean brisk musk with mountain air and malt, and herbal noble hop aromatics (Saaz, I presume). Faintly crackery/biscuity as well.

Moderately bitter palate entry with a building spicy character from the hops which remain present on into the dry sod-like finish. Crisp clean and well lagered - nicely crafted with just a touch of barley and winter fruit for sweetness. Lacks the subtle malt complexity of the best examples, but remains free of off notes.

Soft yet zesty, light-bodied mouth-feel.

A bit one-note I suppose, but this is quite a refreshing and carefully constructed lager and an excellent value. (796 characters)

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a clear golden yellow color with a white, finger's worth of head. Fair retention, resulting in a broken layer of surface suds. Virtually no lacing.

Smell - Predominant grain aroma, along with light touches of bready sweetness and a faint grassy character.

Taste - grainy, bready malt sweetness to start. Grassy hop character comes on stronger in the flavor, though the balance still tilts slightly in favor of the malt. Fairly clean finish.

Mouthfeel - Light in body with moderate carbonation. Smooth, but not quite as crisp as the style demands.

Overall - Decent Pilsner. Nothing to write home about. Maybe a decent gateway beer for macro drinkers? (673 characters)

Photo of mikeg67
3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from Trader Joe’s. Pours deep golden with a short-lived, white head. Nice aroma is of pale malt and grassy hops. Medium, slightly crisp body. Earthy hops are balanced by biscuit malt and grapefruit on the palate. Long, bitter finish. Well done Pils. (264 characters)

Photo of Spikester
3.66/5  rDev +9.9%
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. (585 characters)

Photo of jimmah120
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle best by april of next year

look is clear fizzy yellow gold, with an eerie soda-like head that slowly fades. smell is grain, esters, hops. taste is clean with some hop bite initially, finishing sweet/burnt overcooked grain. feel is semi-clean with a sticky, spicy, bitter finish.

half a good beer, with a good price. ill probably grab it again. (357 characters)

Photo of damndirtyape
3.74/5  rDev +12.3%
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. (1,186 characters)

Photo of Murrhey
1.86/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a weizen glass. Reviewed live.

A- Finger and a quarter dense white head. Great lacing. Very pale green-gold color. Heavy carbonation.

S- Wheat and warm malts.

T- Kind of skunky, and stale/overcooked barley.

M- Light feel. Wet, but not finished.

O- Not good. (297 characters)

Photo of nick76
3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The aroma is plain with just malt and grassy hops. The appearance is golden with an average head for the style. The taste is like the aroma with a noticeable bitterness but not bad at all. The palate is typical for the style. Overall a pretty good beer. (253 characters)

Photo of steveh
4.11/5  rDev +23.4%
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. (984 characters)

Photo of GossageBrewery
2.78/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. This Czech Pilsener poured a golden clear color, produced a average white head, average retention and a nice amount of lacing left behind. The aroma consisted of sweet malted grain. Moderate body this Pils has a base flavor of sweet malt, baked bread and hops. Overall, its merely an average example of a Czech Pils- if our on a budget its a nice value, but I wouldnt seek this one out. Prost! (437 characters)

Photo of fx20736
3.66/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pellucid clear Old Goldwith towering, craggy white head. Gorgeous lacing.Hop aroma lacking, some sour according to style. Lacking spiciness of Noble Hops but drinkable. Mouthfeel is decent. Ho hum (196 characters)

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.12/5  rDev +23.7%
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. (939 characters)

Photo of gpogo
2.9/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Light clear golden body with a small white head that cleared out quick.

A- Light sweet malt aroma.

T- Grainy sweet malt. Some very light bitterness; not unpleasant, but not crisp. No hop flavor.

M- Light body, sort of creamy, sticks around. Moderate-light carbonation.

D- Not great, but definitely drinkable. (315 characters)

Photo of Luigi
3.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a clear straw yellow color, or you could call it light golden. The head was about two fingers high, and then settles down to a small lace but does have some sticky lacing around the glass.

The aroma reminds me of more of an adjunct lager than a Czech Pilsener. Light grass notes, sweet grain, a some malt sweetness.

The taste is not bad, it just does not match the profile of a Czech Pils. A bit of bitterness from the grassy hop and some light grain. Finishes clean and mildly bitter.

Light in body and highly carbonated, and very easy to drink.

I really think this lager should be considered an American adjunct lager. It is not a bad brew, but it just reminds me of an American adjunct lager. There is a lack of saaz hop spiciness that I always look forward from this style of lager. But for the price, I think it puts most American adjuncts to shame. (870 characters)

Photo of McStagger
3.77/5  rDev +13.2%
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. (878 characters)

Photo of bushbeer75
3.38/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle - best before 11/17/13

Josephs Brau PLZNR Czech Style Lager pours a clear gold with a smaller off-white head that held well leaving behind minimal lacing and a small collar of bubbles. The nose is hoppier than your average macro pilsner [fits the Czech style] with a crisp and clean malt aroma. The taste buds first notice the spicy hops followed by some malt in the middle then the hops return at the finish for a lingering light hop bitterness. Active carbonation in the mouth with a medium-light body.

Not my favorite Czech Pilsner, however it is refreshing for a summers day. (600 characters)

Photo of mpyle
3.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden color, brilliantly clear. Big head with somewhat big bubbles (served it a bit warm)

Metallic macrolager aroma, and not much malt or hops.

Not sure if all malt, but tastes a bit adjuncty. Nicely balanced with a distinct hop bitterness late that carries into the finish. Overall taste is cleaner than anticipated based on aroma.

MF - Fairly light bodied, medium plus carbonation. No astringency or warming.

Slightly disappointing, as don't feel as though it is as good as some of the other Josephbrau offerings. But at $6/6pack, not a horrible value. (560 characters)

Photo of dpodratsky3
3.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Pretty much no head what-so-ever, foams then turns to nothing immediately, color is like apple juice, bright gold, excellent clarity

S: Has that Euro-skunk going on, not quite green bottle levels, but definitely on purpose, biscuity malt with herbal hops, pretty mild overall

T: Again a little skunk hits you right away, mostly herbal hops though, spicy finish with a little sweetness as the hops fade, hop dominant though

M: Dry, light but not watery, a little too dry to be quenching though

O: Very mediocre, expected more even from Trader Joe's brand (598 characters)

Photo of GMB
3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
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. (2,543 characters)

Photo of Flightoficarus
2.86/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours crisp, golden hue, with a large, foamy white head, which quickly dissipates to a mild-moderate glass lacing.

S - Smell is of honey, various grains, possible hints of corn, and grassy hops.

T - Taste is of honey and mixed grains, w/hints of grassy hops to balance it. Flavor is kind of plain, even for a pilsner, but still not that bad.

M - Body is on the lighter side, w/a fairly high level of carbonation. Pretty easy drinking.

O - Overall, it's not the greatest Czech Pilsner out there, but it's pretty hard to complain when a sixer runs what BMC type stuff does. Definitely a good value. (605 characters)

Photo of ithacabaron
3.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, darkened yellow. Almost no head at all, very little visible carbonation. If I didn't know any better, and I came into the room, I'd think there was a glass of apple juice on the table. Not impressed.

Smell is nice. Clean malt, with a smooth hop profile gliding over top. Doesn't particularly smell accurate to style -- more of a fait pale ale aroma -- but it's not bad all the same.

Taste is mild and unassuming, with a significant guava note on the palate. Sweet, and a little flabby. Again, way off style, but is not offensive in the least.

Mouthfeel is fine -- full and foamy. Again, not on style.

Overall . . . I don't know what to do with this beer. It's not a Czech Pilsner, by any stretch of the imagination. It's really more of an American Bitter -- a healthy dose of malt, a graceful and quiet hop profile, and unassuming enough to allow a few pints to end up in your glass.

Is it a great beer? No. Am I unhappy that I spent six dollars on the six pack? Nuh-uh. Will I buy another one? Nope. (1,019 characters)

Photo of boddhitree
3.6/5  rDev +8.1%
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. (1,912 characters)

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Josephs Brau PLZNR Czech-Style Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.