Joseph's Brau Bohemian Lager
Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Joseph's Brau Bohemian LagerJoseph's Brau Bohemian Lager
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Style:
Pilsner - Bohemian / Czech
Ranked #493
ABV:
5%
Score:
74
Ranked #48,836
Avg:
3.19 | pDev: 16.61%
Reviews:
136
Ratings:
276
From:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
 
California, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  4
Gots
  21
SCORE
74
Okay
Joseph's Brau Bohemian LagerJoseph's Brau Bohemian Lager
Notes: Formerly Trader Joe's Bohemian Lager
View: Beers
Reviews: 136 | Ratings: 276 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by GMB:
Photo of GMB
GMB from Japan

3.11/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A standard pour of Josephs Brau Bohemian Lager yields a typically golden body and a thick, 2-inch head. Unfortunately, the head has less staying power than one would hope. Carbonation is slightly more intense than I expect from a lager. Bubbles are large and cling in large numbers to the side of the glass.

The nose is malt-forward. Hops are appreciable only after a bit of warming and a few swirls around the glass. The swirls do help to open up the beer's aroma, which comprises an appealing mix of toasted bread, lemon, and faint notes of lavendar.

My first sip is too sweet. Too much malt asserts itself and the bittering hops, though almost immediately palpable, are unable to stop the malts from sticking to the palate. Hoppy flavors do assert themselves. Sometimes flavors of apricot, honey-roasted rosemary, and sweet basil manage to suggest themselves. But for the most part, the sweet malt just masks them. The beer's heavy mouthfeel follows its malty flavor profile.

The powers-that-be at beeradvocate.com might do well to reconsider how they have classified this beer. I'd say that it is a Munich Helles Lager, not a Czech Pilsener. One can easily be misled by the words "crisp" and "refreshing," which appear prominently on the bottle, and which are typically the differentia specifica of Pilseners. I wouldn't use either of these words to characterize JB's Bohemian Lager. That said, I'd gladly drink another bottle. This beer was too sweet, but tasty nonetheless.

Sep 27, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of RonaldTheriot
RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

4/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

JosephsBrau Bohemian Style Lager has a thick, off-white head, a clear, bubbly, golden appearance, and lots of rather heavy lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of sweetness, biscuit, and grassy hop oil. Taste is of those elements, as well, and the bitterness is substantial enough to impress. Yeast is picked up, too. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and JosephsBrau Bohemian Style Lager finishes dry, easy going, and refreshing.

RJT

Jun 21, 2014
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation from Iowa

3.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Much closer to tangerine than gold, with corn silk hued highlights and a light shower of downward drifting yeast. The bone colored crown is bubbly on top and just sticky enough to leave a bit of itself on the sides of the glass.

Name aside, are we sure this is a Czech pilsener? The nose is more lightly corny pale lager with very little hoppiness. 18 IBUs (when fresh) indicate that hops aren't the main focus by a long shot.

Not a bad little pale lager. This is a decent choice if you have the right mindset going in. It's balanced, it's easily drinkable (read: inoffensive), and it should pair up well with most foods. Not great solo, but then what do you expect for a buck?

Untoasted bready grains are the flavor focal point... and I'm still getting a faint corniness that isn't unpleasant. Lightly sweet is nicely offset by lightly bitter. The hops are close to grassy, but don't scream SAAZ! with every sip. No real high points and no real low points equates to... average.

The mouthfeel does what it needs to do. A tendency toward wateriness on the back end almost dragged the score down one notch, but the bubbles have precisely the right amount of lightly sparkly energy.

Trader Joe's beer is surprisingly good, all things considered. Bohemian Lager, while not one of their best, isn't a bad choice for warm weather cookouts. Beats the hell out of what you're likely to see in the vast majority of backyards this summer.

May 18, 2011
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ from Wisconsin

1.26/5  rDev -60.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Going the Trader Joe's way with this 12 ounce bottle. On to the beer:

Slightly hazy yellow straw in color with no shortage of bubbles running through it. The head forms small and has a fuzzy texture. The smell....this is hard. Soaked bran cereal comes to mind, but really, the intensity of the nose in general is low.

When the first sip makes me involuntarily grimace, the outlook looks grim. Did somebody steal the barley from this beer? There's seems to be no sweetness at all. It's a seltzery, bitter mess that's painfull to drink and has an appalling bitter aftertaste. Fizzy bodied, weak, and unrefreshing in contrast to what the bottle label markets. That's five sips down, and that's all I can get myself to drink. The rest is going to visit the backyard lawn.

I was hoping that this would be a rip-off of something like Pilsner Urquell, but instead it looks Trader Joe's tried to rip-off the taste of Michelob Ultra. That's not good.

Aug 06, 2011
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis from North Carolina

3.01/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a crystal clear medium golden yellow in color with light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a quarter finger soapy white head that reduces to an extremely thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: There are aromas of grainy malts with some lighter notes of corn sweetness. There is something slightly off in the aroma of this beer that might be metallic in nature. Additionally there are light hints of grassy hops.

T: Moderate flavors of bready and grainy malts with a slight metallic hint (similar to having coins in your mouth). Light to moderate flavors of grassy hops with some light lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp and clean.

O: Not really anything special but certainly a decent beer considering the very reasonable price. Easy to drink and sessionable but not one that I am likely to buy again.

Jul 23, 2012
Photo of secondtooth
secondtooth from Indiana

2.44/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clean, clear, and golden, with solid foam. No discernible lacing.

Nose is grainy, corny, and oh-so-average. Like a typical adjunct lager here.

Tastes sweet. More grains and sweet corn. Bland, watery...need I say more?

One-dimensional, over-malted, and uninteresting.

Sep 28, 2011
Photo of Morey
Morey from Pennsylvania

3.08/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours golden in color with brilliant clarity. Little head to speak of following a medium pour. Some lacing on the sides of my glass, but not much.

Pretty mild aroma. A touch of grain and some sweetness also being detected. I'm not a big fan of the sweet smell.

A combination of hops and carbonation (mostly carbonation) hit the palate first, followed up some malty sweetness which rounds things out. Not as crisp as I like my Pilsners.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side with a moderate carbonation level.

An average Pils overall.

Morey's Bottom Line: Not the worst Pils that I've had, but the lack of crispness coupled with the overdone sweetness makes this not worth spending money on. I'd drink it again, but it would have to be given to me (and this was).

Aug 06, 2011
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BeardedBoffin from New Mexico

3.28/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 12 ounce bottle of Bohemian Lager from Trader Joe's. It pours fine, a crystal clear golden color with a decent, somewhat sticky, head. The aroma is crisp with malty undertones and a backbone of spicy hops.

Wispy malt on the palate with some rough grainy edges. It is sparse as it moves through the center--bordering on watery. It finishes with a flash of spice and hops. Sulfur lingers on the palate for a second or two after it is all done.

Nothing outstanding here, but drinkable nonetheless.

Jan 06, 2010
Photo of BoitSansSoif
BoitSansSoif from France

4.07/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Paired very well w/curried coconut milk and vegetables.
A-Clear gold w/hints of orange and pink. Thin head. Light tracing that did not stick for long.
S-Light clean malt, faint noble hops, bread, lemon, grass.
T-Light malt, noble hops emerge modestly at the end, and the aftertaste is clean and even.
M-Clean and pure w/robust carbonation and good balance. Light-bodied, as it should be.
D-I was surprised how decent this one was; more so after reading some o' the other reviews that really bash it. There was nothing major wrong with this beer, even if some of its character may be overly subtle. The pairing with the curry created a contrast that brought out the best in this beer.

Aug 23, 2008
Photo of tpauer
tpauer from New Hampshire

3/5  rDev -6%

Jan 18, 2013
Photo of gpogo
gpogo from California

3.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Brilliantly clear deep golden body with a white head that dissipated.

A- Lightly sweet malt aroma

T- Rich malty flavor almost bready tasting. Spicy hit of bitterness. I'm also getting some very light notes of diacetyl.

M- Medium-light body, perhaps in part from the diacetyl tastes with a moderately high carbonation.

D- I'm not too impressed by this beer as a Czech Pilsner, I think there are better examples out there. This might be a nice way to push a BMC drinker into branching out, but the amount of buttery diactetyl in this beer bothers me.

Mar 07, 2009
Photo of Mardukk
Mardukk from Ohio

3.06/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep golden color with somewhat large off white head, lacing is also present. Nice looking beer.

A pretty non descript smell slightly metallic and maybe a hint of hops.

The taste is pretty thin for a pilsner. Not much to speak of in the way of malt. A light hop bite in the finish along with a metallic taste. The finish is fairly dry and clean.

A fine light carbonation suits this beer well and improves the drinkability. Almost any beer this dry is gonna be drinkable.

This is a fairly average to below average pilsner. It is a bit light on the hops and malt for my taste for the style.

Mar 04, 2010
Photo of Offa
Offa from California

1.69/5  rDev -47%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I found this to be a terrible interpretation of a Czech pilsner, rough, bland, and unpleasant tasting, barely drinkable.

Faintly hazy deep gold, it has a thin, slightly fizzy, off-white head that soon shrinks to wisps and a ring, leaving a faint hint of lace at first.

The aroma is definitely a Czech pilsner in overall impression and good if not actually very good, with flowery apple, apple juice, grain, herbs, hints of bread, mineral, raisin, and vegetable.

The taste and feel struck me as awful. It starts out with some malty musty apple with cooked vegetables, a hint of butter and a fleeting hint of grain. This fades quickly to a rough minerally, watery, blandness dominated by a light, sharp bitterness that, because it's all there is, is too much. The bitterness and rough feeling on the toungue linger. The taste has a definite, general Czech character (hard to pin down, but it's there), but it's thin, rough, bland, and what flavour there is vanishes quickly.

Ironically, my wife, who does not like Czech pilsners normally (and who prefers mostly better macro lagers and strong Belgian golden ales) likes this. She normally finds my beers too bitter, yet found this fine, whereas I found the bitterness in this beer to be too much and too rough. I know for me, though, that absolute bitterness is not what matters but bitterness relative to the rest of the beer and here the bitterness was all alone with no other flavours, sweetness, etc., to carry it.

Oct 22, 2008
Photo of HalfFull
HalfFull from California

3.15/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden straw color with a thin fleeting head and virtually no lacing.

Smells lightly of piny hops with a more notable subtle malt presence. Nothing too exciting on the nose yet nothing to detract.

Taste is equally middle of the road with bready malts carrying through to the finish. Sweetness and carbonation are good however and gives the beer a decent body, improving the drinkability.

Least preferred of the 4 styles in my mix-o-six.

Jun 11, 2008
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spycow from Illinois

2.75/5  rDev -13.8%

Nov 02, 2014
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Kgrubb1224 from New Jersey

4/5  rDev +25.4%

Nov 27, 2011
Photo of jwinship83
jwinship83 from Illinois

3.08/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with no freshness dating, only a batch number. it cost me only a dollar, and i poured it into a standard pint glass.

A- this one pours a very clear golden yellow colored bodied with lots of visible carbonation rushing to the top of my glass. a small skin of bright white head forms before quickly becoming no more than a crown. little to no lacing left behind.

S- the smell is very subdued. grainy and bready malts. thats about it.

T- sweet bready and grainy malts. a mild noble hop finish. not much else. not bad, but not great either. pretty simple.

M-light, crisp, clean, and refreshing. the best part of this one.

D- easy to finish and a good alternative to the american macro lager. at this price, its similar in cost. not one of the better beers from here.

Jun 17, 2009
Photo of Onenote81
Onenote81 from North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +17.6%

May 03, 2014
Photo of dmfrench
dmfrench from Indiana

2.24/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Caramel and adjunct rich Czech Pils... look out for 'clumps' :o
___

A: Very clear goldenrod body with a fleeting, off white, sudsy, two finger head. Unappealing small 'clumps' formed in the head, persisting for quite a while, leaving me to believe they were particulate in nature when they were apparently not.

S: Dry pils biscuit with some diacetyl, a very light spicy hop edge, and a dose of corn adjunct and metal.

T: Fairly big caramel malt and pils style hops, but also fairly big on adjunct and metal. Best in large gulps.

M: A bit watery, but not bad.

D: Metallic finish and 'clumps' make it a "no" for me.

Feb 22, 2011
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McCranky from Illinois

4/5  rDev +25.4%

Nov 25, 2011
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puboflyons from New Hampshire

3.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

From the 12 fl.oz bottle with a best by date of 07/17/14. Sampled on March 13, 2014.

It begins with a mostly yellow to golden yellow pour that erupts into a modest white fizzy head and settles back almost as quickly. I would have liked it to be headier.

The aroma is in step with the style with pale biscuit malts, barley, grass but there is this buttery sensation that kind of crashes the party.

Light body for the most part but smooth.

For the taste I get the same biscuit and malt characters up front along with the butter but there is a more vibrant clean, crisp hop finale that gives it a new lease on life.

Mar 13, 2014
Photo of dpodratsky3
dpodratsky3 from Georgia

3.01/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: head starts off great, .5 finger bone white head, but like all their beers, quickly settles to almost nothing, beer is gold with light hints of orange with great clarity

S: Almost no aroma to speak of, a slight skunk but even that seems mild

T: For a Pils its lacking hop flavor, their other Pils is better (but not by much), all I taste is skunk, not super strong, but there is almost nothing else going on

M: Pleasant, mild dryness, light-medium body, super easy to drink

O: There is nothing "wrong" with this beer, give it to an unassuming, not-picky beer drinking on a summer evening and they won't even pause to think twice, however as far as a craft pilsener goes it doesn't taste like anything. Again, no off flavors stand out (other than the purposely added skunk), but there is just nothing here.

May 17, 2013
Photo of cadenwhitaker
cadenwhitaker from Minnesota

3.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Yeah, I've had Czech Pilsners much better then this. I would say this is allright, seems to have the bases covered but no, no, no complexity. I got some grassy malts, some corn, but I couldn't find any hop profile in this.

Overall, I could easily drink this, but the only reason I wouldn't get it again is because there are much better beers available in this category.

Mar 23, 2009
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rudedude985 from California

2.75/5  rDev -13.8%

Aug 11, 2014
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emsroth from New York

2.42/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

App. True gold. Perfect clarity. Decent head.

Smell. Sweet malt with a strong biscuit presence. Fruity hop aroma.

Taste. A slightly sweet but dry, flat malt. A bit of a bite from the hops and carbonation. Very minimal bitterness but I wasn't expecting much because the bottle said 18 ibu's.

Flat mouthfeel. I've been very disappointed by these trader Joe beers.

Jan 26, 2010
Joseph's Brau Bohemian Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 74 out of 100 with 276 ratings