Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Trader Joe's Vienna Style Lager | Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
181 Reviews
Trader Joe's Vienna Style LagerTrader Joe's Vienna Style Lager

Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TheLongBeachBum on 01-23-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 181 | Ratings: 331
Photo of smttycty
2.14/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a freshly rinsed pint glass the two finger rough white crown split the scene way too quick, leaving a clear surface through which to view the light amber body. It left some legs on the side of the glass when swirled but virtually no lace.

The bouquet while the head was there was pleasant enough. Grassy sweet malt, a little floral, and some faint brown banana peel. First taste contained some of the malt sugars, but also a strange nuttiness like cooked edamame. A tart, mild astringency came on the follow. On subsequent swallows an off-flavored sourness began to overtake the pallette.

There was quite a bit of fizziness in the mouth but I usually like that, and it was more full-bodied then the Mexican versions of this styly usually offered. The unpleasant after-tastes might be broken up with the right food pairing here to allow the initial flavors a chance, but even at Trader Joe's below-a-buck-a-bottle price makes it hard to recommend.

 964 characters

Photo of Briken
2.31/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Little red amber with big tan foamy head with okay retention and uneven lacing. Light hop aroma and what reminded me of an adjunct lager. Smokey hop balance that muddies the waters until their is nothing but a generic beer flavor by the end. High carbonation with a mouthcoating numbness and slighly tacky feel.

There's just not much to say. It really wasn't anything in the way of interesting. oh well...

 406 characters

Photo of tongatim
2.37/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Undistinguished Vienna lager. Clean, with clear coppery color, and weak, evanescent head. Very little maltiness, which is what brings me pleasure with this style. Bitterness was in balance, but no detectable noble hop flavor or aroma. The only plus was the $4.99 price on a six-pack, but if you like this style, I'd spring an extra buck or 2 for a six-pack of Negro Modela.

 373 characters

Photo of Tone
2.38/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear amber color with decent head. Poor head retention and little lacing. Smells of lager cleanliness and some grass. Sharp, rather sour aftertaste that lessens with more drinks. Stronger than average carbonation. Rather bland characteristics plus the sour taste makes it hard to recommend this brew.

 309 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
2.41/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Of course I got this at Trader Joes..
Poured true to style, bright amber with a red hue. Nose is bit weak. The mouthfeel is very limited, watery. Lacks complexity and charachter of the style. This brew needs some TLC and I wont buy again or recommend. However, if you're looking for a cheap brew to down this is it.

 315 characters

Photo of umustdrink
2.49/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - No head, no lace. Clear dark orange color.

S - Slightly sweet but slightly alcoholy smell.

T - Not bad. Not great. Slightly bitter, slightly sweet. A bit one dimensional.

M - Carbonation burns a little bit, makes it kind of hard to taste.

D - Except for the appearance, everything about this beer reminded me of olde english malt liquor. Easy to drink and the price was right.

 392 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
2.49/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance: Crystal clear copper body, moderate white head fades fast. A little lacing.

Smell: Carmel maltiness, grain, a little fruity hops, really not all that much.

Taste: Bland and fairly boring. A little graininess combined with some carmel maltiness. Hops are underwhelming, this is a below average ber, for sure.

Drinkability: For the price, a good bargain, vs. the style, not so good.

 401 characters

Photo of BasementBrewerSF
2.51/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It is not a bad beer, but it is not a good beer. It has a nice pour and a rich color, but the taste is nothing to be admired. It tastes like a cheep super market beer, except classy-er because it was purchased at Trader Joes. It is good for a cheep night before pay day, but I would not purchase it again.

 305 characters

Photo of secondtooth
2.52/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clean, deep amber, with solid tree line lacing.

Malty and grainy on the nose...I get corn, wheat...simple.

Taste is sweet. Caramel malts and grains. Sweet and unbalanced, this brew is one-dimensional and nothing outstanding or memorable in the least.

Didn't like this one at all. Avoid.

 290 characters

Photo of bashiba
2.62/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a perfectly clear amber color with an inch of creamy tan head, light lacing and good retention.

The smell has a minerally and cardboard quality to it, not promising.

The flavor has a muted sweet malt taste with a light bit of tinny bitterness.

The mouthfeel is thin and a bit watery.

Not real great, might be oxidized, but is several months before the best buy date, so its not due to age.

 400 characters

Photo of stevoj
2.62/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Decent looking but mostly bland Vienna. Nice creamy head, but aroma and taste are weak, and musty. My first experience with Trader Joe’s house brews. Not impressed.

 166 characters

Photo of HalfFull
2.73/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pilsener glass. Pours a rather clear orange amber hue with a short lived head and light lacing.

Smells of sweet malts with a touch of floral hops. Distinctive Vienna malt scent. Has a bit of a smoky peat smell as well.

Nice lightly sweet malty taste, nothing too extravagant. Heavy carbonation gives the beer a light feel. As this diminishes the finish improves a bit and gives the brew a more moderate body. A bit bland in the end, lack of a lingering finish surprised me given the malt structure.

Edit: Tried again Jan. '09. Smell is lighter, taste is flatter and offers lighter carbonation. Dinged the taste .5 as a result. The dumbing down continues I guess.

 680 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.73/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 355ml (12 fluid ounce) standard looking brown glass bottle. The letters ‘T’ and ‘J’ sit aside a sheaf on an appropriately color coded dark orange crown cap. Main label and neck label has the words ‘Vienna Style Lager’. Described below as a ‘Smooth Amber Lager’. The reverse label has the Batch Number as ‘07:51 12/27/04 607’, plus the following Beer Stats: 5.7% alcohol by volume. 20 Bitterness units. Fermented using lager yeast.

Appearance: Off-white head quickly forms and builds into a 1” deep head. Dark orange copper body, clear and inviting. The Smooth head lasts a good while but the carbonation is average, head finishes at a ¼" covering with minimal lacing.

Nose: Grain encrusted caramel malts and a light Vienna hint but not much in the way of a nose on this one. Has a rather sweet odor.

Taste: Amber like entrance, sweet malts, some light toffee caramel. Minimal bitterness throughout. Rather boring…..Zzzz………

Mouthfeel: Smooth body, average conditioning and a clean drinker but a little thin overall.

Drinkability: Reasonably quaffable. Nothing detracts from this offering, it is just that it doesn’t have much to offer in the way of long term excitement either.

Overall: Not much happening in this one, far from awful but not one that I would buy again.

 1,321 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.8/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a beer mug.

A: Pours a reddish copper color with good clarity but low translucence. The head is a one finger light mocha color, quickly fading to a thin, collared film. Not very impressive looking.

S: Weak, which seems to be a trend from the Josephsbrau series. Some caramel, amber malt, and a very slight hint of grassy hops. It's actually a fairly good aroma, just pathetically weak.

T: Light caramel, toffee, and amber malts throughout. There's a strange chalky note on the finish, but this is actually perfectly okay otherwise, if mildly flavored.

M: Weirdly heavy and sticky, to the point where its bulk is too much for the light flavors underneath it. Carbonation is spot on, at least.

O: These TJ beers seem to be doing a great job of lowering my rAvg (their Oatmeal Stout notwithstanding), but truth be told, this is decent enough. Nothing special at all, but like the other TJ beers, its price point help mask its deficiencies somewhat.

 976 characters

Photo of ZAP
2.84/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Nice amber appearance...aroma is too light....some strained toasty qualities..

Taste is pretty basic...some candy-like maltiness....borders on too much malt...

Medium bodied..finishes a little dry..

Overall-run of the mill....malting load doesn't seem to fit (Pilsner, dark and carmelized dark malts according to the label) the style...and it tastes that way...more of an amber ale...

 393 characters

Photo of samie85
2.86/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a clear amber color with three fingers of dense light beige head.

S-Smells of biscuity malt and some hints of dark fruit.

T-Sweet malt with hints of dark fruit and with a light bitterness on the finish.

M-Medium bodied yet a little chewy and a slick feel.

D-I wish I had known this was made by Gordon Biersch, because it tastes exactly like their Marzen, which isn't exactly my favorite Marzen.

 406 characters

Photo of GMB
2.87/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A standard pour of JosephBrau's Vienna Style Lager yields an orange-amber body and very little foam. What head does arise quickly falls and disappears without a trace ("without a lace?"). Carbonation is vigorous; large bubbles surge towards the top as clusters of small bubbles race up the sides and burst on the surface.

The somewhat muted nose is malt-forward, but notes of mild noble-type hops are palpable. Mild aromas of toffee and toasted sugar cookies, and faint notes of lilac.

There's something off balanced about the taste. It's too sweet at first. Then the bittering hops assert themselves and the beer becomes too bitter. I'm a fan of bitter beers in general, but in this case the bitterness overpowers the toffee-like malt and isn't complemented by citral or floral hoppy notes. Consequently, the kinds of illusionary flavors that well-balanced beers produce (e.g., lemon, grapefruit, herbs and spices such as coriander and pepper) are absent.

The mouthfeel is fuller than I expect from Vienna Lagers. A quick whip around the palate tosses up a bit of foam.

Vienna Style Lager's confused flavor profile is utterly disappointing. The ingredients are obviously fresh. The yeast strain doesn't leave any unwanted flavors. It's got a lot of potential, but fails to deliver. I won't revisit this one.

 1,314 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
2.87/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Clear and golden, with a thin white head.

Malty aroma, clean, grainy, minor hops.

Smooth entry on the palate, if a bit grainy in the mouth feel. Easy drinking, but insubstantial in the flavor department. Thin-bodied, and ultimately unappealing.

You can drink it with no trouble, but boring puts it mildly. It's frill-less and thrill-less to the extreme.

Pursue the purchase of this one only if you're on a restrictive budget.

 439 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
2.88/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled at the Odds and Ends Tasting II on 10/19/07: Clear copper color with a medium off-white head that lasts a bit. Biscuity malt and caramel in the nose. Light, smooth body with sweet malt, caramel and grassy hops flavors. The finish is short and malty. Pretty bland and forgettable overall.

 295 characters

Photo of FlyingKneeStrike
2.89/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this as part of a Josephsbrau 12 beer variety pack for 9.99. Pours a dark amber color with an attractive head. Taste is mostly hops, pretty expected taste of this style of beer. Definitely better than some other red ale/amber lager style beers that I've tried.

 264 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
2.91/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle courtesy of fthomasl pours a very clear copper color with a decent cap of tan head. Nebular retention and little lace.

Nose is caramel popcorn, straight up. It like opening one of those Christmas tins with the 3 sections of caramel popcorn, cheese popcorn and buttered popcorn.

Taste is caramelized toast with a dollop of creamed corn. Not really a good example of the style, or a beer for that matter. But it does not really taste all that bad...I have a soft spot in my heart for diacetyl in ambers so this is somewhat enjoyable for me. Mouthfeel is fairly full for the style due to the sweetness, and the carbonation is ample. Not too bad despite all the flaws, but I am ok with just having this single.

 721 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
2.91/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear dark amber, rather typical but still appealing, with a fairly thick and persistent off-white head. Aroma is malty but not strong, nothing special but not bad either. Flavor is malty and has just a hint of fruit and a touch of caramel. Texture is fizzy and tingly. Overall, not too shabby.

 302 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.93/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

33cl brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Hard Rock cafe hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: One finger head of good thickness, nice cream, and good retention. Textbook copper colour.

Sm: Heavy caramel, light cream, and malted barley. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Light caramel, a full barley body with well handled malt, and nice hops (I can't place which type). It's nicely constructed and decently balanced, but doesn't feel bold or inspired. It's not taking any risks, but succeeds at playing it safe.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and a bit sharp. Kind of suits the flavour of the body.

Dr: It's very drinkable, decently priced, and of pretty good quality. I'd have it again, especially if it were on draught.

 778 characters

Photo of mikeg67
2.94/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle. Pours copper in color with a nice, lacy, white head. Not much carbonation. Aroma is malty, bready but very weak. Watery on a palate with a caramel malt upfront and week spicy hoppy finish. Not the best Vienna, but very drinkable and inexpensive.

 260 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks like a lager, a little more color to it, unlike an American adjunct type. No noticeable aroma other than "beer" if you know what I mean.

Taste, a faint sweet yeast strain I'm guessing, little hop character. Probably a better summer beer. Not bad, just a polite, mild beer.

Mouthfeel, remains constant, doesn't develop any nuances throughout. Gets some drinkability props for being cheap.

 396 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Trader Joe's Vienna Style Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
3.47 out of 5 based on 331 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!