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

183 Reviews
Josephs Brau Vienna Style LagerJosephs Brau 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

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Reviews: 183 | Ratings: 335
Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.52/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Throws a rich, golden copper color; stringy, well disciplined white bubbly head. The nose quickly reveals malts, clean hops and traces of toasted rye bread. Caramelized, sweet dark malts, dry roasted peanuts on the initial quaffs. Medium bodied, twangy, bubbly carbonation. Underlying yeast gives way to some notes of wheat crackers and kisses of bitter hops. A bit metallic and a sweet, gummy, fresh bread finish. Pretty good stuff.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.87/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For the price of the beer ($5.50 for a six pack, mix & match) I was very impressed. Light amber and gold colored brew poured into a pint. Small amounts of cream head up top. Defininte caramel up front on the smell, some organic notes too, wheat perhaps.

Taste is a bit sweet with a decent bite to it, not a whole lot going on that's extremely noteworty. Definately not my style of choice, but not a huge knock on the beer... After all, it's fucking beer... Not much aftertaste, kind of disappointing finish. Definately drinkable at thsuch a low price, might try again.

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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.

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Photo of pietro9
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bronzed straw with a slightly copper/amber color, clear, average appearance. When poured into a pint glass the head is a lightly golden cream color. The aroma is dominated by a sweet honey character, with an underlying maltiness. There's also a slight hoppiness to the aroma, and a bit of funk. Somewhat offputting at first. On the palate it starts off sweet, with the honey coming on first. This turns into a pleasing malty flavor, with toasted grain and a light kiss of hops, and finally finishes clean and dry. Not much lingering flavor besides a pleasant grain-like aftertaste. Quite good for the price, though I don't know the style well enough to comment on this beer's particular adherence to a Vienna Style Lager.

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Photo of malcontent
3.86/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good frothy head that reduces to a patchy lacing atop a clear auburn body. Looks just about right.

Honey. That's about all I'm smelling. Sure, it is a malt scent I'm picking up but it is very much on the sweeter sweet side.

OK, yeah, it's malty. However, it's a rather deft stab at the Vienna style as it isn't overly sweet (and the honey notes are controlled better than in the nose) and there is no lingering aftertaste. Well, there it is. Totally unpretentious and surprisingly good.

The score seems high to me, too, but I'm reminded that we review beer with style in mind. The Vienna style isn't something that has much of an elite quality to it but the "Trader Joe's" (like many BA's, I know who brews this stuff) version is quite solid. Exceptionally drinkable, flavorful and a beer I can imagine pairing with a good number of cuisines.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a tawny orange with stunning clarity. One and 3/4 finger head of medium density and moderate retention and produces almost no lacing. Mild toasty nose with hints of dextrins. Sweet pale malt and wheat hit the tounge first, followed by toasty Vienna and Crystal malt. Dry aftertaste exhibits spicy saaz and tettnanger flavor, as well as some dextrionous, grainy character. Medium bodied with an even carbonation that allows a slightly crisp mouthfeel while keeping the rich malt notes alive. Finishes with mellow Crystal and Vienna toastiness and pale malt/wheat malt residual sweetness. Lasting noble hop flavor also provides a magnificent balance and promotes the high drinkability. Not outstanding, but it is well-made, inexpensive, and a great example of the style.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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Photo of Bighuge
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear bronze. Very little carbonation evident. Thin beige head. Lace is underwhelming. A mix of biscuit and toasted malts on the nose. Pretty light overall though. On the buds, the toasted malts wrap around a bready center. A little caramel as well. Fairly full flavored. Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated. Gives a somewhat creamy mouthfeel. Medium bodied. Decent enough. And drinkable. But that's about it.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crisp looking bread crust amber color. Some even, mild bubbling. A decent foamy film for more than half the beer. Some crisp lager like malt smells protrude from the glass. As well as some pellet hops. Taste is a very amber lager flavor. Hints a flowers and croissants. The Palate is very fresh and crisp. A good lawnmower or whistle wetting beer.

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Photo of kgotcher
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with a fair amount of carbonation. Decent head and retention.

Aroma is malty, caramel and roasted malt. Very drinkable with a light flavor. Slightly malty but not heavy, grainy buscuit malt flavor without a lot of hops.

Not a complicated beer, a bit crisp for an amber lager but still has a good flavor. For the price ($4.99/6 pack) not bad at all.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orange-amber hue topped by a wisp of off-white head that doesn't have much staying power. Aroma of toasted caramel malt, some light adjunct malt, German lager yeast, and just a touch of hops, along with some notes of bread and light caramel. Palate is sweet and malty, with a nice biscuity character. Aftertaste is slightly astringent. Body is nice and substantial for a lager. The noticeable alcohol prevents this beer from becoming an all-day session type, but it's still quite drinkable. For the price at TJ's, it's difficult to beat in its category.

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Photo of Hautacam
3.66/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Light amber...lively pour-head drops quickly to collar.
Smell ....malty
Tastes mostly of malt...good, but pretty light flavored. Some tiny bit of sweetness...almost no hop bitterness. Clean finish with little malt after taste.
Light mouthfeel with medium carbonation.
Drinkable. A good beer.And, for $.89 a bottle or $5.29 a six....a no -brainer if you have access to a TJ.

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Photo of walleye
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from the bottle. poured a amber with a off white head and left no lacing. aroma a nice sweetness, malts, fruit, caramel, some hops. flavor caramel and honey, fruit juice, malts and hops. smooth went down easy. not a bad beer could drink a few of these.

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Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle with a batch # and freshness date on the back label along with a blurb about the beer.

A- Three fingers of foam rise quick and leave some sea foam colored head in its wake. Clarity is perfect in its sparkling amber hue.

S- A bit of malty goodness in the aroma with hints of caramel and Portuguese sweet bread.

T- Solid malt character, lightly crisp in a moderate body. Toasted maltiness throughout. Kiss of hops with a hint of herbal flavor in the malty finish.

D- Very easy to drink. Perhaps the best to come from this Trader Joe's brand, I definitely recommend it if you like malty lagers and @ 5.29 a 6-pack it is a steal.

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Photo of Hibernator
3.05/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Trader Joe's Vienna Style Lager
12 oz brown bottle
Batch # 11/14/05
Served in a 16 oz pilsner glass

Pours a copper amber color. Decent head on top. Mini carbonation bubbles race to the top of the glass.

Whiffs a caramel malts and grains with a floral hop profile.

Sweet, juicy malt presence with a grainy quality to the mouthfeel. Munich and caramel malts? Rather smooth, yet thin too. A more complete finish would add to this beer.

Overall, the price is right and this is an average/slighty above average stab at this style.

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Photo of DogFood11
3/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Has a pretty good malt base that actually sends out a caramel type smell and taste, fairly meaty body for a lager but highly drinkable and sessionable. Has enough taste to keep my interest and for the price who can beat it? I was pleasantly surprised. Carbonation was not overkill but it gave the beer a fairly crisp edge and I would definately buy this again.

Hey what do you know!, straight across the board 3's. This is the epitomy of average. Thats not a bad thing at all. Lager's will rarely blow me away but if it hits the key points like this one did and have something unique about it than its worth the time.

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Photo of soulgrowl
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A lovely honey amber. Head is just barely yellow, about the same shade as waffle batter. The bubbles are pretty big and the head doesn't last long.

Smell: This smells so much like corn to me, like those Niblets you get out of a can. Sweet, grainy, buttery, and grassy. I like it! It would go really well with fried chicken or Mexican food.

Taste: Slightly caramelly, which is offset by a generous helping of hops. The hops' flavor (but not the hops' bitterness) is in full force, lending an amazing estery taste. Overall, this beer reminds me of corn cakes.

Mouthfeel: Nothing special. Very light, kind of flat. It stays with you, but in a kind of syrupy, cloying way.

Drinkability: I really enjoy drinking this beer. It's light, but has a hearty and complex flavor that doesn't get old too quickly. I imagine I could knock back quite a few of these at a barbecue.

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Photo of xoqx
3.09/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Orange-amber in color, this somewhat darker-than-expected lager has a minimal white head with almost no retention and no lacing.

Smell – The smell is light-citrusy and yeasty-sour with lots of grainy notes.

Taste – Caramelly grainy tastes are not able to compensate for the soft, but decidedly sour finish that I dislike.

Mouthfeel – Light-bodied.

Drinkability – I don’t find this beer compelling and I could not recommend it.

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Photo of charlatan
3.12/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Date on bottle is from a couple of months ago, but it isn't clear whether this is a brewed on date or a freshness date. Either way it doesn't taste stale or skunky.

Colour is a dark amber. There isn't much head here. Smells of rich caramel malts, carrots and walks outside breweries. The taste is a passable, malt dominated affair with a cheesy tang to it. I need to concentrate to locate the hops.

Decent, and the price makes it all the more drinkable!

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.56/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear amber orange color with a small patchy off white head on top that falls to a ring. Aroma is a mix of caramelized grains and a grassy, herbal hoppiness that exhibits a hint of fruity spice. Not half bad.

First sip brings a nice pale/caramel maltiness upfront along with some roasted grains. A nice, fairly mellow herbal, spicy, grassy hoppiness brings up the rear. I'd say this is a nice, refreshng vienna style lager..nothing incredible but a refreshing brew overall.

Mouthfeel is rather nice with a chewy body that has a creamy profile. An easy drinking beer that doesn't require too much thinking. Refreshing and under 6 for a sixer. I'd say it's a good crossover beer and I'll pick it up again if the mood strikes me.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice clear, bright amber coloured lager, with an excellent creamy off white head, good lace down the glass as I drink.
Rather pleasant aroma of hops ,nicelly balanced by the aroma of caramel malts.
Quite a good tastinf Vienna, balanced ..the malts hit the tongue first, caramel,toffeeish even in flavour, then a nice lasting hoppy bitterness.
Average mouthfeel for the syle..but still nice.
Very drinkable and a good try at a vienna..nice, i would have again.

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Photo of rowew
3.01/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz longneck bottle. On the front it says "Smooth Amber Laber." On the back is a nice description of the beer, the ABV, IBUs, and a clearly labeled batch date. At least TJ's have gotten the labels right.

Appearance: Pours a clear red amber color with a nice head. Fades relatively quickly to a thin lace.

Smell: Sweet malt with a hint of vegetables - decent, but not too appealing.

Taste: All malts here - but it ends up being a bit too sweet. No balance at all.

Overall impression: Not a bad beer, but not a great one either. Not bad for cheap beer from the supermarket, but I won't be seeking it out again.

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.02/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Well, it's an attractive enough beer. Clear gold in color with an ample swirle of carbonation leading up to a moderately sized off-white head. Decent lacing as the glass drains.

Aroma is mostly grainy, slightly sweet. Hints of caramel with a bit of a wet dog undertone. And yes, that's just as appealing as it sounds.

Slightly unpleasant flavor at the start. Not a lot of bitterness, just grains and some light malts for most of the sip. Finishes better, with the malts developing a lightly toasty, biscuity character. Overall, not a lot going on here flavorwise, though.

Moderate to thin mouthfeel, but fairly smooth. This is a drinkable beer, I guess. But not really exciting, and not my favorite example of the style by a longshot.

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Josephs Brau Vienna Style Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
3.47 out of 5 based on 335 ratings.
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