Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Josephs Brau Oktoberfest | Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Josephs Brau OktoberfestJosephs Brau Oktoberfest
BA SCORE
3.16/5
Okay
192 Ratings
Josephs Brau OktoberfestJosephs Brau Oktoberfest
BEER INFO

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

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-13-2006

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#43,992
Reviews:
107
Ratings:
192
pDev:
15.51%
Bros Score:
3.34
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
17
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 192 |  Reviews: 107
Photo of Falcone
2.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of NeverSettle
3/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of zbooks
3/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.03/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle courtesy of fthomasl pours a clear gold color more in line with the newer festbiers as opposed to traditional marzens. Fluffy white head does not last too long, but does leave nice lace.

Nose is grainy, fresh, slightly sweet caramel popcorn...a little buttery even. Probably dome diacetyl issues but that is not always a bad thing.

It definitely has diacetyl issues, but I don’t mind it much in a beer like this. The butterscotch flavors behave well with the light, grainy malts. Not much of a hop presence, even considering the style. I don’t think the beer is all that great, but I won’t have a problem finishing the bottle and actually am enjoying the butterscotch flavors.

 697 characters

Photo of JohnBender
3/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of kojevergas
2.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in Los Feliz, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average. Acquired as part of the 12 bottle variety pack for $9.99. Best before 02/02/13 14:30.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Not paired with food.

A: Pours a one finger head of soft rolling slight cream, nice thickness, and average retention. Colour is a clear pale copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Generally appealing.

Sm: Oats, clean full-bodied expressive malts, cream, and some barley. Some vague stale hops. A slight rauchbier-esque smokey note - that's unexpected. An average strength aroma.

T: Some nice rolling cream. Clean bright malts. Vague stale misplaced hops. Clean barley. A bit toasty. Simple and restrained, but enjoyable.

Mf: Smooth, clean, and wet. Thickness is decent. It supports the flavours in a general sense.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but far from great. I might get it again. It's a good value beer at 83 cents per bottle. Good fare for what it is. That said, it won't blow your socks off.

C

 1,132 characters

Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of Cavanaghty
3.08/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appaearance: Copper color and clear with an off white head that last a few minutes and left medium lacing on the glass.

Smell: Light hoppy smell with roasted malts.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium to light bodied. Taste of roasted malts and pine. Bittersweet at the end.

Overall: Not horrible, I hosnestly did not expect more from it anyway. Neat that Trader Joe's has their own brewery.

 430 characters

Photo of bluebrew17
2.33/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Picked up a six pack of this beer at Trader Joes... Pour was nice, decent white head. Color is medium amber. There is a hint of diacetyl on the sniff, and a taste confirms. This beer was alot like carbonated popcorn. Very buttery. I'm fairly sensitive to diacetyl so its hard to get past to get to any other flavors.

 316 characters

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.25/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of cbgbslev
3.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of OldTime
2.5/5  rDev -20.9%

Photo of dugly2ugly
3/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of GossageBrewery
2.56/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a clear copper color, produce a thick white head, excellent retention and left a nice amount of lacing. The aroma consisted of sweet malt, and caramel. Medium in body, this ale consists of toasted grain, and finish's with a small amount of hops. Overall, not a great example of Oktoberfest. Prost!

 350 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.17/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

amber color with a great clarity fills the glass. Nice streams of bubbles that rippled up toward the surface gave it a good bit of depth and created a nice moderate to medium capping of white that clung to the sides for a little while before letting itself go. Muted bready malts. Hints of light grain and a touch of some light spice, but everything was too light and muted for me. Not enough in the way of herbal hoppiness or depth to keep me interested. Same could be said as I took the first sip, while not really being bad in any way, it was just rather uninteresting. Bready grains, hints of something musky, and a touch of light pine maybe, but very muted

 661 characters

Photo of barnzy78
2/5  rDev -36.7%

Photo of CharlesDarwin
2.6/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

12 Oz Bottle - Dec 20, 2007. Aroma drips of honey and Munich Malt. Lightly dusty. Pours a bronzed gold, with white creamy head. Flavor is a washed out, lightly skanky Munich malt. Traditional but lacking. More honey and a gooey hop cone pollen chewiness at the back drop. There’s some awkward bitterness for no apparent reason. Coarse. Thin.

 343 characters

Photo of teyuders
4/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of 2ks4
3.46/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice copper color with a decent head.

S - Nothing noteworthy, but nothing unpleasant or overpowering. Average beer smell.

T - Starts with a pleasantly sharp taste that lingers.

M - Good mouthfeel - substantial without being too heavy, good level of carbonation.

O - I'm kind of new at this, so I don't have the experience/vocabulary to comment on the hops and malt and suchlike, but overall I like this as an everyday kind of beer. There isn't anything that sets it apart as a special occasion beer meriting the "Oktoberfest" designation, but I'm enjoying it and feel it's a good value for the price.

 608 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
3.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber color with a very thin cream colored head.

S: Smells very malty with some caramel, yeast and bread as well.

T: The majority of the flavor is caramel malt and roasted malt with a nuttiness and toastiness in the background. A slight bit of hop resin on the finish. Overall, a pretty solid oktoberfest.

 312 characters

Photo of mikeg67
3.53/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from Trader’s Joe. Pours amber with a white, foamy, long lasting head. Aroma is of perfume hops and caramel malt. Full, slightly crisp body. Taste is of herbal hops in the beginning, followed by caramel malt and finishes with grapefruit. Not bad, but I prefer a little more maltiness in my Octoberfest.

 317 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.13/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pleasant coppery lager with a sharp edge. Less of the mellow malts in this. More like a regular lager with just a touch of malty flavor. Touch of cardboard in the aftertaste. I can't give the hops much credit. Faint beery smell. Slightest bit of sweetness in the first few sips. Finish is the dirty hops and rather unpleasant bitterness.

Quite lovely color and decent carbonation. Just quite uninteresting and less refreshing than many light beers.

 449 characters

Photo of wedge
3.53/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright copper with a large, thick head of foam on top. Sweet, toasty honey and caramel malt aroma. More of the same in the flavor, but with the addition of a noble hop touch. Toasted malty sweetness and a moderate bitterness. Slightly noticeable lager character. Medium-thin body. I assume this is very fresh at this point in the year and it certainly tastes like it. Not bad at all to go along with watching some Sunday football. Drink it fresh...

 448 characters

Photo of elNopalero
3.75/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of the things I like about Oktoberfest (marzen-style) beers is that it seems like one of those styles that comes out consistently good. Of course there’s a wide range in quality—and the best festbiers are truly excellent!—but I’ve yet to drink a marzen I didn’t like and wouldn’t drink again. (Wish I could say that for so many other styles.)

Please don’t prove me wrong.

Trader Joe’s had a number of beers they sell for about $6 a six-pack. All are contract-brewed, with the majority coming from either the Gordon Biersch facility in San Jose or Firestone Walker in Paso Robles, CA. Some, like their Mission St. Pale Ale, are just incredibly good and almost a steal for the price. Others, like their winter doppelbock end up being better marinades or baked in beer breads (aka ‘drain-pours’). Most of their beers are in-between these extremes, but I’ve found that the ones via San Jose tend usually closer to the former and not the later. To be perfectly honest once the novelty wore off and my disposable income increased I pretty much stopped buying them a few years back for precisely this reason.

However, one exception I happily make is for their annual release of the Oktoberfest. I’ll admit it, I like this beer. Spaten is great, but the TJ beer is 2/3rds less. Ayinger is fantastic too, but I won’t even bother doing the math on that. So, all that said, let’s crack one open and get into it.

This beer pours a light auburn-caramel color. Lots of foam and a sweet malty aroma greet your olfactory senses. There’s a crisp, clean flavor to this. More maltiness than anything else but it’s not heavy, and a welcome hop bite nips at the finish. Warms without being warming, although it’s such an easy drinker it might not get the chance to do so.

 1,795 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.83/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a clear deep amber with a medium white head, with a soft white head, limited lace.

S: Light Munich malt, sweet toffee, caramel notes.

T: Straightforward Munich malt flavour. Lightly sweet, bready. Light hop finish. Well balanced.

M: Light-bodied, crisp and smooth. Creamy.

O: This is a pretty darn good Oktoberfest at a great price. Nice to find in this fall beer wasteland.

 403 characters

Josephs Brau Oktoberfest from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.16 out of 5 with 192 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.