Josephs Brau Hopfest German Style Pilsner | Trader Joe's Brewing Company

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Josephs Brau Hopfest German Style PilsnerJosephs Brau Hopfest German Style Pilsner
67 Ratings
Josephs Brau Hopfest German Style PilsnerJosephs Brau Hopfest German Style Pilsner

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

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jeffjfindley on 04-28-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 67 |  Reviews: 61
Photo of Jodio
1/5  rDev -68.3%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Photo of DOCRW
2.75/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of JamLand
3/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of shick1
3.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of cliff1066
3.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of mikesgroove
3/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

crystal clear amber, nice orange hugh for a lager. Two inch white head faded quickly to just that quarter inch layer of film on the top. Very decent lacing for a lager as well was dripping down the sides. I could see some nice visible carbonation streaming up off the bottom of the glass, clarity excellent, overall look, A OK...Smell was lots of bready yeast smells. Lots of grain, kind of a moldy or off earthy aroma, like grass stuck in mud, or bread batter. A slight hint of hoppiness in the back as well. The taste was pretty standard at first, however as it warmed I detected a nice earthy grain mixed with almost a banana tone. A decent dry hoppy finish as wellThe feel was great, light and remarkable smooth. Great carbonation, not slick oily or otherwise detrimental at all. Superb drinkabilty, this is an easy session beer. Has such as nice light profile, yet great taste. Not watered down like some other lagers.

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Photo of katan
3.34/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a very clear, bright golden color. Light head formation, bright white. Not very bubbly.

S - Very light, nutty/bready pilsner malt nose. No hopping detected, lightly sweet.

T - Starts off lightly sweet, some grainy malt notes. Gets stronger, where finally some pilsner malt graininess starts to show. Light amount of floral noble hops. Finishes lightly bitter, somewhat balanced.

M - Light body, stronger carbonation. Stings the palette. Finishes very clean.

D - Very drinkable. Manageable ABV, lightly filling. Flavors are pretty light, not overwhelming.

Just a rather unremarkable pils. I was hoping for more pilsner malt flavors.

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Photo of mpyle
3.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

App - slightly hazy, fairly pale gold in color. Pours a nice white head, creamy and with good retention.

Aroma - Some spicy noble hop character, but a bit subdued. Slight hint of malt.

Taste - Not much malt flavor, then a double shot of hop flavor (earthy/spicy), followed by a nice hop bitterness that carries through to the finish. Not exactly a "hopfest", but decent hop character. Not as distinctive as the best German/Czech examples.

MF - Medium body and medium-high carbonation. No astringency or warming.

D'ability - A clean, easy drinking lager. Hop bitterness invites another sip, and the $6/6pack price makes it quite sessionable.

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Photo of mwagner1018
3.3/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a light golden color with an odd slight green hue, loads of carbonation rising up to a very small slightly fizzy cap of head, maybe 1 finger off of pour. Sporadic lacing produce a cobweb effect, not much, but it is there.

S- Pils malt, mild floral hop aroma, slight earthy texture, very subtle.

T- Bitterness up front, essence of grapefruit (tastes like a hop extract may have been used, hints to the green shade also), balance is unusual, some malt up front (with a definite adjunct note, corn?), definitely used some pale, pils malt, little texture from the extras to balance the hops. I am a big hop head, but this beer seems one dimensional. Has some hint of noble varieties, with some yeast notes, mild honey, and tropical fruits try to be present, but don't really come through.

M- Highly carbonated, grassy texture, tingle of bubbles, the bitterness doesn't really linger or stay around, slight butter finish, light body.

D- Drinkability is ok, not exceptional, but it is an alright beer, worth trying especially at the price point, similar to most TJ's beers, they aren't fantastic, but they are brewed pretty much within style, and are very well priced.

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Photo of MTNboy
2.8/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

It has a decent pilsner taste at first. The flavor is grassy and grain like. It has bitter flavor that is sort of cheap watered down hoppiness. The body was thin as was the head. There was no lace. The aroma was bland. This is a very weak beer. Overall I am not a big fan of this beer.

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Photo of Zorro
3.23/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear yellow colored beer with a small white colored head.

Smell is malt and grain with a slight cooked vegetable flavor. Faint soapy and spicy hops detected but not real strong.

Taste starts out semi sweet and bready with a fair yeasty taste. A little bit bitter with a Nobel hop bite, not great but respectable. Herbal bite, this gets cleaner as you drink it.

Mouthfeel is good.

OK drinkability for the price. This isn't world class, this is the kissing cousin of Trader Joe's "Two Buck Chuck" wines.

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Photo of zeff80
2.43/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Poured out a clear, yellow color with orange highlights and a white, foamy, one-finger head. It left minimal lace.

S - It smelled of corn and grains. There was also an estery aroma.

T - It tasted of an odd bitterness. There was a strong grain flavor. The sweet corn flavor was muted by the bitterness.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A very light-bodied beer.

D - This simply did not taste very good. The bitterness was not normal (i.e. - from hops).

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Photo of Troyone
3.58/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light golden color with a lime hue and minimal head with some sediment suspension.

Pale malt aroma with esters in the background.

A bready and grainy pale malt taste with grapefruit/lime flavored hops and a butter background.

Light/medium bodied, buttery and resin feel, with lively carbonation.

Drinkability is alright.

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Photo of AdmiralDiaz
2.06/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 12oz bottle to pint glass.

A: Pours a light orange color with a small head with decent retention and lots of bubbles.

S: Not much going on some hops and malts with a small sour note.

T: Not much better that the taste, not very hoppy but balanced with malts and a very watery taste...

Overall: I guess its fairly drinkable, I just wouldn't want to drink many. Not worth the 79cents to try.

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Photo of Shumista
2.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Two things attracted me to this six pack during my last trip to Trader Joe's. The first thing that caught my attention was the name and then the fact that it was on sale for $3.99.

I have been somewhat unimpressed by Trader Joe's beers in the past ( the other few that I've had have been pretty mediocre), but I couldn't resist this one for the price.

Overall I would say this beer is a little bit worse than mediocre. It has a forgettable appearance and the smell is somewhat off-putting. The taste has a some sweet corn malt taste and slight bitterness at the finish, which isn't too bad. Drinkability is pretty high because it's a pretty light easy to drink beer.

If I had spent any real money on this sixer I'd probably be more disappointed, but for $3.99 I feel like I made the right decision picking it up.

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Photo of AltBock
2.01/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle with a shiny pea green label with a drawing of a massive bronze German Stein. Over the stein in big bold letters is the name of the beer. Also on the front label are vines of hop buds. The shiny pea green back label has lengthy paragraph about the beer, mandatory US information, and a batch number. The batch number is gibberish. It's a bunch of random numbers and letters that don't mean anything to the consumer. At least they tried though.

When poured into a DFH pint glass, this Pilsner was a clear as day pale straw yellow color with a 3/4 of an inch fizzy head of foam. Even though it was fizzy, it had good retention that left behind a skim of fizzy bubbles and one single spot of fizzy lace. As you can tell already, everything about the foam was fizzy.

The aroma was bad! It reminded me of malted horse feed. If you ever go to a county fair, get a whiff of what the farm animals are eating and this is what this beer smells like. Behind the horse feed was a faint whiff of floral hops. At least there was a beer characteristic in the aroma.

This is where you get to taste that malted horse feed that you smelled before this moment. The taste was mostly malted corn and other malted grains. That wasn't the worse part. Not only were they bad malted grains, but they tasted like watered down malted grains. Yuck! Behind the watery grains was a slight taste of Pumpkin pie spices and a quick sting of floral hops. Pumpkin pie spices? Yes, there was one taste the reminded me of pumpkin pie spices for some reason.

This was a watery light bodied Pilsner with no aftertaste whatsoever. That's probably a good thing because the taste was all about cheap malted grains.

I'm sorry, but what a bad beer! It looked ok, but when you smelled and tasted it, it was nothing but bad! It's a good thing I only wasted a $1 on this beer. Drain pour!

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Photo of Tone
3.35/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, golden yellow. Good 1/2 inch head with decent retention and slight lacing. Smells clean with hop background. There's also a hint of a floral aroma. Fits the style. Tastes of a sweet, nice bodied pilsner with a little bit of floral taste. Very smooth a crisp, easy to drink. Hops are almost indistinguishable, but the floral is the dominate. Tastes more and more like a weak lager as you progress. A little disappointing; it started off so well, but then went quickly downhill.

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Photo of hodgsongreg
2.13/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a 14oz standard glass. 1 finger of head, minimal lacing. It looks like a standard American lager, or specimen from someone who needs to drink more water. Smells a bit skunky mixed with the scent of "Veg-All" canned vegetable juice base. Taste was not as bitter as I hoped, given the product carries the moniker "Hopfest". It carries a processed taste I have only come across in Cold Spring Brewery now seems it is not exclusive to them. However, it got better as it warmed, which I never expect from a cheap beer. Prickly carbonation punctuates an otherwise light feel. It drinks better than it tastes. If this is a pilsner, I don't know what that stuff I enjoy of the same name is. I will not revisit this experience.

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Photo of cdkrenz
3.65/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Golden grain colored body with a snow white head. The quarter inch of wispy white head fades quickly.

S - Grainy malt aroma found often with a solid pilsner. Images of banana and pumpkin resonate with each whiff.

T - A very nice blend of hops and malt. This is a great tasting German pilsner. Even the bitter after taste is appealing.

M - The texture of a thousand tiny bubbles moving across my tongue. It is a bit too abrasive.

~ This is a session brew if I've ever known one. I think I could put a sixer of these away without a problem.

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Photo of Offa
1.86/5  rDev -41%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is very bland, with sharp but bland bitterness of wet grass and overly cooked vegetables.

Deep gold, it has a medium-large white head slowly shrinking to a thin wispy top and a little lace.

The aroma is meaty with a hint of herb, bread, buttery cooked vegetables, old raisins - rather like a thoroughly mediocre strong Euro lager or pale bock instead of a pilsner. It's ok, but rather muted and not at all a pilsner smell.

The taste is light grain, overly cooked, burnt vegetables, with a sharp, bland, faintly grassy bitterness. It is otherwise exceedingly bland and almost tasteless. However, it's fairly easy to drink since it's not really unpleasant or offensive.

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Photo of luciusgilmer
2.68/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I grabbed a 12 oz bottle of this at a party where I guess I thought I was getting a nice craft brew. I recognized the label, and when someone reminded me this was Trader Joe's, I wasn't surprised. Their product looks decent, and this beer was an effort at making a store brand beer that had some character. I was a bit disappointed, though. I was hoping for a beer with more pronounced hops, but mostly I got bitterness with no depth.
A: Looks fine; a deep yellow, fizzy head.
S: smelled a bit on the skunky side to me, and no hint of floral hop scent.
T: This went down like a bitter pilsener. It's certainly not awful, but not a first choice for a hop lover.
M: This was OK and didn't hurt the experience.
D : I wasn't sure I even wanted to finish it; it got more and more bitter. It's smooth enough, but not flavorful enough for me to seek out or recommend.

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Photo of asabreed
3.13/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Mildly hazy golden color with decent head retention.

Smell: Herbal tea and grain with mild pilsener malts.

Taste: Herbal flavors with some grain and seeming adjuncts, along with some diacetyl and mild hops at the end.

Mouthfeel: Lighter-bodied with a bit too cloying of a feel and some slickness that could use more carbonation to balance it out.

Drinkability: Something seemed amiss here, maybe not amiss as much as, "Where have I had this before?" Seems pretty identical to Trader Joe's Bohemian Lager, which is essentially a Pilsener. Again, not bad, but there are better TJs beers, especially if you're looking for something like an original and non-domestic-tasting Pils.

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Photo of blackie
3.51/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: Gives a 1" bone white head in the pilsner glass with a slow recession and nice retention. Decent lacing. The beer is a clean golden in color.

s: Clean pilsner malts, average level of sweetness. Nice, grassy and balanced noble hop aroma. Doughy and bready.

m: Carbonation on the high side of the medium range, and the body light and clean

t: Clean and grainy pilsner malts with a nice, mild sweetness. Pretty good hop/malt balance. A little more doughy than I'd like, and a crisper hop flavor and finish would be nice. Mild bittering builds to moderate. Just a little bland.

d: easy

single from TJ's Reston

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Photo of neenerzig
4.1/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got a single 12 oz bottle of this from Trader Joe's not too long ago. Poured into my pint glass. Pours a clear, medium golden color with white head 2 fingers thick when poured. It eventually settles to a nice surface coating with a medium sized ring lining the inside of the glass and pretty decent lace. Lots of little bubbles keep rising up to the top of the beer. Nice grassy hop aroma and not much else here. Tastewise the floral hop bitterness hit my palate upfront followed by a fairly mild grainy malty sweetness. Has a bit of a dry aftertaste. Not very complex, but pretty good. Has a crisp, frothy mouthfeel with a light to medium body with moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink in a good way. This beer did not blow me away, but it is a good, solid brew and good representation of this style.


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Josephs Brau Hopfest German Style Pilsner from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.15 out of 5 with 67 ratings