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
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of tastybeer
3.47/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is amber straw-like with a modest white head. Aroma is very crisp, lightly flowery with soft bready malt. Not intense at all but delicately nice. Taste is alike. Prickly bitterness is certainly apparent and in both smell and taste there's a good brisk hop character. Solid texture and easy consumable.

I enjoy this pils. It does a good job german style.

 360 characters

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 ElGordo
3.48/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright golden color with a small, wispy, fizzy white head. Aroma of weak adjunct malt and some crisp, slightly spicy Euro hops. Palate is well-balanced between lightly sweet pilsner malt and crisp Euro hops, with a hint of citrus and clove bite. Body is light and crisp, but not too thin. An enjoyable pilsner, great for a warm spring evening.

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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 cliff1066
3.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of hammer09
2.93/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a clear, copper with very little head development and lazy carbonation. Smell exhibits a slight malt character with mild hop notes. However, the main drawback is the presence of a dimethyl sulfide odor, akin to tomato paste, that is prevalent throughout. Taste is average, but with a smooth malt character. Unfortunately the DMS can be detected in this beer's flavor, but to less of an extent than in its aroma. Lightly carbonated, this beer is smooth and creamy. Drinkability is average, but I probably wouldn't try this again. The label is misleading; I was expecting a hopped-up pilsner, but was disappointed by its muted hop character.

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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 DOCRW
2.75/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of bashiba
3.31/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very clean golden yellow with a creamy white head, nice retention and moderate lacing.

Smell is very light with a touch of grassy hop notes.

Taste is slightly sweet with a light grassy hop finish.

Mouthfeel is slightly creamy with lots of carbonation.

Not a bad little german pils.

 294 characters

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 shbobdb
3.83/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Well, I don't know if this beer will win any awards but it is a pretty solid beer.

It pours a robust gold, not quite a deep as its European counterparts but also nowhere near as light and pale as its all-too-famous American cousin. The ample carbonation buoys the head which remains firmly (but lightly) present from the first to last sip.

The smell is earthy, minty hops. Hallertau and Perle, if I am not mistaken (and I could well be). Quite pleasant.

The taste is nice and easy. The earthy hops dominate giving the beer a very dirt-like initial taste which fades into a minty finish. Good stuff.

The mouthfeel is just a pinch thinner than I would have liked. With pilsners ya sorta either hit the mouthfeel perfectly or ya just don't, and they didn't here. It is very watery. There is, however, a nice zip from the hops.

The beer is a nice drinker. It actually really reminds me a lot of Bitburger. That is both a good and a bad thing for this beer. After all, I drink a lot of bitburger and very much enjoy it . . . but Bitburger is so incredibly cheap that the normally low Trader Joe's price is much less of a value. Still a good beer. If I were a regular shopper at Trader Joe's, I could see myself picking this one up semi-regularly.

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Photo of marcobrau
2.88/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I spot this at Trader Joe's, and all too intrigued by the name, I decide to give it a try....

I guess I'm not THAT disappointed, but I'm rather let down with this beer. The label mentions floral Tettnang hops and my sniffer doesn't detect any; just a a mild toasted malt aroma. Mind you, the pour was very good with a nice bright white foam, but with nothing like the rocky nature of a head on top of a true German Pils. The flavor is okay; with some decent malt character and a dash of late hop spiciness before the mildly bitter finish. My advice with this beer is not too serve it too cold; it won't taste like anything. Overall, the mouthfeel seems a touch full, and it could use much more late hops. A decent beer for $5.49 a six-pack.

 743 characters

Photo of JamLand
3/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.8/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a sixer at my local TJ's. Has a bright yellow color and a lumpy white head that puffed up and deflated leaving a spider's web of lace behind.
The nose was an even mix of grassy, herbal hops and pale grainy malt notes. The taste seemed consistent with the style; a more balanced approach with the hayfield malt bill coinciding smoothly with the herbal and slightly citric hops profile. The feel was light, crisp and refreshing.
I've had no problems knocking back HopFest and find it to a decent choice as a session beer on these warm late spring days. At under a buck a bottle it's certainly cost-effective. A decent pick up at your nearby Trader Joe's.

 664 characters

Photo of wedge
3.6/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear yellow under a lumpy white head. Pale pilsner malt sweetness and noble hop aroma...lightly grassy, floral, and peppery. Zesty German hop bitterness upfront with a soft-ish grainy sweetness. Clean, light, and smooth...I found this a little light on the carbonation actually, but there's enough crisp bitterness to keep it refreshing.

Not bad at all. With a name like "Hopfest", this might not live up to the expectations of many a beer geek, but it's a perfectly fine pilsner.

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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.

 923 characters

Photo of josiahschlender
3.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I bought this beer more out of curiosity than anticipation. Five bucks at Trader Joe's wasn't much of a setback, and the name "Hopfest" caught my eye. Poured into a pint glass.

The white head was about a finger thick for me, white, small bubbles that dissipated fairly quickly. The beer is very clear, with a yellowish-golden color that's just pretty enough to make me hope that it would be better than most cheap-end lagers.

Smell: kind of weak, in my opinion. A faint scent of hops at first, then becoming sugary, almost honey-like.

I'm not well-versed in German lagers, but this beer certainly takes a step above most American lagers, and had a faint herbal, sweet (tasted honey as well), malty complexity that made it worth the buy. It has just a bit of a German taste, but it's not completely convincing. The mouthfeel was thin, but had good carbonation that lasted until the end of the glass. I was pleased to see little bubbles rising from the bottom throughout.

I was somewhat disappointed by the weak hops, especially seeing the name. I kind of got the same feeling after drinking this beer that I've gotten after trying a few American "Belgian" beers. Short of the real thing, but not bad.

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Photo of rallison
3.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear gold/orange color with a 1 finger semi-fizzy white head that eventually completely disappears.

S: Some hops and some sharp malts (smells like some lower quality malts actually).

T: It's ok. Definitely has a citric hop character to it. Malt flavors are sharp, with just a touch of malt extract sort of flavor at the very end. While drinkable, this is far from the best pilsener.

M: Could use a bit more carbonation. I'd like this a bit livelier and more interesting.

D: Drinkable enough, but I also tire of this quickly.

Can't really recommend this. Yeah, I'd take it over a Bud Light, but I also won't be buying any more sixers of this (even at $5 per).

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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 biggred1
3.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Pale yellow with a medium white head.

S-Sweet caramel malt,sourdough bread and good floral hop nose.

T-Not really a "Hop fest" but still pretty good nicely balanced between light malty cereal grains and hops with aslight bitter finish.

M-Good,mild/watery mouthfeel.

D-Very drinkable,good quaffer. I will definately have this again.

 337 characters

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.

 285 characters

Photo of Gump
3.21/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Joeseph Brau Hopfest from Trader Joes

Fairly clear yellow pilsner looks terrific.
Bright hoppy bite but nothing too hoppy or bitter. Easy drinking.
I was expecting a very intensly hoppy beer, but this was very mild.

Another easy drinking, nothing offensive beer from Trader Joes.
This is one of their better beers.

 316 characters

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.

 506 characters

Photo of Jodio
1/5  rDev -68.3%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Photo of MillRat
3.2/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Cliff notes: Beck's clone.

Pour a nice crystal clear golden color with a thin white head. Mild noble hop aroma as promised, with a slight maltiness. Taste delivers on what the aroma promised, nothing more, nothing less. Body is bit on the lighter side, which is entirely appropriate for this style. Very refreshing a drinkable. A beer without any noticeable faults, but nothing to differentiate from the pack of good German Pilsners.

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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