Josephs Brau Summer Brew | Trader Joe's Brewing Company

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Josephs Brau Summer BrewJosephs Brau Summer Brew

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

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Zorro on 06-13-2009

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Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 142
Photo of HalfFull
3.1/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear deep straw from a 12 oz. bottle. Offers half an inch of white foam which settles to a thin cap in a few minutes. Not much is being released and looks a bit like a macro lager. Light lacing follows and the carbonation reduces through the pint, somewhat flat in the end.

Nose is light with a touch of citrus fruit. Improves slightly with some exposure, adding a small hop footprint.

Bit of chalky malt reveals itself on the tongue, slightly bitter and with a clean citrus finish. Relatively light in body and with a light carbonation giving a thin feel. Decent drinkability given the light body, moderate malt structure, yet rather boring overall.

Value: B

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Photo of chumba526
3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A golden color plenty of carbonation.

Smell is sort of generic; it is slightly malty and doesn't have much to it though it does not smell like a potbelly pig in the summer.

The taste is light crisp and refreshing. Doesn't have much flavor though and there is a weaker than normal hop kick from the pilsner not bad though for 4 dollars a six pack.

It is quite drinkable and is smooth enough though the flavor of the malt gets old quickly: I could drink a few of these but probably wouldn't because it is kind of boring beer.

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Photo of KrisPaulk77
3.3/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have to say, "Meh..."
The beer poured a moderate yellow, with a rapid fading white head. Lacing was not even a consideration. You could possibly pass this off as a macro-lager by appearance alone in my opinion.
The smell had some malts to the front, a little sweetness present. Not bad by any stretch, but not anything spectacular either. There was a little grassy-ness in the nose that kind of said, "Yeah, we gots hops in here." I noticed a skunky aroma for a moment, but it faded. It was noticible in 3 of the 6 bottles in my six pack.
The taste was fairly middle of the road. Again, not bad, but not great. A little sweetness here and there, with a mild bitterness and some floral notes.
I would definately recommend this to my BMC drinking compadres. I see it as a pretty good gateway beer out of MacroLand. It's not a bad beer. The price on it was good, and thinking of it as a grass-cutter brew, I probably have it again.

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Photo of GClarkage
2.79/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

09/09/09- Purchased at Trader Joe's in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Darker golden pour..very dark for a kolsch. Head is quick to form a 1/2 inch and quick to fade in an instant. No lacing involved.

Smell- Sweeter than expected. Some light malt and some citrus notes.

Taste- A touch of skunk way in the back. Think I got this one right as it's beginning to turn the corner. Light lemony notes with a lightly bready toasted malt backing.

Mouthfeel- Kinda dry in the finish with an average carbonation level.

Drinkability- Had to try now that my Tj's is selling single bottles rather than whole six packs. Not disappointed, but not impressed...just another beer.

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Photo of dqderrick
3.26/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received a 6pack as a thank you gift. I accept.

Pours very clear, golden with a 1/4" white head. Smells sweet, a little malty and very slight herbal. The smell seems a little off, but nothing to crazy to report. It definitely has a decent aroma. I think the off smell is reminding me of a chemical smell. But very slight.

It has a very refreshing dry finish. A little sweet up front. It is easy to drink but the flavor doesn't seem fully developed. I would definitely choose this over a BMC.

I do enjoy the carbonation and dry after taste. I find myself looking forward to the next sip. Overall, it has a decent drinkability but would probably pass on this if browsing the Trader Joes beer section unless I wanted to get a decent beer for some BRC drinking friends for a hot summer day.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.42/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a darker than normal copper color with a smallish head on top. Surprising amount of fruit in the nose, mixed along with the to-be-expected grain and malt. Not sure what fruit, exactly - maybe some apricot or citrus. Taste is similar - stronger than expected, although not really particularly good. Sort of a dirtiness that comes along with the too-strong carbonation. Overall, its not a terrible beer, but not one I'd go back to quickly.

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Photo of Murchmac
2.68/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this at a bbq the other day and was so excited to try this after all the trading hype this beer's been getting.

Looks like a cross between mountain dew and cream soda when it pours out. Very dark for a kolsch.

Smells not like much of anything at all.

Sweeter taste, malt if anything at all.

Too carbonated. Not good, but not horrible. I can't believe people traded a Firestone 10 for this one.

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Photo of callmescraps
2.86/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had some lying around.

Appearance - Light gold color. Very clear. Head disappears in moments. No lacing.

Smell - Sweet corn up front. Sort of funky. Pretty bland smelling.

Taste - Pretty mild grain. A little corn/adjunct sort of thing. Very light. Not a ton of anything. A little bread.

Mouthfeel - Good carbonation. Nice and light.

Drinkability - Goes down easy. But not interesting enough to be worth drinking much.

This is a pretty bland, inoffensive, but not terribly interesting beer. It's cheap, which is nice.

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Photo of plaid75
3.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a medium straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a sweet grainy adjunct grain with a dull hop spice.

The taste consisted of corn, sweet malts and a drying hop.

The mouthfeel was a bit sticky.

Overall a plain ale with a predominantly macro feel.

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Photo of zeff80
3.58/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly, pale gold color with a white, two-finger head of bubbly foam. It did not leave any lace but that's not uncommon for the style.

S - The aroma was uninspiring. It was mostly caramel and grain aromas. There were hints of floral notes, too.

T - Better than average flavor. It has a sweet caramel taste with a mild spiciness - hints of pepper and yeast.

M - This one is really sharp and crackles on the tongue. A light bodied, easy-drinking ale.

D - I scored the drinkability high because I could see myself grabbing it again and again on a summer day. It's light and tasty.

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Photo of asabreed
3.52/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Straw yellow, little carbonation, and a head that looks like it's going to stay, but the bright white dies down fairly quickly, leaving a quick amount of scant, spotty lacing for a minute before it's gone.

Smell: Honey, herbal lemon, tea leaves, a bit of metallic bitterness, some earthiness. Seemingly some adjunct sweetness in there too, and a bit of biscuit.

Taste: There's an odd, metallic, almost husky bitterness to this that's a bit odd, and doesn't seem like it's the hops doing their thing. That said, it's got some decent malt sweetness, though it mostly seems like diacetyl and adjunct, along with some herbal lemon and honey flavors. Finish doesn't last too long, though I don't think it's intended to.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean and refreshing, with nice full semi-creamy carbonation for such a light body.

Drinkability: All around above average for me, but nothing more. Could definitely have a few of these. Though it does lack a lot of flavor, maybe I've just never had a great version of the style, because I find many of them this way. A step above a BMC brew for a solid lawn-mowing beer.

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Photo of himmelhuber
3.02/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

OK, maybe I am a bit to harsh on this one, but I just came back from Germany where I also visited Köln, and I had a lot of Kölsch to drink there. In the past I was never overly impressed with Kölsch, but this time, oh boy, that stuff was good (Mostly Gaffel, Küppers and Früh). So bought some of this "Kölsch" from TJs to get a bit of vacation feeling back and I was quite dissapointed: Complete lack of fruitness, far to dominant hops, malty character there but a bit harsh.
OK, but I had far worst beers, its a good beer thats worth a try, just not what I expected.

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Photo of steveh
3.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hadn't seen this available at TJ's in the past, and since it's one of my favorite styles -- and has Josephsbrau San Jose on the label (denoting Gordon Biersch), I had to give it a try.

A -- Clear gold with delicate, off white head. Thins fast, but revives well (Kölsch beers don't always hold a head).

S -- Mild citrus character with vague graininess back. Some mild DMS with warming.

T -- Light cracker breadiness, subtle fruitiness, with some crisp & bitter noble hops in the finish. Somewhat lighter than other Kölsch I've enjoyed.

M -- Crisp mouthfeel with a light body.

D -- Good drinkability, if a bit bland. The hop bittering in the finish saves it.

The Overall Impressions section at BJCP on this beer states, "To the untrained taster easily mistaken for a light lager, a somewhat subtle Pilsner, or perhaps a blonde ale." And I thought exactly that on the Pils side, though I've had others of the style that tend toward a little more character.

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Photo of mpyle
3.68/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

App - rich golden color, great clarity. Coarsely carbonated, and the largish white head has limited retention.

Aroma - nice noble hop smell, slight apple fruitiness.

taste - Limited ale fruitiness up front, but hop dominated from midmouth onward. Surprisingly sharp hop bitterness. Tastes much more like a pilsner than a kolsch-style beer. Tasty, but not to style.

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

A very drinkable beer, particularly if you like hops. Not the lightest tasting kolsch-style beer, and much more reminiscent of a german pils.

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Photo of Zorro
3.38/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear straw colored beer with a small white head that doesn't last.

Fruity and malty smell with quite a bit of biscuit malt scent. Hops just aren't a standout here and I can't ID anything from smell. Would guess noble hops because of the style.

Starts out Grainy and near neutral sweetness and light dry grassy hops leave you with a well-washed palette. Light beer with out a lot of heft to it, just a dry wet beer for hot times of the year.

Mouthfeel is light.

More drinkable than say a Budweiser, this has a bit more flavor. No a great beer but good for its stated purpose of Summer Brew.

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Photo of popery
3.3/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm no expert on the style, so I will gladly defer to future reviewers, however this beer is just alright to me. The beer is a transparent, light golden liquid with a puffy white head. Lacing fairly coats the sides of my makeshift stange, but head retention on the liquid is fair at best. The smell is average all-malt lager with a fair bit of caramel sweet malt, like a slightly sour dessert bread dough. Generously stated, there's a floral note in there along with some grassy, spicy hops. The flavor doesn't have enough of the fruitiness that makes a good kölsch. That said, it's certainly a not a disagreeable beer. I would definitely pick it over a macro lager. The caramel malt and the grassy hops give the beer a fair if mild character. The mouthfeel could be a touch smoother - there's a touch of graininess, but overall it's an easy drinking beer, a good cheap beer for a hot day.

Note: Sorry, I got the name a bit wrong. It should be "JosephsBrau Summer Brew" like their other Trader Joe's contract beers.

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Josephs Brau Summer Brew from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
3.09 out of 5 based on 142 ratings.
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