Trader José Light Lager
Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Trader José Light LagerTrader José Light Lager
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Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States
Light Lager
Ranked #91
Ranked #30,387
2.72 | pDev: 21.69%
Oct 31, 2022
Oct 18, 2009
Trader José Light LagerTrader José Light Lager
Notes: None
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Photo of cyclonece09
Reviewed by cyclonece09 from Wisconsin

2.87/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75
Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours yellow orange with a fluffy white head. Smells of adjunct grain, not much else. Tastes of light adjunct grain, not very full. Beer is light bodied but watery, good carbonation. Overall, a below average beer.
Oct 31, 2022
Rated: 3 by cryptichead from Illinois

Oct 01, 2022
Rated: 2.99 by Rollmeaway2loadout from Illinois

Mar 05, 2022
Rated: 3 by AndrewFord666 from Illinois

Oct 24, 2021
Photo of StonedTrippin
Reviewed by StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.07/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
this one requires a lime, and it mandates being ice cold, but with those two qualifiers, its pretty solid, cured a dry and thirsty mouth pretty well, and is very light on the cheap and off flavors this style at this price can often present. its clear and bubbly and even sports a little head, its thirst quenching because its dry, and as these go, its relatively clean. its definitely lacking a little something compared to the original version, seems just a bit too stripped down, devoid of character, but it remains simple in a good way, and with the lime, its got enough flavor. i like this more for what it isnt than for what it is, no real metallic or plastic or chemical elements, and there is no linger on the swallow. the clear bottles are fun and summery, and this works with everything from seafood dumplings to marijuana, just a palate cleanser, a refresher, and a ripper, but it needs to be frosty cold, it warms up less flattering, so keep them on ice and drink them quick. great value here at like seven bucks a six pack, hard to be too picky at that price point...
Aug 10, 2021
Rated: 1.81 by Jcarriglio from Florida

Mar 17, 2021
Rated: 2.5 by nosnatef from Oregon

Feb 09, 2021
Photo of chum_husk
Reviewed by chum_husk from Minnesota

3.4/5  rDev +25%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
11.2oz bottle from the place to be

Bought this not expecting much, as it is a knock-off of Corona Light - which is not a great beer. But this was surprisingly tasty and unskunked. It was a very fresh bottle (best before date is 9+ months from now), so I'm sure that's why it wasn't skunky. The body is very light, but it actually has /some/ body and character, unlike corona. Taste is grain and slight corn, with a weird finish that is more malt than hops, and actually tastes a little rotten

Other than the off-flavors in the finish - it was great, and those weird flavors can (hopefully) be chalked up to batch variation. I would buy this again for the light beer drinking times. Painfully underrated on here and twice the beer that Corona claims to be.
Jan 21, 2021
Photo of 1009
Reviewed by 1009 from Massachusetts

1.7/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75
Ok well, we kinda knew what we were getting into but had to try it. While perusing the aisles of Trader Joe’s, picking up some odds and ends this beer called my name. We just had to get it. It was about as good as you’d expect a national grocery store chain Mexican Lager to be. Drank without a lime (we would advocate for a citrus fruit friend here) it was rather hard to get down and certainly did not leave us running back to the store to grab more. It was worth a shot at half the price of Corona. You get what you pay for. Trader No Way Jose.
Aug 30, 2020
Rated: 2.5 by AndrewBuffalo from Illinois

Feb 20, 2020
Photo of elNopalero
Reviewed by elNopalero from California

1.56/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.5
One more adjunct lager for the reviews. This has been an ...interesting experience.

I get a lot of corn water on this. Thin, little character, skunky finish. Pass.
Nov 29, 2019
Photo of defunksta
Reviewed by defunksta from North Dakota

3.94/5  rDev +44.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Appearance: Pours a light, crisp, yet full-bodied golden color with a nice and strong white head that fades appropriately quickly. SRM of 7. (4.00)

Aroma: Strong aromas of pale cereal malt, rice, white bread, malt liquor, and slight earthy floral/grass and stone. (3.75)

Flavor: Flavor has a strong white cracker and cereal taste. It's tons of Corn Flakes, Special K and a touch of Wheaties. Yet it's actually a pretty good flavor. Some WONDER bread too. Sometimes, slightly skunked due to the clear bottles which is annoying. Nice cereal flavor, yet a nice dry finish. Smooth w& pale. (4.00)

Feel: Crisp and clean. Clean and smooth body. (4.00)

Compared to Labbatt Blue Light 6/13/20: Pours a slightly darker color. Milder aromas. More crackery and dry. Less sweet and lighter overall.

Compared to New Belgium's The Purist Lager 6/27/20: Pours a darker color with stronger aroma, flavor, and feel overall.

Compared to Coors Light in a can 8/20/20: Pours a slightly darker color. More oxidized earthy/skunked notes. Less white cracker and sweat. Finishes more smooth and milky, slightly heavier.

Compared to Miller Light 10/28/20: Pours a similar appearance. Lighter aromas/flavors. More pale malt and cracker. Less suds/corn/yeast.

Compared to Coors Light 11/4/20: Pours a similar color. More malty aromas.

to Corona lager 6/14/21: A larger head. Milder aromas. Slightly lighter and less bread malt.

Overall: I am impressed by his beer. A great pale white cereal flavor in my opinion. The cereal flavor is pretty bland with hints of earth, but it actually quite simple and nice for a change. It's not going to wow any craft beer drinkers, but pleasantly light and nice. (Rating relative to within the style, Final Rating: 3.94)
*Compare to a rice lager*
Aug 31, 2019
Rated: 3 by EdmundBlackadder from Ohio

Jul 11, 2018
Photo of Tone
Reviewed by Tone from Missouri

2.29/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25
Pours a hazy gold color. 1/2 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and great lacing. Smells of strong Euro yeast, sulfur, hint of pale malt, and corn. Fits the style of a Light Lager, though is appears to more closely resemble a Euro Pale Lager. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. There is also an elevated dryness. Tastes of Euro yeast, sulfur, hint of pale malt, and corn. Overall, worse than average Light Lager.
Mar 15, 2018
Photo of Nvrmind16
Rated by Nvrmind16 from California

2.8/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25
Add a lime, for goodness sake
Jan 19, 2018
Photo of Spikester
Reviewed by Spikester from Oregon

4.02/5  rDev +47.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Clear pale gold with three fingers of white head that lasts about five minutes. Rings of lace as the head drops.
Smell is malty with a touch of herbal hops.
Taste is similar to the smell with the herbal hop bitterness growing a bit.
Mouthfeel is light with good carbonation. The finish is lightly dry and balanced.
Overall a tasty light Mexican lager. Bet before 08/21/18. Very fresh. I will buy this again when wanting a light beer.
Jan 15, 2018
Photo of jzlyo
Reviewed by jzlyo from Iowa

2.83/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Aroma is skunky/weed and mild grains/malts. The flavor is grains/malts, corn, leftover skunk and a bland/smooth finish. Not really much here, but drinkable.
Jan 05, 2018
Rated: 2.27 by IBUBrew from Vermont

Jul 22, 2017
Photo of bankboy66
Rated by bankboy66 from New Jersey

3.66/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Pretty good light beer at a great price. Give it a try.
Jul 08, 2017
Rated: 2.8 by godawgs from Louisiana

Nov 08, 2016
Rated: 2.99 by BeerWithMike from Nebraska

Aug 09, 2016
Photo of Burly
Rated by Burly from California

3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Ice cold and with lime, it is good for the price, at least for Berkeley, CA.
Jul 30, 2016
Photo of HazelEyedHippie
Reviewed by HazelEyedHippie from California

3.5/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
A great light beer at a great price. Not for heavyweight beer drinkers, in my opinion, but a good light option. The price is really on point, so we'll be purchasing more. Fewer calories also makes it appealing, hehe. Not too bitter or flavorful.. again, really a light beer.
Jun 05, 2016
Rated: 3.4 by Miami66 from Nebraska

May 07, 2016
Rated: 2.5 by JoeCorleone from California

Apr 15, 2016
Photo of VABA
Reviewed by VABA from Virginia

2.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5
A-Pours a golden color with a slight head and lacing
A-Aroma has lemongrass hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a lemongrass flavor
M-A medium bodied decently carbonated beer
O-A good beer
Sep 24, 2015
Photo of BucannonXC5
Reviewed by BucannonXC5 from California

3.65/5  rDev +34.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Type: 11.2-oz. bottle
Glass: Pint mug
From: Trader Joe’s in La Mesa (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $4.99 for a 6-pack
Purchased: N/A
Consumed: Aug. 12, 2015
Misc.: Best before March 26, 2016

Poured a golden, pale, clear color with two fingers of off-white, frothy head. Lots of bubble streams coming up from the bottom of the glass. Minimal lacing on the sides of the glass. Minimal retention. (Sight - 3.25)

Smelled caramel, grain, honey, corn, cereal, bread and some grass. Decent for the style. (Smell - 3.75)

Tasted similar to the nose, once again OK for the style. Got grain, corn cereal, honey, grass, caramel and light spoiled fruit. (Taste - 3.75)

Light body. Thin texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt finish. (Feel - 3.50)

For the style, this was certainly a good beer. It surprised me and was much better than the last time I had it. Would have it again for sure. Nice light one for the summer. (Overall - 3.50)

3.65 | 83 | B
Aug 21, 2015
Rated: 3.2 by Cgraham

Aug 10, 2015
Rated: 2.61 by BcOneSeven from Pennsylvania

May 25, 2015
Photo of MikeDL
Rated by MikeDL from New York

3.44/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
tastes like a corona light
May 20, 2015
Rated: 2.62 by chipper17257 from Pennsylvania

May 10, 2015
Rated: 2.97 by Dicers from California

Jan 29, 2015
Photo of NeroFiddled
Reviewed by NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

2.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5
Trader José Light
12 oz. clear glass bottle, "BEST BEFORE 112313AFL 10:04" on 4/24/13

Normally I might be bothered by a clear glass bottle, but in this case I think it's appropriate. Clearly they're trying to copy Corona Light, and thus the bottle needs to look at least a little similar. Additionally, the clear glass bottle adds to the aroma and flavor although I didn't find this at all skunky. (Perhaps they're using pre-isomerized hops? On the other hand, why would they?) Compared with Corona Light I actually find this to have more flavor and character, but it has the same general vibe.
Jan 28, 2015
Rated: 2.75 by brongladest from California

Sep 01, 2014
Photo of RonaldTheriot
Reviewed by RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

3.5/5  rDev +28.7%
Trader José Light has a thick, white head, a mostly clear, golden appearance, with bubble streams, decent lacing, and noticeable tiny white specs roiling about. Aroma is of fairly rich, barley malt, sweetness, and even an odd (but, not bad) syrupiness. Taste is of faint malt, sweetness, cracker, and a touch of balancing hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is light and a bit slick, and Trader José Light finishes crisp and easy drinking. I find this to be a better-than-average light lager.

Aug 26, 2014
Photo of dbrauneis
Reviewed by dbrauneis from North Carolina

2.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
A: Pours a crystal clear pale yellow in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation quickly rising from the bottom of the glass and some faint golden yellow highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy bright white head that reduces to a large patch of thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of grainy, corn, and vegetal malts with a very light amount of grassy hops.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of slightly sweet grainy malts with corn and vegetal adjuncts. That is followed by a very light flavor of grassy hops with imparts a light amount of bitterness which fades quickly.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Relatively crisp.

O: Nothing special but this is a decent beer, better than I expected... There is only a light amount of overall flavor to the beer but it is not unpleasant.
Aug 02, 2014
Rated: 2.5 by xacidx from Connecticut

Jul 12, 2014
Rated: 1.75 by rickjane from Tennessee

Jun 27, 2014
Rated: 3 by psmith161 from Indiana

May 28, 2014
Photo of LiquidAmber
Reviewed by LiquidAmber from Washington

2.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75
Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a light golden amber with a half finger white head with decent retention and decent lacing. Aroma quite skunky with underlying sweet malt and maybe some light grassy hops, but the skunk is strong in this one. Flavor is light sweet malt with a hint of grassy hops and very light hints of the skunkiness from the aroma. Light to medium bodied, actually a bit more pleasant mouth feel than I expected. The underlying sweet malt seems pleasant enough and probably quite decent for this style, but the skunkiness in both the aroma and taste (and the latter is unusual even in beers with a bit of skunk in the aroma in my experience) really drags this one down. A sorry lager that can't even make it to the low bar of a light lager, likely due to the clear bottle and sitting in a bright Trader Joe's store (an otherwise positive environment). TJ seems to usually provide decent taste for low prices in their name brand items, but this isn't one of them. Hey guys! Dump the clear bottles. My first review of a light lager and perhaps a poor introduction to a style I suspect will not blow my mind anyway.
May 18, 2014
Trader José Light Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 67 out of 100 with 74 ratings