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Josephs Brau PLZNR Czech-Style Lager | Trader Joe's Brewing Company

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Josephs Brau PLZNR Czech-Style LagerJosephs Brau PLZNR Czech-Style Lager

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

Style: Czech Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by notchucknorris on 12-21-2011

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Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 202
Photo of Fatehunter
3.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured a finger of head on a clear, straw colored body.
The aroma is grainy with honey and flowers.
The taste is okay. A mild sweet with a drying bitterness middle to end.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
It's unbalanced but more than drinkable.

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Photo of bushbeer75
3.38/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle - best before 11/17/13

Josephs Brau PLZNR Czech Style Lager pours a clear gold with a smaller off-white head that held well leaving behind minimal lacing and a small collar of bubbles. The nose is hoppier than your average macro pilsner [fits the Czech style] with a crisp and clean malt aroma. The taste buds first notice the spicy hops followed by some malt in the middle then the hops return at the finish for a lingering light hop bitterness. Active carbonation in the mouth with a medium-light body.

Not my favorite Czech Pilsner, however it is refreshing for a summers day.

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Photo of dpodratsky3
3.23/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Pretty much no head what-so-ever, foams then turns to nothing immediately, color is like apple juice, bright gold, excellent clarity

S: Has that Euro-skunk going on, not quite green bottle levels, but definitely on purpose, biscuity malt with herbal hops, pretty mild overall

T: Again a little skunk hits you right away, mostly herbal hops though, spicy finish with a little sweetness as the hops fade, hop dominant though

M: Dry, light but not watery, a little too dry to be quenching though

O: Very mediocre, expected more even from Trader Joe's brand

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Photo of ColForbinBC
2.77/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

12oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass

A clear golden yellow with about one finger of paper white foam that fell quickly but left behind some sheeting action. The nose is of cereal-like grains and crackers, with some floral and grassy hops over top. Floral hops pounce on the palate first with crackery and sweet cereal-like grains through the middle. A little bit of a vegetal character before a finish of toasted malt and grassy bitterness. Light body with moderate carbonation. This beer is a little messy, moving from flavor to flavor without any real transitions. There are much better pilsner options out there. This is largely average at best.

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Photo of metter98
3.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A: The beer is crystal clear yellow in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving some wispy lacing on the surface and a collar of large bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of bready malts with notes of floral and grassy hops are present in the nose.
T: The taste seems to have more flavors of grassy hops that linger through the finish and overshadow notes of bready and grainy malts. It has a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels a little more than light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is rather easy to drink. It would have been nicer if there were more malts in the taste to balance off some of the hops.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.12/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A: Pours a very lightly hazy medium to dark golden yellow in color with moderate to strong amounts of visible carbonation and some orange highlights. There are also some light amounts of dark yeast particles in suspension. The beer has a quarter finger tall white head that reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: There are moderate aromas of bready and grainy malts with light to moderate aromas of grassy hops.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of bready and grainy malts. The beer has moderate flavors of grassy hops that linger through the finish and contribute light amounts of bitterness.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: This beer seems dark for the style, at least much darker than the majority of the others in the style I have tried. The beer is not bad but not great either - probably a decent choice when you factor in the price.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.2/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Celebrator pokal. Pours a light yellowish golden amber with a thin film of head that dissipates immediately to a ring around the glass. Mild aroma of bready malt and grassy hops. Flavor is mild biscuit malt with light lemon, finishing with a somewhat astringent dry grassy hops. Not a particularly pleasant flavor transition nor well balanced. Light bodied with good carbonation. Most the Joseph Brau beers have been uninspiring but pleasant to drink. This one is miss for me.

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Photo of barczar
3.15/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy deep golden with a frothy half inch cream head that slowly dissipates, leaving sheets of lacing.

Biscuity, lightly toasted, sweet caramel malt and a hint of crackery pilsner malt and floral hops form the aroma.

Flavor is floral and fairly bitter. There's a touch of vegetal character. Toasted breadcrust and caramel malt form the backbone, but they're dominated by the floral and bittering hops.

Body is a touch light, with moderate carbonation and a fair amount if astringency.

Much more bitter than expected, and with more caramel malt character. There's a metallic flavor that emerges as it warms.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Harriet pils glass. Best before February 5th, 2013.

Clear pale gold body with a thin finger of white soapy suds. Faint lacing, but decent retention.

Clean brisk musk with mountain air and malt, and herbal noble hop aromatics (Saaz, I presume). Faintly crackery/biscuity as well.

Moderately bitter palate entry with a building spicy character from the hops which remain present on into the dry sod-like finish. Crisp clean and well lagered - nicely crafted with just a touch of barley and winter fruit for sweetness. Lacks the subtle malt complexity of the best examples, but remains free of off notes.

Soft yet zesty, light-bodied mouth-feel.

A bit one-note I suppose, but this is quite a refreshing and carefully constructed lager and an excellent value.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle courtesy of fthomasl pours a clear gold color with a nice cap of white head. Nice lacing!

Nose is very grainy...pretty good representation of the style. Hops are floral and a little grassy. Not bad, but does not smell super-delicious.

Taste is a nice combo of grainy malts with a herbal, grassy hops. Not bad..this is one of the more affordable pilsners out there and it is better than 60% of the imports that are more expensive. I like it, but unfortnately a TJ is about 30 miles away!

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Photo of gpogo
2.9/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Light clear golden body with a small white head that cleared out quick.

A- Light sweet malt aroma.

T- Grainy sweet malt. Some very light bitterness; not unpleasant, but not crisp. No hop flavor.

M- Light body, sort of creamy, sticks around. Moderate-light carbonation.

D- Not great, but definitely drinkable.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.12/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pilsener glass- pours a clear golden color with two fingers of head, decent retention, a few streaks of lacing, visible effervescence.

Smell is appropriate for the style- grassy, lemony hops, some pale malt sweetness, and a little bit of that signature lager yeast.

Taste is perhaps not as lovely as the nose- a little heavier on the malt sweetness, but still good noble hop bitterness and flavors, not really tasting the yeast. Grass keeps coming to mind (and palate), but not in a bad way. Crisp.

Mouthfeel is pretty good as well- light body, moderately full carbonation, some residual sweetness and grassy hops in the finish. Hell, this is a damn good beer for $6.49 a sixer, and even not considering the price I like it for an American pilsner. I've never quite been able to put my full support behind Prima Pils. I think I'll get this one many more times considering this price and worthy taste.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.03/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass from a mixed case of brew. Shows a clear straw with a light boil of carbonation. Half inch cap of white foam settles out slowly to maintain a light cap.

Offers a clean thoug light spicy hop aroma along with a notable pils graininess. Hop notes are kept in check by a sweet lemon character however. This does balance a bit with warming.

Bit sweet and doughy on the taste with a grainy backbone though the hops don't contribute as well here as on the aroma, but then they aren't really too profound there either.

Offers a decent feel and carbonation. Bit sweet and neutral in delivery and with a light hop presence. Bit nondescript overall.

 667 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My house on July 8, 2012. Bottle into pint glass. Two fingers of head. Honey pale color. Foamy white lacing. Below average-to-poor retention.

Smelled honey, corn, wheat, grass, bread and light lemon hops.

Tasted honey, corn and bread mostly. Also grain, cereal and toast. Also some light lemon hops that brings everything together.

Light body. Thin texture. Average carbonation. Refreshing, but abrupt finish.

Not a bad beer overall. A decent, refreshing pilsner. Great for the summer.

 493 characters

Photo of steveh
4.11/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got into my local TJ's for the first time in a while and happened on this new label. I find it odd that this beer rates so much lower than the same beer -- but carrying the Gordon-Biersch label. Tell me blind tasting isn't the best way to review.

A -- Clear, deep gold with a long-lasting dense white head. Picture-perfect Pilsner.

S -- Spicy hops up front with a mild fruitiness and DMS back. Some vague breadiness back.

T -- Good balance of spicy hops and bready malts up front with the hops finally winning out. The breadiness lingers into the finish, but light citrus and spicy bitterness dominate the aftertaste.

M -- Mouthfeel is crisp and dry with a medium-light body.

O -- When I first grabbed this beer I was afraid it was just a re-labeling of the Josephsbrau Bohemian Lager, but this is a much nicer brew. While not so much Czech as German in its Pils character, it's a great rendition of the style from a US micro. Very easy-drinking and perfect on a warm summer day.

 984 characters

Photo of Flightoficarus
2.86/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours crisp, golden hue, with a large, foamy white head, which quickly dissipates to a mild-moderate glass lacing.

S - Smell is of honey, various grains, possible hints of corn, and grassy hops.

T - Taste is of honey and mixed grains, w/hints of grassy hops to balance it. Flavor is kind of plain, even for a pilsner, but still not that bad.

M - Body is on the lighter side, w/a fairly high level of carbonation. Pretty easy drinking.

O - Overall, it's not the greatest Czech Pilsner out there, but it's pretty hard to complain when a sixer runs what BMC type stuff does. Definitely a good value.

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Photo of McStagger
3.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ah, the good ole TJ's brand beers. Always a good value. How does this one stack up?

A: Poured into a standard pint glass. Slightly darker than straw yellow with a touch of haze. Most clear, though. Rapid pour leads to two finger bleach white head. Dissipates rapidly with moderate lacing. Ample carbonation, with large bubbles.

S: Sweet malts, lemon zest, spicy and floral hops, touch of skunk.

T: Light, crackery malts transition into a spicy bitterness. Floral notes, green apple, touch of sulfur, lemon oil. Fairly strong bitterness smacks you right in the mouth. The bitterness is borderline resinous and soapy. Finishes fairly dry and bitter.

M: Spot on for the style. Okay, maybe it feels a little mass produced, but I've definitely had worse examples.

O: Pleasantly surprised, to say the least. Tastes like a ten dollar a six pack beer. Instead, only 5.50. Damn.

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Photo of beertunes
2.78/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lacking a pilsner glass, I poured this into a 10oz goblet. A best by date of 10/2/12. Poured a somewhat hazy golden yellow with about a half-inch of white head that had OK retention and very light lacing.

The aroma was mostly neutral, although some grains did pop through the base sweetness. The flavors were mostly the same, some grains, a very light touch of hops, and, sadly, just a bit of skunkiness.

The body was mostly the expected clean crispness of the style, but the finish was a bit on the sticky side. Drinkability was OK, I'd have a couple under the right circumstances. Overall, a decent enough brew, especially at the price point it's at. Worth grabbing a sixer for a cookout at the park, or to use as a training wheel beer to get someone away from the bland mainstream beers.

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Photo of nickfl
3.08/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours with one finger of white foam on top of a clear, golden body. The head settles fairly rapidly and leaves only a trace of lace on the glass.

S - Grainy malt with some musty hops.

T - Dry, grainy malt with a bit of a sour hop note. There is some husky grain character in the middle and it finishes with moderate bitterness and more musty, sour hop character.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Not really the best pilsner out there. The grain flavor is flat and a bit sour, totally lacking in pilsner malt depth. The hops have a significant presence, but they are almost more British than German in character and do nothing to help the already harsh malt character. Not one of my favorites.

 728 characters

Photo of Cresant
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served this 12 oz. brown bottle in a shaker pint. Best by: 8/28/12. The body was golden and clear. The white cap left some lacing.

The smell was slightly skunky Nobel hops. Light crackery malts give it a graininess.

The taste started with a bright snap of crisp hops. Clean.Crackery malts and lemon. Slight mineral notes. Husky, which I like in a pilsner. Very drinkable.

The mouthfeel was medium with lively carbonation. With the Trader Joe's label one automatically thinks "cheap" but this is a solid Czech style pilsner in my book.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Half finger white head on a crimson with golden hues clear body.

S: sweet caramel malts, some sweet corn and mild hops.

T: very malty with mild bittering malts in the finish. A little creamy.

M: medium body and moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: Nice full flavored malted beer but fairly simple.

 307 characters

Photo of Luigi
3.08/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a clear straw yellow color, or you could call it light golden. The head was about two fingers high, and then settles down to a small lace but does have some sticky lacing around the glass.

The aroma reminds me of more of an adjunct lager than a Czech Pilsener. Light grass notes, sweet grain, a some malt sweetness.

The taste is not bad, it just does not match the profile of a Czech Pils. A bit of bitterness from the grassy hop and some light grain. Finishes clean and mildly bitter.

Light in body and highly carbonated, and very easy to drink.

I really think this lager should be considered an American adjunct lager. It is not a bad brew, but it just reminds me of an American adjunct lager. There is a lack of saaz hop spiciness that I always look forward from this style of lager. But for the price, I think it puts most American adjuncts to shame.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.09/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours a clear golden color with a generous cotton-billowy layer of foam. Looks great! But the aroma disappoints. It’s there, but nothing stands out. Where are my grassy Saaz hops? Flavor is more, er, less of the same. It’s all sort of meh, middle-of-the-road, not horrible but not something I’d pick up for myself again. Seems consistent with the other Josephbrau offerings I’ve tried however.

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Photo of JsDandy
3.23/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: 12 oz bottle poured into a Weizen glass.

Appearance: 1 1/2 fingers of head which quickly dissipated. However, a pleasing level of lacing. This beer pours a clear and dark yellow, nearly orange - the color of a ring of coffee left on a yellow legal pad.

Smell: present, but faint. For me, the smell of this beer does not contribute to the taste until a few sips have been taken.

Taste: like cereal lightly toasted; a mixture of essentially mellow flavors followed by a bright, oat-like aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: this is the Josephsbrau PLZNR's strongest characteristic. It is crisp, but not too crisp; walks right up to the line between crisp and sharp and then humbly rolls away, simmering smoothly for a moment before leaving a feeling of almost cleanliness.

Overall: this beer is nothing to brag about. It is not the beer I'd offer to my best friend or to my worst enemy. However, it is rather refreshing - it's a good beer for a cool evening during an early spring when you're sitting inside unwinding but still have a to-do list to conquer by the end of the night.

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Photo of MattyG85
3.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Bottle says best before 06/09/12.

Appearance: Pours a bright and clear golden orange with lots of rising bubbles. Big four finger white head with good retention. Lots of lacing sticking to the glass.

Smell: Sweet pale malts with wheat cereal grains and lots of biscuit aroma. Decent presence of herbal, grassy hops. Also some hints of lemon grass. Pretty decent bready smell.

Taste: Bready and sweet pale malts with hints of caramel and lots of biscuit. Big taste of cereal grains. Light hints of earthy, grassy hops lingering around. Also a light hint of lemons. Bready grains dominate here.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Very crisp and smooth.

Overall: A decent take on a European Pilsner. Sweet but not overly sweet and has a decent body for the style.

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Josephs Brau PLZNR Czech-Style Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
3.32 out of 5 based on 202 ratings.
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