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

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217 Ratings
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Josephs Brau PLZNR Czech-Style LagerJosephs Brau PLZNR Czech-Style Lager
BEER INFO

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
217
Reviews:
72
Avg:
3.34
pDev:
12.28%
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
21
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 217 |  Reviews: 72
Photo of beertunes
2.78/5  rDev -16.8%
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.

 792 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.3/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 ounce bottle, label says best before 11/25/15. Served in a pilsener glass, the beer pours a mostly clear gold color with about an inch and a half frothy white head that stayed around for a while. There's a decent amount of lacing. Not much to the aroma, it smells like floral/grassy hops and some grainy malt. The taste is similar to the aroma, but luckily the flavor seems stronger in comparison. Also, there's some citrus noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is light, it's a bit crisp with moderate carbonation. Not too bad, for the price it's worth picking up once. $1.08 for a single bottle from Trader Joe's, of course.

 626 characters

Photo of barczar
3.15/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

 626 characters

Photo of ColForbinBC
2.77/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

 652 characters

Photo of Fettpopps
4.5/5  rDev +34.7%

Photo of GraduatedCashew
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of cdwil
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of MattyG85
3.65/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

 869 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.77/5  rDev +12.9%
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!

 501 characters

Photo of PatGreer
3.67/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of argock
3.66/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Best by 10/22/14 stamped on back label. Purchased at Trader Joe's (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Crystal clear straw-gold with 2-finger stark white, frothy head with good retention and a nice strip of lacing at the top of the glass.

S: Crisp sulfur at the front followed by grainy, slightly sweet pilsner graininess and capped by a healthy dose of floral, spicy noble hops

T: Really good flavor, fairly sharply bitter, really pushing the limit for the style and quickly approaching German pilsener territory. All in all this beer is pretty high quality and a pretty clean lager with no major flaws. A little too sweet and grainy and not quite toasty enough in the malt component for a Bo/Czech pils but with a good noble hops character. Very enjoyable, especially for $5.99 a sixer.

M: Crisp and refreshing with light-medium body and a medium dry finish. Carbonation is high as you'd expect.

O: PLZNER is another high-quality, low-priced TJ beer that really delivers the value. A few little tweaks to decrease the sweetness and moderate the bitterness (which is too sharp and needs to be softer), and this would be an excellent example of the style.

 1,223 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
3.35/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

 262 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
2.9/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

JosephsBrau Plznr has a thick, pureed-type off-white head, a clear, bubbly, golden appearance, and significant lacing left behind. The aroma is of sweet, biscuit grain and grassy hop oil. Taste is of those elements, with an even slightly citrus hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium and a touch chewy, and JosephsBrau Plznr finishes crisp, refreshing, and semi-dry.

RJT

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.43/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a golden honey color with a really thin cream colored head that disappears quickly.

S: Cereal malts, honey, faint hints of bread and the barest hint of grassy hops.

T: Very smooth bready malts upfront with a trace of grassy and resinous hops in the back. A faint but lingering hop bitterness on the finish. To be honest, this beer was close, but didn't quite have the style down. The malts are there but the hops don't shine enough to give it that refreshing bite that good czech pilsners have. Still not a bad beer though and maybe my favorite of the josephs brau offerings.

 591 characters

Photo of Lovely85
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Reidrover
3.47/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz single from Trader Joe’s,Salem. $1.00 Nice hue of clear golden for the body and a rather fetching thick ,creamy white head Aroma subdued..some biscuit and a small floral grassy hoppiness. Taste is almost entirelly biscuity,cereal type malts..barely any hop There is a strange astringent bitterness in the end..i doubt its hops. Weak watery palate. Not impressed at all..just another American lager
Having had this many times now i have to revise my score.
This is a nice American version of a Czech pilsner.

 515 characters

Photo of buckyp
3.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of JohnBender
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of KYGunner
3.01/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This starts with a classic Pilsner malt flavor that's quite alluring but holds on for a corny sweet mid palate. It ends with a bit of barley malt that's stale. It drinks plenty easy but I'm not a fan of the adjunct flavor.

 222 characters

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

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.57/5  rDev +6.9%
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 Beginner2
3.79/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Value has to fit the rating calculus somewhere. So, I put it in Overall.
PLZNR is a great value at well under a buck... and a decent Pils to boot.
As noted in some of my other TJ reviews, I like Trader Joe's brewing strategy: it is disruptive; find a good recipe, bring volume to a contract brewer, cut out the middle man and give customers value.
Why don't BA raters show some appreciation for new methods to spread the Gospel of better taste ?

PILZN Looks like a clear gold. Smells mostly malt. Tastes more hoppy, pushing out the malt.
Feels somewhat soft, but then the bubbles and hops push that out, too.
Had with a garlicky ratatouille, that was not my best choice. PILZN is better to refresh, than to eat with.

 721 characters

Photo of Falcone
2.75/5  rDev -17.7%

Photo of elNopalero
3.09/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

 406 characters

Photo of AndrewMichael
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%

Josephs Brau PLZNR Czech-Style Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
3.34 out of 5 based on 217 ratings.
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