Frugal Joe's Ordinary Beer | Steinhaus Brewing Co.

73 Ratings
Frugal Joe's Ordinary BeerFrugal Joe's Ordinary Beer

Brewed by:
Steinhaus Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.65%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 04-30-2002

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Ratings: 73 |  Reviews: 66
Photo of leprechaunandfatman
4.25/5  rDev +43.1%

Photo of mckajd03
4.07/5  rDev +37%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Another great Trader Joe's find. For the money, it's a solid, tasty lager. Sweet corn- check. Straw color- check. Extremely sessionable- check. The name really does describe the beer well. If you're expecting fireworks, get a beer with a name that eludes to more than "ordinary" or "frugal". Otherwise, this is my pick for friends that only drink Miller- a supreme alternate to the U.S. macros. Also, try TJ's Simpler Times lager- just as good with 6.2% ABV. Bla-dow.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
4.02/5  rDev +35.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Unimpressive pale yellow. About as pale as they come. Not much foam and no lacing.

Smell: Fairly strong barley malt and a bit of hops as well. A pretty decent American lager smell quite honestly.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Now this is what BMC should aim for! Strong, fresh barley malts. Tastes like mineral water in the background; earthy but not metallic. Nice hops bitterness in the background. A definite presence of alcohol at the end that I love.

Drinkability: Generally speaking, much more complex and intriguing than American macrobrews.

Overall: See drinkability.

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Photo of TravelingBeerMug
3.8/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok, this beer is actually pretty good for the style. The color is very pale yellow with a small white head that leaves quickly falling bubbly lacing on the glass. It looks like you are drinking (and smelling) a standard light beer, but the taste is much smoother than average. VERY drinkable. Smooth with a light citrus taste. It is fairly ordinary as the label says, but in a good way.

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Photo of malcontent
3.8/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pilsner glass, Frugal Joe's yields a clear, pale straw color accompanied with a short-lived, uneven head. The smell is grainy/malty with hints of lemon & without any unpleasantness to speak of.

Wow! This is the embodiment of every stereotypical macro brewery's advertising except it actually delivers on those promises; crisp, clean & very satisfying. I must say, for a style I usually avoid, this is pretty good! Little hops to speak of although the malt isn't overpowering by any stretch of the imagination. Nicely carbonated adding to a very drinkable body. This could be one of those all-night beers; for what it is, a pleasant surprise.

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Photo of Jason
3.78/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown twist off with no freshness date.

Appearance: Bright and clear yellow hue, good head retention that leaves some lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Big pale malt biscuity aroma, fresh cut hay in the nose.

Taste: Smooth and crisp with a light body. Grainy flavour throughout, slight biscuity malt mild to end with a drying husk. Hops are low to moderate and seem to balance well, not hard being such a dry beer. Clean palate with no off flavours detected. Again, this beer is dry and finishes very dry as an American Lager should.

Notes: For $3.99 a six-pack this a great pick rather than going with the usual macro lager. This could be my fall back beer for the summer time, that is how much I like this beer.

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.78/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear straw gold, small head, fades fast. Looks like many of other macro lagers.

Smell: Light graininess and a small tinge of hops.

Taste: Not bad for the style. The standard grainy muck is present, but has a small, yet discernable hop finish. No off flavors, either. Versus the style, quite good.

Appearance: A good cheap beer that would be easy to toss back if needed/

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Photo of matjack85
3.75/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of gpogo
3.74/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear light straw yellow with a white head. Fairly active carbonation. Head quickly dissipated into nothing.

A- Very little aroma, slightly sweet corn smell. No hop aroma.

T- Crisp and clean, finishing dry. Light corn sweetness, with very little bitterness. Slight carbonation sting.

M- Very light bodied with high carbonation.

D- No strong flavors, very refreshing. Very nice American Lager.

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Photo of Jimbo87
3.71/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In US pint glass.

Clear pale yellow beer, white head made up of larger than average bubbles.

Smells of sweet grain with that tanginess I find in paler lagers.

Taste is pretty smooth, and better than nose suggests. Faint grain. Probably hoppier than Miller High life, though similar in it's grain profile, meaning it's pretty sweet. Faintest metallic note in finish. Tastes good.

Mouthfeel is right for the style. Good carbonation.

Very very drinkable, as per the style. Pretty cheap, but not as cheap as Simpler times lager. I'll have to do a blind taste test with all the cheap Trader Joe lagers. This might be my favorite.

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Photo of zerk
3.69/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The 6-pack carton says "Not Expensinve, Not Interesting" but I disagree... for $3.99 / 6pk, this is a most interesting beer. Light yellow, with a quickly dissapating head. Very malty... bread-like nose with some spicy noble hops detectable. Same flavors as well... very well balanced, and very flavorful. Thin to medium body, dry, and crisp. This may be the best American Lager I've come across. Too bad the big 3 won't make anything like this. A very solid beer!

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Photo of mpyle
3.63/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma - some hop, and a vegetal character. Slight cider sweetness.

App - Very pale golden color, great clarity. Pours a reasonable head with some retention. Nice looking beer.

Flav - Initial sensation is quite sweet, though dries into a balanced to slightly bitter finish. Minimal aftertaste. A clean, simple, lawnmower lager

MF - light-medium body with moderately high carbonation. No astringency or mouthfeel problems - a light, effervescent beer as expected for the style.

D'ability - The sweetness is a bit offputting, but the flavor profile is sufficiently clean that it would be possible to down these by the six-pack. Not sure if I'd want to, but you could do worse for <$5 per six pack.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.62/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance- Pours a seltzer-like head with a quick dissipation. Color is a very plae hay-yellow color. Very sparse bubbles make their appearance in this brew.

Smell- Mostly pale hops with some crystal malts. Slightly earthy.

Taste- Compared to the run of the mill macros, much more flavorful. Doesn't have that metallic, sweaty gym sock soacked in calcium rich water smell. This is very light with hops and malt. Has a mild inkling of of walking through the forest on a spring afternoon. What I mean is very earthy... for a macro.

Mouthfeel- This was a very refreshing and light pilsnery beer. A good 10 pint beer at my local half mile walk home bar.

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Photo of SuperSpy
3.53/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear. Very pale straw color. A decent enough head and some nice lacing.

S - Pale malt. A little sweet, but overall the aroma is not very strong. Pretty typical for the style.

T/M - Very light and dry. However, it lacks the usual crisp finish I expect. A slight grainy flavor. Nothing off. A very typical American Lager.

D - Not my favorite style but a good representation. Better than some of the more commonly available brands of the style.

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Photo of cnally
3.51/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My first foray into the world of Trader Joe's special lines of beers...I am psyched.

The appearance is a very unimpressive pale, pale yellow...bordering on clear. Watery appearance and a slight white head that floats on the top of the glass like scum.

Crisp, clean aroma of corn and sugars. Slightly yeasty and no trace whatsoever of bitterness.

The flavor is so damn mild but so damn balanced. Initial hints of very slight bitterness from the hops fade into a great sweet milky malt flavor. Partly caramel, bit of corn syrup, but malty finish.

Watery mouthfeel and unsubstantial.

Highly guzzleable. Wicked sweet and just enough bitterness in the flavor to keep it interesting. Good hot weather beer. But, of course, far from perfect.

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Photo of bceaglejoe
3.51/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured a nice clear golden color into a pilsner glass, creating a nice cascading head. At its peak it was about a fingler thick. There was decent retention. The scent shows off a lot of adjunct (corn / rice) character. It's a little bit too pungent for my liking. It also seems to hint at a high level of carbonation.

Tasting: This is an amazingly easy beer to drink. I noticed a slight grassy flavor on the tongue, as well as a little bit of sweetness. This is not a hoppy beer by any stretch of the imagination. A very "bread-y" flavor comes out in the aftertaste, similar to (but more pleasant than) that of other adjunct lagers. This beer pretty much glides across the tongue without any bitterness or harshness.

Session beer? Probably. At $3.99 for a six-pack, this is far better than most of the big brands. Non-craft beer drinkers would certainly enjoy this. Hell, I liked it too. Definitely now my macro of choice.

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Photo of biggred1
3.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lemon yellow with a fine white head that leaves fine lace. Smells like biscuit malt and cornflakes. Tastes decent, not overly sweet which is nice. Not complex at all, but a great value at a nice price. Light and crisp mouthfeel that finishes dry. Better than most of this style at any price.

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Photo of MTNboy
3.47/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- It pours pale at first it has a light yellow colored body that is also filled with a lot of carbonation. Oddly enough with all that carbonation there is no head or lace to really speak of.

Smell- It has a earthy straw/hay aroma.

Taste-It has a corny, grainy, and grassy taste with a vegetable like aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- It has thin body and if you let it sit for a minute the carbonation dies down quickly.

Drinkability- I honestly liked it I would drink it again it is very refreshing.

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Photo of BottleOfPills
3.46/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got it at Trader Joes in Columbus for about $6.99 if memory serves me correctly.

A ~ Clear, simlilar to Bud, maybe darker than Bud Light, If I wasn't lazy I'd do a side by side comparison.

Smell ~ hmmm smells like beer, I'm drinking mine out of a Pilsner glass. For some reason my smell doesn't reall smell good.

Taste ~ I think it taste good,course I could just be tired from a 2.5hr bike ride. No, I like it. It's crisp.

MouthFeel ~ goes back to the crispy ness...good

Drinkability ~ my sixpack will not last long again, good.

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Photo of granger10
3.44/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I had this one on a hot, hot day after doing some hard physical labor and man did it hit the spot! Pours a light yellow and has almost no head, but did leave some lacing on the side of the glass. The aroma was very nice, kind of sweet. The taste was also sweet but more refreshing. I noticed a bit a leafy hops in the finish. The whole beer was very dry, esp. at the finish. Very cheap ($4/6 pack) and much better than macro lagers.

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Photo of JamfSlayer
3.43/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is quite a refreshing beer believe it or not. Smells are similar to beers brewed by the very familiar commercial brewers, but still has a different taste. This brew also has a nice color. Interesting label and packaging too... It's well worth a try, especially at $3.99 a six pack. If you're into inexpensive beer and trying new things - you must try this.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.42/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Great conversation label. Light golden in color, patchy full moon white head that gives way to some champagne-ish bubbles. Earthy and biscuity aroma, with some sweet malts and traces of herbal notes. Slick, grainy hops, a bit watery; an obvious lighter bodied ale. Metallic oats, bitter corn presence and a well cleansed palate. Very easy to drink, and for the style, a pretty good find!

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Photo of porterwoobie
3.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served out of a growler bought from Whole Foods into a standard pint glass.

A: pale yellow color, negligible head that dissipates very quickly, no lacing, extremely clear

S: sweet and bready.

T: initially sweet and ends with some slight bitterness, dry finish

MF: very light body, high carbonation.

Drinkability: definitely a summertime, thirst quenching beer. it meets the style well, but not a beer to get too excited about.

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Photo of montageman
3.35/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

I recently accepted a job at Trader Joe's and have taken a liking to the beer section. Not because there is a lot of stuff I haven't tried (even though there is), but more because I can buy 1 bottle at a time and try many beers instead of buying whole 6 packs and being stuck with 5 I may not like.

Frugal Joe's sells for roughly $.90 a bottle, which is really excellent for an everyday beer. Clear, bright yellow in color with lots of bubbles and some lacing along the sides, this is a nice looking lager. The smell is interesting - I can't really place it, maybe grains? grass? Either way, it's fine by me. The taste is OK, totally balanced. Mouthfeel is harsh due to the carbonation, but as the beer warms the bubbles subside and all is good with the world. This is good stuff for $4.99/6 pack - would not be bad as a mainstay in my fridge. Recommended.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.33/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear pale straw color with a decent white head and decent carbonation. Light maltish "cooked corn" aroma and taste with hints of a grassy hop aroma. Light bodied and refreshing but pretty average for a micro with a dry finish.

Assuming this is contract brewed at August Schell since the label states New Ulm, MN.

Date on neck: 03190 (Julian ?)
Tasted: 01/07/04

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Frugal Joe's Ordinary Beer from Steinhaus Brewing Co.
2.97 out of 5 based on 73 ratings.
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