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 neenerzig
2/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Got a bottle of this at Trader Joe's a month or two ago since it was like $.75 cents a bottle or something dirt cheap like that, so I figured it couldn't be that bad right? Got the urge to finally try this earlier tonight Poured into my pint glass. this beer pours a very clear pale yellow gold straw color. I think this might be the lightest colored beer I have ever seen. White head is about 1/2 inch when poured, settling quickly to a medium sized ring lining the inside of the glass. Little lace. The very clear and pale color is what really surprised me appearance wise here. Has a sweet malt aroma with some corn or rice or adjunct of sorts. Not skunky or musty, but the aroma is not as potent as an aroma from a beer should be. Slightly sweet malty flavor upfront followed by the aforementioned corn or rice or whatever the hell it is. Not trace of hops here at all that I could detect. Not offensively bad or shitty tasting like beers of this style that are actually brewed by the usual big corporate BMC suspects, just a bland and uninteresting flavor. It does have a slight metallic extract bitter taste just slightly noticeable on the back end that is almost barely detectable, but it is there. Again not as pronounced like in a lot of other beers I have had of this style. Crisp, light bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Easy to drink because it is like drinking sugar water, not beer. Not something I would buy again, but I'd probably have one or two if I was at a barbecue or something and this is what was being offered. Not impressed at all though.


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Photo of blackearth
2.99/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a beer that I'm assuming is brewed exclusively for Trader Joe's. The label says it was brewed in New Ulm, MN which leads me to believe it was contracted to Schell's. Pours an extremely clear light yellow body with no head. Aroma has a light malt sweetness, perhaps a touch of honey and barely detectable floral hops. Mouthfeel is light bodied and highly carbonated. This is an effervescent brew with a very low bitterness and light sweetness. Despite it's lack of robust flavor, it was very refreshing and highly quaffable, therefore it scores well in drinkability.

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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 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 ThaBobfather
2.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clearer golden than Bud Light with about an inch of thin bodied, white head.
Smell is pretty non-descript, some grain in there a bit.
Very bland tasting. There is smattering of hops at the end of it, but for the most part there isn't much to it.
Finish is crisp, but there is little after-taste other than some grain.
Drinks very smoothy, but this is a result of little taste.

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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 Pauly2X
2.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Straw yellow, with a half finger head.

S- Very light malt aroma with hints of corn.

T- The maltyness is rather grassy from the get go. The middle is very grainy. Suprisingly the corn doesn't come through as much as I had expected. Finish is semi and the grassyness comes back.

M- Light bodied, oddly enough the carbonation is rather low.

D- No better than any other light beer.

Ranks right along with any other macro out there.

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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 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 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 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 beveritt
3.05/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. Picked this up as single at Trader Joe's. Label is simple, with definitions for each of the words in the name of the beer. Based upon a stamp on the neck, looks like it was bottled 10/7/08.

Appearance: Pours with 2 1/2 fingers of white head. This settles quickly, initially going down to a very thin, but complete coating on the top. The beer itself is a very pale yellow and completely clear. Moderate activity. No sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Slightly sweet malt, with bready and metallic aromas. Mild herbaceous hop smell.

Taste: Bland malt with slight husky grain astringency. Some sweetness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: average carbonation level. Body is decent.

Drinkability: For a light, not overwhelmingly flavored beer, which is what American Adjunct Lager is going for, this beer is spot on. Easy to drink, non-offensive. Not my style, but a good representation of the style.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
2.62/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ended up with this bottle from cleanup for a party I was helping serve at. Purchased at Trader Joes. Pours a pale golden with almost no head. Smells sweet and a little acrid with noticeable adjuncts. There are some earthy/spicy hops in small amounts noticeable as well. Taste is light and with notes of cereal grain and light hops and a soapy finish. Slightly bigger bodied than many macro lagers, but still not much of a beer. This ones not for me, but you could do worse for the 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 ZappaCat
2.4/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

My roommate bought this and stuck it in our beer fridge. I'd never seen/heard of this or the brewery it came from before. Figured I'd crack one and give it a shot. Poured 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

It's Bud color. Greaaaat. No head to speak of, but some light lacing. Smells very light with slight sweetness. A bit better than Bud but not really by a huge margin.

Tastes like it's trying to emulate an American macro lager, but done slightly more classy (slightly). That sweetish corn/yuck flavor definitely hangs in the back of your throat after you swallow it, much like macro lagers do.

At first I thought the label was a gimmick and this would actually be an above average beer, but it's all false modesty. I would certainly take this over most pale American macros, but at the same time, if it costs even a dollar more than 6pk of Bud bottles, I wouldn't waste my time.

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Photo of burnstar
3.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours crystal clear pale yellow with a small white head. Aroma is mild sweetness with a touch of grassy hops. Simple but no off notes. This beer definitely has more flavor than your typical macro lager. Light malt sweetness with plenty of herbal hops. A little bit of lemony citrus as well. Finishes with some lingering bitterness. Fairly balanced- definitely hoppier than average for the style. Medium bodied. Definitely very drinkable. Ordinary like it says on the bottle, but for the style it's pretty good.

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Photo of JDV
2.82/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pale clear yellow with no lasting head. Smell is lightly sweet malt, honey and hay like. taste is thin, but crisp, sweet and cereal like. Mild bitterness but ends sweet. Bubbly mouthfeel with no off flavors and better than expected. Drinkable.

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Photo of tgbljb
2.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a very pale light yellow color with modest white head. Poor retention.

Smell is light with only a touch of sweetness.

Taste is alos light, but refreshing.

Not much at the ending, with poor taste retention.

Pretty much an ordinary beer, at best.

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Photo of botham
2.01/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured intoa pilsner. pours a crystal clear light straw color, with three fingers of tight white head. a standard macro in appearance.

aroma is griny, with a very subtle floral character and a touch of pale malts. simple in profile.

taste is more of the same, with an ultra clean finish and a mildly pleasant character on the palate.

mouthfeel is watery and light bodied, with no real character to call its own.

drinkability is decent. this is a standard brew as far as macro lagers go. very light bodied with minimal flavors and character. easily passed up on most occasions.

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Photo of mmmbeer
3.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle with some code ink-jet printed on the label. It pours pale gold, with medium carbonation and a finger of white head that barely laces the glass. Very clean aroma, with some grains, a dash of hops, and maybe a touch of corn. The flavor adds a little sweetness, green/spicy hops and a mild bitterness on top of a light, dry and tingly body that doesn't linger long. Definitely an ordinary beer, but for the style it's actually pretty good.

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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 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 Raymond69
2.95/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thin head, no lacing. Clear yellow .

Smell is faintly corny/grainy.

Taste is about what I'd expect from a macro. Slight sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is thin, very carbonated.

This beer goes down easy enough without offending. It could replace any BMC without much trouble.

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Photo of atsprings
1.77/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Purchased at Trader Joe's by my roommate. Pours a light crisp straw yellow with a quickly diminishing head. Aroma was of pale malts and nothing else. Taste was just a small notch better than BMC, but not much. The beer was light and overly carbonated. This one was a drain pour.

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Photo of jwc215
3.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear straw yellow with a thin white head that immediately becomes a patch, then disappears.

It smells...well, like an inoffensive lager. Some sweet grain. A bit of corn. Not unpleasant for the style.

The taste is of grainy sweetness. Some corn or corn-like adjuncts. Some non-descript hops give it a refreshing dryness. Pretty bland, but not more than most macro lagers. In fact, it has more of a taste than many others of this style.

There is a certain crispness to it. It's appropriately light, but not too watery.

Well, they wanted an "ordinary" beer, and they got it. Nothing much to it, pretty bland, but inoffensive and I would most likely choose this over most BMC products.

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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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