Your Trader Joe's Guide To Budget Craft Beer in Los Angeles

Discussion in 'US - West' started by Dansac, Nov 5, 2021.

  1. Dansac

    Dansac (371) Dec 6, 2014 California
    Trader

    I did too. Holy shit. I also tried a "hazy" from them. No comments.
     
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  2. RaulMondesi

    RaulMondesi (1,362) Dec 11, 2006 California
    Society Trader

    Hell yeah, my bro. Cheers!
     
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  3. deuceventure

    deuceventure (0) Jun 11, 2017 California

    Curious if anyone has gotten to know staff at TJ’s responsible for their store’s beer orders? I’d like to think I had some semblance of influence just in chatting with the person about likes/dislikes and if they’re expecting to get in this or that. Of course, staff seems to rotate not after long, so who knows.

    Any insight into ordering options for a given TJ’s store? If I recall correctly, a staff member mentioned they’re just trying to have decent variety but can be limited based upon distributor pricing. Suppose I’m trying to understand how the hell there seems to be such an abundance of Brewery X, kombucha and hard seltzer at each store. Unclear how much autonomy and curation a given store has for its selection.

    Case in point, hopeful I’d see more Enegren appearing on TJ’s shelves in SoCal now with the brewery’s distro handled by Stone, but sadly this doesn’t seem to be happening.
     
  4. bring

    bring (424) Aug 17, 2005 Greenland
    Trader

    Following up on my own post. My TJs got in some Bitburger Festbier. Same $1/bottle as the Josephsbrau Oktoberfest. No contest. Bitburger for the easy win. Although called a Festbier, it leans toward the Marzen side of the spectrum. Quite well done, and pretty hard to beat for the price. Recommended for the O’fest crowd.
     
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  5. bring

    bring (424) Aug 17, 2005 Greenland
    Trader

    Also, the Swami’s I bought yesterday at my nocal TJ was canned on 9/15. Not shabby at all.
     
  6. thatdudejohn

    thatdudejohn (30) Sep 22, 2022

    Picked up some solid beers today from the NoHo store.

    - Kern River Brewing Pumpkin Ale
    - Hardywood Park Cookie Butter Beer
    - Allagash North Sky Stout
     
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  7. Jesseix

    Jesseix (170) Mar 18, 2022 California

    Is that the one in the newer center where the Macy's used to be, I think it's called NOHO West?
    I stopped into that TJ's a couple weeks ago for the first time and was a little underwhelmed with their beer selection. It's a nice roomy store but I was hoping they'd have more options in the beer department, it just seemed like all "normal" stuff that TJ's gets but those you mentioned above definitely sound new.
     
  8. thatdudejohn

    thatdudejohn (30) Sep 22, 2022

    Yes, that's the one that I went to. That store is usually a hit or miss, like any other TJs. But I guess I got lucky because they just rolled out most of their seasonal stuff.

    You should check out the TJ out is Woodland Hills because they have a "wine shop" and they have really good variety of beer.
     
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  9. Dansac

    Dansac (371) Dec 6, 2014 California
    Trader

    I quite liked the Pumpkin Ale by Kern River. Underrated. Clean, yet flavorful. Not too sweet, nor too malty, but clean and pretty expressive in the core flavors.
     
  10. deuceventure

    deuceventure (0) Jun 11, 2017 California

    Bounty of seasonal and recent arrivals to the Westchester location:

    Fremont Ectoplasm
    Rogue Dead ‘n’ Dead
    Rouge Pumpkin Patch Ale
    Flying Dog The Fear
    Flying Dog Kujo
    Allagash North Sky
    Ommegang All Hallow’s Treat
    Campanology Coffee Peanut Butter Cup Porter
    Bitburger Festbier (!)
    Enegren Oktoberfest (!)
    Smog City Smogtoberfest
    Stone 26th

    Hopefully you’ll see these (and more) at your local store!
     
  11. pinballplayer

    pinballplayer (566) Jul 2, 2014 California
    Trader

    Similar sightings down here in OC. Curious how that Kujo drinks...always on the lookout for a nice coffee porter and can't beat the $10 for a sixer price tag. Perhaps this a different recipe tham what's listed here on BA since the abv on the TJs version was, I believe, 6% not 8.9%.
     
  12. deuceventure

    deuceventure (0) Jun 11, 2017 California

    I tried it last season after they changed the recipe from an imperial. A fine porter, but I much prefer the robust flavor of Smog City’s Coffee Porter.
     
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  13. Dansac

    Dansac (371) Dec 6, 2014 California
    Trader

    Alesmith's Oktoberfest is quite good.

    Enegren's Oktoberfest is really good.
     
  14. TinFang

    TinFang (0) Jun 20, 2011 California
    Society

    Get to know the beer manager. A couple of times, I taked to the woman managing purchases at my home TJ on National Blvd. A lot of your experience depends on that person who orders for the store. I commented on the fact that there was this unending flood of a particular MT product and she admitted she overbought, and did so just before several other California breweries had significant releases. The first time I spoke to her was to compliment her on the improvement in the beer aisles. Previously the products were laid out randomly and the shelves were not orderly, so some good beers got lost at the back. She shrugged her shoulders and said, "This is what it looks like when someone cares."

    Another part of the experience comes from the distribution center that supplies your local store. I found Samuel Smith gift packs in Palm Springs that I'd never seen before, and the explanation was, "We're supplied from a different center."
     
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  15. pinballplayer

    pinballplayer (566) Jul 2, 2014 California
    Trader

    Found some Ayinger Oktoberfest Fest-Marzen 330ml four packs for $10.99 here in OC. Prost!
     
  16. pinballplayer

    pinballplayer (566) Jul 2, 2014 California
    Trader

    Four packs of North Coast Old Rasputin 16oz cans here in OC for $11.49. According to the can (not identified on the box) this batch was brewed by Gordon Biersch in San Jose 'under the supervision' of North Coast so we shall see how it is!
     
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  17. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson (1,068) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    All their canned beer is brewed by Gordon Biersch. All of the canned scrimshaw and old Rasputin I've had has been as good as expected
     
  18. pinballplayer

    pinballplayer (566) Jul 2, 2014 California
    Trader

    Celebration hit TJ shelves in OC. $9.99 for sixer of 12oz cans. Canned 10/6
     
  19. augustgarage

    augustgarage (970) May 20, 2007 California
    Society Trader

    No Celebration at my local TJs yet, but I did grab some very fresh WC IPAs from Smog City (Electric Storm) and Pizza Port (Scenic Loop).
     
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  20. pinballplayer

    pinballplayer (566) Jul 2, 2014 California
    Trader

    It came and went at my local store. Hopefully they get a reload soon.
     
  21. RaulMondesi

    RaulMondesi (1,362) Dec 11, 2006 California
    Society Trader

    Celebration in Aliso Viejo lasted 1 day. A local place down the street from me - Sip ‘n’ Nip is selling it for $14 a 6 pack. Pass. I want to like that place, but they price gauge hard. But yeah, hoping my Trader Joe’s restocks soon.
     
  22. Dansac

    Dansac (371) Dec 6, 2014 California
    Trader

    $14 dollars a sixer of Celebration? That's obscene. I would never shop there out of principle.
     
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  23. pro100

    pro100 (0) Oct 12, 2014 California

    This is the TJ's that I mainly go to. Always has a nice variety of Smog City, MadeWest or Crown&Hops BPLB IPA
     
  24. RaulMondesi

    RaulMondesi (1,362) Dec 11, 2006 California
    Society Trader

    My local Whole Foods has crowns and hops, but it’s like $18.99 for a four pack. Not sure why they charge so much
     
  25. Jesseix

    Jesseix (170) Mar 18, 2022 California

    Other than it being Whole Foods? :thinking_face:
     
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  26. pinballplayer

    pinballplayer (566) Jul 2, 2014 California
    Trader

    Celebration restock here in Huntington Beach, get em while you can!
     
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  27. JBogan

    JBogan (765) Jul 15, 2007 California
    Trader

    Seems like Crowns and Hops beers have been priced rather dearly no matter where I've seen them. The half dozen or so beers that I've tried from them have been ok, but I've been left with the feeling that there are other beers at least as good or better available for a more affordable price.
     
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  28. RaulMondesi

    RaulMondesi (1,362) Dec 11, 2006 California
    Society Trader

    Other beers are priced normally. But like Chapman Crafted when they first started, they are too expensive (so they won’t get my business)
     
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  29. dcgunman

    dcgunman (646) Jul 1, 2009 California
    Society Trader

    Yes, this. CC is overpriced for sure. Likewise with everywhere beer co.
     
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  30. deanzaZZR

    deanzaZZR (446) Jan 8, 2015 California

    Me too. That was the only place I found it this year (300 miles north of you guys). Now send us some Enegren again. I only saw it one time.
     
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  31. Jesseix

    Jesseix (170) Mar 18, 2022 California

    This is the latest Madewest collab, canned 10/28. I don’t have a whole lot of experience with these “thiol boosted/enhanced” beers but this is the first one I’ve had that isn’t pushing it in overly tropical or citrus flavor area.

    [​IMG]
     
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  32. AyeDogg

    AyeDogg (404) Oct 29, 2015 California
    Trader

  33. Jesseix

    Jesseix (170) Mar 18, 2022 California

    There are probably lots of folks here that can speak to it more than me, I am not at all well-versed in the science of brewing. But this was an article that I remember reading when I first heard the term and I felt like it at least gave me a basic idea of what was “going on”

    https://beerandbrewing.com/amp/the-complex-case-of-thiols/
     
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  34. Jesseix

    Jesseix (170) Mar 18, 2022 California

    Meant to include that I think these were $13.50 for the 4pack at TJ’s. So definitely more than their standard IPA and hazy, but also less than lots of others.
     
  35. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson (1,068) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Some yeast companies are selling yeasts that are genetically modified to increase thiol production. Omega yeast calls them "thiolized" yeasts and has some decent info on their site.

    Not sure if that is what "thiol boosted" means , but that's what I would guess
     
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  36. RaulMondesi

    RaulMondesi (1,362) Dec 11, 2006 California
    Society Trader

    Just drain poured a Pizza Port Shaka because it tasted like dirt to me. Popped this Madewest/Fieldwork thing next and it tastes almost the same, but a bit “lighter.” Raul loses.
     
  37. AyeDogg

    AyeDogg (404) Oct 29, 2015 California
    Trader

    Or you're getting sick.
     
  38. deuceventure

    deuceventure (0) Jun 11, 2017 California

    Winter seasonals hitting their shelves around the South Bay:
    - Brewery X
    - Breckenridge
    - Anchor Steam
    - St. Bernardus
    - Delirium
    - Samuel Smith’s (variety pack)

    Not seeing Celebration yet or Xocoveza, unfortunately.
     
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  39. vurt

    vurt (1,136) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon
    Society

    Aw man. I'm drinking a Shaka in Portland right now, and it's hitting me nice. Pine, citrus, proper bitterness, and just enough malt to register as unobtrusive. Every bit as good as the first can I opened last week. Another NW dude compared it to Fremont Lush IPA, and I am on board with that.

    Not good to hear that Raul loses.
     
  40. riko

    riko (420) Jan 18, 2008 California
    Trader

    I got a four-pack of the Made West/Fieldwork collab and a six-pack of the Pizza Port/Fremont Shaka. I like both, with a slight preference for Shaka.
     
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