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RATINGS: 104   WEIGHTED AVG: 2.89   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 150   ABV: 5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
JosephsBrau Hopfest is a German-style Pilsner featuring imported noble hops from Bavaria. Hallertau bittering hops provide a refined bouquet of spice tempered by mild floral Tettnang hops. The resulting brew offers a crisp counterbalance of robust bitter notes and a dry finish.


5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Biersommelier (1) - USA - MAY 21, 2007 does not count
Bottom line: This beer comes very close to a German style pilsner. I gave it a 20/20 since I have not had a better pilsner in the US (All imported beers are pasteurized which makes them loose all their good taste characteristics). Most other reviews disagree but that might be because most people in the US like characteristics of an ale beer. This explains why nearly all "pilsners" brewed in the US taste rather like ales. (Note: This pilsner is rather on the bitter side. Maybe its because the brewery used some male hops)

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Gobot (20) - commerce twp, Michigan, USA - NOV 30, 2007
This is a good beer at a good price. I don’t know, some of these reviewers are a little harsh, if you ask me. It looks good, has a nice aroma and tastes really good. The body is on the heavy side for a pilsner, but I like that. I hate light beers. There is a nice bitter finish and no off flavors. I could drink a bunch of these. I am really impressed with Gordon Biersch products, especially from a quality-to-price standpoint. I know this is not some super-duper imperial pilsner with 9% ABV and 65 IBUs, but hey, it’s a good pilsner that’s way better than the macros and about the same price.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Salsgebom (20) - North Carolina, USA - MAY 7, 2007
The best American example of German Pilsner that I’ve had. Very similar to some of the Schneider offerings. On the hoppy side for a pilsner, which is great. Good job JosephsBrau, just in time for summer.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - MAY 13, 2007
Pours a deep effervescent golden with a lasting white soapy head. Aroma is of continental pils malt and a light grassy, spicy hoppiness. The body is med. -lt. w/ a lot of CO2. The flavors are bready malts, a touch of diacetyl and DMS, just a touch though, and a nice dollop of spicy hops. Finish is pleasingly dry with a satisfying bitterness. A wonderful example of a German Pils, if not a bit too full bodied.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
theshocker (329) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - APR 28, 2007
Yellow, small head, bubbly. Looks like a pilsner. Nice aroma, strong floral and spicey hop aroma. Flavor is well balanced, bitter, grainy with a crisp finish. Body is thin but perfectly to style. This is a surprisingly excellent pilsner at a great price. The only trader joe’s beer that’s really blown me away. Knowing the ratebeer crowd there will be a lot of "how is this different from bud?" - trust me it is. Its hoppy but balanced, full flavored, and just the thing on a hot afternoon.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - JUN 3, 2008
Clear gold body, dense stark white head. Very floral aroma. The flavor is full of noble hops and bread. The palate is quite fizzy and rather full bodied for the style. Overall quite enjoyable.

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 19/20
flowerysong (25) - USA - JUL 24, 2007
Appearance: Pours a clear light gold. Two fingers of fluffy white head which quickly dissipated. Smell: Mild floral hops on a grainy malt background. Taste: Sweet malt with a lightly bready background. Lots of floral hop flavour, medium bitterness. Mouthfeel: Light body, high carbonation. Drinkability: Clean and crisp flavour, very easy drinking.

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
auerbrau (3126) - Peace Dale, Rhode Island, USA - JUN 25, 2008
12oz Bottle. A light cusp of hop leaf sugars and settled grain malt build a pilsener nose, a touch hoppy. Pours a middle gold-yellow, faintly translucent with a well-held rim in white. Flavor develops quietly. A medium-bodied grain sugar, with very distant and not distracting metallic and corn notes. Some deeper, toothier sugars show for a bit of complexity. Towards the end the hop finish comes on strong and rich. A good glowing Noble finish for a real crisp, bright smack. Not dusty. This isn’t bad! I think it’s a very respectable German Pils. Not much off-flavor, decent body, great balance and good hop finish. Suprisingly nice work.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
NeonLX (261) - Wisconsin, USA - JUN 29, 2007
From a 12-oz. bottle, this poured a crystal clear light golden with a white head. Decent retention. Grainy aroma with a significant whiff of hops. First taste is saltine crackers with a graininess in the followup. Surprising hop presence that comes through both taste and aroma simultaneously. Short bitter aftertaste. Decent beer in its own right--and a bargain when price is thrown into the mix.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
FlacoAlto (3737) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - AUG 26, 2007
Pours into my "designer" Sam Adams glass with a chill hazed (this dissipates as the beer warms up), straw gold color and is topped by a frothy, large bubbled, initially finger and a half thick, Pale, off-white colored head, that breaks apart and dissipates with large islands of broken froth. Nicely malty nose with notes of sweet grain, grassy malt, honey and floral aromatics . Those last are also part of hop character, which also includes a light herbal note, a touch of mint character and some light lemon notes.

Crisp, with a solid bitterness up front, the hop bite continues to play a role through to a sharp finish. Lightly sweet malt character contributes a honey character that tries to temper the dominant hop character. Tries because this is a Pilsner after all, but the malt does play a significant role here; it is in fact a bit more malty than one expects in a Pilsner & in fact contributes a touch too much sweetness for the German variety, but it is in line with the Bohemian one. A hint of buttery yeast character mixes up in & melds into the honey notes. A nice herbal hop flavor runs throughout; sort of menthol like, perhaps some lemon thyme like thing and some sharp grassy notes.

Certainly one of the better Trader Joe’s branded brews. I definitely like the flavors in this one, but I think that a bit more hop character would make this very good. There is enough malt character her to support it, especially since it seems to get to be a little too much at times and I like a Pilsner with a solid hop character.


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