Trader Joe's Fan - Jake's Beer Reviews

Jake's Beer Reviews

Hair of the Dog Ruth American Ale

hair_of_the_do_ruth_sm.jpgImagine a brewing company that only makes a handful of beers so intense, so delicious and so sought after that they have to have secret release dates of their brews to avoid overcrowding and you will have imagined Hair of the Dog Brewery in Portland, Oregon.

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Stockyard Oatmeal Stout

stockyard.jpgThere’s nothing like a dark and hearty oatmeal stout to fill you up and keep you warm during the long winter months. Goose Island’s Stockyard Oatmeal Stout is one of the stoutiest around. Made for Chicagoans, this broad-shouldered beer has depth of flavor and aroma as well as a rich color. Ring in the new year with this smooth and satisfying brew.

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Negra Modelo

modelo.jpgMexico isn't known for its beer, but that doesn't stop them from crafting one of the finest brews on the market. Negra Modelo is one of the country's most popular exported beers. Easy to locate in their gold foil wrappers, the stout, elegant bottles hold the best that Mexico has to offer. Negra Modelo's brilliant copper coloring, smooth lager flavor and inviting head combine the comforting and exotic in one dark bottle.

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Warsteiner Premium Verum

warsteiner.jpgThere is beer, and then there’s Warsteiner. Seeing this exquisite brew at Trader Joe’s was a very pleasant surprise. A world-class international pilsner, Warsteiner Premium Verum is a German-style pilsner that holds closely to the 1516 German beer purity law that cherishes a simplicity of ingredients and a complete avoidance of chemicals and additives: this beer is built for savoring.

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Guinness Extra Stout

guinness_extra_stout.jpgMost beer is made out of the same essential ingredients: malted barley, hops and water. Each glass of Guinness Extra Stout also has a heaping spoonful of magical deliciousness—how else could they create such a famous flavor? Guinness has long been the best selling beer in Ireland, and drinkers all over the world loves its rich dark body, toasty-burnt flavor and thick, creamy head. If you like the flavors of roasted coffee, caramel and cocoa in your beer, then Guinness Extra Stout is for you.

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Pilsner Urquell

pilsner-urquell-beer.gifElegance. Class. Timeless quality. I’m not talking about diamonds. I’m talking about Pilsner Urquell. This Czech beer has christened many a summer weekend. Its golden hue, refreshing flavor and crisp feel have kept this beer on the market for centuries. Pilsner Urquell was first brewed centuries ago—and little has changed. It’s perfect flavor and classic pilsner qualities make it a perennial favorite around the world. The Czechs definitely got this recipe right the first time around.

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Otter Creek Spring Ale Kölsch

ottercreek.jpgOpen windows, warm breeze, blooming flowers—and Otter Creek’s Spring Ale, Kölsch style from Trader Joe's. As clear, crisp and refreshing as a mild spring day, this tasty beer will quickly disappear from your refrigerator. Like any classic Kölsch, Otter Creek’s spring ale is a simple, light beer with a balanced effervescence and easy grassy flavor

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Dogfish Head Lawnmower

dogfish_beer_bottles_in_tub.jpgI’m not sure a beer has ever been more appropriately named than Dogfish Head’s Lawnmower. It is exactly what you would expect: a light, crisp, refreshing beer that goes down smooth and is perfect, and I mean perfect, for gulping after mowing the lawn on a hot summer afternoon. The Lawnmower isn’t what you would expect from other Dogfish Head brews—this beer keeps a low profile. It’s medium body, light carbonation and straw-yellow color are straightforward. It tastes just the way it looks. And that’s OK when you want something cold and crisp.

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Sea Dog Pale Ale

seadog.gifThe summertime beer is season can be a time for fresh, experimental beers. Fruit beers, wheat beers, super-hoppy beers. I’ve tried them all, and you have, too. But sometimes, sometimes on a summer day, when all the ads for summer ales and berry-flavored brews have faded into the background, you just want a good old fashioned pale ale. Reach for a Sea Dog Pale Ale.

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Jumping Cow Amber Ale

jumping_cow.jpgHanging on to the last little bit of summer? Grab a Jumping Cow Amber Ale. Just like the golden sunsets of early autumn, this ale is sweet and smooth as a summer day, tawny and crisp as a fall morning. Jumping Cow is the perfect September beer—a blend of sweet malt and tangy hops in a delicious amber ale. Trader Joe’s really knows how to stock its beer aisle this time of year, but Jumping Cow is easily my fall favorite.

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3 Horses Lager

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3 Horses Lager, the delicious Dutch concoction that has been brewed since the 1500s, is just the beer to pony up to this fall. Crafted using the same centuries-old recipe that made it famous in the Middle Ages, this hearty lager has been warming people to their bones since the days of Shakespeare.

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Trader Joes Vintage Ale 2009

vintageale_sm.gifThe rule with wines and cheeses is that they generally get better with age. Trader Joe’s doesn’t stop there, though. Each year TJ’s releases a limited amount of an aged beer they call Vintage Ale. The flavor, color, aroma and mouthfeel of these vintage varieties are rich, complex and delicious.

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Magic Hat Roxy Rolles

magic_hat_roxy.jpgRoxy Rolles isn’t your typical six pack. Magic Hat is always up to tricks with its beer, and Roxy really threw me for a loop. Its dark, mahogany color and sweet, malty aroma had me prepared for a classic porter or dark amber flavor: mild, slightly sweet and laced with caramel and nut flavors. What I got was a mouthful of citrus hops with hints of dark malt in the background. At first I was surprised, and then I was pleasantly surprised. The Roxy is a beautiful beer. It pours a deep coffee color and produces an abundant, aromatic tan head. It quickly levels off and keeps a fine lace all the way to the bottom of the glass.

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Whitbread Pale Ale

whitbread_sm.jpgWhitbread Pale Ale is a classic English pale ale: smooth, malty and delicious. Whitbread is still made in one of England’s oldest breweries. While pale ales of late have been the subject of a lot of experimentation, Whitbread got the recipe right a few centuries ago and just kept on making it. It's a good thing we can get it at Trader Joe's, huh?

Unlike American pale ales, this English pale ale is built for a smooth ride. Beers like Sierra Nevada and Flying Dog pale ales are very hoppy, crisp and citrusy with sharp grass and sour fruit tones. Whitbread is a sleepy, moderate beer. If you don’t consider yourself much of a beer drinker, or dislike dark beers, Whitebread is for you.

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Chimay Authentic Trappist Beer

chimay_sm.jpgIt looks like a wine bottle. It’s corked like a wine bottle. It tastes like…beer! Chimay’s authentic Trappist beers are some of the finest crafted beers in Belgium. The Cistercian Trappist monks of Chimay have been brewing and refining their gourmet beer since 1862. Its distinct coppery color and rich creamy head are only the beginning of the exquisite flavor that lies within each bottle.

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Duvel Belgian Ale

duvel.gifWhile you can find some obscure microbrews and other small-batch beers at Trader Joe’s, you can also find the international classics. One of the world’s best and most respected beers, the Belgian ale Duvel, is available at Trader Joe’s. This complex ale is a robust flavor sensation that holds a cornucopia of flavors in its depths.

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Fat Tire Amber Ale

fat_tire.gifThe now famous New Belgian Brewing Co. in Fort Collins, Colorado has built a name for itself around its widely popular Fat Tire Amber Ale. This playfully hoppy Belgian-style brew tangles fruit, malt and hops flavors together into a delicious knot of well-balanced ale. Toasty on the palette, the unique flavor of this beer is flashy enough to keep your attention without overpowering your taste buds.

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Rogue Dead Guy Ale

Rogue Dead Guy AleDon’t let the ghoulish label of Rogue Dead Guy Ale scare you away. This German-style Maibock is a friendly malt-heavy brew full of flavor and smooth finish. Caramel-honey colored with a tantalizing roasted aroma, Dead Guy masterfully masks its 6.6%ABV in bottles full of the luscious marriage of hops and malt. Dead Guy comes in 12oz. bottles, or that nifty 22oz. bottle that says “I really love this beer.”

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Kingfisher Indian Beer

KingfisherSo you went to Trader Joe's, took home some Madras Lentils, Veggie Masala Burgers and Naan, and you think to yourself: It'd be nice to have an Indian beer to go with this. Well, Trader Joes has that, too! Kingfisher Beer is the world's best selling Indian beer, and comes in affordable six-packs at Trader Joes. Kingfisher advertises itself as a consistently smooth and well-balanced beer that enhances the flavors of your favorite foods. You'll find that its subtle hoppy aroma, pale golden color and balanced malt flavor make this a very drinkable pilsner-style beer.

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