Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Trader Joe's (JosephsBrau) Brewing Co.: Dunkelweizen

Trader Joe's seems to enjoy thrusting itself into just about every line of food product imagineable. Generally, this is a good thing: I have developed an affinity for many of their Trader Joe's brand name foods, especially their salsas and frozen pizzas. When it comes to beer, they are a little more hit-or-miss. They put out a spectacular limited-edition tripel this past year, but some of their general releases are rather boring. Their dunkelweizen fits this model--it's nothing to sneer at, but it's a far cry from the delicious brews that come out of the old world.

TJ's dunkelweizen is a very malty beer, principally sporting flavors of banana and cloves, though the banana flavors are not quite as bold as you'll find in some beers. These sweeter flavors are tempered by a crisp carbonated fizz and a light hoppiness, but the banana-maltiness persists from first sip long into the aftertaste. The sweetness isn't at all cloying or syrupy, but hopheads will certainly be disappointed by the limited tastebud-life of this beer's bitter side. Finally, it's worth mentioning that this beer is neither dark nor thick. It has a medium amber flavor and sports a pretty light body, making it more refreshing than your traditional Dunkels, but it also lacks the bold full-bodied flavor of your traditional German dark beers.

But, taking advantage of the virtues of a vertically integrated business, Trader Joe's manages to sell this stuff a couple bucks cheaper than your typical craft brew sixpack. Combine that with a bowl of tortilla chips and their delicious Salsa Autentica, and you've got the makings of a thoroughly enjoyable and affordable summer evening.

1 comment:

Injured and Semi-Employed said...


Dunno if this is still the case b/c I've noticed a change in at least the labeling of TJ's beers in the last two years or so, but they used to be brewed by GB. Sweet blog, BTW.