Wednesday, August 29, 2012

JosephsBrau Plznr

Pale lagers and pilsners don’t have to be full of adjuncts, in fact, the best ones are the cleanest tasting. JosephsBrau Plznr is a good example of this as it’s a clean, mild pilsner with a hint of noble hop bitterness and a clean finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (719) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 27, 2012
I poured a 12oz bottle into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Bright straw yellow hue, completely clear, plenty of carbonation visible. Forms a large, white, frothy head which laces and retains quite well.

Smell: Very mild nose with a familiar clean lager scent. Nothing inoffensive, nothing inviting.

Taste: Describing the palate of a pilsner is a challenge since there’s not a lot to actually describe which makes it a challenge to defend a positive review. Maybe familiarity is the way to go as Trader Joe’s JosephsBrau Plznr is a pretty standard Czech lager. It’s all-malt and made with the noble hops so it’s brewed in the traditional style. A mild palate all around with the familiar lager flavor. The hops come in with a quick dry bitterness through the middle and even create for a faint lemony flavor. The finish is clean and dry, but not pasty or chalky. Nothing delicious, but absolutely nothing off-putting. Why can’t more lagers be like this?

Drinkability: This beer does exactly what it’s supposed to do. It’s more about the style than the substance. A light, short body, and thin, crisp mouthfeel makes it easy to suck down without any carbonation kickback. I’m actually surprised it’s 5.4% ABV, since it seems like a borderline light macro lager (but with much more taste). A great transition beer for all the swillers of fizzy yellow beer.

Grade: 7/10


  1. Kind of my feelings about lagers/pilsners, too--they certainly can be satisfying, but they don't often stand out in any way. Which is why I usually walk past them in the store (which maybe I shouldn't do so often?).

  2. Look for imperial pilsners because they're basically like IPAs. Coney Island Sword Swallower is a good one. Southern Tier's Christmas beer, Krampus, is pretty great too.

    Regular pilsners like this - eh, it's hard to find a good one. Vienna lagers like Sam Adams, Brooklyn or Blue Point toasted are pretty decent. But for the most part I stick with ales because there's so much more than can be done with them.