Appearance: Typical macro lager body of pale, straw-colored, bubbly
water. Initially forms a large, bright white, frothy head, but it
evaporates rather quickly and nearly completely. Minor lacing is left on
Smell: Generic lager aroma minus any foul scents. A hint of lemon .
Taste: When you buy a beer as generically named, marketed, packaged and
cheaply priced as Name Tag Lager you go in with low expectations. I’ve
had plenty of no-name-brand, bottom-of-the-barrel store brand lagers
that have been abysmal (Stewart’s Mountain Brew Beer Ice comes to mind).
That’s not the case with this beer sold (as far as I know) only at
Trader Joe’s stores. It’s clean, crisp, refreshing and actually a little
sweet. Not that it’s delicious, but this is the beer hipsters should be
Upon my first sip of this beer I pleasantly surprised to discover it was
remarkably sweet and very clean tasting. According to Trader Joe’s
website it’s an all-malt brew and it definitely shows in the palate.
There’s no metallic taste often imparted by toasted corn used by the big
boys. There’s a hint of true hop citrus which is likely accounting for
the lightly sweet, slightly lemony flavor. I even get a bit of a sugar
water-like taste on the finish. It’s an inoffensive palate to be sure,
and I do mean that as a compliment. I can honestly say it’s the best
cheap pale lager I’ve ever had (sorry, Schlitz).
Drinkability: Usually, pale lagers of this type tend to be ridiculously
effervescent. While Name Tag Lager is indeed bubbly, it’s not spastic
and out of control like the cheaper brands or even the biggest of the
big name brands. The carbonation is finer which lends itself well to the
thin, slightly watery mouthfeel. The aftertaste is clean with perhaps
just a hint of sweetness (maybe). It’s very refreshing on a hot day or
night, and at only 5% ABV it’s definitely a candidate for a session
beer, although I think you might get bored with the palate after two
cans. Still, if you have to drink a cheap pale lager you could do a lot
worse than this one.