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Jul 18, 2006 09:35 PM

Beer at Trader Joes

Yesterday I found myself with a major beer craving. I used to have it more often, but lately have falled out of the habit.

Sadly, I just moved and have yet to find a great booze shop that sells beer by the bottle (I got spoiled by the guys at Morrys in Naples Long Beach). So right now am willing to fill in the gap as I hunt for another booze place (Culver City if anyone wants to shout out a rec) by experimenting with TJ's selection of beers. The question is, are any of these any good?

I perfer Ales and Pilsners. I'm not a stout girl...
But all recs appreciated by the posters! :)


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  1. I think you're asking about the TJ's beer, not about beer stores near your new home, right?

    Anyway, I like the selection TJ's sells from Anderson Valley Brewing Co. and Medocino Brewing. I like strongly hopped ales, so I like the Anderson Hop Ottin IPA or the Mendocino Red Tail Ale. Both these companies make other styles, and most of them are good.

    For pilsners, TJ's sells Warsteiner. Clean, rounded malt and has enough hop to let you know it's a pilsner. It's my default, easy to find pilsner.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Professor Salt

      I forgot about Red Tail. It's darn tasty. Sadly, our of despiration last night I picked up a case of Petes Straweberry Blonde. Not bad, but I perfer Belmont Brewery's version 100x more. :P

      And yes, any good booze store recs near culver city would be great (Not wine, but carry a good stock of beer and liquior.)


      1. re: Professor Salt

        I second that, Anderson Valley is the beer i buy most at TJ's, with Rogue's dead guy ale coming in second. The Tj's by me doesnt have any of the mendocino beers. However you can pick up Chimay there at a good price.

      2. We moved the discussion about Culver City beer stores to the Los Angeles board. Please continue local discussion over there, thanks.

        Trader Joe's is a national chain so discussing their beer selection is appropriate for this board. Sorry for the interruption, and please resume the beer chat. Thanks all.

        1 Reply
        1. re: The Chowhound Team

          While it's true that TJ's is a national chain, it should be noted that the beer selection varies significantly from region to region. This is largely due to the varying availability of the beers we carry (aside from the private-label stuff) from state to state, and the willingness of distributors to work with TJ's -- and vice versa. For instance, we don't carry Stone, Dogfish Head, Anderson Valley, or Warsteiner in MA.

        2. On the west coast I pretty much lived on Boont. It was simply my favorite all-around beer. I also liked the IPA, and some of the Mendocino stuff.

          East coast offerings are different. My everyday beer is the Sea Dog IPA, which is more of an English style IPA. They carry a lot of Magic Hat - I don't like most of their offerings, but the Hi-PA was pretty good. Interestingly, they carry Anchor Liberty at a reasonable price, for when I miss it, and a few of the Mendocino brews.

          The price of Chimay has gone up a bit, and in the east Ommegang has good, affordable offerings, so I get those when I want something Belgian style.

          1. Trader Joe's also, usually, carries Franziskaner Weissbier. It's summer. You can't go wrong with this fabulous unfiltered wheat. I just wish they had Hoegaarden.

            Everyone's pretty well covered their ale selection. Actually, since it's been hot, we've been drinking the TJ's brand Bavarian Lager, even though we normally skip most lager. Good deal and surprisingly very tasty, well-balanced, with good flavor.

            3 Replies
            1. re: LJR

              We also get a range of TJ's beers here in Boston (Bavarian Lager, wheat beer, Blonde Bock, Vienna Lager). I've always been under the impression that these are the Gordon-Biersch beers, relabeled for TJ's.

              Whatever, I think that they are pretty good for the price (<$6/six).

              1. re: Stiv

                They are indeed Gordon Biersch beers -- unless something has recently changed.

                IMO, these are passable but unexciting takes on their respective styles. But the price is good. The dunkelweizen and seasonal doppelbock, from the same series, are slightly more interesting than the marzen, pilsner, et cetera.

              2. re: LJR

                I agree the Bavarian is pretty good. Vienna's not bad either.

                No idea these were GB brews, though.

              3. have you tried the the Samuel Smith Organic Ale? man it is made for food. oat and nut are always good but the organic ale and lager have become my wife's favorite beer now.