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Jan 16, 2009 06:17 AM

Trader Joe's Lager

Was in TJ's last weekend and happened to notice an endcap devoted to a TJ's Lager.
Rather nondescript packaging, 6.2% ABV, and made somewhere in Wisconsin.
Was wondering if anyone had a take/opinion on the product. The price point was a low $3.99 per six.......How is their contract Saison?
Was also wondering if Goose Island had contract brewed any beer for them....if so which one?
While posting, was also wondering if SN was going to market a new year round.... "Torpedo" and when we might expect to see it.
Thanks for any insights/ops.

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  1. On S-N Torpedo -

    Release date was Jan. 15, but some reports around the country are that it's already been on the shelves for awhile in some places. (Release dates aren't very respected by beer distributors, from what I've seen- and many beers hit certain areas before or well after the "official" date).

    1. The newish TJ's lager with 6.2% ABV is called "Simpler Times." In cans, it's $3.99 per six-pack; in bottles it's $4.99. Either way, it's a great deal. It tastes better than Bud, Coors, et cetera (if the beer is made with adjuncts, they are well-hidden on its palate), plus it's got the relatively high ABV; it's almost like a hybrid between a dortmunder and a pale bock. As far as inexpensive pale lagers go, you could do a lot worse.

      I haven't yet encountered Sierra Nevada's Torpedo IPA, but I've heard about it. This has got to be the first year-round brew SN has added to their lineup since pretty much the very beginning. This is exciting, and I can't wait to try the brew.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Kenji

        Seems to me that Sierra Nevada has put out a few new ones over the years, but not many. I recall the pale bock way back when; I believe that's draft-only now, in season. And the wheat beer.

        1. re: Jim Dorsch

          Yeah, I remember the SN Pale Bock well; I used to love it. However, it was always seasonal, appearing briefly starting in April or May. I last encountered it in bottles in '99, and on draft in '02.

          SN's wheat beer was pretty good, too. Is it year-round? I don't see it nearly so often as I do their Pale Ale, Porter, & Stout.

          1. re: Kenji

            looking at the SN website, looks like wheat is an all-the-timer.

            I really enjoyed the pale bock; hoppy for the style: just the way I like it!

            1. re: Jim Dorsch

              That's right about the pale bock. Back in the 90s, someone commented to one of SN's founders that the brew's hoppiness was "off the charts for a German maibock." The SN guy replied, "We don't make German maibocks."

      2. Do you mean Trader John's?

        1. I did hear that Unibroue was contracted by Trader Joe's.

          2 Replies
          1. re: triggs73

            Unibroue made the Trader Joe's 2008 Anniversary Beer (or something like that). Dark, strong, maybe close to a dubbel. 8.5% or thereabouts and 750ml in Brooklyn for 4.99. Can't beat that!

            1. re: Ralphus

              Exactley...great prcing! I think that Uni did the past few Anniversary beers, right?

          2. I have not tried their Lager, but I know Firestone Walker is who they use to brew their Mission Street Series. The IPA is quite tasty.

            As for Torpedo, I picked up a six pack yesterday in SF. The stuff is outstanding. The torpedo device does a great job of getting the hop oils into the bottle. A really nice 7.2 IPA that will become a regular in my fridge.