Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How are Those Cheap Beers from Trader Joe's, Anyway?

You don't have to void your wallet of hard-earned cash when you want to pick up some good beer.  If you happen to live near a Trader Joe's that sells beer (sorry Pennsylvania), then I have some suggestions for you to try.

First off is the Mission St Anniversary Ales.  They are brewed and bottled in 22 oz. bottles for Trader Joe's by Steinhaus Brewing Co, which is really Firestone Walker Brewing.  They have been releasing a new Mission St. Anniversary each year for the last several years.  From my memory, last year's Anniversary Ale was good, but 2014's release is great.  Sweet caramel and dark fruits up front, with a burst of citrus at the end of each sip, on top of a layer of alcohol makes this beer incredibly tasty.  And it only gets better with each sip as it warms.  Steinhaus/Firestone classify this beer as an Imperial Brown Ale, and it comes in at a warming 8.5% abv.  Oh, and the 22 oz. bottle was $2.99! 

Trader Joe's, Mission St, 2014 Anniversary Ale
Mission St. 2014 Anniversary Ale
There are other beers in the Mission St. line, including a pale ale, IPA and hefeweizen.  I know they are packaged in 12 oz. bottles and sold in 6-packs, but I have yet to give them a try.  Sounds like another trip to Trader Joe's!

Next up is Boatswain H.LV (Heavy Lift Vessel) Ale.  This beer, coming in at 7% abv, brewed and bottled in 22 oz. bottles by Rhinelander Brewing in Wisconsin, also had similar qualities to a brown ale, but was quite different from the 2014 Anniversary Ale.  There was a similar caramel backbone, but there was much more of a hop bitterness that attacks your taste buds than in the Anniversary Ale.  It honestly reminded me of an Indian Brown Ale, or the little brother to an American barleywine.  At $2.99 for the 22 oz. bottle, definitely a good deal!

Trader Joe's, Heavy Lift Vessel, Boatswain
Boatswain H.L.V. Ale
Another beer I tried from Trader Joe's was Boatswain American IPA, which rings in at 6.7% abv, and is brewed and bottled by Rhinelander Brewing in Wisconsin.  It definitely wasn't the best IPA I've ever had, but it was MUCH better than lots of other beers in the same price range.  The Boatswain IPA had a strange hop flavor that was difficult to describe, and a bit of a harsh aftertaste, but it was still a decent beer.  It does the trick for $2.99 for a 22 oz. bottle!
Trader Joe's, Boatswain IPA, India Pale Ale
Boatswain American IPA

Yea so, give these beers a try and let me know what you think! 

1 comment:

  1. loved the boatswain IPA
    try the Baxter stowaway IPA brewed in Maine...exceptional.