"Trader Joe's Premium Lager will remind you of those big names, at a fraction of the price." -TJ
Trader Jose is the budget house brand used to imitate Mexican imports like Corona and Dos Equis. And technically, that statement is true. Nobody picks up Trader Jose's premium lager thinking "I wonder what this will taste like?" The marketing makes it clear: This is supposed to taste like Corona. And at $4.99 for a 6-pack in California, it's 40% cheaper than the name brand.
Price check: Trader Jose varies in price from state to state. CA is the cheapest, at $4.99. It tops out in FL at $7.99.
What follows are my tasting notes for Trader Jose's Dark, but I'm tasting it blind. I have nothing to compare it to. You can help us out by leaving a comment and telling us what Trader Jose reminds you of.
You have to play detective to discover where Trader Joe's brands are made. Google always comes back with a handful of different results, so you have to dig deeper.
Contrary to popular opinion, TJ's is NOT brewed by Gordon Biersche. It's actually a product of Cervecería Mexicali in Tecate, Mexico. This is a brewery you've never heard of, that makes beers you've probably never tried, including Mexicali, Red Pig Ale, and Chili Beer (brewed with real chilies). Cervecería Mexicali was founded in 1923 by two Mexican entrepreneurs, who learned their craft from a German brewmaster. But before you get too excited about drinking Mexican microbrews, it's important to note that the original brewery was forced out of business by the big two, and was then purchased by Coors.
Trader Jose Dark Premium Lager:
Nose: Heavy molasses notes. Light, sweet finish. Hay.
Taste: Reminds me of other brown ales. Woody molasses flavor, with a slightly sour finish.
Leave a note. What does TJ Dark lager remind you of?