Trader Joe’s brews their own beer

While in Portland over this last weekend, we of course stopped by Trader Joe’s for our traditional round of three-buck Chuck and impulse buying, and I noticed for the first time that they were carrying beer under their own label: Trader Joe’s Brewing Company. That’s a new one to me (there doesn’t appear to be a website for it), so I picked up a couple of six-packs: their Hofbrau Bock, and Vienna Style Lager.

So far I like the Bock better. It weighs in at something like 7% alcohol by volume, and seemed like a richer, better balanced beer. I tried the Vienna Lager this evening, and it was good, but not as good. It’s 5.7% ABV. It poured crystal clear and amber gold (I didn’t pour the Bock into a glass, so I can rate it like that yet), with a fizzy, short-lived head. It probably needs to be served colder than I had it.

They also have two other beers: Bavarian Style Hefeweizen and Bohemian Lager. Next time I’ll pick those up.

Bonus link: BeerAdvocate’s page for TJ’s Brewing.


  1. As point of order, TJ’s doesn’t actually brew. They have their beers brewed under contract. Depending where you live, you may be getting beer from Goose Island or Gordon Biersch (or perhaps some other brewery – can’t stay for sure, but checking the label will provide a good lead). – Stan

  2. I picked up a couple bottles of all 4 types of this Trader Joe’s beer. It says on the labels I picked up in the Chicago area that they were brewed by Trader Joe Brewing in San Jose. I really like the Hefeweizen, it has distinct aromas you can pick out…

  3. One of the owners of my local Trader Joe’s confirmed that the TJ Beers are contract brewed by Gordon Biersch. The Hofbrau Bock is identical to Gordon Biersch’s Blond Bock. Excellent Value for these beers.

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