Mission St. Hefeweizen

22 oz bottle from the Trader Joe's cheap and cheerful line. I have had some really good success with some of these budget brews, but there have also been one or two stinkers so it's always an adventure - let's see what we have here. The beer goes into the 500 mL Tucher Weizen glass. It's color is definitely out of the ordinary for the style. It's deep, orangey copper which is a long way away from a typical, lemony yellow body. The head is good initially, and to be fair doesn't fade as badly as...

Jumping Cow Amber Ale

Yet another pretty decent beer bought as a single from Trader Joe's for $1.09. 12 oz bottle. Very light color for an amber, this has a real orange color that is reminscent of a classic English IPA. A thin film on the surface and some minimal lace. Extremely malty and sweet in the nose and this is reflected in the taste. English type biscuit malts are very obvious. Nice. Lots and lots of sweet, toffee and caramel malts. Kind of mild hop bitterness in the extreme finish. Another, good value,...

Fat Weasel Ale

12 oz single from Trader Joe's, $1 for the bottle. Pour shows a mid-gold color with some head and surprisingly some lace. This looks (and looks) much more like a lager than an ale. Quite a prevalent alcohol content (seems even higher than it actually is) and the feel is quite viscous too. To me this is a bit of an odd beast. An Ale that feels like a high alcohol malt liquor, but finishes with the bitterness of a Pils. Pretty dry in the finish too. Mild burn on the way down. This brew is a...

Frugal Joe’s Ordinary Beer

Actually pretty nasty. Having had a whole bunch of GOOD experiences at around $1 a single form Trader Joe's, this was the first serious letdown. Head on the pour is good, but it fades just about as fast as I can remember for ANY beer. Gone literally in seconds. ZERO lace. A tiny bit of carbonation. The classic aroma and taste combo of cooked vegetables, corn and mild skunk. Really quite nasty even in the context of the style. A drainpour and that doesn't happen often at all.

Gila Monster Amber Lager

Single 12 oz bottle from Trader Joe's, $1.00. Nice amber color, good head and decent sticky lace. Good carbonation. Very surprised, but a decently balanced Amber, malty up front, but with a true amber, drier, hoppier finish. Perhaps a tad thin in the mouth, but still drinks well and is excellent value. A decent and cheap sixer. Worth a try.