Over the last two weeks we've talked about values in the Trader Joe's food and wine departments, but beer may be where they showcase their best deals of all. TJ's price point for a six pack comes in around $2 less that other grocery chains and they are also one of the few retailers who stock their own "store brand" ales, giving them the ability to stay very competitive. They sell their beers individually as well, so you can do a broad yet affordable taste test of your own for under $15.
Thanks to Damon of Trader Joe's Queen Anne for his informative help in choosing a selection of best sellers and staff picks exclusive to the Joe's franchise. Here are the top five notables:
Simpler Times Pilsner- $3.99- Ah, Memories. Do the pressures of adult life have you longing for a much "simpler time"? Simpler Times will have you remembering that magical era when you were young, full of hope and seven dollars was way too much to spend on a sixer.
I have to imagine that somewhere between here and California there is a can monument to this easily drinkable pilsner currently occupying valuable real estate in a dorm room. At around 66 cents a can, you don't have to be an Economics major to see it is a great deal.
Oranjeboom Imported Premium Lager- $7.49- If ever a "Dinner Beer" was invented, this is it. Smooth and unique its suggested pairing is with chicken, but would serve as a great accompaniment to any hardy meal. Oranjeboom's packaging reeks of class and would make a lovely gift at your next housewarming party.
Trader Jose Imported Premium Lager -$5.99- Yes this is a Corona knockoff-- but who cares? It's light, refreshing and serves as nicely as the original when you need a "back" with a shot of that other Jose from Mexico.
Hofbrau Bock Golden Bock Beer-$5.99- Bock fans rejoice! Joe's Hofbrau serves as an affordable alterative to some of those other Bock wallet busters. It has all the flavor you'd expect in a golden Bock without being overwhelming. Its price and quality make it the perfect "cooler filler" for a BBQ. So much so, in fact, TJ's makes Hofbrau Brats to go right along with it.
Black Toad Dark Ale-$5.99- This dense, frothy sipper is impressive on its own as it has a deep, enjoyable flavor. BTDA would also be great in a chili, Irish stew, or any other meat and beer-centric recipe.