Good Cheap Beer: Trader Jose Dark Lager

In my opinion, Trader Joe’s is basically the king of off brand products. They know how to compete on both price and quality at the same time. And while this is true for all Trader Joe’s products, I think their alcoholic beverages really capture the spirit of Trader Joe’s. Enter Trader Jose Dark Premium Lager.

Like their other Mexican-themed products, this one is branded “Trader Jose”. Definitely a silly play on words. It also proclaims “Imported from Mexico” on the label.

Trader Joe’s “Trader Jose” Dark Lager Review

This beer comes in at 5.3% ABV and costs just over a buck per 12-ounce glass bottle. It pours with a (unsurprisingly) dark color and a nice thick head. At Trader Joe’s you can buy beers in 6-packs but also individually at the same unit price. A great bonus for a value-oriented guy like myself.

Trader Jose Dark Premium Beer Cap
Trader Jose Dark Premium Beer Cap

The flavor was a pleasant surprise. Despite the branding it doesn’t really taste like a Mexican-style beer to me. Instead it strikes me as either an amber or a brown ale. These happen to be my favorite styles of beer. I’m glad that Trader Jose and I have similar tastes.

Flavors of malt, sweet (but not overpowering) caramel, and a bit of chocolate. It has decently strong carbonation and a light feel. Not hoppy or bitter.

Overall the flavor is on the lighter side for an ale. I could easily down two in a row despite the slight sweetness. Next time I buy this stuff it’ll be a whole six pack. It’s the perfect beer for sitting by the fire in the cabin on a chilly day.

I like most Trader Joe’s beers, and this one stands out as one of my favorites. Pick up some Trader Jose Dark Lager today!

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