This summer I wanted to try as many Trader Joe’s Beers as I could. I don’t think that I realized just how big this task was going to be. Honestly I thought I would be able to get them all under my belt by September. Well, it is the tail end of August and I am only five brews in. I am sure I could have gotten a few more in, but I think that the ones I got to try this summer were pretty big ones. I think that Trader Joe’s has done an excellent job in partnering up with really decent breweries to get a good product to put their label on. They seem to have a great selection to appeal to many different palates! The price point is one that I really think cannot be beat. I think the one thing that this series has proven is that Trader Joe’s has great beer for the price! None of the beers I tried were “epiphany beers”exactly, but the real epiphany was that I can obtain a 6-pack of good beer for $5.99, and I can pick up loose bottles of brew for $1.00 a piece. This is a great place for people who are used to the prices of big commercial beer, but want to be adventurous and taste something different. I will continue to periodically stop in TJ’s to continue this series.
For this post I picked up a single bottle of “Black Toad Distinctive Dark Ale”. This beer is brewed by the Goose Island Brewing Co., but labeled as “Joseph’s Brau”. I was looking forward to trying this, because I had not yet had a Goose Island beer. I do like Brown Ales, and I have heard great things about Goose Island. This “Distinctive Dark Ale” poured a beautiful reddish brown and was complimented by an off-white, inch thick foamy head. There aroma was playfully sweet with wisps of malt, barley, yeast, caramel, and fresh, floral hops. The taste was almost comforting and sweet with roasted malt, dark caramel, and raw sugar flavors upfront. It wasn’t all sweetness though, the Black Toad balances out with a light nutty quality that one would maybe expect from a brown ale. The finish was slightly bitter, but clean with hints of cocoa powder and hops. The 5.3% ABV is hardly a thought while drinking this beer. The carbonation seemed light and the mouthfeel was a little thin, but not terribly. This would make for an excellent session beer! Once again I picked up this flavorful brew as a loose bottle for only a buck at TJ’s, and am glad I did! This only makes me want to explore more of what Goose Island has to offer. Here’s to Good Beers!