Trader Joe’s has come to Kansas City and after having visited both the KS and the MO stores, I am… unerwhelmed. I’m a diehard Whole Foods guy, though, so I’ll revisit them both in a few months to see if they’ve added to their selection or done anything that would make me want to not shop at Whole Foods, but for now, “meh” is about as excited as I am about ol’ Joe.
We have great bottle shops in the area like Lukas Liquors and Gomer’s, too, but we’re getting married in a month so I was sent to TJ’s to pick up some wine (yeah, Two Buck Chuck) and do a taste test. While I was there I scored a 6-pack of TJ’s “Name Tag Classic Lager” which is a 5% ABV canned American Lager that is advertised as “no adjuncts, 100% malt.”
The ONLY reason I considered buying this beer is that it is $2.99 (everyday price) for a sixer. Brief research revealed that the beer is made in Monroe, WI by a contract brewery/bottler called Minhas Craft Brewery. After looking at Minhas’s beer list on Beer Advocate I spotted one or two other beers I’ve had that Minhas made, too, but they were lifeless and boring, as far as I could remember.
I’m not going to belabor this review… this is cheap American Lager lawnmower beer. I’m VERY surprised and quite skeptical of the “no adjunct” advertising, too. This tastes like a corn-adjunct beer, it’s very sweet, has barely a trace of hops and leaves one of those high-fructose corn syrup goobers in the back of my throat.
It’s certainly no worse than any Miller or Bud products, or Old Style (which is my go-to cheap beer), or PBR or any of the other lifeless, soulless zombie beers! At $2.99 it’s a steal. If the price stays the same, this will probably be my go-to cheap canned beer on the few occasions where I need such a thing. It’s as good any other macro American beer and it’s half the price. I call BS on Trader Joe’s claim that it is adjunct-free, but I could be wrong.