All of the Trader Joe’s branded beers are contract brewed and I haven’t found one that wasn’t a solid well brewed beer. With brewers like Firestone Walker, Gordan Biersch and Montreal’s Unibroue routinely contributing to TJ’s beer line it isn’t hard understand why that is.
On to the reviews:
Mission St. Pale Ale is a wonderful session beer. A session beer is a beer that is light both in body and ABV and can be enjoyed in moderation with little worry of becoming inebriated. Mission St. Pale Ale poured a golden straw color with a head filled with tight white bubbles that lasted throughout the pint. The first whiff was full of hops and as that dissipated the aroma settled into a mouth watering mix of hops and malt. The beer has a moderate hop bite though not as pronounced as a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. The hops are tamped back by a firm malt backbone but finishes dry. The dry finish and a lingering hop taste do nothing to quench your thirst but don’t worry at 4.6% ABV you can enjoy a few of these before its time to go home.
Mission St. IPA poured a crystal clear dark straw with an off-white head. The aroma was full of citrus hops though not as pronounced as Union Jack. The beer has a great citrus hop flavor (a mix of grapefruit and tangerine) and the sharp piney bitterness that is rounded off by a solid malt backbone. This is a really good example of an American IPA and while I don’t have the specific IBU for this IPA it is well within the hop guidelines. At 6.1% ABV Mission Street IPA is right in the middle of the ABV range but take care not to enjoy this one too much because it will sneak up on you. All in all this is a great everyday beer and at $5.99 a sixer you can’t afford to miss this beer.