It’s been no secret that Trader Joe’s has carried a very decent variety of craft beers over the last decade or two, with my personal experience here in Southern California for the past decade. Up until a year or two, most of the craft beer stocked at our local TJ’s were “private label” contract brews made by medium to large sized craft brewers. While stuff like Stockyard Oatmeal Stout, Mission Street Pale Ale and Joseph Brau are still staples of that section of the store, some downright awesome major named craft beer is now sharing the shelf with Old Toad and the gang.
First, stuff like Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Stella Artois (the devil, I know) popped up. I thought to myself, this is pretty interesting. Then, alongside Firestone Walker’s private label, Mission Street, came Firestone Walker DBA and as well as their seasonals.
Fast forward to this year, and each week I am greeted with a surprise in the form of an amazing craft beer, in a relatively fresh state, for the same or less than any of the local liquor stores or super markets. Stores may vary, here is the amazing lineup in my area as of just the other day. It’s very obvious someone at Trader Joe’s head quarters is paying very close attention to the booming craft beer market, and selecting some of the finest you can buy, rather than another gem from Cold Springs.
AleSmith Speedway Stout – ~$10.50 – Are you serious bro?
AleSmith IPA – ~ $5.00 – I usually only drink this beer at the brewery because of freshness issues here in LA, but knowing the small quantity TJ’s gets, I in good faith got a bomber and was satisfied.
The Bruery Mischief – ~$7.00 – Yes, you can get The Bruery at TJs.
Firestone Walker Reserve Porter – $4.50 — Great drinker and cooking beer.
Hangar 24 Double IPA – ~$6.50 – Easily one of Hangar’s best regular run beer, and an excellent Double IPA. So far every bottle I’ve bought was fresh.
Stone Ruination IPA Bombers – ~$6 – Cheaper and fresher than anywhere else besides the Stone Company Store
Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous – ~$5.50 – See Ruination
Sierra Nevada Seasonals 6packs – ~ $8.00 – Enjoyed Ruthless Rye, and got it way before the supermarkets in town got it.
Samel Adams Seasonals 6 packs – $8.00 ~ Gobbled up the Oktoberfest and new Alpine Spring.
We’ve heard from others stuff like Ballast Point and Green Flash are at some locations as well in Southern California. I’m sure the list could go on and on.