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While cruising TRADER JOE’S the other week, we came across the brew and grabbed a six-pack. “Ah, our brains thought, a small brewer in California attempting a tricky German style. Cool.”

Later, our intrigue turned to annoyance. When one tries to locate JOSEPHS BRAU BREWING COMPANY of SAN JOSE, California, it can’t be found. In reading over the scuttlebutt in the beer blogs, the money seems to on BRAU being produced as a contract brew by GORDON BIERSCH for TRADER JOE’S.

Sigh. Why the deception? Perhaps TRADER JOE’S would respond that this was not deception; rather, it is part of their running gag of fake brands, like TRADER GIOTTA Italian food products. JOSEPHS BRAU = Joe’s Beer. Get it?

No, quite probably, not many folks do get it, what with the beer’s old world stylings. As a gag, it’s done a bit too well, and we are among the folks who feel burned that we paid good money for a brew produced by the rarely-impressive Biersch.

What can one say of this Double-Wheat? It is light brown and cloudy and pours a decent head, though it dissipates quickly. In the mouth it clobbers the palate with a single yeast flavor and a bit of sweetness. Unlike good dunkelweisses, this is crude, a two-note drink. It’s not worth more than $1.25 a bottle. (We spent north of that.) If it is cheap or free, and there are brats being served, well, have at it. Otherwise, skip this product. (Rating **3/4)


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