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Monday, November 26, 2018

Trader Joe's Sour Cranberry Ale

Just recently, the WG@TJ's team has looked at cranberry wrapped up in meatballscranberry goat cheese, and a turkey dinner with cranberry sauce. We're on a cranberry kick. 

So when selecting our beverage of choice to go with our Thanksgiving meal, we opted for this unique brew, which is certainly new to us. Not sure if it's new to Trader Joe's. 

It's still very novel for us to walk into a TJ's store and see a beer and wine section—this case, in Des Moines, Iowa. None of the Trader Joe's near us carried alcohol of any kind while we lived in the greater Philadelphia area. We're anxious to see what we've been missing out on.

This beer has a witbier base and a good bit of cranberry flavor—but make no mistake, this isn't a "girly" drink. It's an ale. That is, it's not sweet at all. It tastes like a traditional witbier, but with the sourness of cranberries. Witbiers tend to be naturally slightly sour anyway, so the cranberry gives it a double dose of mouth-puckering tartness. If you're not hoping for or expecting any sweetness, it works quite well.

Some of you might remember that Sonia and I decided to do a turkey-less Turkey Day this year... 

Unable to procure the turkey-less turkey on our last TJ's run, we simply opted for fish on Turkey-less Day, which was, to our surprise, available at Cracker Barrel on Thanksgiving Day. We did take-out and ate the meal with this crantastic beverage. We still had some traditional sides like mashed potatoes, corn, rolls, and green beans. This ale paired just fine with most of those foods, providing a sourness in between all our salty, buttery bites. 

As you can see in the picture, it poured with a very large head—no doubt enhanced by the fact we drove with the beverage for a hundred miles or so before opening. It's a pretty light red color, and it smells subtly like tart cran-wheat.

Apparently, there are other flavors of these sour ales available at some TJ's, including raspberry, which I'm now eager to try. These beers originate from a well-known brewery called Petrus—masters of the sour brew, from what I've gathered. The bottle runs $7.99, which is a bit steep for any beer, if you ask me. We splurged since it was a special occasion, but wouldn't make this a regular purchase. 5% ABV. If you're really into SOUR beverages, it's worth a try.

Bottom line: 7 out of 10.


  1. Hey, I'm from DM! I think it's changed a lot over the years, but it was a great place to grow up. I miss it sometimes. Hope you like it.

    1. Oh cool! We didn't even spend a full day there this time around, but we'll be exploring it more thoroughly when the weather's a tad warmer!


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