There's a new house-brand craft beer at your local Trader Joe's, and the brews are not only attractively priced, they're brewed in Los Angeles.
Trader Joe’s contracts with some big craft breweries to make their house-branded beer. Craft beer veterans of Gordon Biersch handle the Joseph Brau brand of German-inspired brews, and Firestone Walker Brewing Co. was brewing the popular Mission St. brand. Recently, however, the fast-growing Central Coast brewery announced that it would be phasing out its contract brewing operations (it also brewed the Nectar Ales brand before Humboldt Brewing Co. took over the line, and handled house-branded beers for restaurants such as Lazy Dog and Blue Palms Brewery) so that it could focus on meeting demand for its pale ales and expanding distribution of 805 blonde ale.
L.A.’s Golden Road Brewery has stepped in to fill the gap left by Firestone Walker’s discontinued Mission St. line with a new house-brand made especially for the Trader Joe’s markets called Ol’ Burro Brewery. There are three beers under the new mark: Gold Brick Pale Ale, El Guero Blonde Ale and Tap 79 IPA, and the brews are packaged in four-packs of the 16-ounce cans that Golden Road Brewery is known for and attractively priced at $5 to $7.
The L.A. brewery is not allowed to advertise or promote the beers it brews under contract due to regulations from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), but Golden Road co-founder and President Meg Gill says, “We were fortunate enough to brew the first craft canned beer for Trader Joe's. It has been a fun project and we are proud of the beer.” The brewery also now handles the house beers for Lazy Dog Restaurants.