Beer of the Week: Trader Joe's 2011 Vintage Ale

A Canadian brewery makes a standout for Trader Joe's.

Shoppers who’ve endured the lackluster beers commissioned and sold under the Trader Joe’s label might mistake this ale as being a part of that family. But this is a totally different animal—a Rudolph to Joe’s stable of otherwise ordinary reindeer. Produced by Unibroue, a Canadian brewery that’s been crafting exceptional, multi-layered takes on Belgian-style beers for over 20 years (their most widely available beers are La Fin Du Monde, Maudite and Trois Pistoles), this fine brew is rife with dried fruit and spices and an absolute steal at a meager $4.99 per bottle. Thanks Canadian Santa!

Beer type: Belgian Dark Ale (9% ABV)

Available at: In bottle at Trader Joe’s while supplies last…which won’t be long.

Pair it with: With all of its pear, raisin, nutmeg and allspice notes, it goes great with just about any savory or sweet traditional holiday dishes from stuffing to that sad doorstop of a fruit cake that’ll never be as palatable as when served beside this warming winter wassail.

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