Boatswain Double IPA – A Bad Economy Brew

A few days ago, while trolling the beer aisle at Trader Joe’s for a Budget IPA, I noticed a 22 oz bottle of Boatswain Double IPA for $1.99. Just the upswing my economy needed! The few dollars I’d save could put a few extra lumps of coal in my teenager’s stocking. So, I grabbed a bottle.

From the home of Two-Buck-Chuck, I had high hopes for TJ’s IPA bargain, and it didn’t disappoint. It wasn’t the most sophisticated or hoppy Double that’s graced my palette. It was maybe a touch flat, and relatively thin. The head moderately creamy, yet short-lived. But it went down easy, had a the slight just-about-right amount of bitterness that I enjoy. In my humble opinion, it’s just hoppy and tasty enough, and well-worth the price. My mouth would give it a tie to slight edge over a recent purchase at a third the price.

Boatswain hails from the Rhinelander Brewery out of Monroe, Wisconsin. I couldn’t find it on their beer list online. Either they’re not proud of it, or they have a deal with TJ’s to keep it exclusive. Or could it be a Trader Joes labeling of their Imperial Jack Double IPA? Either way, a few bottles of Boatswain is a tasty way to get half in the bag, while leaving a few bucks in your account for recession repression necessities, like Fruit Ninja, or Angry Birds Seasons.

    • Dan O
    • June 30th, 2012

    And it tastes much better the Great Lakes Christmas of the last 2 years running!

    • DRO
    • October 19th, 2012

    Boatswain is one of trader joes private labels. A really good beer for the price. It’s picking up momentum. I find my local my local trader joes struggling to keep it in stock. I usually have to buy in bulk.

    • January 20th, 2013

    I dislike the Boatswain line as they all taste like they are from the same batch of brew and watered down accordingly to make the individual flavors; the I.P.A. is sweet and not bitter– that is not what an India Pale Ale tastes like rightfully. And, the rest taste the same–just watered down or less watered down. I hope they have not been putting high – fructose corn syrup in this stuff; they could have been it tastes like. I’ve tasted many beers.

      • dustindsmith
      • January 21st, 2013

      Coincidentally, I picked up a few of these at TJ’s just before you posted this. And I have to agree with you. I think they’ve changed something, or maybe my taste has changed because the Boatswain Double IPA I just had seemed very watered down. The head was on the verge of dishsoap bubbles… not creamy at all. Not sure I’ll have it again. It’s not awful, but not worth the caloric intake. I managed to get one bottle down, then drank a Stone… massive contrast. Stone is always brilliant.

      • Ralph
      • October 14th, 2013

      I’d have to agree, though for $2.49 I shouldn’t complain. For my taste, this is a malty brown ale with nowhere near enough hops to cut through the sweetness.

  1. At only 12 cents per ounce, it’s the very BEST bargain out there for craft beer lovers, especially since it boasts 8.4% abv! My favorite beer is Barley wine, but it’s substantially more expensive, and the same 22 oz bottle costs more than $10! Old Ruffian Barleywine is 41 cents per ounce, and Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Ale is good (at 22 cents per ounce), but as you can see, the Boatswain product has incredible value! Two thumbs up!

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