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Simpler Times Pilsner - Minhas Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Simpler Times PilsnerSimpler Times Pilsner

Educational use only; do not reuse.

133 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 133
Hads: 258
Avg: 3.07
pDev: 30.29%
Wants: 6
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Minhas Craft Brewery visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
German Pilsener |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: blackie on 10-12-2008

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (111) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Simpler Times Pilsner Alström Bros
Reviews: 133 | Hads: 258
Photo of JoshPalmer
3.44/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Better than PBR for the value; quite impressed for the price. Quite a basic pilsner taste, but there is a definite pilsner-like taste there, more so than say PBR. Typical grassy, light taste, yet pretty drinkable.

Overall: There is taste there, doesn't feel watered down, and is of extremely good value. Great budget buy.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.47/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

12 oz can into a pint glass. Picking up from earlier proceedings...

A: Pours an ever-so-slightly murky golden color. The head is about two fingers high with a white shade and excellent creaminess. Retention is alright, shockingly. A nice ring of soft lacing is left on the glass. This has a genuinely attractive look.

S: Whoa, heavy on the diacetyl. It's kind of cotton candy-like, too. There are faint traces of hops, but they're really damn mild. Really uninspired for a pilsner, but hey, at least the adjunct qualities don't come off offensively! That's good, right?

T: There is, like, an assload of butterscotch flavor to start. Unlike the Simpler Times lager, it seems like someone bothered to throw a few hops in it, but not enough. Not much of a pilsner at all - it's just too damn sweet.

M: The first thing I notice: there's actually a twinge of dryness to counter all of the beer's sweetness. Second thing I notice: this is REALLY well carbonated, almost to the point of being harsh. It's easy to drink, like all cheap lagers should aspire to be.

O: I can't hate on it for $4 a six pack. Just like its identical cousin, it's a great choice for cheap drunkery. It's just a bit crisper/drier than its aforementioned cousin, and would make a decent hot weather beer. Personally though, I'd rather drink something else.

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Photo of Brad007
3.82/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Found at Trader Joe's, which opened their first VT location several hours ago.

Pours a mild gold with a huge white head into my glass. It was cheap at $3.99 a six pack and two other varieties are available.

Light and easy on the nose. Bready texture.

A faint dose of hops greet the taste buds along with buttered bread. I'm not sure if it's all-grain or adjunct but it tastes very restrained.

Finishes clean too with only a touch of sweetness. Very clean.

This would make an awesome lawnmower beer. It's very easy to drink and the price is attractive. It gives me hope for the other varieties that are available.

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Photo of awillick
2.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I tried this out because I like Trader Joe's other products and I think they only carry quality stuff, but their beer only can be described as "passable." It has an average taste but nothing distinctive about it. Its also not as clean and crisp as a pilsner should be.

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Photo of kcrosson492
2.7/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Number 4 in my mystery sixer thanks to Trader Joe's. I was disappointed to see this being a can but that is okay!

A-The can is simple and looks classy (for beer).

S-Has a PBR like taste in my opinion.

T-Reminds me of PBR to some extent but I am not overly excited about this beer.

M-Same as taste. . just okay.

O-I was surprised that in the end this beer was too weak for my blood.

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Photo of Aaron_Ramson
3.48/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Simpler times is a brand sold at Trader Joe's for $3.49 a 6-pack. An ale, a lager, and a pilsner are all offered, reviewed here is the pilsner. The pilsner pours a pale golden color, darker than straw, about the same as a Budweiser, with a nice soapy head and some satisfying lacing on the glass. A very pleasing aroma; sweet malts, grassiness, and a slightly metallic scent. The taste is very appealing, a soft graininess, cereal, sweet grass, some herbal and mineral tastes show up in the finish. I feel like this may come from the varieties of hops used and they fit nicely in the profile. A sip sits nicely in the mouth with a medium-thin body and a nice level of carbonation that doesnt over-do it. This is not a complex brew by any means, but it's more pleasant and drinkable than you would expect. A drawback is the sweetness that become somewhat cloying after several beers, but It's become my everyday session beer based on its price, availability and drinkability.

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Photo of TheMarkE
3.25/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance Pale gold, with a moderate head and spare lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt, corn, and a hint of spice.

Taste: Corn, sweet malts, a hint of spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, with very little aftertaste.

The Verdict: Not bad. Another of the Trader Joe's bargain brands, it's much better than their Name Tag, but I prefer the tasty Simpler Times Lager. If you're looking for a cheap six pack of beer, it's hard to beat. Much better than any of the macro brews on the market.

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Photo of McStagger
3.59/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

At 3.49 a sixer, what do I have to lose?

A: Poured into a tall pilsner glass. Fairly aggressive (too aggressive) pour leads to three fingers khaki head. Head is fairly light bodied and dissipates somewhat quickly. Beer itself is a couple shades darker than your standard BMC straw yellow. Clarity is still good, and carbonation is lively. Lacing is minimal.

S: Husked grain and dirty straw. Malt sweetness involved. However, does seem to be missing that corn flake element so dominant in AAL's. Bit of herbal spiciness from the hops in there as well. Still strikes me as being mass produced ala six row barley and extracts.

T: Tastes similar to that as well. Fairly subdued, crackery malt, with a shot of herbal bitterness interjected before things get flabby. Finishes dry, with a decent level of hop bitterness. Distinct sourness in the aftertaste I usually associate with Euro Pale Lagers. Almost like the rind of a granny smith apple.

M: Light bodied. The carbonation is subdued for the style. Again, more along the lines of the Euro Pale than the AAL.

O: Better than most macrobrews for literally half the price. I'll take it.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
2.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Simpler Times Pilsner has a thick, somewhat off-white head, a clear, golden appearance, with lots of bubbles and tiny white specs floating throughout, and heavy lacing left behind. The aroma is of dank, sickly-sweet grain husk and dirty barley, and the flavor is of those elements, with a cheap, store-brand bread flavor and an unpleasant hop bite at the end. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Simpler Times Pilsner finishes wet, dirty, and marginally drinkable. Overall, the only thing going for this beer is that it has such unusual characteristics, that it’s worth a try, just for the novelty of it. Price is not an advantage, because one can buy much better-tasting Miller or Anheuser-Busch beers for a lower price. Also, Simpler Times Pilsner should be consumed at the lowest possible temperature above freezing. I recommend it, and that’s for the weirdness of it, not the overall quality. I will not ever have it again, for sure.


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Photo of TastyMcBeerson
4.31/5  rDev +40.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think this is my first review, so here is my amateur experience:
Purchased from Trader Joe's in Midtown Atlanta for $3.99 for a six pack.... My expectations were pretty low. I've been a fan of IPAs and the like, and my only Pilsner experience has been w/ either Pilsner Urquell or Miller Lite, if those count...
Beer at Trader Joe's is not refrigerated, so the first one I drank was room-temp.... Surprisingly, it was better than even an ice-cold <cheap> macro-brew. No macros, that I know of, are available at this price point.
Serving - Can, poured directly into mouth
Appearance - Didn't get a good look at it, but it appears slightly darker than a macro
Smell - Reminiscent of apple juice; not the typical makes-me-want-to-gag macro smell of adjuncts
Taste - Very good! It's not heavy or too complex, but pleasant and very drinkable... It is better cold than off the shelf....To be less general, it does seem to have the above mentioned apple juice notes. No lingering aftertaste or gross burp flavors.
Mouthfeel - It does have some body, and the mouthfeel is slightly syrupy, but not in a bad way...
Overall - I would recommend this brew to anyone who appreciates a flavorful non-macro beer that isn't too full of itself. Also, it's Vegan, which is interesting

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Photo of devilben02
2.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

I feel like I can appreciate a variety of styles, enjoy nuance over boldness, and take simple pleasure in a straightforward pilsner. I just plain didn't enjoy this beer.

It looks about as good as a pilsner can, pouring with a golden straw yellow color and a dense pillow of off-white head. The aroma is dull and uninviting, though, with a musty, grassy character contrasted by some white bread. The flavor is even more disappointing, with my first taste being most comparable to dirt, and further tastes revealing a little lemon, but mostly a dry, stale cornbread character. The texture does what it can to bolster this beer's drinkability, with a medium-light body and a light carbonation that plays off of the light, dry flavor nicely.

Overall, however, this beer is just dull and earthy in an unsatisfying way. It is not as offensive as the descriptors I used above would indicate, but I'd never call this a good beer.

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Photo of bbluemzbeer
5/5  rDev +62.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The taste is not too complex, but it is tasty beer! There is a nice bready taste to it and the alcohol hits nicely on the mouth. The name says it all: Simpler Times. That is exactly what it is, a great SIMPLE beer. One that I could easily drank many of them.
Best values on the market. It is a solid Pilsner at an unbeatable price. This beer tastes like what thought beer should taste like! It is is ver fresh and so clean but some a malty little snap. and the hops are there just popping.
It is more complex beer than the name . Each taste hits a little different. It is just good easy drinking beer. Also , it keep you looking forward to the next drank.
I wish the big breweries tasted like this one Great BEER!!!! Thank you trader joe! The two buck chuck of beer!

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Photo of GossageBrewery
4.19/5  rDev +36.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured this German Pilsener from a 12 oz can into a pint glass. This Pils poured a clear golden color. The aroma consisted of husked malt and lemongrass. Light in body, this Pilsner had a foundation of malted grain, a husky bite that brings a nice level of complexity to a traditional style. Here is just a touch of citric bittering hops that round out the swallow. Finish is dry. Overall, a nice brew and an excellent buy at 1.00 a can at Trader Joes. If your going to serve a Pilsner on a hot summer day, check this one out your pallet and your wallet will be glad you did!

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Photo of BucannonXC5
2.57/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Type: 12-oz. can
Glass: Pilsner glass
From: Trader Joe’s in La Mesa (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $3.49 for a 6-pack
Purchased: April 4, 2013
Consumed: April 5, 2013
Misc.: Meant to get the lager

Poured a golden hazy color with about two fingers of frothy white head. Initially looked like it was going to be pretty bubbly, but that calmed down quickly. Average wet, foggy lacing on the sides of the glass all the way down. Pretty good retention for a pilsner.

Smelled cereal, wheat bread, lemon grass, honey, bread, tropical fruit, sour fruits and faint caramel.

Tasted like a watered-down version of the smell. Even a bit like a hefeweizen. Got water, cereal, grass and corn. Also faint banana and/or sour fruit. Not as good as the smell (which wasn’t that good).

Light body. Thin texture. Average- carbonation. Abrupt, but clean, crisp, refreshing and watery finish.

Nothing too special about this pilsner, besides the price ($3.49 for a 6-pack). I can see this beer being consumed in about any whore movie.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
2.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. can, with no apparent canned on date, just a vague code on the bottom which I won't bother with. Have been impressed with Minhas Craft Brewery Name Tag Lager, and got this same Minhas Craft Brewery Simpler Times Pilser at the local Trader Joe's for 67 cents a can. Can't go wrong with that deal, either way.

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours an impressive two fingers of bubbly, fizzy, carbonated white foam head, which reduces itself to a doughy impression. Body is a bit darker than the Minhas Name Tag Lager.

S - Light corn husk adjuncts, some sweetened malt. Some strong honey. Doesn't smell off-putting, and in comparison to beers like Bud Light and Miller Lite, this beer smells damn attractive, while keeping itself in the same arena.

T - Bubbly, carbonated, adjunctive corn husk. Some light alcohol astringency, but very faint considering this beer's modest 5.50% abv. Nicely bodied, and nicely balanced, much smoother, cleaner, and more natural feeling than any swill American adjunct lager that permeates the market like Bud Light, Coors Light, or Miller Lite. If beers like this were more readily available, I'd bet they could stand a chance at being more popular than they are.

M - Feel is sweet, sugary, somewhat carbonated. Typical of the style and the brewery. Simple, but to the point.

Overall, Minhas failed to impress me with some of their more "crafty" offerings, but their sub-par everyday blue collar man's beers are far more enjoyable and palatable. Like I said, beers like this Minhas Simpler Times Pilsner and the Minhas Name Tag Lager are simple, yet satisfying beers for what they are. And considering the fact that a 12 oz. can of this sells for 67 cents, I don't see any reason for you not to be buying this if you can. I would personally opt for the Minhas Name Tag Lager, but if you have the opportunity, grab them both.

Minhas Simpler Times Pilsner ---3/5.

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Photo of Stothep
4/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You pretentious jerks need to get past the price of this beer and realize that just because you not getting ripped off doesn't mean it can't be good I'd bet the farm that if I put this beer in front of you in some foolish glass and told you it was from a brewery in Germany and cost $4 a bottle you simple minded fool would be creaming all over it this is a solid brew for an unbelievable price

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Photo of rodney45
2.53/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

A: Hazy golden yellow with a big foamy head that doesnt go anywhere for a while.

S: Very noticeable perfume aroma with a touch of corriander or belgian spice. It smells better than it has any right to.

T: First notes of pilsner malt, slight lemon and citrus. Secondary flavors, which came out through the nose, are of a banana and floral perfume. No discernable hop flavor. Finish is airy and non dry.

M: Light mouthfeel, with light carbonation. Easy drinker.

O: Not a bad pilsner, just nothing special. Not a bad go to beer for about 4 bucks a 6 pack. Throw it in the cooler for a hot summer fishing trip day, or mowing the lawn.

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Photo of BigH75
3.82/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Further proof that there is absolutely no reason to buy a big macro beer. This is a simple decent quality American lager. Nothing special but nothing offensive. Light body with a tinge of bitterness. $3.49 for a 6-pack at Trader Joes. Lawnmower beer at its best.

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Photo of BeerDocT
3.65/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Been meaning to review a can of this baby for quite awhile. This is one beer I wished I hadn't told all my friends about. I was once able to grab a six of these for under $4, now my local TJ's can barely keep them in stock and they've jacked the price up almost a dollar! Ah, well, if this is what I have to deal with to keep the Simpler Times flowing, then so be it.

-Appearance 3.5: Deep golden color. Foamy, 1/4" head that quickly dissipated and left no residue. Still, better looking than your average macro.

-Smell 3.5: Interesting and appealing bouquet. I smell sweet malt and some adjuncts, probably corn and also rice. Also, there's a nice hop aroma in there, but it is restrained.

-Taste 4.0: Front is just cool liquid, no real taste. Middle is big on barley and slightly sweet and quickly transitioned into a long finish with hops creeping up the sides of the tongue. Then there was more barley and slight sweetness and smooth adjuncts in the middle of the palate. Very nice. Finish is long and filled with slight hops and some fruity esters. Again, very nice.

-Mouthfeel 3.0: Pretty typical CO2 mouthfeel.

-Overall 3.5: I don't understand all the snob reviews for this beer. Yes it is cheap, yes it comes in a can and yes it is brewed with adjuncts, but so what? This is a very good beer and does not do all the nasty things to your system that many more expensive US macros are wont to do. One of my favorite "go to" session beers and it will not leave you with a bad hangover. Heartily recommended.

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Photo of elNopalero
2.58/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This poured a clear golden straw with light foam that rapidly dissipates. There’s an aroma of cereal malts & corn, followed by … no hops to speak of. The flavor is musty & on the sweet side with some light bittering but not much other than carbonation to speak of. It has all that musty corn adjunct lager flavor with not as much of the nasty aftertaste as a Bud, as well as and a little more malt body. Still, pass. At least it’s cheap.

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Photo of mechtech
1.64/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Canned from Trader Joes.

I bought Simpler times Pilsner hoping for a decent cheap beer. My cheap beer of choice is Yuengling, and while I didn't expect anything better, I was hoping for something better than BMC offerings/PBR, but... unfortunately didn't get it.

Appearance - Light/medium, very yellow. Nice fluffy head, very light small bubbles like a wheat beer.

Smell - sweet, citrus

Taste - sweetness, banana, fake butter, citrus, alcohol, metallic bitterness, acidity, and more sweetness to finish.

Overall - Very hard to finish... pretty poor. I'd take a coors light over it, there're just too many off flavors to even remotely enjoy it. It tastes very corn forward, but there's no "crackery" backend to provide back to the sweetness.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.06/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz aluminum can served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in Los Feliz. Acquired at the Culver City Trader Joe's a few hours ago. Six pack ran me $3.49 - that's just over 1 cent more per beer than budweiser costs at the local Superior, making this the cheapest non-BMC beer in the LA area - at least that I'm aware of. Reviewed live. Expectations are as low as can be. That said, I've had some surprisingly good brews from auld Trader Joe's.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Not paired with food.

Opened clean, with no liquid shooting out or anything.

A: Pours a four finger beige colour head of some cream, average thickness, and decent retention. Colour is a clear bright yellow. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. It's not horribly appealing, but it's average for the style.

Sm: Straw. Hints of crystal malt. Stale barley. A light aroma. Quite a turn-off, but it could be worse (see Budweiser Chelada).

T: Some nice cream on the open. Probably its best attribute is a light buttery quality. Stale barley and surprisingly full-bodied clean generic pilsner malt comprise the foundation. But that's all there is: foundation. There's nothing really on top of it. Maybe a dash of hops. Clean and bland. No subtlety at all here. No complexity to speak of. Meh.

Mf: Clean, smooth, thin, and slightly overcarbonated. Hardly complements the flavours, but it doesn't run against them either.

Dr: Drinkable but very bland and boring. Would make a decent beer pong brew for frat boys, if you're into that. I probably will be buying this again given its price and my current poverty. That said, I'd never recommend it to friends. Might pair decently with spicy thai food or something. I've certainly had worse.

A horrible candidate for aging.


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Photo of secondtooth
3.35/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, piss-yellow with substantial head of creamy white carbonation. Thick but erratic lace.

Nose is grainy, malty, and borderline adjunct.

Tastes rich and malty/grainy, with a buttery toast character and only a slight hops presence. Nice body, and quite drinkable, though not one I'd pursue again, even at the Trader Joe's budget $3.99/6pk price.

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Photo of titusgroan
4.5/5  rDev +46.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thank you trader joe! 2nd time trying TJs Simpler Times - first time i thought i was crazy. simpler times indeed... this beer tastes like what i thought beer would taste like when my dad and friends were knocking them back way back when... this is what budweisenheimer etc should taste like... its so fresh and so clean but with a malty little snap. and the hops are there just popping up a bit to tell you HI... its more complex than the label lets on - each little sip hits a little different - and your taste buds dont get worn out like with a raging IPA or some such stuff (which is good but c'mon - it is summer in TX at the moment...) its just good easy drinkin beer... but inneresting enuff to keep you looking forward to the next sip... and the price is crazy - really this is better than many other beers for its style and i've had similar in the upper price rangers - and I WISH the big macros tasted like this... this stuff is GOOD BEER!!!! thank you trader joe!!! i'll drive to Ft Worth to stock up no problem!!! good stuff!!!

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Photo of Luigi
4/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear light golden color with a big fluffy white head. The retention settles down to a thin blanket on top of the lager, but the lacing leaves thick rings around the glass. Plenty of carbonation bubbles.

The aroma has a soft sweet malt mixed with a grassy hop.

The first flavor to hit the palate would be the mild sweet malt. Hints of honey, and some soft cereal grains. Quickly there is a grassy hop bringing a bitterness and a balance to the brew.

Light and carbonated in body yet crisp and easy to drink.

Overall this American take on a German pilsener matches every characteristic of the style. Easy to drink and only $.67 a can or 3.99 a six pack. This is a bang for you buck kind of beer.

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Simpler Times Pilsner from Minhas Craft Brewery
72 out of 100 based on 133 ratings.