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Simpler Times Pilsner - Minhas Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Simpler Times PilsnerSimpler Times Pilsner

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

231 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 231
Reviews: 125
rAvg: 3.09
pDev: 21.36%
Wants: 4
Gots: 10 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: blackie on 10-12-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 231 | Reviews: 125 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hmk22
3.85/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pretty good beer, great price, and a bit less harsh (and a little lower ABV) than its lager sister beer. I drink it "castle temperature" (stored in my non-heated cement-slab garage) and find it preferable that way to refrigerated. The famed Trader Joe's detectives must have made some kind of offer to this brewer to exchange volume they could never have dreamed of for a bargain price, but I'll raise a can to capitalism since it's to the beer aficinado's benefit. Spend what you save on the beer on some of TJ's awesome nuts.

hmk22, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume III, Issue II:

It's great to see Retro Lagers become more widely available--you know all of the hipsters are happy to see this.

Filtered clarity shows off the pale golden color. The aroma is a little dusty from the mild husky character of the malt; hint of spicy lemony hop in the back. Fluffy crispness, light bodied with a hint of residual dextrin in the body, so it's not too light. Simple, one-way malt flavor is pleasant and clean, with perhaps just a quick sting of husk in the middle. Hops drop a thin but sharp bitterness that does its job to balance the malt. Faint metallic salt taste fades quickly in the clean, dry, grainy finish.

Solid all around, everything you want in a Retro Lager--drinkability, clean palate and just enough flavor to be different from the mainstream. A fun, no-brainer beer that is perfect for a few rounds of slop cricket.

BeerAdvocate, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of AaronRed
2.7/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

No real surprise here. This beer was not brewed to win any contests. It was brewed to drink on hot summer days and nights. And it does that pretty well for an amazing price.
Looked more substantial in the glas at first, but then faded to small bubbles with no head. Not much aroma- bready, corn like- but fairly smooth going down- some slight bitterness in the back of the tounge.
Overall a beer to drink when it is hot and with friends. No frills and for $3.99 a six pack at Trader Joes.

AaronRed, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of charlzm
3.2/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

What can one say about this beer? It is inexpensive and looks, smells and tastes like what it is supposed to be, though without anything approaching a style-defining flair.

Did I mention it's inexpensive? $2.99 for a six pack of cans at Trader Joe's in California. If you have to have this kind of beer and it has to be in a can, you can pay more and get worse with little effort.

charlzm, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of IntriqKen
1.68/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

$2.99 a 6'r at Trader Joe's was worth a shot for one of my favorite summer styles.

Pours a golden crystal clear yellow with a half finger white head of loose bubbles that melt too quickly to a faint ring. Intermittent streams of occasional carbonation rises from the bottom of the glass.

Aroma seems to be all about corn and butter. Incredibly buttery aroma. Only slight breadiness and I can't find the hops at all.

Butter isn't as strong in the taste but the corn is still there as the predominant grain. Burst of lemon hits before you swallow and fortunately lingers a bit to clean out the butter.

I can't say a lot for this beer because it really isn't very complex. Just disappointing. Hard to call it a German Pilsner...more like an American adjunct gone bad or poorly brewed.

IntriqKen, Aug 10, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
2.28/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thank you to Bobby for gifting me a spare can of this fine libation.

A: The pour is a light straw color with a short lived white head that initially towers in the glass.

S: The nose is skunky, buttery, and sweet. Lots of grain and adjunct notes, along with plenty of diacetyl.

T: The amount of butter in this beer is shocking, and definitely not enjoyable. A light sulfur note and slightly sweet with grain providing most of the other "flavor".

M: The body is light and the beer is very highly carbonated.

D: This is one of those beers that should be consumed as cold and as quickly as possible. I honestly cannot recommend this beer to anyone.

womencantsail, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of spoons
2.95/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Once poured this beer looks great.

Light golden yellow in color, pretty tall white head, lasts pretty long for a pilsner.

Smell doesnt hold up. Some grain and sweetness with a hint of nail polish remover.

It feels medium bodied with some prikly carbonation up front.

Taste is gently sweet, with some malty grain carried by the somewhat creamy mouthfeel. An ok pils, even better price.

spoons, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of Mosstrooper
3.53/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz can into 23oz NY Mets pilsner glass.

Appearance: Looks quite nice- crystal-clear golden color with a large, foamy white head that dissipates slowly and leaves behind spotty lace.

Smell: Sweet grains and hints of citrus and a mild floral note.

Taste: Begins with bready sweetness, finishing with a green apple flavor and a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with balanced carbonation, very refreshing.

Drinkability: This beer is extremely drinkable and extremely refreshing. Its far from the best beer out there (even of its style), but its low price tag (cost me $4.64 for a canned six pack after tax- in NYC) makes this one a HUGE bargain. It isn't complex, but has enough flavor to be decent. A good session beer, or good to have around as just a refresher. If the price were higher, this would be so much less worthy.

Mosstrooper, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of dcook11
1.15/5  rDev -62.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A- Looks good in my pils glass. Nice large creamy head nice carbonation. Pale yellow in color, with a nice lacing on the side. The head does fade quite quickly, but the lacing remains,

S-Smells bad. Maybe I got a bad bottle but smells like cardboard. awful.

T-Terrible, almost to the point of being undrinkible.


D- above.

dcook11, Jul 04, 2010
Photo of salvo
3.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A great $4 six pack from Trader Joe's. It beats anything by a major brewery and deserves a place in the fridge for a summer "Ah" refresher right when you need it.

A: Nothing special. Crystal clear straw to yellow with a spritzy head that dissipates in a minute or two.
S: Beer; it'll smell like a frat party when it warms and leaves the floor nice and sticky, too.
T: Beer; nothing complicated or subtle about it. It tastes like American beer, only more strongly and with more respect for its ingredients.
M: Like a Pepsi, it front loads a bunch of carbonation that fizzes out quickly. Very thin.
D: On a hot day I can imagine going through these quickly.

salvo, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of pmcadamis
2.88/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found a six-pack of cans of this old-fashioned looking brew at Trader Joe's in Naperville for $3.99.... lets see how this goes.

A - Bronze-gold with a one finger ivory head. Looks a tad better than BMC, but not much.

S - Sweet corn and husky grains. This brew smells like a corn farm in Iowa. There is also a gentle creamy vanilla note that reminds me of gas station vanilla creamer packets.

T - Hey, not bad! This has more power in the flavor than it does in the nose, and the flavor is much more intense than watery BMC brews. Still pretty basic, but tasty enough. The sweet corny .... almost malt liquor-esque ... flavor could get to ya after a while though.

M - Crispy carbonation and decent weight. Decently tasty and rather short finish.

D - For ultra-cheap beer, this is pretty dang good. It doesn't taste like a pilsener, and there is a malt-liquor roughness to it but hey, what do ya expect for a coupla bucks?

pmcadamis, May 31, 2010
Photo of Metalmonk
3.15/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hmm...I just drank/reviewed the Simpler Times Lager, and now this Pilsner pours a color exactly like the Lager. Sunny golden-yellow, well-filtered. The head is a little less creamy than the Lager, and doesn't stick around or stay as thick quite as long. Much slower/less bubble activity as well.

Nose manages to capture something of a German pils personality--bready with just a light snap of hops in there. Biscuity, malty and a bit of zing. Just barely good enough if it's trying to be your typical, drinkable, sturdy German pils and nothing more.

Flavor is a balance of bready malts, fruity hops and...not much else. Not anything here that's off-putting, other than that lack of depth and character. I'm not one to do this sort of thing, but I could see easily pounding back, oh, nine or 10 of these at a cookout or something, and would do so happily. But I probably wouldn't be left with much of an impression either, flavor-wise.

Mouth is crisp, just dry enough, and a good balance of slippery, silky and tingly.

There's not a ton of difference between this and Simpler Times Lager...this is just a little blander, and since the Lager was already bordering on bland, there isn't a ton to recommend here. Yet the Pilsner also avoids the pitfalls of so many lower-grade beers of this sort, and I guess I can respect it for that.

[thanks for mnwags for this one!]

Metalmonk, May 26, 2010
Photo of cokes
2.7/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pale golden-yellow, smogged slightly by haze. A large bubbled white head rises on top, then recedes to baldness over the next minute or two.
Grainy nose with emphasis on cornmeal. Some misplaced fruity esters. Grassy and haylike later on, but the balance tends sweeter than I'd like.
More hay and corn as it hits the tongue, along with a follow-through of the fruity esters. Nothing much else to speak of, aside from that it finishes clean. Actually, most of the flavor simply disappears around midway.
Light bodied, fizzy. It's a typical Adjuct lager build. And features similar drinkability to other low-rung examples of the style. If considered a true pils, the scores would drop substancially.

cokes, May 20, 2010
Photo of brewerburgundy
3.68/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can, "11 060 10" inked on the bottom, Sam Adams pint.

Golden yellow, darker than a macro, with a chunky white head that hasn't completely dissipated. A spritely carbonation keeps a nice film sitting on top of the body that leaves blobs of lacing.

Sweet candy corn, grain husk, and noble hop.

Corn, saltine cracker, Saaz hop, pils malt.

Heavier in body than macros and tastier too. It retains the fizz and refreshing bits and turns its back on the Bud Light version of drinkability.

brewerburgundy, May 17, 2010
Photo of mithrascruor
3.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. can poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a clear solid golden color with big fluffy & rocky white head which has decent retention and lacing.

Smell: Light malty corn aroma with some grains and grasses, and a bit of hops. Not really that "fresh cut grass" aroma, but still nice.

Taste: Somewhat sweet malt and grain flavor; not too much corn. It has a pretty full flavor, with a bit of hop spicyness too. A little bitterness in the aftertaste after a while.

Mouthfeel: Light- to medium-bodied and pretty smooth. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Simple and easy to drink.

A cheap pilsner that is easy to drink and tastes alright too. Nothing spectacular, and has a bit of corn taste it seems, but quite decent for what it is.

mithrascruor, Apr 15, 2010
Photo of alexgash
3.28/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. can.

Very clear, clean, golden straw body. Foamy finger of cottony white head. Does not stick around that long. Nose of honeyish malts, a little corn or rice, and some spicy, slightly herbal hops. Soft, slightly sweet toasted malt up front. A little honey and a little cereal-y graininess. Mild hop flavor and bitterness. A little peppery with an herbal twang. Clean finish with lingering honey cereal. Moderate body with not overly fizzy feel. Crisp and refreshing for a hot summer day. Not bad, especially for the price.

alexgash, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
2.33/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a straw yellow color, with a huge, foamy white head. Smells grainy, sweet and a little like corn. Not a whole lot going on in the taste department either, just carbonation and adjuncts. Thought for the price ($2.99 at Trader Joes), and considering the lager was pretty decent, that this might be a good buy. I was wrong.

emmasdad, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of fizzy
3.48/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bought a 6er of both the Pilsner and Lager from the TJs in Minnetonka today. Put both in the garage frig and just had to pop a can of Pilsner before it was really cold enough. The head in a nice clean glass was very open and bubbly, not foamy and it settled down a lot but what the heck. I thought the beer tasted pretty good for a Minhas brew, I have had the run of their stuff and it is all quite average, nothing great nothing blech. I can't wait for the Lager sample, and we will do a face off at that time. Like Homer Simpson said, "Beer, now there's a temporary solution"!
Hey, what the heck is going on, my Trader Joe's is $3.99 a 6er

fizzy, Apr 02, 2010
Photo of washburnkid
3.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 6er of this at Trader Joe's for $2.99. For that price, I couldn't pass it up.

A: Perfect white head just mushrooms out of the pint. Nice and bubbly/active. Brew is a cloudy straw color. Lots of nice retention and some lacing. Chunks of yeast settle at the bottom.
S: Aromas feature corn and grains. Though adjuncty in character (ie a bit cooked), it's clean and fresh enough to keep me interested.
T: Flavors are very subtle, with not one characteristic in particular really standing out. Corn huskiness and fresh grains. Spices are there residually but aren't featured in the sips necessarily. I feel like I've been soaking fresh hay or straw in water in the fridge for a few days. There's a bitter finish.
M: Crisp to boot. Very light and refreshing.
D: Not fabulous, but not bad. Certainly would buy it throughout the summer when I'll have no income. :)

washburnkid, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of tjwarren
3.23/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I bought this as a recipe beer for my wife since it was soooo cheap. She didn't use all of it, so I tried it and was shocked at how much I liked it. Price or not, I liked it.

Appearance - clear, pale yellow, white foamy head.

Smell - sweet, not much else.

Taste - sweet with some bite to it. You do know that you are drinking something.

Mouthfeel - a little thin but not watery. Passable.

Drinkability - very good. Taste is there and at $3.99 a six (I think, maybe less) it is hard to complain about it.

This beer is what is says, simpler times. I will actually keep some on hand for myself for evenings on the patio with a fire going in the pit. Is it a Bell's or a Great Lakes? No. But it has it's place.

tjwarren, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of tedsox31
3.1/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a mug. The color is clear yellow with a white head of foam that dissipates down to nearly nothing.

The smell is very sweet from adjuncts, a bit of hops and some diacytel.

The taste is very sweet, but some bitterness from the hops. The sweetness lingers on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is relatively thin and quite carbonated. The sweetness lingers after swallowing, although I wouldn't call it cloying.

This is a drinkable-enough beer. I had some while grilling, and also used it in onion-ring batter which was acceptable.

tedsox31, Mar 20, 2010
Photo of kflorence
2.42/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Got this for $2.99 for a 6-pack at Trader Joe's. Low expectations.

A: Pours a golden yellow color with a thick layer of foam. Not much lacing, head retention is decent but very thin and aerated, not at all creamy.

S: Smells predominantly of corn, grains, alcohol and aluminum. Faint honey aroma as well. Not very appealing.

T: Tastes like a watered down version of what a Pilsner should be; definitely no Pilsner Urquel. The flavor up front is pretty bland and dominated by a sweet corn, grain and metal flavor. The backend of the swig slightly redeems itself with some buttery flavors, but overall rather on the dull side.

M: Way too carbonated, like many other cheap beers. As others have said, kind of malt-liquor-ish. Not outright watery, but not much body to speak of.

D: Probably the best thing about this beer is how sessionable it is, though I would definitely grab something else if given the choice. But hey, at around .50c per can I can't really complain.

kflorence, Mar 14, 2010
Photo of matjack85
3.05/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up 4 different Minhas Brews at the Trader Joe's in Glen Ellyn, IL as they were featuring them at just 67¢ a can. None of them had a freshness date and this one doesn't tell you much about the beer. The can color and the printing reminded me of a box of Whitman's Samplers.

The beer poured a clear pale yellow color that left a 1 finger white head. The retention was decent but it only left a few spots of lacing on the glass.

The smell was that of sweet grain, faint hops, and a really noticeable buttery smell (diacytl).

This tasted alright. Lots of corn sweetness but also a fair amount of hop bitterness to keep it balanced. It was a little metallic, which I didn't like, but the finish left a butterscotch sweetness on my teeth that I found interesting.

The mouthfeel was not watery thin, but not quite thick enough to be called medium bodied either. The carbonation was fairly high.

Pilsners are supposed to have a hop presence, and this one does, but it's still too sweet to allow me to drink a lot of these. Still. at 67¢ a can I can't complain.

matjack85, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of wknight167
2.63/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Apearance - Pours a clear golden yellow with a 1 finger head that fades quickly and champagne like bubbles.

Nose- Sweet and grainy with a slight herbal hop note.

Palate- Sweet light malt with faint hebal hops. Too sweet for the style.

Mouthfeel- Medium-thin body and medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability- I'd rather have one over a BMC, but not by a wide margin.

wknight167, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of plaid75
2.5/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a light copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a grainy malt and traces of diacytl.

The taste consisted of a sweet slick grainy, adjuncts and green apple.

The mouthfeel was slick and unpleasant.

Overall a tough one to drink. Oh, and not a pils.

plaid75, Jan 12, 2010
Simpler Times Pilsner from Minhas Craft Brewery
72 out of 100 based on 231 ratings.