1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Simpler Times Pilsner - Minhas Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Simpler Times PilsnerSimpler Times Pilsner

Educational use only; do not reuse.

242 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 242
Reviews: 126
rAvg: 3.1
pDev: 21.29%
Wants: 4
Gots: 13 | 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 (102) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Simpler Times Pilsner Alström Bros
Ratings: 242 | Reviews: 126 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bmcg266
3.11/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing to American Adjunct Style, Not Pilsener style.

For a $3.99 6-pack this is a pretty good deal. Smell/Taste/Drinkability is better than the typical cheapo stuff, yet not by much.

Pretty much no hop presence, grainy malt flavor, a bit of corn, and some malt sweetness. Goes down like any other adjunct lager fizzy, light, yet has a bit more flavor than the typical suspects.

Overall not terrible, yet for a pilsener it isn''t very good at all. I couldn't detect the slightest hint of hops. For an American Adjunct though, I'd buy it over any BMC.

Pretty much my go-to cheap beer if I'm too broke/cheap to afford 'gansett or PBR, which isn't too often.

Photo of HBeezley
4.29/5  rDev +38.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have a personal rule: when beer comes in a can (except for dale's pale ale) you must drink it in a can!

With that said, This beer really surprised me! The appearance may not be accurate, but honestly, who needs appearance with a beer called "Simpler Times"?

I had very low expectations for simpler times. As an employee at Trader Joe's, I always saw this beer and thought that it couldn't be anything too special. It's bland-looking and cheap, how good could it be?
BUT, this pilsner is not bad at all! Worth all three dollars invested into a six-pack!

The tatse is not complex, but it is tasty! There is a nice bready-ness to it and the alcohol hits nicely on the tounge. Of course, the name does it justice: Simpler Times. And That is exactly what it is, a great SIMPLE beer. One that I could easily make a night out of.

Photo of Jimmys
3.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: golden, straw yellow. mild hazy from the vibrant carbonation. huge fluffy white head. looks good so far.

S: sweet, bready pilsner malt. a faint bitterness at the tail end.

T: light, airy. metallic notes. a little too dry in the finish for the style. need more hops in the finish. or the body. or in general.

M: light body with a dense carbonation. all good.

D: overall, good beer with a really cheap price tag. got mine at a trader joe's for $3.99. kinda hard to argue with that when macro-canned piss is more expensive.

Photo of Erish
3.83/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this 12 oz. can into a pilsner glass.

A: clear, bright golden color, the frothy, abundant yellowish-white head falls into a nice cap with good lacing. You also get the wonderful cascade of bubbles that only a pilsner can deliver.

S: light, white-bread like grain aroma, a bit of sulfurous yeast funk, and a very faint herbal hop aroma, and a metallic note from the abundant carbonation.

T: cracker-like malt and a faint citrus note up front, the middle has a bit of sulfur yeast, some spiciness, and a metallic core from the carbonation, the finish is dry, refreshing, and features light floral and herbal hops. This is probably the best beer I have had in a can, and it was $4 a six pack at TJ's!

M: light-bodied, silky, abundant carbonation. Good pilsner body.

D: This is a damn good beer that happens to sell for under $1 a can. Oh, for simpler times!

Photo of RarianRakista
3.68/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can poured into a 16oz Ceramic Stein.

Like other reviewers noted I'm simply impressed by the suds action and resultant head from a canned beer. A nice surprise.

No ricey and metallic or white bread aroma like some other pilsners in a can I have encountered. Whiff of Simpler Times Pilsner, a redolent noseful of decent hoppiness, good.

Sweet spike of indeterminable fruit flavor and a wash of bitter notes that dissipate pleasantly on the back of the tongue and throat without any industrial can flavor.

Mouthfeel, meh, for all those bubbles it doesn't have a lot of texture at all.

I'm drinking my first can but I can see this becoming a good standby beer when my own Ale keg runs dry.

Photo of Redrover
3.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz can from Trader Joes priced at .67 cents as a single. Poured into my SA perfect pint, the beer is a crystal clear gold with a large fluffy white head. The head is dense and pretty impressive.

The aroma is of grains, a bit of plum and some mild spicey hops.

The taste does not quite live up to the smell or the looks. It is grainy with a bit of medicinal alcohol. There is a hint of hops in the aftertaste and some bready malts late.

The beer has a decent mouth with active carbonation.

Drinkability is ok. I like it better than most budget type beers in its category.

Photo of mikesgroove
2.73/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

another new one from my local trader joes, i dont know why i decide to pick this one up, more then likely the 6 dollars for the six pack. anyway...

the pour was a pale golden yellow with a huge cap of white foam that quickly settled down and left behind only minimal lacing around the top of the glass. lots of carbonation. aroma was light, hay, grass, straw, touches of light flowery things but nothing really coming together or working for me very well at all at this point. super light feel was barely noticeable at all and the further into it the more bland the flavor was. really just a macro lager that went no where. clean, and flavorless finish fit the bill for a boring can of beer.

overall you get what you pay for sometimes, no more on this one

Photo of TMoney2591
3.68/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

50 cents? Can't go too wrong there, even if in a creepy can. It pours a clear pale straw topped by a short finger of white foam. The nose comprises wheat, grass, flowers, greens, and a hint of pepper. The taste is very similar, with the addition of light orange peel and even lighter banana. The body is rather light, with a light moderate carbonation and a crisp feel. Overall, a kinda surprisingly nice pils; not the best out there, but plenty of enjoyment for the price.

Photo of alleykatking
2.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz can. Lukafer deserves the thanks for this one.

A- Pours a clear yellow color. One finger white head that shows poor retention. Light spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Sweet grains and light well sweet malts. Some light alcohol in the backing with some metallic overtones.

T- Sweet grainy taste in the front end of this. There is a light bitter hop bite in the backing of this that goes hand in hand with the metallic ending. Some sweet alcohol offsets the metallic flavor in the ending.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is high but dead on for the style. Sweet grains left on the palate with bitterness, metal, and light sweet alcohol left in the aftertaste. No true balance between the hops and the cereal grains. Light alcohol drying on the palate.

D- This beer was a little too much for me. And by too much I mean off putting bitterness to this beer. I didn't really like the taste or the aftertaste. Don't really like this one too much but it does taste about average and on par with more adjunct lagers.

Photo of MbpBugeye
2.83/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Light gold, chill hazed like a mofo. Moderate lacing, as this bee can manage a small head.

S- Weak, sweet cereal smells, grain and corn meal. Its not too bad.

T- Much like the nose, its mostly all cereal and grains. Moderate hops give it a light floral essence at the finish.

M- Slick, odd and carbonated.

D- not bad. Ryan gave me this as a joke beer but its not that funny.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My brother left two cans in the fridge before he returned to Santa Cruz for school. It looks like I've been dealt those cans by defualt. On to the beer:

The head has a fuzzy, thick, bone-white appearance on top of the paleish gold colored body. Thin strings of lacing cling to the glass as the head slowly drop, but still respectfully thick. Sweet grains hit the nose while revealing some hints that adjuncts were used in this beer, but still not too bad. Decent to smell.

It's got that "retro American lager" flavor; clean, adjuncty sweet flavor, notes of grape, light hop flavor, and a tickle of alcohol. Giving a number will be hard because of its categorization; as an adjunct lager its got a good flavor, as a pilsner merely okay. There is one thing both categories will like; a crisp bite in the mouth, and being easy to drink.

While this beer may not be for every BA type, it does have a strong point; it's cheap at $2.99 a six-pack. Given that and the fact it doesn't taste bad, you'd think beer pongers and broke college kids would be filling their refrigerators with this stuff.

Photo of hmk22
3.84/5  rDev +23.9%
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.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +29%
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.

Photo of AaronRed
2.7/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

Photo of charlzm
3.2/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of IntriqKen
1.69/5  rDev -45.5%
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.

Photo of womencantsail
2.31/5  rDev -25.5%
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.

Photo of spoons
2.94/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Photo of Mosstrooper
3.54/5  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.

Photo of dcook11
1.18/5  rDev -61.9%
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.

Photo of salvo
3.4/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

Photo of pmcadamis
2.85/5  rDev -8.1%
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?

Photo of Metalmonk
3.15/5  rDev +1.6%
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!]

Photo of cokes
2.71/5  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.

Photo of brewerburgundy
3.68/5  rDev +18.7%
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.

Simpler Times Pilsner from Minhas Craft Brewery
72 out of 100 based on 242 ratings.