Simpler Times Lager | Minhas Craft Brewery

204 Reviews
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Simpler Times LagerSimpler Times Lager

Brewed by:
Minhas Craft Brewery
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by blackie on 10-11-2008

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Reviews: 204 | Ratings: 383
Photo of TheRock7755
3.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Not going to comment too much. It is like it says "simpler". It doesn't have that cheap beer aftertaste like the old classics (Old Style). A bit more kick than a normal domestic. Not worth more than what you pay for it.

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Photo of mikedc81
4.29/5  rDev +47.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can't beat the price. It's a good beer especially at the low price. It's definitely a good alternative to mainstream bottom shelf beers. Good tasting. This will likely become my go to cheap beer from now on.

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Photo of christeraxe
5/5  rDev +71.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Definitely a 'Best beer' that I have had in a long time. And I am talking about the Pilsner; so crisp and refreshing. No thick consistency or foam. No sweetness or ultra richness to digest. Flavourful and now the number one beer sold through Trader Joe's community grocery chain in California. Pure good tasting beer to refresh and enjoy. Old world or Scandinavian pils flavor, not new modern boutique flavour of hops.
I like the way it is brewed from the farming town communities of yesterday. Not sure what Huber or Stroh's did in their brew stint time at the historical plant, but this beer comes off more than satisfactory to anyone wanting a cold refreshing beer. Perfect for outdoor pleasure and as reward for a day in the fields. The 5.5 alcohol is a kick too. However, some of the average reviews I see down below are judging this brand against some boutique distillery and its not fair. Plus- the reviews here tend to be for the Lager, not the Pilsner which is lighter in texture and with a bit of bite to show it is real. Candy ass beer I do not agree with in average flavor results. This is old-timey from a Simpler Time.
I hear they have a great tour and gift shop in the town of Monroe, which is worth visiting. I look forward to supporting this beer and the hard work the owners did to overcome fire, hardship and revamping the 1845 or1865 facility.
This review is for the Pilsner in which the Lager is more generally accepted and general in flavor apparently. Either way... you cannot get a better hand made local grain beer for the money. Priced half as much as the big brands in the can form. Bottles not sure. LMK

Thanx, christeraxe
The CA in California
Born outside of Monroe on the Illinois border, when beer runs were allowed for 18 yr olds.

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Photo of Russ32579
3.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is my go to when times are tough. Easy to put down and gets the job done.

I don't see how anyone can rate the palability of this beer. Its 3.50 a 6 pack for gods sake.

Try the Lager...its less bitter then the Pils. Gives me a Bud meets Fosters kinda feel.

6.2...not bad

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Photo of PhilHeinricke
1.58/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The Good Old Days

When I was a kid, my dad used to drive over the state line (tax purposes) and get some extremely cheap beer. It was awful. This reminds me of that. This is one of the worst beers ever. Maybe if you're in college or on a tight budget and need to get a buzz and you don't care about taste, then this would be your go-to beer on Friday after classes. But other than that, there is no reason to drink this beer. It's bloody awful.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.63/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

This is one of those Trader Joe's generic beers from someone else. The appearance is yellow and weak, feint, small white head, 1/5". Aroma was macro industrial not much.

Taste, its that simple lager stuff, BMC AAL under another name. Strangely the alcohol is amped up, so I guess if you're looking for a buzz, this is the one to have I guess relative to style. Its basic stuff at a somewhat premium price.

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Photo of Benjammin87
3.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Upon research, this beer is the exact same as Cold Creek Ice. Just repackaged for Trader Joe's. You can get a 30 pack of Cold Creek Ice in MN for about 11 bucks. Probably cheaper in WI.

I remember drinking it in college and remember it being one of the worst beers I'd ever had. (Surprising for a college student because I drank a lot of bad beer)

My wife just picked me up a six pack of Simpler Times and was pretty well in the bag when I had my first one. Didn't think it was too bad. Just tried a second one my opinion shifted a bit.

I finished it and my wife asks me how it was. "Pretty skunky, reminds me of that really nasty beer I had in college" Natty Ice she asks, " no, but similar. It was something even cheaper"

Long story short, Google and found out it's brewed by Minhas and is the same as that "nasty beer I had in college"

Final review: drink it when already drunk.

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Photo of Jovich
1.99/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.75

Rotten cabbage flavor typical of bad sanitation practices and repitched infected yeast. This is NOT the normal DMS flavor of well-made light lagers, it is quite plainly infected wort, and likely the cause of the "disappearing head" and lack of lacing. It was completely decarbonated (flat) in less than 20 minutes of sitting in the glass, for crying out loud. On the positive side, it looked promising when poured, and didn't nose too badly. And it was cheap, but infected beer should not be sold at any price.

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Photo of tucson_brewson
2.76/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Six-pack picked up from Trader Joe's for about $4

L - Pours a clear, honey gold with a good inch of head that disappears like a magic trick. Almost no lacing left.

S - Grains, malt, artificial fruit (grape?), metal, adjunct-y

T - Sweet definitely overpowers all other tastes. Sugary, honey, malt, some cereal grain. Finished up with a bitter, metallic aftertaste reminiscent of other cheap adjuncts.

F - Light, thin, watery, crisp, high carbonation, like drinking a soda.

O - $4 for a six-pack? Sure. You get what you pay for. It tastes cheap and on the sweeter side, kind of reminds me of Honey Brown. But there's enough going on to make this feel like a malt liquor, which, I'm not above. A good beer for a hot day--simpler times, if you will.

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Photo of hopphead31415
3.04/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Look-It pours a very clear golden yellow with some mild hues of orange. The head is thin and white.

Smell-A semi-sweet and malt-forward aroma characterizes this lager’s aroma. Prominent adjunct malts and probably only trace amounts of hops come through as well. The corn malts manifest themselves as fresh cut hay or straw.

Taste-The taste follows the nose, but has a more noticeable sweetness to it and the summer-cut hay flavors are noticeable. This light-bodied brew has low carbonation levels and alcohol content. There is little or no lingering flavors on the tongue as is expected from this style.

Overall-This isn’t the greatest beer ever nor even of its class, but it finishes clean and crisp making for a worthy summer beer in the late afternoon if you want something to cool you down and take the edge off. You’d probably need to down 2-3 of these to get a mild buzz after a hard day’s work though. To each his own.

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Photo of Soothsayerslayer
2.5/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Tried it in a nonik pint. It pours nice, clean, and golden but leaves lackluster lacing. Thoroughly sub-par beer for a commensurate price. It tastes and feels like malt liquor (if malt liquor didn't have an offensive diesel-like aftertaste) without nearly as high of an ABV.

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Photo of SilverStar83
2.85/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 1 | overall: 4.25

I like the Simpler Times Lager because it's exactly what it says. Sorry this is my first review so I'm not going to get into details. It is a cheap drinkable beer. Perfect for when you just need to unwind after a hard day or work and don't want to spend $12 for a damn 6 pack.

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Photo of dhannes
3.05/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First from a 4-pack...poured with a nice foamy head, and strong and pleasant barley and hops smell. Paired with sausage pizza...first tasted seemed the temp warmed up, taste evolved into apples, with excessive sweetness...had I not known better, I would have guessed a malt liquor. Modest carbonation, but feels flat, a bit to thick, and a bit too syrupy.

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Photo of BigWhiteComic
3.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well I gotta say, "This is not the worst beer I have ever had." I mentioned to a friend that I picked up a sixer of these from TJs earlier today and that is what he told me, that it is literally the worst beer he has ever had.

As far as I am concerned, he can keep his comments to himself, this stuff is okay and at 3.50$ a sixpack "the price is right!"
It reminds me of that taste of like shitty skunked keystone light mixed w something more flavorful like yuengling and certainly stronger. It is definitely okay to chase your PB&J with something like this. I will have it again. 3.50 review all around because it cost that much to buy...

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Photo of Deerin
3.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

3.50$ for a sixer of 6.2%ers? I'm definitely willing to try it out.

Pours very very fizzy, orange, head recedes completely. Looks like apple juice.
No smell. Maybe like corn and whiskey mixed with malt?
Tastes surprisingly clean, a bit malty, with a little adjunct funk, but not too much.
Very very fizzy.
I saw one reviewer mention steel reserve. I can see where they're coming from... It has that same corn mixed with vodka off flavor to it but its in the finish and minimal. This is waaaaay better than that dreadful swill, and even cheaper! Don't expect any real flavor here, but at like 50 cents a can its an excellent way to mix up your cheap lager game.
Rating is adjusted to the price point.

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Photo of hardy008
2.15/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Pours yellow with a one finger white head which fades quickly. The aroma has grain, corn, light hops.

Tastes much like it smells with grain, corn, and light hops. Both sweet and somewhat bitter.

Light to medium bodied. Decent carbonation. Not a good beer, but somewhat better than I expected.

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Photo of TwoTrees
3.11/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

As many have said here, for the price point, this little lager is not bad and doesn't deserve your disdain.

Soft corn sweetness, soda like had a deeper malt feel than I expected. Tasty overall.

Are you going to break out your uber-special Teku for this? No. But it hits the spot if you're in the mood for something cheap and easy.

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Photo of dehm77
3.89/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

There are quite a few very low reviews. I found it to be very drinkable, slightly too sweet, but overall have a nice corn like flavor. Smell was a little bit off, I thought it might be oxidated first. For $3.56 before tax for a sixer, you can't beat the price. Solid beer, I will definitely buy this again.

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Photo of UPMD_Bill
3.16/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Nice gold color, decent head.
Smells like cheap American macrobrew, but fortunately tastes better than it smells.
Sweet malt with a hint of citrus and grass.
Overall, decent for the price and surpassed my low expectations. No one would confuse this for good craft beer, but not bad for cheap easy summer drinking.

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Photo of takusan1000
3.02/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I quite like this for what it is. Much better than basic macro lagers. Grassy mild smell. Taste is predominantly a sweet grassiness, a little bit of citrus, and a mild kick of hops. Overall a sweet light brew, good for summer drinking. Not the best by far, mind you, but sold at a great price point at TJ's.

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Photo of ZekeMillz
1.3/5  rDev -55.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I can enjoy cheap, fizzy beer on occasion, but I would rather drink urine than another sip of this. Definitely in the running for the worst beer I've ever had.

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Photo of yannimou
3.79/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Give this a try. This is significantly different than Budwiser, miller, coors, etc.. It has a pleasant honey like sweetness and tanginess that makes it really good. I think this is my new go-to.

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Photo of Rp541
2.64/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Not a bad beer for $3.99 a 6pk
Not sure if the 6.2% abv is that accurate. Into my 3rd can and don't feel like I have drank anything more than a couple rolling rock pounders.

But overall it's not a bad brew for the cost.

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Photo of spokes100
3.75/5  rDev +28.9%

bought a six pack of cans at trader joe's, craft beer in a can, who'd have thought. has a nice golden color, poured with a nice head, lasted a reasonable length of time. doesn't seem to have much aroma, faint cereal grain smell maybe. first taste was very mild, a little alcohol feel, light taste of hops, not bitter at all. further sips reinforced first impressions, light, crisp, smooth, pleasant after taste. seems like one of those beers that tastes best served cold and not lingered over. due to the 6.2% alcohol can't imagine this as a session beer but maybe for some people. have to savor the after taste more to see what flavors come out, maybe more grain, nutty, dry finish. but really I'm not much of a beer aficionado, but I am a beer advocate and I like this beer. I'll bet it would be nice in draft. will definitely drink again.

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Photo of dbrauneis
2.96/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a crystal clear medium yellow in color with heavy amounts of active visible carbonation rising quickly from the bottom of the glass and some faint straw yellow highlights. The beer has a half finger tall fizzy white head that quickly reduces to a medium to large patch of thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Minimal amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of grainy malts with light to moderate amounts of corn adjuncts. Hints of light fruits (apple) and grassy hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of slightly sweet grainy malts and corn adjuncts with light to moderate flavors of light fruits (apple and pear). That is followed by light amounts of grassy hops which imparts a light amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Light bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Crisp but slightly thin/watery.

O: This is not a bad AAL but it is certainly not a standout beer in any way... Compared to other AALs, this beer is better of price and very similar on flavor/aroma. Not a bitter as some of the bigger name brands in the style, slightly sweet. Easy to drink but not interesting enough for me to have more than one.

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Simpler Times Lager from Minhas Craft Brewery
2.91 out of 5 based on 383 ratings.
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