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Simpler Times Lager | Minhas Craft Brewery

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199 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: 199 | Ratings: 372
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 watery...as 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 carbonation...it 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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Photo of Brad007
3.41/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a mild golden hue with a frothy white head into my glass. This was on the shelves at Trader Joe's.

Sweet and grainy upfront. Smells like a typical adjunct lager.

Clean, crisp and toasty. That's how I'd describe the taste. Very simple.

Finishes clean unlike a few other examples I've had.

Another decent, competitively-priced beer that I feel gives more popular examples a run for their money.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.28/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

12 oz can into a pint glass. I like to think of today as National Trader Joe's Shitty Beer day.

A: Pours a clear golden color. The head is a bit less than a finger high and white in shade, with NO retention - literally none at all. No lacing, either.

S: Let's see, I get a bit of white grape, maybe some apple (not the nasty formaldehyde-y green apple, either), and cereal grain. Hops? No. It smells extremely bland instead of horrifying - that's good I guess.

T: Holy balls is this sweet. There seems to be a fuckload of cotton candy flavor throughout. Luckily, it covers up some of the nastier notes (cooked veggies, creamed corn) fairly well. It honestly reminds me of drinking a super sweet, cheap white wine...eh, I've drank worse.

M: Heavy on the sweetness, but the finish *is* slightly dry. It's not oppressive, at least - certainly I can get it down without retching. Fairly well carbonated.

O: Not a bad malt likka. I'm pretty sure buying 6 packs of this is cheaper per oz. than buying 40's of Mickey's or OE. This one is pretty good for getting drunk on the cheap. Sure, that's ALL it's good for, but sometimes this is an important facet of life. Why blow your $10 bombers in the pursuit of drunken bastardry (bitchery if you're female) when you can just get a case of this for about 44 cents?

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Photo of marzenfannm
2.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Good looking pour with substantial head and golden hue. Neutral aroma. Apply first impression. Creamy on the palate.

[I am copying these notes over from RateBeer ... it does not require as long of review. I tasted this some time ago so I can't add anything.]

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Photo of Thads324
1.61/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2

Pours a basic yellow. Fizzy white head that dissipates very quickly. Little lacing
Smells much like a fruity estery mess. Grain husks and creamed corn. Gross
Taste is right along with the smell. It's like drinking creamed corn juice that's been rotting for a few days. Awful overly sweet mess.
Undrinkable from the flavor. Medium body, fizzy complexion.

Never again.

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Photo of GMB
2.61/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Minhas Craft Brewery's Simpler Times Lager pours a slightly-darker-than-pale straw body. Its snow white head rises about an inch or so before beginning a slightly-more-leisurely-than-expected fall. Pockets of small bubbles appear and disappear in the glass. The only thing that really entices me here is the oily island of head residue that caps the liquid in my glass.

The nose remains unappealing despite repeated attempts to accustom my olfactory sensors to it. Ugh. Metals up front, estery acids in back. There's some sweet steamed grainy stuff in there somewhere. Must we press on? I suppose so…

This beer tastes better than it smells, but that's not saying much. Alcohol is the main flavor. It's supported by some pleasing malty sweetness. Hops contribute a bit of oregano-like flavor. The brew is fuller and richer on the palate than most American adjuncts.

If I were at a party and the only brew available were Simpler Times lager, I'd have to be particularly in the mood to drink beer to drink one. Still, I can think of much worse representations of the style. For 50 cents, this beer was worth a try, but doubt it'd be worth a repeat visit.

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Simpler Times Lager from Minhas Craft Brewery
2.91 out of 5 based on 372 ratings.
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