Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Simpler Times Lager | Minhas Craft Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
69
poor
200 Reviews
THE BROS
84
good
Read the review
Simpler Times LagerSimpler Times Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Minhas Craft Brewery
Wisconsin, United States
minhasbrewery.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
200
Ratings:
373
Avg:
2.91
pDev:
33.68%
 
 
Wants:
9
Gots:
53
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 200 | Ratings: 373
Photo of msubulldog25
3.38/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shopping yesterday at Trader Joe's, found a lonely can on the 'singles' shelf. Priced at just $4.59/6-pack, the can was just 67 cents, worth a try IMO. 12 oz. poured to a pint glass.

A: Fairly typical, golden lager, perhaps a little deeper/richer than most. Pretty good carbonation, a number of random streams. Decent head, a fizzy 1/2 finger of whiteness, dissolving to a thin film and then a creamy ring. No lace.

S: Corn pop sweetness, pretty sugary. A little perfumed flower, honey-like. Pretty average, but not bad.

T: Rather sweet, but not overbearing. Enough peppery bittering to give balance and actually one of the most flavorful examples I can recall tasting of the style. I get a little wheaty spice, bubblegum and clove(?) - huh, wonder what yeast this is?

M: A bit heavier mouthfeel, due to a slightly higher alcohol level undoubtedly. Exceedingly smooth, with a vague carbonation prickle. Finishes rather sweet, trailing spices.

A: Pretty tasty, all in all. Wouldn't mind having this again - a good option for the budget-conscious macro-drinker.

 1,064 characters

Photo of LessMyth
3.38/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A tad sweet, best cold, nice malt taste. Good for a picnic beer, day at the beach, concert in the park, or paired with a really outrageously expensive steak...

This should be compared to bud or other beers that cost less than 3 bucks for a six pack(!), not Brunch Weasel or some fancy brew.

 291 characters

Photo of brewerburgundy
3.4/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can, Sam Adams perfect pint, no clear freshness date.

The bone white froth is very pretty on top of a yellow a shade or two darker than you get from most AALs. Retention is also better than most.

Primarily the aroma is sweet graininess with possibly a touch of sugarcane. There may be some alcohol developing as it gets warm, but hey, this is bargain beer and the kind you drink very cold anyway.

And on we go with sweet grains. Assorted cereal grains are very pleasant and there's a firm but kind bitterness. This is all utterly simple. The sweetness is kind of corny and almost too much.

Somehow this isn't fizzy enough. It does most things better than the big boys of fizzy brewing, except out fizz them. Drink it fast to keep it refreshing.

The Simpler Times Pilsner is better and actually has some hops. I wanted to try the lager, and now I know. For the three bucks grab a six of the Pilsner.

 912 characters

Photo of HalfFull
3.4/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a can into a pint glass, pours a deep yellow/golden in color with a half inch white head. Retention is moderate and settles to a surface as a steady carbonation rises from the bottom of the glass.

Smell is of toasted rice and barley and somewhat sweet, reminiscent of an Island Lager. A notable malted barley nose, European to a degree in the hops/malt department.

Taste follows suit and offers a vibrant carbonation effervescence. Bit of orangey sweetness on the finish is unusual but decent.

Decent feel and drink, somewhat creamy in body given the malt base. A nice tasting simple lager that one is not likely to tire of.

 632 characters

Photo of cheapxceptbeer
3.4/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nothing special, just a cheap macro-style beer from trader joes. I like the 6.2 kick, wow 3.99 what a deal. Not as tasty as narragansett, but the strength is an added bonus, especially when you don't want to drown yourself in cheap boring beer. A good choice when money is tight, much better than busch light.

 309 characters

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.

 403 characters

Photo of djeucalyptus
3.43/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poured into a new belgium globe, this one pours a crystal clear goldenrod yellow with a frothy one-finger macro-esque head that fades to a thin collar that deposits fair lace.

aroma out of the can on the pour has a bit of that funky, strawy, adjuncty quality that reminds me of stale bmc...but once in the glass, it smells fresh with notes of caramel, honey, straw, and a bit of euro hopping. not bad.

taste is pleasantly clean with a decent fresh malt, some generic light caramel sweetness and a touch of hops to finish it off. it kinda works. nothing outstanding, but it's kind of hitting the spot at the moment.

mouth is acceptable... a bit fizzy, but as expected. moderate body. a touch slick, sweet, with a lingering sticky finish.

it's pretty much what I expected. which isn't bad. given the price point, its really hard to knock this one. Scores are based on the style... and for an AAL, this one is the bees knees.

 927 characters

Photo of talkinghatrack
3.43/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a - clear light amber with a 2 finger head. Yes, this $0.67 can is probably best guzzled straight but I went with my usual goblet.

s - standard lager with a decent sweetness. Maybe a tad heavy on the sulfur.

t - Nothing too overwhelming. Mostly sweet like apple juice with a backstop of bitter and sour. Crisp. A little nuttyness. If you aren't pausing between sips it would taste like water after a few seconds.

m - light body, carbonation is busy on the tongue but mostly disapates before the swallow.

d - Aims to be simple and drinkable. Succeeds at both. When I'm drinking a light beer a slightly sweet aftertaste is welcome. At this price I think I'd actually consider grabbing a case for a barbeque or a tailgate. Too bad it's only in 6-packs and I've only seen it at Trader Joes.

 790 characters

Photo of TheMarkE
3.44/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pale gold with a rapidly dissipating head and moderate lacing.

Smell: Beer. Corn and beer.

Taste: Beer. Creamed corn and beer.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, crisp, and creamy. Slight spicy aftertaste that disappears quickly.

The Verdict: Not bad. Make no mistake, this is bargain beer ($3.99/6 pack at Trader Joe's). But if you keep that in mind, it's near the head of the class. Figure in the high ABV and you've got one of the best bargains in bargain beers.

 470 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.46/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Type: 12-oz. can
Glass: Manzanita pint glass
From: Trader Joe’s in Hillcrest (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $3.49 for a 6-pack
Purchased: June 19, 2013
Consumed: June 21, 2013
Misc.: N/A

Poured a golden semi-murky color with 1-2 fingers of offwhite head that parted pretty quickly. Lots of bubbles coming up from the bottom. Minimal-to-no lacing. Bad retention on the top.

Smelled a lot of different flavors, reminding me somewhat of a lager, hefeweizen, Belgian ale and a blonde. Got faint banana, sour fruit, honey, grass, ashtray, bread lemon and corn with a heavy alcohol backbone.

Tasted honey, corn, lemon grass, faint banana cloves, tropical notes, cereal and faint smoky ashtray. Somehow it all worked together.

Light body. Thin texture. Soft carbonation. Abrupt, watery finish.

Not bad lager. Not a great one, but such a great value ($0.58 per beer). I’d probably have it again (after this 6-pack).

 915 characters

Photo of PhiloPsych
3.47/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I don't usually drink lagers (of any type, much less this type). But just yesterday I started looking around for some lagers to try. I happened upon a six-pack of these cans at Trader Joe's today and decided to give it a shot.

Clear, pale yellow pouring from the can, and a little bit darker than other lagers of this style. Doesn't look overly fizzy. The head is fluffy but disappears quickly. The smell is sweet and surprisingly good--no funk or skunk detectable at all. The taste is weak and somewhat watery (true to style), but there isn't anything bad / offensive about it at all--I'm pleased and even impressed. The mouthfeel is also thin (as per the style). Budweiser has been advertising for drinkability lately; if you're used to putting down a six-pack of Bud or Miller or some such beer during a football game, I think this is a better-tasting option; and the higher alcohol means you get more high per ounce; so I am marking this high for drinkability; I myself would get bored with it after one or two cans, so I'm not giving it a 5 there.

 1,053 characters

Photo of KidsDoc
3.47/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12 oz can poured into pint glass

A: golden, translucent. 1/2 finger bright white head settles to small ring around the cap

S: subtle sweetness, apples

T: suprsingly good. Sweet up front with light malts and some honey; non-biting hop bitterness is crisp through the middle; finishes with a clean hop bitter presence mixed with tart/sweet apple flavor; ABV of 6% unnoticed which is great

M: light and crisp; very clean overall but got a little watery towards the end

D: very easy drinking adjunct lager. I have no problem with canned beered so this had no bearing. I was partially biased by the price tag, thinking now way a beer this cheap could be any good. I was wrong. Next time at trader joe's I will pick this up again and see if this can't be a great gateway beer for some of my buddies.

 798 characters

Photo of lou50rp
3.48/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Typical lager color with moderate white head that dissipates quickly.
Not much aroma, but within the style.
Good taste for a adjunct lager. Clear and crisp.
Mouth feel is moderate with plenty of carbomation.
Even with its 6.2 APV a very drinkable beer. Would be a good session, especially at "Trader Joe's" price of $3.99 a six pack.

 334 characters

Photo of scottfrie
3.48/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz can into SA perfect pint.
A: Pours a pale straw color with a huge bright white head that slowly faded into a rocky film that left sticky patches of lace down the glass.
S: Dry grains and lager yeast dominate. Very light and a bit sweet smelling. I get notes notes of corn as well.
T: One of the more flavorful AALs I’ve had, and at least it doesn’t taste offensive. Dominate notes of sweet malts and adjuncts mix well with lightly spicy and crackery flavors of lager yeast. Watery, grainy, and sweet all-around.
M: Watery light body, slick and refreshing mouthfeel, expected fizzy carbonation for the style.
O: A decent drink especially for the price. Better than the major brands, but still not the best example of the style. Impressive lace.

 756 characters

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

Well-filtered straw-golden in color, with a head that looks like the first snow of the season--ultra-white and loosely packed. It stays fluffy for quite awhile, thanks to the multitude of never ending bubbles feeding it.

Aroma-wise this leans on the sweet side of things; flowery; lemon water; Corn Pops cereal. Clean and, well, simple...just like the can says. Thankfully, there's nothing wretched happening, as with so many others in the category.

There's a sweet fruity taste at the front of the sip, reminding of a juicy pear, but it yields quickly to a crisper, more bitter hops character, along with a lightly tart lemon-ness. Bready/grainy, like fresh-baked white bread. Mildly astringent bitterness lingers in the finish. Also some Juicy Fruit brand gum in the finish, which I also detected in their Red Oval lager yesterday. Hmm...

Mouthfeel is creamier than expected, balancing a round, slippery texture with the tickling bubbles.

What can you say about a brewery that currently has seven "Amercian Adjunct Lager"s in rotation...and 4 malt liquors!? Lots of negative stuff, surely, but you have to admire their commitment. And this is surprisingly decent stuff, easy to drink, if entirely lacking in depth, and without any kind of walloping flavor. There is room in the world for this kind of thing after all...

[thanks to bruthaman mnwags for this!]

 1,366 characters

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

Poured this American Adjunct Lager from a 12 oz can into a pint glass. Poured a clear golden color, produced a nice white head, average retention, it did not produce any lacing on the glass. The aroma was very week, fresh with only a slight hint of grain. Base of grainy malt, this lager is light in body, clean with some bitter hop flavor. Produces a semi-dry finish. At 6.2% ALV, I would say its a cut above the macro brewed light lagers. Prost!

 447 characters

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...

 641 characters

Photo of fbinla
3.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is cheap at $3.99 a six pack at TJ's i just had to pick this up for a laugh.

The beer pours clear, straw yellow, small white head. Smells is light and floral.

First taste carbonation, as it clears away it has a nice creamy smooth mouth feel. It has the slight corny cereal sweetness taste you would expect, but it's much bigger than it's big brothers and more enjoyable, the hops are there you just can't taste them. I actually drank one of these over the weekend after mowing the lawn in 90f+ weather, i sucked that can down like a thirsty camel hit the spot perfectly.

Their is nothing complex or fancy about this beer, great cold on a hot day, probably one of the best in it's style.

 701 characters

Photo of robbyc1
3.52/5  rDev +21%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice buy at Trader Joe's, I believe it was $4 for a six pack, this beats the Big guys (Bud etc.) for sure.

Clear light straw with a 1 1/2 inch white head, dissapates in a minute or two.

Grassy, malty, and sweetness on the nose. Can't tell if it's an all malt or adjunct lager.

The taste underwhelms a bit, but has the good malty sweetness not over done.

A bit light and watery in the mouth, good carbonation, a little more body need to make it above average. Goes down well, especially for hot days in the sun, take this over any BMC. Good work Minhas.

 556 characters

Photo of salvo
3.52/5  rDev +21%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A $4 sixpack at Trader Joe's that is better than most mass-produced American mega-brewers. What's not to like?

A: Golden clear with big bubbles and little head that dissipates quickly.
S: Strong beer smell. Nothing subtle or complex. It smells like your Dad and uncles did when they were out on the porch laughing late after dinner in the summer.
T: A little anaemic, the lager is a tad less tasty than the pils.
M: Fizzy and soda-like; light, simple, a little astringent.
D: At 6.2%, It's a tad over sessionable, but that's still how it'll be used. Great party beer.

 568 characters

Photo of Luigi
3.53/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 14 oz. pilsner glass

Pours out a clear light golden color with a fizzy white one half finger head. With decent lacing and retention to last through out the life of beer.

The aroma is light with cereal grains, soft sweet malt, and grassy hop.

The taste full of light cereal grain and honey sweet malt. I will assume that the alcohol plays a role in the mild sweetness. Either way the finish is smooth and clean, with only a bit of sweetness lingering. Refreshing

Light in body and moderately carbonated. Super easy to drink.

Overall this American lager is another example from Trader Joe's of a tasty example of an American style of lager. For the price yes i would buy again. Perfect for anything summer.

 725 characters

Photo of neenerzig
3.56/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a single can of this beer from Trader Joe's a few weeks ago. For $.67 a can I figured why not, how bad can it be, right? It ain't too shabby actually. Poured out of a 12 oz can into my pint glass. This beer pours a clear, medium golden color. White fluffy head is well over an inch thick when poured. Settles fairly quickly to a nice medium sized ring surrounding the inside of the glass along with spots of foam here and there on the surface. Good lacing. Sweet aromas of corn and some malt. Not terrible, but not very interesting either. Sweet and malty taste wiith some definite corn, maybe a bit of rice. No discernible hop flavor at all, well maybe a slight bit on the back of the tongue as the beer starts to warm. Crisp, swirly, smooth, light to medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Easy to drink in a nice way. This is like the American version of Baltika # 9 IMO, but the ABV here is not quite as high as it is for that beer. Not bad at all for the price I paid. Not something I'd go out of my way to drink again necessarily, but I'd take this over pretty much all American Macro BMC lagers any day.

Eric

 1,132 characters

Photo of SDbeerguy
3.57/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had seen this at Trader Joe's and for some reason didn't buy it ($2.99 for a six pack) until today. Wow was I surprised. It's sold warm so you've gotta chill it but that's okay. Very good lager with a nice overall taste and no aftertaste to speak of. The 6.2% ABV is also an added plus. If you have a Trader Joe's in your area I would seriously consider getting this.

 369 characters

Photo of Raligitano
3.58/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This can design brings to mind the beverages I see my grandpa drinking in old black-and-white photos. 'Simpler Times' is an appropriate name for an old school looking lager, the kind that would agree with the Good Old Boys at the VFW Hall, who all seem highly amused when I start raving about my new favorite fancy-smancy 'Sextuple RyeHopped Cocoa Cream IPA's' and 'Bottle Steam-Fermented Dopplepumpkin Snozzberry Lambics.'

"Kid, that ain't a beer. That's a dessert!," they chuckle. Then they buy me a Miller High Life and tell me to shutup-already-dammit.

It certainly looks like the classic Champagne of Beers on the pour. Bubbles dance in the crystal clear straw liquid, and the froth crackles like Rice Krispies when I hold it up to my ear. It has none of that tasty treat's stickiness, as the lacing slides right off the glass.

There's a bite of hops in the nose that's surrounded by a sweet smell of cool, Midwest tap water. (No, I don't use heavy narcotics; you just notice the pleasant odor of fresh water after going to countries where drinking from the faucet means permabonding your ass to a toilet bowl for the following week.)

At first it's malty and biscuty, like Fat Tire Amber minus the hops. After a second, I start craving KFC fried chicken. It's as greasy as the finest Southern cooking and a that's a damn good thing, believe me you sure 'nuff. The 6.2% ABV is pretty strong for this type of beer. I can't taste it. Or perhaps I'm a sad alcoholic already numbed to the pain.

Right when things seem great, a little bit of metal bites on the finish. The hops really try to fight it off, to no avail. I have to wait a while for the next sip. Fortunately, this beer actually tastes better when it's warmed up. That means I'll be consuming massive quantities of it this summer in the Ozarks--right before I fall out of my canoe and join the other drunk rednecks and empty beer cans floating behind me.

The VFW Hall would be proud.

 1,952 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.58/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Utterly drinkable and forgettable light beer.

Looks nicer than a lot of craft beers in the glass-- or was I supposed to rate the appearance in the can? Lacing and everything. Quite malty, almost sweet. If you were in the late lamented Berghoff's in Chicago snarfing liver dumplings and roast pork, you'd say it was divine. I don't detect any actual hops, so for that you have to get the Pilsner version. But for thirst quenching it's fine, and give it a dose of IPA and you're in business.

Now if Huber can make this perfectly decent light lager to sell at TJs for $3.99 a six-- tell me how much the industro-brew factories are making on Keystone Light or Miller High Life.

 675 characters

Simpler Times Lager from Minhas Craft Brewery
2.91 out of 5 based on 373 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe