Simpler Times Pilsner | Minhas Craft Brewery

137 Reviews
Simpler Times PilsnerSimpler Times Pilsner

Brewed by:
Minhas Craft Brewery
Wisconsin, United States

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by blackie on 10-12-2008

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Reviews: 137 | Ratings: 280
Photo of bbluemzbeer
5/5  rDev +63.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The taste is not too complex, but it is tasty beer! There is a nice bready taste to it and the alcohol hits nicely on the mouth. The name says it all: Simpler Times. That is exactly what it is, a great SIMPLE beer. One that I could easily drank many of them.
Best values on the market. It is a solid Pilsner at an unbeatable price. This beer tastes like what thought beer should taste like! It is is ver fresh and so clean but some a malty little snap. and the hops are there just popping.
It is more complex beer than the name . Each taste hits a little different. It is just good easy drinking beer. Also , it keep you looking forward to the next drank.
I wish the big breweries tasted like this one Great BEER!!!! Thank you trader joe! The two buck chuck of beer!

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Photo of transitionbikes93
4.58/5  rDev +49.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

3.99 for a 6er.... an excellent price, and much much much better than pretty much any other beer in this price range, other than Simple Times Lager, Nametag Lager (which are also sold at Trader Joe's) and Gold Mine Lager, which is sold at Whole Foods, which are all the same price, and all taste pretty much the same.

Look - nice dark gold, clear and bubbly

Smell - grainy, malty, a hint of overipe apple, some mild herbal hop

Taste - malty, sweet, slight grassy hops with a mildly bitter and clean finish

Mouthfeel - crisp and light, with a moderate amount of carbonation

Overall - an excellent brew, way better than pretty much any BMC cheapo beer, you can get. Tastes kinda like PBR, which I love, but more perceptible hops and a stronger flavor. I highly recommend and definitely will buy again.

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Photo of titusgroan
4.5/5  rDev +47.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thank you trader joe! 2nd time trying TJs Simpler Times - first time i thought i was crazy. simpler times indeed... this beer tastes like what i thought beer would taste like when my dad and friends were knocking them back way back when... this is what budweisenheimer etc should taste like... its so fresh and so clean but with a malty little snap. and the hops are there just popping up a bit to tell you HI... its more complex than the label lets on - each little sip hits a little different - and your taste buds dont get worn out like with a raging IPA or some such stuff (which is good but c'mon - it is summer in TX at the moment...) its just good easy drinkin beer... but inneresting enuff to keep you looking forward to the next sip... and the price is crazy - really this is better than many other beers for its style and i've had similar in the upper price rangers - and I WISH the big macros tasted like this... this stuff is GOOD BEER!!!! thank you trader joe!!! i'll drive to Ft Worth to stock up no problem!!! good stuff!!!

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Photo of TastyMcBeerson
4.31/5  rDev +40.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think this is my first review, so here is my amateur experience:
Purchased from Trader Joe's in Midtown Atlanta for $3.99 for a six pack.... My expectations were pretty low. I've been a fan of IPAs and the like, and my only Pilsner experience has been w/ either Pilsner Urquell or Miller Lite, if those count...
Beer at Trader Joe's is not refrigerated, so the first one I drank was room-temp.... Surprisingly, it was better than even an ice-cold <cheap> macro-brew. No macros, that I know of, are available at this price point.
Serving - Can, poured directly into mouth
Appearance - Didn't get a good look at it, but it appears slightly darker than a macro
Smell - Reminiscent of apple juice; not the typical makes-me-want-to-gag macro smell of adjuncts
Taste - Very good! It's not heavy or too complex, but pleasant and very drinkable... It is better cold than off the shelf....To be less general, it does seem to have the above mentioned apple juice notes. No lingering aftertaste or gross burp flavors.
Mouthfeel - It does have some body, and the mouthfeel is slightly syrupy, but not in a bad way...
Overall - I would recommend this brew to anyone who appreciates a flavorful non-macro beer that isn't too full of itself. Also, it's Vegan, which is interesting

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Photo of HBeezley
4.29/5  rDev +40.2%
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.

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Photo of DOCRW
4.24/5  rDev +38.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

When taken into account the price, $4 and 6 pack at Trader Joe's it's a real bargin! I'm really impressed with it and I am a BJCP beer judge. The low score is off when you really look at the bros rating of 90.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
4.19/5  rDev +36.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured this German Pilsener from a 12 oz can into a pint glass. This Pils poured a clear golden color. The aroma consisted of husked malt and lemongrass. Light in body, this Pilsner had a foundation of malted grain, a husky bite that brings a nice level of complexity to a traditional style. Here is just a touch of citric bittering hops that round out the swallow. Finish is dry. Overall, a nice brew and an excellent buy at 1.00 a can at Trader Joes. If your going to serve a Pilsner on a hot summer day, check this one out your pallet and your wallet will be glad you did!

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Photo of bennetj17
4.12/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours leaving a decently thick head that doesn't stick around long. The color is a bright gold, with superb clarity. Carbonation bubbles arise slow and steady from the bottom. The nose is very expected for the style, it has a nice bready malt scent, low hoppiness. It's very clean and appealing.

The taste is quite nice. For $3 a sixer I was expecting an inferior product, but this is a solid Pilsener with no off flavors. Light, biscuity malt sweetness dominates, the finish is slightly dry with a hint of bitterness. I would prefer some more hop character here but that's just my liking. Overall it's clean and refreshing as it should be, without tasting too light or watered down. Has appropriate carbonation and body for style.

This beer might be one of the best values on the market. I can't believe I waited so long to finally try this, it's a solid Pils at an unbeatable price...

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Photo of cadenwhitaker
4.1/5  rDev +34%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm grading this based on what it is, not on how it compares to other beers.

As an American Adjunct Lager that makes no bones about what it is (even the name of "Simpler Times" in basic lettering) and the "Simpler Times" pricing of $3.99 a six pack, this is pretty damn good.

It tastes like a BMC, sweet corn, clear yellow, white head that quickly dissipates... all in all though, this is exactily what BMC should be: Simple and cheap. I can't imagine how anyone would buy this beer expecting the slightest bit of complexity... I don't know how a brewery can make it more clear that this is just cheap beer.

Will buy again, probably a case, for the next time I BBQ,

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +30.7%
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.

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Photo of Sazz9
4/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3.99/6er... thats the best deal for a more than decent Pils. Love this beer. I have passed it up so many times, and now it will be my go to for when having non-craft beer drinking friends over.

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Photo of Stothep
4/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You pretentious jerks need to get past the price of this beer and realize that just because you not getting ripped off doesn't mean it can't be good I'd bet the farm that if I put this beer in front of you in some foolish glass and told you it was from a brewery in Germany and cost $4 a bottle you simple minded fool would be creaming all over it this is a solid brew for an unbelievable price

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Photo of Luigi
4/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear light golden color with a big fluffy white head. The retention settles down to a thin blanket on top of the lager, but the lacing leaves thick rings around the glass. Plenty of carbonation bubbles.

The aroma has a soft sweet malt mixed with a grassy hop.

The first flavor to hit the palate would be the mild sweet malt. Hints of honey, and some soft cereal grains. Quickly there is a grassy hop bringing a bitterness and a balance to the brew.

Light and carbonated in body yet crisp and easy to drink.

Overall this American take on a German pilsener matches every characteristic of the style. Easy to drink and only $.67 a can or 3.99 a six pack. This is a bang for you buck kind of beer.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.88/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark straw to light golden color with soapy head and lace. Persistent aroma of esters throughout and husky grain as it arms. Crisp and light feel, toasted malty taste, hint of lemon, very mild hops presence. Ultra clean finish. Carbonation slows down towards the end is perhaps the only drawback. Other than that, a nice solid pils.

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Photo of hmk22
3.84/5  rDev +25.5%
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.

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Photo of Erish
3.83/5  rDev +25.2%
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!

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Photo of BigH75
3.82/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Further proof that there is absolutely no reason to buy a big macro beer. This is a simple decent quality American lager. Nothing special but nothing offensive. Light body with a tinge of bitterness. $3.49 for a 6-pack at Trader Joes. Lawnmower beer at its best.

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Photo of Brad007
3.82/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Found at Trader Joe's, which opened their first VT location several hours ago.

Pours a mild gold with a huge white head into my glass. It was cheap at $3.99 a six pack and two other varieties are available.

Light and easy on the nose. Bready texture.

A faint dose of hops greet the taste buds along with buttered bread. I'm not sure if it's all-grain or adjunct but it tastes very restrained.

Finishes clean too with only a touch of sweetness. Very clean.

This would make an awesome lawnmower beer. It's very easy to drink and the price is attractive. It gives me hope for the other varieties that are available.

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Photo of TheSarge
3.81/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a sixer of these in cans from Trader Joe's. Poured this into a German Pilsner Tulip, and the brew produces mounds of bright white head, and has perfect clarity with an amber gold colored body.

In the aroma I detect lemony hops, grainy huskiness, a hint of a metallic trait, and maybe a little bit of freshly cut grass.

Taste wise, there is honey, toffee, spicy hops, and a slight tobacco flavor.

Feels medium to light in body, dry to the palate, and yet thirst quenching. I'd say this is not of the German style too. Maybe a strong Czech. I don't know what the preprohibition pils tastes like, so I cannot say this is what it is.

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Photo of chrisafari
3.73/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nose: malt sweetness, hay, free-cut grass, some mild phenols and subtle hops.

Pours: clear straw with thin white rim of a head.

Taste: slight lemon, bitter malt with a dry finish. Also, slight phenols with an overall bitterness.

Mouthfeel: high carbination, makes the flavor bounce around the mouth. light bodied. No lacing.

Drink: medium to medium-high.

Overall: a good lager with nice phenols (which was suprising). crisp and clean flavor, good for a hot spring or summer day. Underrated on BA.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
3.68/5  rDev +20.3%
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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.68/5  rDev +20.3%
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.

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Photo of RarianRakista
3.68/5  rDev +20.3%
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.

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Photo of TheycallmeTim
3.66/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Simpler "not Early" Times Pilsner 12 oz. bottle with no freshness date poured into an American pint glass.

A--One and a half finger white fizzy head that actually lasts pretty well. Not much retention but that's normal for the style, I feel. Body is a bit dark at a light caramel without much yellow on it.

S--Lots of wet grass and green apple, tiny bit of lemon tang, some sweetish pale malt notes. No off aromas I could detect, nothing even sulfuric. Clean and crisp smelling.

T--Similar to the nose, very similar, except with an added sour vinegar off the grassiness that complemented the green apple notes well. Definite noble hop bitterness present here. Also had a decent malt kick in the center of the profile before the ultra-clean finish. Maybe a bit of cooked corn in there from DMS, but i didn't catch much. Some metallic notes do come through, not in an obtrusive way but they shouldn't be there.

M&D--Mouthfeel's crisp, with very lively bubbles. Nothing astringent or thin coming through. Drinkability takes a knock because a beer this thin should have a lower abv, in my opinion (or a bigger taste profile, but that doesn't fit the style).

Not sure why everyone's beefing on this beer--maybe it's that it's miscast as a macro lager. I'd put it more in the range of a Czech pilsner--tasted like Pilsner Urquell to me, except fresher and thus better. Kind of a hobo's Duvel, without any of the manic yeast or deceptive bulk on its grain. Anyway, at 4 or 5 bucks a sixer, I'm not complaining. Went great with buffalo wings and hockey on the tube.

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Photo of BeerDocT
3.65/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Been meaning to review a can of this baby for quite awhile. This is one beer I wished I hadn't told all my friends about. I was once able to grab a six of these for under $4, now my local TJ's can barely keep them in stock and they've jacked the price up almost a dollar! Ah, well, if this is what I have to deal with to keep the Simpler Times flowing, then so be it.

-Appearance 3.5: Deep golden color. Foamy, 1/4" head that quickly dissipated and left no residue. Still, better looking than your average macro.

-Smell 3.5: Interesting and appealing bouquet. I smell sweet malt and some adjuncts, probably corn and also rice. Also, there's a nice hop aroma in there, but it is restrained.

-Taste 4.0: Front is just cool liquid, no real taste. Middle is big on barley and slightly sweet and quickly transitioned into a long finish with hops creeping up the sides of the tongue. Then there was more barley and slight sweetness and smooth adjuncts in the middle of the palate. Very nice. Finish is long and filled with slight hops and some fruity esters. Again, very nice.

-Mouthfeel 3.0: Pretty typical CO2 mouthfeel.

-Overall 3.5: I don't understand all the snob reviews for this beer. Yes it is cheap, yes it comes in a can and yes it is brewed with adjuncts, but so what? This is a very good beer and does not do all the nasty things to your system that many more expensive US macros are wont to do. One of my favorite "go to" session beers and it will not leave you with a bad hangover. Heartily recommended.

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Simpler Times Pilsner from Minhas Craft Brewery
3.06 out of 5 based on 280 ratings.
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