Simpler Times Pilsner | Minhas Craft Brewery

136 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: 136 | Ratings: 278
Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.93/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden color with a 1 inch foamy off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Random dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain, light fruits, and alcohol. There is an almost artificial margarita smell to this one. Taste is of grains, corn flakes, alcohol, and some light fruity flavors. There is a mild bitterness in the back of the throat with each sip. This beer has a higher level of carbonation with a nice crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer but decent for the price ($0.50 a can). I could see myself stocking these for a party with non-craft beer drinkers.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.06/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz aluminum can served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in Los Feliz. Acquired at the Culver City Trader Joe's a few hours ago. Six pack ran me $3.49 - that's just over 1 cent more per beer than budweiser costs at the local Superior, making this the cheapest non-BMC beer in the LA area - at least that I'm aware of. Reviewed live. Expectations are as low as can be. That said, I've had some surprisingly good brews from auld Trader Joe's.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Not paired with food.

Opened clean, with no liquid shooting out or anything.

A: Pours a four finger beige colour head of some cream, average thickness, and decent retention. Colour is a clear bright yellow. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. It's not horribly appealing, but it's average for the style.

Sm: Straw. Hints of crystal malt. Stale barley. A light aroma. Quite a turn-off, but it could be worse (see Budweiser Chelada).

T: Some nice cream on the open. Probably its best attribute is a light buttery quality. Stale barley and surprisingly full-bodied clean generic pilsner malt comprise the foundation. But that's all there is: foundation. There's nothing really on top of it. Maybe a dash of hops. Clean and bland. No subtlety at all here. No complexity to speak of. Meh.

Mf: Clean, smooth, thin, and slightly overcarbonated. Hardly complements the flavours, but it doesn't run against them either.

Dr: Drinkable but very bland and boring. Would make a decent beer pong brew for frat boys, if you're into that. I probably will be buying this again given its price and my current poverty. That said, I'd never recommend it to friends. Might pair decently with spicy thai food or something. I've certainly had worse.

A horrible candidate for aging.


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Photo of jlindros
2.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Rudzud for supplying this interesting beer that I can have a fun review with.

As it gushes out of the can in spurts, it forces a fluffy pillowy 1 finger head to rise up out of the glass, and fades at a medium pace leaving a huge messy lacing that looks like the head threw up on the sides of the glass, and leaves a... dare I say, Belgian looking fluffy head covering. The beer itself is a semi clear chill hazed golden yellow colored, that is actually fairly hazy.

Nose is like a 12 year old tried to make a pilsner, yeah there's faint hints of straw, and it tickles a slight aroma section of my brain that makes me thing of lager, but just falls about 10 miles short in the marathon of pilsners. malts come in flat and light, with a bit of pilsner malt and cracked straw but just a hint of aromatic like malt. Bit it gets a bit weird, like straw sat in putrid water for a while and just festered. Then the bad lager comes through, a bit of metallic and soured like fruit lager, very unhappy lager yeast, and somehow a bit like mineral and chlorine loaded bath water. Weird, but overall not horrible.

Taste starts even worse than the nose... awck, ewww, blech! I really want to spit it out but for science I need to review it!!! I'll type as quick as possible. Pool water blended with bath water, and some hay and maybe a hint of malt in there, all sitting for months to almost rotting but not quite. It has a rice pudding like flavor as well, with a light fluff. Then lager, metallic still, a bit of a bitter unhappy lager, almost dandelion flavored. Weird flavors and icky flavors with good... wait not really good, just weird. A bad bittering finish with dry sticky and putrid water flavors, but there are some weird hops that try to pop in with a light grassy flavor but more like dried grass that a horse just rubbed his ass on.

Mouth is lighter bodied, a bit gritty and weird feeling, and lots of carbonation, like they tried to overcarbonate it to make up for the bad taste.

Overall pretty bad but not horrible, not coors light or Bud level of terribleness, its more of a macro extract like beer but a bit higher level than the crappy crap that's usually out there.

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Photo of chinchill
2.88/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a flavorful economy brew with nice Pils hops but a slight metallic off-taste that also appears in the aroma. The mouthfeel is normal for style with plenty of carbonation.

O - with a very low cost, this beer is a somewhat good value; otherwise not recommended.

Available in cans at Trader Joes.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.23/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, light yellow body with a very thin, white head.

Smell: Vague herbal hop character conjoined with a tired malt and corn flake scent. Hmm. Very similar to its brother, the Simpler Times Lager, as if they were two sides of the same untasty coin.

Taste: It's a cheap beer with a cheap taste. Cereal grains with a drizzle of sweet corn syrup. Vague herbal hops with just a touch of bitterness, though not quite enough to balance, leaving you with a somewhat sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: Not recommended. Again, I'll say it's suspiciously similar to the Simpler Times lager. Even for a simple pilsner, it's a below average, underperfomer.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.56/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

"Everything is simpler than you think, and at the same time more complex than you imagine."

--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Sweet corn yellow with pastel lemon edges and a decent looking lid of bone colored froth that has enough stickiness to grace the pint glass with small shards of sudsy lace.

The nose struggles to be average... and falls short. Thankfully, it isn't powerful enough to get into too much trouble. A whiff of sweetish pale grains, hints of musky hops and metallic overtones is the sum total.

Given Minhas's rather dubious reputation, it's no wonder that the can reads 'Simpler Times Brewing Company'. Attempting to hide their identity is probably the only way they can sell any beer at all. So much for trying to avoid preconceived notions before the first sip.

Simpler Times Pilsner doesn' taste much like a German pilsner. Then again, neither does Budweiser, Miller High Life and Coors. It tastes like an adjunct lager and is as boring as they come. At least it isn't as gotta-spit-it-out bad as some of what these guys brew.

Simple is the operative word. The beer is slightly sweet, slightly corny-grainy, slightly musky-bitter, not as metallic as feared... and that's it. Assuming there's nothing else available, keep it ice cold and you'll be fine.

The body/mouthfeel is okay in terms of size, but the bubbles fade too quickly within each mouthful, which gives the finish a lackluster feel. The flavor is lackluster too, so there's a bit of synergy there.

Minhas Brewery Simpler Times Pilsner is cheap (read: inexpensive) beer that tastes cheap (read: not good). It's a sad and pathetic state of affairs that I would still prefer this stuff to the most popular lagers in America, circa 2011.

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Photo of dbrauneis
2.86/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear medium golden yellow in color with moderate to significant amounts of active visible carbonation rising quickly from the bottom of the glass and some faint medium yellow highlights. The beer has a two finger tall sudsy fizzy foamy off-white head that reduces to a medium sized patch of thick film surrounded by a very thin film covering the majority of the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of slightly sweet grainy malts and corn adjuncts with a light aroma of herbal hops. Hints of something slightly metallic, alcohol, and light fruit (red delicious apple).

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of slightly sweet grainy and corn adjunct malts with some lighter flavors of cereal grains. There is a very light amount of light fruit (red delicious + granny smith apple) and it is slightly metallic (maybe coppery like blood). There is a light amount of herbal hops which contribute a light to moderate amount of bitterness which fades quickly. Hints of alcohol towards the finish.

M: Medium bodied with heavy amounts of carbonation. Crisp and smooth.

O: There is a harshness to the alcohol of this beer which is surprising since it clocks in at only 5.5% but I guess I cannot be too surprised considering the price ($.67 for a single can). Not offensive but not a beer that I would seek out again. I could see serving this at a tailgate where the majority of folks were not into craft beers as something different but still enjoyable (maybe a slight gateway beer to trying something different).

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Photo of mikesgroove
2.73/5  rDev -10.8%
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

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Photo of womencantsail
2.31/5  rDev -24.5%
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.

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Photo of smcolw
3.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Starts off with a decent off-white head. Dies to a single layer of bubbles and leaves minimal spotty lace. The liquid is crystal clear and straw in color.

Soft aroma of lighter colored malts and gentle hop. More malty than anything else.

Pleasant muted malty flavor. Rather thin body but equally low carbonation. Light hop--not really present in the shortlived aftertaste.

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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 woodychandler
2.7/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

CAN't we all just get along? No? Well, how about another CANned beer review?

My pour created a foamy, soapy bone-white head that was bursting with CO2 bubbles, trying to settle down like a group of rowdy freshmen when the principal enters the room unannounced. It had about the same success, finally becoming a thick two-fingered cap. The color was a deep golden-yellow with only the slightest haze, but still very clear, enabling me to read signage on the other side of the room. The nose was slightly sweet, definitely a German-style Pilsner and certainly a lager beer. Mouthfeel was medium with a pleasant honey/lager taste on the tongue. Not bad, but more lager-like than pilsner-like. Finish was again on the sweet side, not to my taste. Oh well. I'll keep trying.

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Photo of Tone
2.61/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Decent head with little or no lacing. Appeasing clean - golden color. Smells of bread and some other unusual corn. The smell should warn you of the taste. Semi-sweet initial flavor that leaves a bitter aftertaste. Light mouthfeel and a generally flat, under carbonated feel. Would not recommend based on that unusual smell and bitter aftertaste - hard to drink more than one.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.33/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

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Photo of plaid75
2.51/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a light copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a grainy malt and traces of diacytl.

The taste consisted of a sweet slick grainy, adjuncts and green apple.

The mouthfeel was slick and unpleasant.

Overall a tough one to drink. Oh, and not a pils.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz can into a Pilsner glass.

Appearance: pale gold hue with a light effervescence. Head poured a pretty dramatic 3 fingers of frothy white foam. Not too bad, if a bit pale.

Smell: light malt with a bit of plastic. Not terrible, but this seems like it has got some adjuncts to it which are less than authentic to the style.

Taste: light malt with a little bit of noble hop character and a light but perceptible bitterness. Not a great beer, but mostly without major flaws.

Mouthfeel: light body with a decent level of carbonation and creaminess.

Overall: as I said, it's not a great beer, but it is palatable and moderately drinkable. For a beer in this price range (like $2.50 for a six-pack), it's pretty damn good, actually.

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Photo of Zorro
2.93/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A new to me beer from Trader Joe's.

Clear yellow colored beer with a tall white head, what a lager should look like.

Smell is sweet and fruity like a California Steam beer; have to wonder how hot this was fermented. Slightly soapy and herbal hop aroma.

The taste starts out dry and highly fruity in the mouth and once again I wonder how warm this was fermented. Little bit of toffee flavor and a slightly herbal hop aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Not completely sure this is superior to the BMC style beers or not. Tastes like it was fermented hot or with sugar to boost alcohol levels. Pretty sure I won't be buying this again.

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Photo of rudzud
2.84/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up from a Trader Joes up in Portland, Maine after the Ghoulschip release. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a golden sun coloured hue with incredibly tiny particles suspended through the brew. Atop sat a fizzy one finger white head that faded relatively quickly to leave no lacing but a thin white halo and slight wisps.

S - Not getting much of anything here. Sweet malts and some baked bread aromas. Maybe some light grassy hops.

T - Average, at best, this stuff is more of the sweet malts and bread. Almost like an adjunct in that its just sweet and a little bit of bread or corn. Slight subtle bitterness on the end from your hops.

M - Well, its easy to drink. Fizzy in the mouth stuff is very gulpable. On the thin side, but, to be expected.

O - I paid $2.49 for a 6 pack and I can say I got what I expected. This stuff is incredibly cheap tasting, but, for the price its a solid option. I'd rather drink this than majority of the big beer swill you see everywhere else. Glad to try it.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 12oz can to Bruges hybrid glass on 5/17/11
*From notes

A: Perky, brilliant pale gold, though it's a good bit darker then most within the German Pils classification. A standard pour yields a 1.5 finger head and better lacing then I'd expected, though it dies rather quickly.

S: Lemony-limey citrus, yet it doesn't come across overly acidic.

T: The nose doesn't lie, as I get a good dose of lemon marange and malt on the fore to mid. The finish showcases a bit of grassy biscuitiness.

M: Quite smooth and rich. The forced carbonation isn't overly brash and it all makes for an easy drinking lager.

O: Simpler Times Pils was an unexpected and enjoyable surprise. Is it a classical German Pils? Nope, though it certainly is an easy drinking summertime lawnmower beer. All things considered, this a budget friendly session lager you don't have to feel ashamed to keep in the fridge. Thumbs up.

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Photo of bark
2.53/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The colour is pale gold (8 EBC), the liquid is clear. The airy off-white head is 3 fingers high; it leaves lots of thick lacing when it slowly sinks down.

The smell is very sweet and malty with lots of French loaf and corn bread. Some flowery hops, sweet nutty golden syrup flavours and a touch of alcohol.

The taste is excessively sweet, it is more like drinking wort than beer. Some fruity hops without much bitterness, hints of cereals (Corn Flakes in milk) and sugar solution. The aftertaste is sweet with some bitter hints and some warming alcohol.

The carbonation is light, the small bubbles smooth. The liquid is very sticky, almost glue-like.

I don’t know. Is it supposed to have this extreme sweetness?

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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 jmdrpi
3.35/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz can, don't see a date

yellow on color, clear. Mild grainy aroma. Taste is also mild , well balanced. Easy drinking. Thinner bodied, overall on style.

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Photo of mynie
1.27/5  rDev -58.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.25

I saw this was given an okay placement in a few "American Adjuncts: Ranked" lists, and that some of the more well-known beersmen on this site said it was totally decent. Woah, I gasped, has Minhas turned a corner? Since single cans were cheap at Trader Joes, I tossed one in the cart.

Two theories:
1. They sent out a beer for review that was not the one available in stores (which is totally plausible considering their business practices).
2. People have begun to like beer that tastes vaguely of citronella oil.

Or, most people don't really review the beers they purport to review, and many who do are more swayed by branding and a dumbass quest for authenticity than anything else, so while they piss upon totally decent beers like Coors Banquet, they mindlessly give an okay score to a beer like this one, which has some street cred but is very badly brewed.

I dunno.

I do know, however, that this reeks of Minhas' trademark "bugspray" aroma and flavor. It's an off node quite unlike any other. It's not as intense here as it is in their Shergill IPA (which is the worst beer I have ever had). But it's still the beer's defining characteristic. That is, it tastes like a product that's dangerous to consume.

Not just badly brewed, but revolting. A true horrorshow.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.47/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

12 oz can into a pint glass. Picking up from earlier proceedings...

A: Pours an ever-so-slightly murky golden color. The head is about two fingers high with a white shade and excellent creaminess. Retention is alright, shockingly. A nice ring of soft lacing is left on the glass. This has a genuinely attractive look.

S: Whoa, heavy on the diacetyl. It's kind of cotton candy-like, too. There are faint traces of hops, but they're really damn mild. Really uninspired for a pilsner, but hey, at least the adjunct qualities don't come off offensively! That's good, right?

T: There is, like, an assload of butterscotch flavor to start. Unlike the Simpler Times lager, it seems like someone bothered to throw a few hops in it, but not enough. Not much of a pilsner at all - it's just too damn sweet.

M: The first thing I notice: there's actually a twinge of dryness to counter all of the beer's sweetness. Second thing I notice: this is REALLY well carbonated, almost to the point of being harsh. It's easy to drink, like all cheap lagers should aspire to be.

O: I can't hate on it for $4 a six pack. Just like its identical cousin, it's a great choice for cheap drunkery. It's just a bit crisper/drier than its aforementioned cousin, and would make a decent hot weather beer. Personally though, I'd rather drink something else.

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Photo of argock
2.59/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear stange. Born-on date lasered on neck. Single purchased at Trader Joe's (Richmond, VA) for $0.83.

A: Clear straw yellow with good clarity, fluffy white head with occasional itiny clumps of lace after average retention.

S: Corn and sweet cereal grains with barely any noble hops aromas

T: Tastes breadier and significantly less hoppy than a standard pilsener. Adjunct flavor is pretty prominent. Light metallic off-flavors in the finish.

M: Light-bodied and active carbonation with barely any aftertaste.

D: Not terrible (and certainly better than the Simpler Times Lager), but, even at Trader Joe's, there are better choices.

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Simpler Times Pilsner from Minhas Craft Brewery
3.06 out of 5 based on 278 ratings.
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