Simpler Times Pilsner | Minhas Craft Brewery

138 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: 138 | Ratings: 282
Photo of washburnkid
3.26/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 6er of this at Trader Joe's for $2.99. For that price, I couldn't pass it up.

A: Perfect white head just mushrooms out of the pint. Nice and bubbly/active. Brew is a cloudy straw color. Lots of nice retention and some lacing. Chunks of yeast settle at the bottom.
S: Aromas feature corn and grains. Though adjuncty in character (ie a bit cooked), it's clean and fresh enough to keep me interested.
T: Flavors are very subtle, with not one characteristic in particular really standing out. Corn huskiness and fresh grains. Spices are there residually but aren't featured in the sips necessarily. I feel like I've been soaking fresh hay or straw in water in the fridge for a few days. There's a bitter finish.
M: Crisp to boot. Very light and refreshing.
D: Not fabulous, but not bad. Certainly would buy it throughout the summer when I'll have no income. :)

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Photo of tjwarren
3.16/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I bought this as a recipe beer for my wife since it was soooo cheap. She didn't use all of it, so I tried it and was shocked at how much I liked it. Price or not, I liked it.

Appearance - clear, pale yellow, white foamy head.

Smell - sweet, not much else.

Taste - sweet with some bite to it. You do know that you are drinking something.

Mouthfeel - a little thin but not watery. Passable.

Drinkability - very good. Taste is there and at $3.99 a six (I think, maybe less) it is hard to complain about it.

This beer is what is says, simpler times. I will actually keep some on hand for myself for evenings on the patio with a fire going in the pit. Is it a Bell's or a Great Lakes? No. But it has it's place.

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Photo of tedsox31
3.1/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a mug. The color is clear yellow with a white head of foam that dissipates down to nearly nothing.

The smell is very sweet from adjuncts, a bit of hops and some diacytel.

The taste is very sweet, but some bitterness from the hops. The sweetness lingers on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is relatively thin and quite carbonated. The sweetness lingers after swallowing, although I wouldn't call it cloying.

This is a drinkable-enough beer. I had some while grilling, and also used it in onion-ring batter which was acceptable.

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Photo of kflorence
2.45/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Got this for $2.99 for a 6-pack at Trader Joe's. Low expectations.

A: Pours a golden yellow color with a thick layer of foam. Not much lacing, head retention is decent but very thin and aerated, not at all creamy.

S: Smells predominantly of corn, grains, alcohol and aluminum. Faint honey aroma as well. Not very appealing.

T: Tastes like a watered down version of what a Pilsner should be; definitely no Pilsner Urquel. The flavor up front is pretty bland and dominated by a sweet corn, grain and metal flavor. The backend of the swig slightly redeems itself with some buttery flavors, but overall rather on the dull side.

M: Way too carbonated, like many other cheap beers. As others have said, kind of malt-liquor-ish. Not outright watery, but not much body to speak of.

D: Probably the best thing about this beer is how sessionable it is, though I would definitely grab something else if given the choice. But hey, at around .50c per can I can't really complain.

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Photo of matjack85
3.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up 4 different Minhas Brews at the Trader Joe's in Glen Ellyn, IL as they were featuring them at just 67¢ a can. None of them had a freshness date and this one doesn't tell you much about the beer. The can color and the printing reminded me of a box of Whitman's Samplers.

The beer poured a clear pale yellow color that left a 1 finger white head. The retention was decent but it only left a few spots of lacing on the glass.

The smell was that of sweet grain, faint hops, and a really noticeable buttery smell (diacytl).

This tasted alright. Lots of corn sweetness but also a fair amount of hop bitterness to keep it balanced. It was a little metallic, which I didn't like, but the finish left a butterscotch sweetness on my teeth that I found interesting.

The mouthfeel was not watery thin, but not quite thick enough to be called medium bodied either. The carbonation was fairly high.

Pilsners are supposed to have a hop presence, and this one does, but it's still too sweet to allow me to drink a lot of these. Still. at 67¢ a can I can't complain.

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Photo of wknight167
2.63/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Apearance - Pours a clear golden yellow with a 1 finger head that fades quickly and champagne like bubbles.

Nose- Sweet and grainy with a slight herbal hop note.

Palate- Sweet light malt with faint hebal hops. Too sweet for the style.

Mouthfeel- Medium-thin body and medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability- I'd rather have one over a BMC, but not by a wide margin.

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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 MTNboy
2.31/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

It is not bad looking it has a very clear finish to its yellow body. It has an average head with loose lace. This beer is sort of cheap tasting it reminds me of malt liquor. It has a fruity adjunct after taste. It has a some what fruity and bitter flavor. It is very thin with some bite.

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Photo of montageman
3.17/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Nothing mind blowing here, but this beer is incredibly easy to drink. There is a decent crispness. Hops are present - just not as present as I would like. The fact is that at $3.99/6 pack it's hard to find beer this drinkable. There's nothing offensive here - just a totally decent pilsner. Recommended.

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Photo of voteforgoat
2.78/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

appearance - golden blond, strong head which went away right away, no lacing

smell - delicate herbal notes! Surprised, better than expected.

taste - slightly sweet, slightly fragrant. not as bad as similar beers.

mouthfeel - thin.

drinkability - I wouldn't necessarily go for this, but in a brandy glass, it tasted much better than I thought. I would drink this if nothing else was available.

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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 esv
2.26/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a good-looking can. The brewery has nice cans.

A) A lot of carbonation when poured. I can hear it, it's calling to me. Big, white head, tight bubbles, thick, with medium size divets. Head didn't stay around too long.

S) Some corn. The lightest hint of malty grain.

T) Soft sweet malt, no real bread. It meets with a weak bitterness and washes-out in a corny thinness.

M) Thin

Tastes like something AB would come up with to compete with good beer.

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Photo of alexrichman
2.82/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Bought from TJ's in PDX and attempted to pour into a pint glass.

A> When I opened the can a ton of foam rushed out. Luckly I had a pint glass right next to me and was able to save most of the beer. This can poured a big head but died down to almost nothing and leaves 0 lacing on the glass. It's a kind of odd, light gold color that is very, very clear.

S> Not much going on here. Mostly smells like cheap lager cereal malts that you'll get in PBR, Coors, etc. There is actually a faint hop smell hiding somewhere in there.

T> Luckly there is more going on in the taste, although the generic cereal malt is dominant there is actually a little flavor hidden. Very light bittering hop flavor comes through, although it's so light it's hard to distinguish any real hop flavor.

M> Very watery. Too much carbonation when I opened the can but 10-15 minutes later it's all gone :(

D> This would actually probably be pretty good ice cold on a hot day. Even in the winter time I don't think I would have a problem knocking back a few of these if I didn't have anything else in the fridge.

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Photo of mwa423
3.35/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a semi hazy yellow with very little white head that quickly dies off.

S - A bit of adjunct but also a light malt smell.

T- Not bad for the style, cereal but also some malt and even a small hop bite at the end.

M/D - This is a pretty average pilsner, it goes down very easy and even could be called refreshing.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew pours a clear golden straw into a pint glass from a 12 oz. can. An inch of soapy white head offers lengthy retention and light lacing. A steady stream of tiny bubbles keep the the foam in place.

Sweet corn bread on the nose with some light hop notes. Rather light overall and without the clean hop notes more typical for the style.

Taste follows the nose and again is decent but a bit aside of the typical beer of the style. Somewhat creamy in nature with a light carbonation bite on the finish which thins out as the carbonation lessens. Hop flavors are mostly masked by the dry and fluffy mouthfeel and by the malt structure. Average drinkability overall.

Quite different than the Lager, this beer is best poured quite slowly to minimize the resilient foam and let the hops participate.

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Photo of vacax
1.78/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

$2.99 for a six pack of cans. I am tempted to review this as an American Adjunct Lager instead of a Pilsener due to its lack of quality, but have decided to review it as it is labelled. After viewing the website it would appear that there is another beer just labelled a "Lager" so I will review this as a Pilsener, after all Minha calls itself a Craft Brewery.

Pours golden with limited cloudiness, generous two-finger head that is thick and pillowy. In fact, it is too pillowy, it reminds me of hops extracts in a cheap beer, not an appetizing lager. Only a bit of lace.

Smells of sweet corn, some musty old corn, and a some metallic notes. Full of off notes, but interestingly bright. Taste is mild at first, sweet then a smooth corn and pea flavor. Some metallic then a big plastic finish. Finishes with slight bitterness and some metal, which could be a lot worse. This tastes like a cheap lager, but sweeter than most, which adds its own little twist. No positive hint of hops at all. If you like your malt liquor with a packet of sugar in it, check this out. Light to medium body with high carbonation.

This may only be $2.99, but it is not worth drinking. I had to try it out of curiousity, but I am surprised Trader Joe stocks such a lame beverage. Terrible beer.

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Photo of asabreed
2.4/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Lighter than straw yellow with a quickly dying head and little-to-nothing lacing.

Smell: Tons of buttery residual sweetness. No hops. All candied, fake sweetness. I don't see how this is a Pils.

Taste: Kind of like soda crackers. There's not a lot there. A bit of residual, fake, and adjunct corn-esque sweetness dies. There's maybe a hint of hops, but that dies too. Just not very good or pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Not enough carbonation, and way too sugar-syrupy feeling, heightened by the lack of carbonation.

Drinkability: I could drink a few of these, but the quality seems way too long for even an attempt at a Pils. Most of the beers at TJs I can do, but this one's something that I wouldn't try again unless it was hot out, the beer was ice cold, and there was nothing else. But I may opt to snag another 6-pack of something else at a local mini-mart, especially if there was one nearby.

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Photo of ruckus232
3.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 Ounce brown bottle

Appearance: Straw color with good white head that diminished quickly and left only a little lacing.

Smell: Fairly strong aroma of sweet corn with a slight alcohol smell but not unpleasant

Taste: Less taste then smell it starts out with a sweet taste leading into a very tiny hop flavor at the end. This taste is not at all what I would expect with a pilsner considering there is very little hop flavor at all.

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Photo of casemw
3.21/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this one off a friend who got it at Trader Joe's in Charlotte, NC. Aware that this is a cheap, adjunct lager and will try my best to rate it appropriately.

A-Pours a golden, straw color with minimal white head and no signs of lacing.

S-Pretty big aroma for a pilsner...similar to a champagne although more like a malt liquor. Also more alcohol than I expected. Not bad.

T/M/D-Expected more based on the smell. Semisweet and a little bitterness on the back end. A crisp, fizzy mouthfeel and an easy drink. Not my favorite style of beer, but did my best to rate it for what it is.

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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 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 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 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 ATLbeerDog
2.08/5  rDev -32%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clear straw color with almost no head whatsoever. Smells only of sweet adjuncts mostly corn. Not much malt presence in the nose. First sip is bland cereal and just a tad of hop bitterness. Not much positive aspects in this one. Simpler Times needs more complexity.

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Photo of wedge
3/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear yellow with a solid white head. Soft, sweet aroma...lightly floral and bready. Tastes like a fairly average American lager. Grainy and sweet. Light and crisp. Obviously not very inspiring stuff. Sort of reminds me of the simpler times though...and how I don't drink beer like this anymore.

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Simpler Times Pilsner from Minhas Craft Brewery
3.06 out of 5 based on 282 ratings.
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