Simpler Times Lager Beer Review

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Simpler Times Lager: Appearance

Pure gold hue, crystal clear, highly bubbly at first but calms down quickly. Forms a large, white, soapy head which fizzles away quickly and almost completely and leaves bare minimum lacing on the glass.

Simpler Times Lager: Smell

Very typical lager. No foul scents or adjunct aromas. Generic.

Simpler Times Lager: Taste

Simpler Times Lager is another Trader Joe’s brand beer contract brewed by the Minhas Craft Brewery out of Monroe, Wisconsin. I previously enjoyed their “Name Tag Lager” and one sip into this and I was convinced it is an almost identical recipe but just a stronger brew overall. Very sweet for a lager, almost a sugar-water flavor to it, but not quite as sweet as Name Tag was. This has more of a macro, almost malt liquor taste to it, although it’s still a clean palate overall that’s free from adjuncts.

I don’t know why it’s slightly grainy-tasting and has a touch of a metallic flavor to it. I do get a little bit of a lemony flavor right as it finishes, but there’s a certain oily taste through the middle which was not present in the Name Tag Lager. It’s not a bad beer at all, but it’s only as good as a Schlitz or PBR. Cleaner tasting than your typical macro adjunct lager or malt liquor, but lacking genuine flavor and delectability of a true craft beer.

Simpler Times Lager: Drinkability

I don’t know what accounts for the higher alcohol content of 6.2% ABV to Simpler Times Lager. It’s not any more of a robust or sweeter palate than Name Tag Lager (which is only 5% ABV) – are they throwing sugar or honey in the fermenters to increase it? Whatever the case may be I can say this beer does the job it’s supposed to do – a clean, mild, crisp palate that drinks like a standard lager without any surprises. It goes down smooth and even has a slightly sweet aftertaste for a moment or two. Still, there isn’t any real advantage to the bigger body so I’d stick with Name Tag Lager instead.

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Carla Lauter was the founder of The Beer Babe and has been a beer blogger and expert for several decades. She's been interviewed in beer publications and podcasts about her favorite brews and the craft brewing scene. While she's ceased her involvement with The Beer Babe, her legacy remains in the various reviews and articles she has written.