On first glance, one might think that the Simpler Times Pilsner is nothing more than a stock can of beer--one that might be seen on a television sitcom or in a movie (I know I certainly did). I saw it first in the "loosies" area of the Trader Joe's beer section and decided to pick it up. I'm not a huge pilsener fan and, at the time, I was still iffy on the whole notion of canned beer, so I figured I didn't have much to lose (I'm pretty sure the can was less than a buck, if that much); little did I know that I had just picked up what would become one of my all-time favorite examples of the style.
The first indication that I had obtained something special came immediately after I poured the beer. The aromas that emanated from the glass indicated a high quality craft brewed beer rather than a generic, factory-produced brew. More impressive still was the head retention. Now, when I review beers, I generally ignore the head because I feel like it is rarely indicative of the quality of the beer and is often highly dependent upon the type of glass and skill level of the pourer (different glasses either support or detract from the duration of the head and a bad pour can result in an atypical head height and, again, duration). I find that the Samuel Adams' tulip glass produces the most consistent head results but at the same time, because it engenders head development, it can from time to time produce an aberration. This is precisely what I thought happened when I poured the Simpler Times because the head lasted not merely for a minute or two but for almost ten minutes, even after a few sips.
In both the aroma and the taste, the beer features a great balance of sweet malts and faintly grassy hops. Its mouthfeel is typical of the style--light-to-medium, effervescent, but not overly so with regards to either characteristic. The most interesting aspect of the brew, though, was how the mouthfeel changed as the beer warmed. It seemed to develop a creaminess that resembled a cream ale more than a German pilsener in terms of its body.
Honestly, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better bargain if you're looking for a simple, easy-drinking summer quaff or just an all-around, solid go-to beer. If you're a PBR fan or someone who sticks to the tried and true Coors & Bud types, then you might want to consider Minhas Craft Brewery's Simpler Times Pilsner to help you make that leap into the world of craft beer.
|The Beer Gods smile upon Simpler Times!|