Exhibit: Simpler Times Lager
Origin: Minhas Craft Brewery, Monroe, Wis.
Stats: 6.2 percent ABV
Simpler Times Lager is brewed by Minhas Craft Brewery for Trader Joe's grocery store. Where I live, a six-pack of cans is $3.99. You might be saying, "Cans? Only piss beer comes in cans!" Not so. There is a little revolution in the craft brewing world where canning is the new black.
The theory goes that modernday cans don't leave the aluminum flavor that your dad's canned beers did, and canning is a much cheaper process than bottling. Some well-respected microbrewers are turning cans to provide their drinkers a cheaper buzz.
I've never tried any other Minhas brews, but the company slogan is "Damn Good Beer!" I like their swagger. However, Simpler Times Lager won't blow your doors off with its damned goodness.
It's still a light-flavored lager, but it's very drinkable. It's the kind of beer that goes well with a pizza pie. The flavor is slightly sweet and, as the label says, very simple. However, it packs a heftier punch than the other swill you might pick up at the same bargain basement price. And we all know I'm a sucker for decent, cheap beer. As one reviewer called it, Simpler Times is "recession chic."
Simpler Times is also available as a pilsner, with around 5 percent ABV, but why bother with such a weak alcohol content? Doesn't seem worth it to me.
The main problem with the beer is its exclusive location. The closest Trader Joe's to me is a good 45-minute drive. I just happened to be in the area shopping for a wedding gift. If you're in the area of a Trader Joe's and you're looking for something cheap to send you on your way to Blackout Island, pick up a couple sixers of Simpler Times Lager.