Saturday, October 18, 2008

Simpler Times, Simpler Tastes

Our local Trader Joe's has a new private labeled beer on their shelves this week. The beer is dubbed "Simpler Times" and comes in both a pilsner and straight lager version. The main selling point of this beer is the price: $3.99 for a six-pack of the cans. And this beer isn't your everyday adjunct-addled macro mess; this beer is all-malt, baby! The cans are only available in the lager version, while the pilsner and a "premium" version of the lager is offered in bottles, which sell for $4.99.
The pils is 5.5% abv, which is pretty substantial for a pilsner style. The lager stands out from macros not only for being all-malt, but also for its 6.2% abv. At $3.99 for the cans, it's a lot of bang for your buck.
This beer is made for Trader Joe's by Minhas Brewing (Milwaukee), which, after Yuengling, is the oldest brewery in the United States. They contract-brew beers for big names like Berghoff and also have their own "distinctive" beers like Kick Axe Malt Liquor. Yum. I tried the lager but don't think I can give the fairest review because I had been drinking the biggest and best beers at the GABF just a couple of days prior to trying Simpler Times. Oh, whatever. It tastes like your typical American Premium style lager, unoffensive and with a nice alcohol bite that, combined with the low price, make it a beer I would pick up over the big name boys.

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