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