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Elemental Pilsener - Lightning Brewery

Not Rated.
Elemental PilsenerElemental Pilsener

Educational use only; do not reuse.

49 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 49
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 15.68%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Lightning Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
German Pilsener |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 06-17-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 49 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of swanfungus
2.93/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of fox227
3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Joshmistake
3.04/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of sunny289
3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of brentk56
3.19/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a decent head that leaves plenty of lacing behind

Smell: Wafts of corn sugar and butterscotch; slightly grassy

Taste: Surprisingly sweet, up front, with corn sugar and butterscotch joining the grainy taste; some grassy hops in the middle, but the finish is a return to the sweet flavors

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A rather disappointing example of the style; doesn't have the hop character and clean finish I seek in the style

Photo of johlac66
3.98/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of mrcraft
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of jcallover34
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of HP1975
2.24/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 ounce bottle, purchased in NYC and drove back to good old MA. SHHH don't tell the staties.

Appearance - Neon yellow color; looks like an energy drink? or something unearthly. Perhaps that is what they are going for?

Aroma - Cooked corn and sweet. A very faint hoppyness makes it smell more like beer than plain cooked corn.

Taste - Thin body with a sharp carbonation, sickly sweet corn taste with a light bitterness.

This beer is better as cold as possible (I think I enjoyed it the most right out of the cooler packed with ice. I would not suggest this for serving to any guests but if you need a cold beverage go for it.

Photo of rawfish
3.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear bright yellow forming a creamy white head, 2 fingers high with long lasting retention. Surprisingly doesn't leave a whole lot of lacing on the glass.

Sourdough, grainy with hay and lemon frosting and a twinge of powder. Oddly sweet, touch of banana, flashes of inviting noble hops.

Begins with white bread, a bit of doughy sweetness but just as the really grassy and floral hop flavors kick in the palate is met with some astringent and metallic flavors, lime peel and powdery drying bitterness. Interesting lime peel and grassy hop flavors hold on.

Medium heft for a lager, adequately carbonated, and dries the palate well, quite bitter.

Not a great pilsner, lots of hops, not terribly clean and the astringent off keys are a miss. The lime pith is something I haven't had in many other beers to date. I've had an old and improperly stored bottle or two of this in the past and they were terrible, drink this fresh and cold.

Photo of Bandi
4/5  rDev +18.3%

Photo of metter98
3.49/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy light pale yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high bright white head that died down a bit but consistently left a short head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light aromas of grassy hops are present in the nose along with notes of sweet bready malts.
T: The taste starts out with faint bits of sweet bready malts, but these are quickly replaced with flavors of grassy malts that linger though the finish and also contribute a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and has nice grassy aromas and flavors, but is a little lacking in the malt department.

Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of mactrail
3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Handsome, creamy head on the dark golden beer. Poured into a Weston's Cider tall glass. Quite gorgeous, with the foam lasting longer than on most beers.

Substantial bitterness from the start. Resiny with some flowery hop aroma, and that fruity, tangy European hop flavor. More of a Pale Ale flavor with the browned biscuit taste. Rather sweet and spicy with a more substantial body than most Pilseners.

Really, this is a pretty decent brew. I keep sipping and it quite satisfying, though a little on the bitter side. They must have a fresh batch of this stuff in the stores, as the hop flavors are quite aromatic. I've avoided Lightning for a couple of years, since I never see any of their beers on tap locally, but apparently they're still kicking.

Photo of ZionNation
3.71/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

this is quite simply an underrated beer as are the pilsners and lagers, too bad. this is a fantastic beer with great taste and body yet refreshing. goes great with food, seafood, tacos, anything really, nice hop presence. This is an awesome beer. Have had it ten plus times. I wish more craft brewers would brew a great plisner. definitely one worth checking out.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.13/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours gold with a small white head, good retention, leaves some fair lace.

S: Nice notes of grass and upfront hops, some bready malt.

T: A particularly bitter pilsner which I like. Great floral hop flavours to go along with the excellent pils malt. Well made and tasty.

M: Medium-bodied, firm, crisp and very clean.

O: This is a terrific pilsner from a San Diego County brewer I haven't had much experience with. Always balked on it because of the price, now maybe I should pick up at bottle.

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +25.7%

Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden-orange with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of grainy pilsner malt, light DMS, citrus and lightly earthy noble hops, and a bit of lemon zest.

T - Starts off with a mix of grainy pilsner malts with some lemon zest and citrus hops. Through the middle, some more noble hop flavor comes through with some bitterness and some more grainy malts. The finish is a mix of pilsner malts, noble hops, mild bitterness, and a bit of lager esters.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and grainy finish.

D - Very drinkable. Great overall balance with a good malt and hop balance.

Photo of cubixrube
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of DoubleJ
3.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A big thirst needs a refreshing beer, and the pilsner style is often the go-to option. KK, on to the beer:

First category and we're on target. What greets the eye is a color of orangish yellow, small yet visible bubbles running through the body. The foam head slowly drops to a ½ inch of white stuff. The nose does smell like a German lager....though perhaps of one that's been on the shelves for a little time without becoming untouchable. A big hit of floral and really sweet grasses. Some sourdough too.

Be ready to fortify your palate, as this pilsner is really bitter. The first part of the sip is nice, some honey and floral notes. Then, the beer looses its sweetness, more hops knock down the door, and it creates a very hoppy beer that brings some very "green" plant-like flavors and a puddle of bitter extract that wipes all around the palate. More bitterness comes, hints of honeydew echo out, and then the beer leafves with a stinging bitterness is the aftertaste. It is light, and it is refreshing, so mission accomplished.

This is a solid lager. Exciting to see another micro-pilsner, and one that isn't a bust.

Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.83/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pours a slightly chill hazed golden yellow with tons of carbonation and a huge bone white head. Looks inviting

S - a nice light malt aroma with a hint of DMS but works well. Classic pilsener aroma, very light and crisp

T - light corn, DMS, and a very faint butterscotch taste. Nice and light malt a hint of lactic acid and hay. Again, very classic flavors

M/O - light body and perfect carbonation, leaves the palate slightly dry from the lactic acid but aftertaste leaves quickly. In a region gone mad with hoppy beers this is a classic style made well but nothing outside the box and revolutionary. Just a classic beer made very well

Photo of Irrationalist
3/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of AndrewK
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.47/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Better Beer Through Science", says the bottle. Love the sentiment. Bottle was purchased from K & L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA.

Pours a very hazy yellow colour, surprisingly hazy for a straight pils, especially one that notes "cold filtering" and a "clean look" on the bottle. Head is very fine and very white, and forms patchy lace and filmy slick. Overall, I don't mind the look, but it seems not to really live up to what it claims.

Nose is pretty standard German pilsener fare: mostly dominated by the grainy pils malt, which gives an organic richness to the aroma, flecked with nuances of green, herbal noble hop characters. There's a pleasant crispness to the hops that seems to get lost a little, tending towards an almost metallic twang.

Taste is also good, solid, dependable stylistic stuff. Metallic hops give a crisp zing to the palate, while the basis of grainy malt lends solidity and class. There's a faint touch of banana-like esters to it, which are a little odd, and even a hint of something slightly cherry-like and medicinal. They're not unpleasant, but they start to peel away the slight veneer of "tradition" plastered on this US-brewed German style.

It's hard to place. In some senses, it's solidly in style, but there are some weirdnesses that just make it feel slightly off-kilter. If it weren't for the fact that they stress the "tradition", the "purity" and the "integrity" of the beer on the bottle, I'd take it for an interesting twist on the style. But as it is, I can't help but feel that these are all flaws in an attempt to recreate the stalwarts of the German industry.

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Elemental Pilsener from Lightning Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.