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Element 115 | Flat Earth Brewing Company

73 Reviews
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Element 115Element 115

Brewed by:
Flat Earth Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States | website

Style: California Common / Steam Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-05-2007

User Reviews
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Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 89
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
1.64/5  rDev -55.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Appearance - uncaps with considerable force. A pour into a shaker pint yields six quick fingers of foam, likely a bad sign. Lots of the light mocha foamage, sticky and falling unevenly. While the orange amber is attractive enough, the volume of suds raises concern.

Aroma - not good. Light sweet grain is distant, outmatched by an acrid, dry foreboding sourness.

Taste - no. Metallic, hints of grainy goodness back there, but sadly this I believe is off. I think I can taste a flash of citrusy hops behind the first wave of sourness, but I'm not certain. How disappointing, I can taste hints of malty goodness up front and good citrus character at the end, but the middle is messed.

Mouthfeel - average body, over the top carbonation. Properly bottled, I would imagine this heavier, softer, and smoother.

Drinkability - thanks to WankerWeasal for the teaser; with any luck perhaps I can find another one of these at DLD09 to re-review.

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Photo of Tolnik
2.71/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured this beer into a pint glass. The copperish wheat colour of beer gave off a fair amount of foam then reducing to wisps of beer. The aroma was that of citrus and malts. The taste however tasted of flat citrus with slight tones of malt that left a bitterness in the aftertaste. Overall I won't have this beer again just due to the unbalanced combination that it gave.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.83/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean orange-ish copper color with a white head. In the aroma, a small bitterness and a small sweet malt. In the taste, a small bitterness and kind of watery. A smooth, small bitter malt in the mouthfeel and a dry malty aftertaste. Small hop/ bitter and a nice malt, balanced and easy to drink.

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Photo of degerbah
3.03/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

cloudy yellow with some sediment in the glass. Has a sweet smell with lots of floral hops. Tastes citrusy, reminiscent of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale with a very clean drinkable mouthfeel. As I drink it I notice tremendous head retention with a bitter hop aftertaste. This is a

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Photo of nrbw23
3.13/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a clear copper color with a foamy white head.

S- Pretty mild here. Tiny bit of malt and some citrus.

T- Pretty dull also. Some grassy malts, some citrus flavors and I could also pick up some sort of spice that was almost like a pepper.

M- Light to medium in body with little carbonation. Felt dry also

D- Ok I guess I don't think I would go out and search for this one.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.14/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I picked this bomber up for $5.99 at the Andersons store in Dublin OH. I thought it might be a German Helles lager (a style I crave always) but it turns out I was wrong, it's a steam beer clone (a style I'm not crazy for). The beer is light copper colored and clear, with a really thick wet foam. The smell is nothing special in my opinion, just biscuity malt and a hops bitterness without the good hops aromatics. The taste is sort of bland as well, well balanced but with a lingering hops bite which isn't pleasant. No flavors that really make it for me. The body's just about medium, which is just about right for the style I suppose, and drinkability is OK except for the bitter aftertaste. Not badly made but not really my choice for a summer day.

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Photo of ccrida
3.31/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance is copper with a light tan head, dense, leaving foamy lace.

Smell is weird, a little aspirin like, hint of sourness, like sour mash. Hop compost?

Taste is interesting, definitely a big leafy hop flavor, some caramel from the malt, bitter sweet. The leafy hops could use cut back to let the malt poke through better.

Mouthfeel is smooth, on the dry side, medium light bodied.

Drinkability is okay, the leafy vegetable qualities of the hops just didn't work here for me. Lacking the nuance of a steam beer, I'd have never guessed by the taste.

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Photo of mothman
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into new belgium globe glass (only glass I had with at my buddies).

Color is a copper/carmel brown. Light tan head that is VERY fluffy. Leaves some good lacing.

The aroma is very citrus like. Some floral hops, while the malts are underrepresented. The taste is very smokey. Earthy hops and sweet carmel malts stand out the most. There is also a hint of raisins.

Mouthfeel starts out bitter then gets very smooth. The alcohol becomes present here. Leaves a dry aftertaste. Great carbonation.

Overall, this isn't my typical style of beer. It is very easy to drink, but I don't plan on buying this one again.

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Photo of mdwalsh
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured with little to no head, and was quickly a naked top but around the edges there was decent lace. A few bubbles. Amber-Golden in color. Pretty see through

S: Malty, some bitter hoppy notes as well, but those are very hidden. Not a very complex nose at all.

T: Bitter, citrusy. Very citrusy. Bitter turns to sour. Not a great taste, not much there and i don't enjoy what is there.

M: Smooth and light, just like the other FE I tried today, though this one makes itself known on the tongue a little more.

D: Goes down pretty good, no carbonation to fill you up and no single taste to make you spit it out.

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Photo of KeefD
3.37/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with a small amount of foam and sparse lacing. Aroma of pale and Vienna malts, backed up by a nice hop freshness. Slightly nutty on the palate, dry as can be, some nice hop bitterness on the finish. Dry and crisp, somewhat refreshing. Needs more carbonation. I must say I'm not overly impressed with this beer. It's decent but nothing I would search out.

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Photo of Greggy
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a nice copper, with a non-existant head. There was no lacing to speak of either.

S- Definitely a steam beer, malty, hoppy.

T- Mostly malty with some nice hop balance. Nice dry hop finish. ; however, not a whole lot of complexity here, and a rather thin body.

M- VERY low carbonation that attributed to a very small body. More carbonation would make for a better body, resulting in a better beer.

D- Because of the thin body, the style suffer and thus, the drinkability suffers.

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Photo of csmiley
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A - Opening this beer provides a nice loud pop and then *whoooosh*. Hmmm. Pours a light amber color and quite clear. The cream colored head tops out at 3 fingers and quickly becomes rocky. It show a hefty amount of staying power. There is more lacing than expected. Looks nice.

S - Nose is clean. Starts out with some cereal and graininess. Alcohol is noted and stronger than expected which is odd for a 5.5% brew. Just a little bit of bitterness can be picked up to finish it off.

T - There is a nice piney bitterness that just keeps biting at the palate along with the overly active carbonation. Some malt is in there to back it up but not much. More cereal, grain, and a note of honey. Alcohol is hidden well behind the bitterness.

M - Lighter bodied with too much carbonation. Finish is bitter and clean.

D - Drinkability is not bad. The earthy characteristics are nice and refreshing. It could be a nice session beer if the carbonation issues could be addressed. Time doesn't seem to work this issue out. Pour it, swirl it, let it set, swirl it, let it set, and still it just has too much carbonation to truly enjoy the experience. Not bad overall though. Glad I got the chance to try this one out.

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Photo of ChopperSmith
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a large 22 oz. brown bottle into a chilled standard pint glass.

Appearance - Pours a nice amber/copper color with a decent orange/tan head that doesn't last long and leaves a little sticky lacing behind.

Smell - Very hoppy with a grapefruit citrus tang. Slight malty scents underlying the aggressive hops aroma.

Taste - Very crisp and hoppy. The floral citrus hops are right up front and a little malt on the finish. very little hop bitterness on the finish. A crisp and smooth drinking beer.

Mouthfeel - A little overly carbonated, but not too bad. Light-to-medium body.

Drinkability - It's a good representation of the American Steam beer style. I could see having more of this one if I run across it again.

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Photo of jwc215
3.46/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to morimech for this!
22 oz bottle:

Pours copper with a thin white head that stays. Trailing, slowly vanishing, lace stays.

The smell is bready, with caramel, sour, with an herbal, metallic undertone.

The taste is tangy at first. Caramel grows as it progresses. It leans towards sour, with a rusty, metallic finish. As it progresses, it becomes more balanced and the various flavors come together more neatly, with caramel maltiness bringing things together. Finishes sweet, sour, bitter.

The feel is light-to-medium, with smoothness and a lasting aftertaste.

According to label - American pale, Victory, Crystal and wheat malts. Cluster, Mt. Hood and Northern Brewer hops. An odd brew. Mixed feelings, though I "like" more than "dislike" as a whole... seems over-hopped...which is odd in itself, coming from me - or just hopped in a "different" direction than I would like. The sourness is a bit much... I'll put this in the "interesting" category...

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Photo of Kemperfi
3.47/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The color was a shade of copper. I was very disappointed to see almost no head or lacing. I could pick up on the strong hops and also some malt on the taste and smell. It was a little bitter and had dry finish. It had very little carbonation, nothing to write home about.

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Photo of morimech
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a chalice. It is light ambered in color with almost no head. Very little lacing. The beer appears to be lifeless. This is a bad sign.

I get a little musty funkiness and sweet malt in the aroma.

The taste is a bit weak. The malt character is not that complex. It does have a nice hop bitterness on finish. It feels thin and totally flat. It is not a bad tasting beer but the poor condition of the bottled product makes it very hard to drink. There must be some QC problems with the bottling process as I have had one of their Belgium ales that was in the same sad condition. I will have to wait a few months before I revisit Flat Earth's beer and hopefully things improve in their bottling process.

Another bottle sampled Date 08/15/08
This bottle has carbonation. A small head with moderate sticky lacing. Much better tasting as well with a nice toasted malt and hop bitterness. Nice carbonation adds to the enjoyment of this beer. Overall I will raise the score 1 point in each catagory.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Claer medium to dark amber with a large head consisting of lots of little bubbles. Head slowly fades leaving good lacing a thick foam cap on the beer.

S - Lightly toasted malts dominate the nose. There is a faint hint of fruity hoppiness, but the breadines dominates. A little tropical fruit.

T - Very fruity with a light breadiness as well. The fruitiness is a little off and just not that good. Hints of berries as well as a little lime. Not a bad taste, just a weird mix of tastes.

M/D - Light to medium boided, excellent carbonation. Easy drinking but the flavor does not leave me wanting more.

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Photo of EwaldEichstaett
3.52/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

First California Common Beer so, take this with a grain of salt.

A: Medium brown colour with highlights of gold. Quick dissipating head with no lacing.

S: Caramel, toffee, roasted and sweet malty smells. Maybe a slight bit of hops behind there as well.

T: Some burnt, toasted, earthy flavours in the malts. The beer is really smooth flavoured, but has a bitter taste at the end.

M/D: A bit syrupy but with a decent amount of carbonation. It coats your mouth as well. It took me a while to get the bomber down... maybe I was just not in the mood...

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear amber-bronze color. The head is two inches in height, and recedes slowly into nice lacing. The aroma is fruity with fresh cut grass. The taste has more grass than the aroma with a lingering bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with somewhat low carbonation. Overall, this is a decent beer, but Flat Earth can do much better.

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Photo of Larrytown
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It pours light amber with a very small head. Decent lacing though. The nose is mild with a bit of hops, but nothing too overwhelming.

The taste is better, though. It's very nicely balanced with clear hops on the back of the tongue and malt on the front. Tasty. On the other hand, the mouthfeel is a tad watery especially on the back end.

It's a solid brew and I'd drink it again, but won't be rushing out to grab more.

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Photo of Mdog
3.57/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear amber with virtually no head or lacing.

Smell: A light citrus aroma.

Taste: The hops make most of the impression here. Very grassy hop flavor at first, with a bready and earthy component that shows up more as the beer warms up.

Drinkability: Tasty, I'd have more than one if I didn't have to drive.

Had a pint of this new beer at the Happy Gnome. I haven't had too many steam beers, maybe I'll try another Anchor after this one. Flavorful, but not over the top, a solid beer.

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Photo of thethrone
3.57/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear golden amber with moderate off white head that quickly dissipates into a thin layer. Generous lacing which sheets the glass.

S - Big aroma off the bat. Citrus, sweet malt, and some grassiness hiding underneath.

T - Balance favors the hops here, and a light hop bitterness takes hold early and lasts through the finish.

M - Fairly light mouthfeel, with a pleasant bitter finish.

D - A good drinkable beer, would be great for a session.

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Photo of HomebrewPgh
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A nice steam beer (I refuse to call it California Common). Aroma was so so. There's a spiciness to it that I wasn't expecting. Pour was a beautiful clear amber with a puffy one finger near tan head. Clear and crisp. Taste was good but odd. There is a strong astringent bitterness to it that I don't associate with steam beer. The hops create a resinous film on the throat that don't let any malt through. Not bad.

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Photo of brdc
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Blue Nile.

Very clear, light golden beer with a small but reasonably well maitained head.
Simple and pleasant aroma, hoppy and fruity.
Light on the palate, and refreshing but rather simple. Mild caramel maltiness, somewhat overpowered by the fruity hoppiness.
Pleasant brew, but nothing spectacular, which is what I usually get from "California commons".

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Photo of weeare138
3.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hopdog for opening this...
Appears a transparent light gold with a small white, soapy head that fades into a mild collar. Tiny spots of lacing left around the glass.
Smell is grainy, fruity, citrusy, caramel, cake, and sugary candy.
Taste is that of the aromas with a fruity, caramel mix standing out.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, dry, and yeasty.

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Element 115 from Flat Earth Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.