Element 115 | Flat Earth Brewing Company

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Element 115Element 115
92 Ratings
Element 115Element 115

Brewed by:
Flat Earth Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 92 |  Reviews: 75
Photo of jaydoc
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

this is hands down the least impressive beer i have had from these guys, a real lame lager thats flat, sweet, and completely off from what i might expect from the listed style. it seems amateur, and if they could release this, it lets me think some of their other beers must not be so hot, this is full of holes, and while i have enjoyed pretty much all the other flat earth beers i have had, this one is a real regression. a little darker than i have seen in the style, with almost no head and a lot of shine, really pretty unappealing in the pint glass, save for the high degree of clarity. aroma and flavor are overly malty, and pretty sweet for a lager, doesnt taste like the yeast has finished working yet, like an impatient brew in some ways, this seems less than all the way done. very little hops to to it, a hint of a toasted grain thing, and an overall fairly disappointing brew from an operation who has proven themselves to be capable of a whole lot better. to follow the fine winter spiced porter with this one was a real drag...

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Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of mothman
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
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 Kegatron
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper with several fingers of dirty off-white foamy head. This sticks around with a nice frothy look to both the retention and lacing. The aroma is mostly sweet with bread and a fairly deep fruitiness that gives this a hefty tang in the nose. Touch of spice and floral hops float along the back.

That tangy feel carries over to the front of the taste, with bread and fruit taking control, while some light drying hops finishes this out with a steady lingering bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a smooth crispness to it that gets more smooth and creamy feeling the mouth the more I work on it.

Plenty of flavor (lot of fruitiness from the Ale yeast here) and smooth drinkibility made for a fine quaff. Maybe a bit more balancing hop action would have been welcome but overall this is a decent example of a Steam Beer from Flat Earth.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sunkist orange with generous amber edges. Variously sized bubbles moving at various speeds plink and plunk and plonk into the underside of a sandstone colored crown that features hundreds of glassy bubbles on its upper surface. The foam is sticky enough to slather the glass with an impressive blanket of BB-shot lace.

An IBU count of 45 and a label that includes the the words 'aggressively hopped' suggest that this California Common is... well... aggressively hopped. It isn't obvious by the nose. With Simcoe in the house (along with Cluster, Mt. Hood and Northern Brewer), more was expected. Each sniff delivers an underpowered combination of lightly toasted malt and lightly fruity hops.

While Element 115 tastes better than it smells, and is obviously well-brewed, it isn't blowing me away. On the positive side, it's balanced and drinkable. On the negative side, it doesn't excite the taste buds or the imagination, despite the well-chosen name and the nicely done label.

There's a fair amount of malt present for a 5.5% lager. Pale, Victory and caramel give the beer a 'lightly toasted white bread sprinkled with chopped nuts and a dab of butter' vibe. Unfortunately, there's more hop bitterness than good hop flavor. The brewers should have loaded up on Simcoe, even if it obscured some the flavor of the malt.

The beer is becoming more tightly knit and more enjoyable as it warms, allowing it to just barely earn the next highest flavor score. Drinkablity gets a well-deserved bump as well. The mouthfeel, despite being no more than light-medium, has smooth edges and is lightly silky. That quality, more than anything, tells me that this brewery has a bright future.

Element 115 was discovered in 2003 and was given the name Ununpentium (Uup). Flat Earth Brewing tells us that it's the essential component that allows UFOs to fly. Element 115 (the beer) isn't the best California Common the galaxy has ever seen, but it's more than solid. If the price is reasonable, I'd gladly buy a bomber now and again.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice twenty two ounce bottle that was acquired via a trade recently. I had heard of this beer many times, but never pulled the trigger on a trade, so I figured what the heck. Served cold, right out of the fridge and poured the whole thing into a 24 ounce pilsner glass. Consumed on 10/05/2008.

The pour was very nice, with a rich amber color coming forward right away. Nice carbonation was evident right away. Lots of bubbles rippling to the surface to reinforce the inch and a half of white foam that came up across the top of the glass. Nice settle left behind soem good side glass lace.

The aroma was much more hoppy then I would have thought. Light citrus aromas are peaking up throughout the session, with hints of orange, lemon, and a touch of tangerine all joining in here. Light grain and a touch of sweet malts are bringing up the rear on this one and really pushing it to the forefront. The flavor was fantastic. Rich, and very bright notes of citric hops stole the show here for sure. Light orange and pineapple flavors were playing off the light grain and bready malt base. Easy to throw down, I found myself drinking this one far too quickly which caused me to slow down a bit for a while afterward. Nice light to medium bodied feel never became dull or too heavy, and the long lasting dry hoppy bite kept going long after the last sip.

Overall I was really taken by suprise on this one. It was a hoppy little ale that I did not see coming. Nice balance and feel lef to this one being a favorite of mine over the last week or so. I would have to recommend this one for sure.

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Photo of jwc215
3.46/5  rDev -6%
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 feloniousmonk
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, light amber/ orange-hued...nice 1/2" of head on top, staying...

Aroma is soft, malty, light fruit....pleasing.

Taste: delish! A tidy package of tasty malt and smoothness. What means "smoothness"? Goes down with ease and holds the flavor all the way. Yeast and malt impart some apricot, peach, a little lemon, but the bready, biscuity character from the malt rides sidecar and eventually steals the show.

A delightful, drinkable, very flavorful brew.
I could drink a ton of this throughout the summer. I hope plenty of people do...a terrific effort #2 from Jeff Williamson and Flat Earth. Makes me really eager to taste beer #3.

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Photo of tempest
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is beer is a little simple for beer geek, but I can see it being a nice gateway beer for the friends of beer geeks. The malt is very mellow with a little caramel and the flavor is dominated but hops fruit flavors. It was highly drinkable. Nothing special, but tasty nonetheless.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this bottle in a trade with Lofgrep. Thanks Peter!

This pours a clear copper colour with a 1 finger head of foam. It has some lacing and though the foam shrinks a lot, there's still some there at the end of the session. Overall, a very nice looking brew in my glass.

The smell has some caramel malt in it but the hops dominate with citrus and some grass.

The taste at first sip is on the sweetish side with good caramel notes and some grain but the hops follow very closely with some nice citrus and a touch of grass that adds some good bitterness. I think there's some other fruitiness here but I'm not all sure which one(s) I'm tasting. The finish is defintely hop oriented with a nice bitter citrus flavour that is fairly long lasting.

Good close to medium mouthfeel and this brew is working for me. I'm glad it came in a 22oz bottle because it sure is easy enough to drink. Well done Flat Earth! I'd be glad to drink this during the hot days of summer, which it currently is. ;^)

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

grainy, malty nose with spice, minty hops and traces of light fruit.
Pours coppery amber to brown under a rocky 2” white foam cap.
Palate: rich malt, a touch of sweetness, light fruit leading to a spicy, minty herbal hop accent on the finish. A perfect balance between the malt, yeast driven esters and the herbal hop flavors and bitterness.
Medium body and carbonation.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled March 2009
A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three finger thick head that is a pale tan color and just crests the top of my glass. The head subsides somewhat quickly and completely disappears after a bit. The beer is a brilliantly clear, light ruby color that shows a deeply red stained, bright copper hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of toasty malt and berry-like hops. There is a slight lemon like note to the nose that comes off as being a little washed out. Sweet malt aromatics form a backdrop to the up front toasty malt notes that remind me of whole grain crackers.

Up front the beer tastes lightly bitter and it picks up a malty sweetness through the middle, but then dries out in the finish where there is a strong bitter finish that also has a bit of menthol to it. The bitter hop notes in the finish can get quite sharp and almost astringent at times; it really lingers on the palate with a spicy, almost peppery bite. This has a medium fullness to it that helps to stave off the biting hop finish when the beer is actually in the mouth. Malt flavors of toasted whole grain crackers, a touch of caramelized malt sweetness and just a solid malt character really help this to balance out much of the hop notes. This definitely has that signature mint-like / menthol note that is characteristic of Northern Brewer hops.

This is actually pretty nice; at first I didn't like how jarring the transition between the smooth, chewy malt notes in the middle and the harsher hop notes in the finish, but after a few sips it begins to get a bit more integrated and balanced (though the hop character is a bit more harsh than I might prefer). This definitely seems to be an under-appreciated beer though, but I suspect that the breweries consistency issues have to do with much of the problem; I am just glad that I got a stable / fresh bottle.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours a clear copper color with a half-inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing is very good. The aroma is very light (but nice), it smells like some toasted malt and herbal/grassy hops. Luckily the taste is stronger than the aroma. It tastes like sweet and toasted malt, along with the herbal and grassy hops. Starts off sweet, and has a bitter finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, with low carbonation. It's also a bit creamy and coating. Drinkability is decent, it's smooth and not hard to drink at all. I think this is a solid beer, I'd buy it again.

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Photo of weeare138
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
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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Photo of ZAP
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Light orange/copper color...creamy white head..excellent clarity...looks the part...

S-Excellent, inviting aroma....toasted malts....mild caramel malts too...the malts dominate but there is a woodsy/herbal hop impression as well...damn good smelling.

T-Strong toasted malts drizzled with caramel up front...and then boom...a big hit of dryish hops....perhaps a bit strong on the dryish hop flavor...

M-Medium bodied..medium to lightly carbonated....clean, crisp impression

D-Really pretty spot-on for the style...don't care for the excessive dry hop finish...other than that this is pretty good..much more flavorful and impressive than Anchor Steam...

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Photo of Bighuge
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper body and a big, bubbly off white head. Lacing is sporadic. Aroma is quite nice. Sweet caramel like malts and nice fruitiness. Fruits come at you with pear pulp, apple skin and concord grapes. Yeast adds a little doughy dimension to the nose. This flavor profile is quite interesting. It's got the appropriate clean malt flavors. But also some pizazz. This is coming from the spicy hops and estery yeastiness. It's a great touch to this beer. Honeyed malts form a nice base. Pepper notes accent nicely as well. The beer could use a little more carbonation. It's not flat, but is on that side of the spectrum. Body is about medium or so. It goes down quite easily as it is very flavorful.

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Photo of MattyG85
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep and clear copper orange with lots of rising bubbles. Huge six finger off white foam head with good retention. Leaves lots of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A bready malt forward aroma with lots of wheat grains, biscuit, caramel, and toffee. Also a pretty noticeable grassy smell from some earthy hops. Very subtle hints of citrus. Smells a lot like dry bread.

Taste: Like the aroma leads, a very bready tasting brew. Sweet malts with big notes of biscuit and wheat grains. Some caramel and toffee. A light hint of citrus orange.There's a pretty big hop presence considering the style. Good amount of herbal, grassy hops. Pretty well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Creamy and somewhat chewy. Finishes fairly dry.

Overall: A pretty good take on the Cali Common style. Nice bready flavors with a good balancing hop presence.

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Photo of jera1350
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden orange in color with sudsy off white head on top. Nice bitter hop scent fills the nose. Taste is moderately hoppy. A nice bite to go along with the malt. Crisp hops with a bit of graininess as well. Feel is fine, maybe a tad thin, but nothing crazy. Very drinkable. This is one is in the top two for me as far as offerings from Flat Earth. Several of their other beers I have come away with less than impressed. Nothing outrageous here, just a solid sessionable hopped up beer.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.14/5  rDev -14.7%
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 morimech
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
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 ccrida
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
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 KarlHungus
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
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 OWSLEY069
2.83/5  rDev -23.1%
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 tavernjef
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bright, slightly dirtied, faded orange with a slimming golden cast to its body. Small, thin capping of lightly yellowed firm froth that shares a few bigger bubbles in its mist of foam. Fades quickly to a thin collar and a thin wave or two of skinny fingered lacing.

Aroma is clean and light with some light berryness and pear peels over some light grains and grasses. Semi smokey in a way with a yeasty doughy aspect of dryness.

Taste is pretty good with a complexingly subtle tone and character that leads one subtle tone to another with one very easy glide of crystal malt-like smoothness. Smooth and clear upfront with a eager little berry essenced malt sweetness. Gradual yet quick snap to a doughy grained center of yeasty estered dryness comes in and balances out to a firm lofty finish of slight lemon zest, crunchy pretzeled bread edges, and some leftover yeasty stuff thats tenderly earthy like fresh picked mushrooms that have been washed in hard water.

Feel is about medium with a bit of a thinnish front that is really the only partial compliant, as it makes up for it as it goes it gets a bigger body and growth of flavors and length as it snaps into place the rest of the way. Even though this has its complexities, I needed a bit more out of it other then the yeasty play that seems to be the main attirbute of the Flat Earth line thus far. Enough with the yeast alreay, give me some more malt and hops please. But, be that as it may, its a pretty solid brew that is fairly enjoyable for its bomber worth. Beyond that, it become tiresome?

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Element 115 from Flat Earth Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 92 ratings