Elemental Pilsner

Beer Information:

First Release Date, May 2006
Availability, draft and 22 fl.oz bottles, 12 fl.oz 6-packs coming in early 2013
Alcohol Content / ABV, 5.6%

Serving Suggestions:

Serve at 50F in a tall, thin glass.

We Like to Pair our Elemental Pilsner with:

  • German foods
  • Sausage dishes
  • Bigger-flavored fish
  • Sushi, Japanese and other Southeast Asian Cuisine


Gold, Honorable Mention 2nd runner-up for Best of Show, California State Fair Commercial Craft Beer Competition
Silver, San Diego International Beer Festival
Bronze, San Diego International Beer Festival
Bronze, Los Angeles International Commercial Beer Competition


Elemental Pilsner: Winning Over Judges and Beer Lovers

Our Elemental Pilsner was the California State Fair Commercial Beer Competition’s Second Place for Best of Show in 2010, beating 37 other gold medal winning beers and hundreds of entrants all together. No wonder. We created this German Pilsner as a classic Lager Bier to offer crisp refreshment with full-bodied satisfaction. Lightning’s uniquely robust combination of German Pilsnermalz, German noble hops, and select Bohemian lager yeast achieves complexity coupled with hop spiciness. The spritely tang quenches thirst—a storm surge of flavor, ending in a brisk bite. A bright white, lacey head tops off this award-winning session beer. By using only natural carbonation, we keep both the taste and the look clean. Lightning Elemental Pilsner is brewed in keeping with the Reinheitsgebot, the Bavarian Beer Purity Law of 1516. It is best to drink Elemental Pilsner when fresh, we only release when it is ready for optimal enjoyment!


“This is a nifty Pils, from its fresh aroma . . . to its sudden and sharp finish. I was blown away by Elemental’s freshness . . . ”
– The San Diego Union Tribune


Scientific Principles Behind Our Classic Lager Bier: Elemental Pilsner

Devoted to the German Beer Purity Law of 1516 for our German Pilsner, we like to view Elemental Pilsner’s four ingredients as “earth, air, fire and water,” the original periodic table of the “elements” and the only ingredients fine craft beer needs.

We see the hops and malt as the “earth” aspect, trap the carbon dioxide to add the “air,” heat during the brewing process or “fire” and, of course, we add water. Determined to avoid all extraneous additives, we boost flavor by brewing like a German brewery and “step mashing.” This labor and time-intensive process involves putting the milled grain and water mixture called “wort” through defined temperatures to maximize flavor extraction. Lautering then separates the solid grain from the sugary solution (“sweet wort”). We add hops, bring to a boil, add more hops and continue boiling until finished.  We combine with our lager yeast and ferment under cool conditions to encourage a very clean flavor. Finally after significant aging, we “krausen” the newly “lagered” or stored beer with fresh beer in order to further improve its flavor.

Earthiness enters our Elemental Pilsner and several other of our beer styles by the careful use of “dirtier” tasting malts or “grassy” or “earthy” hops. This malt comes from maltsters that pride themselves on cultivating grains with the most multifacted flavors.

Elemental Pilsner also requires hops with a distinctly earthy taste.  This craft beer uses German Hallatau derivatives are known for those earthy and sometimes grassy or spicy hints. Each hops strain derives its flavors from the essential oils and acids produced by the waxy yellow glands hidden in the leaves of the flower. Both oils and acids dissolve easily into the wort.


Find Lightning Elemental Pilsner

Elemental Pilsner is unlike any Pilsner beer you have ever had in the past…this is a large-flavored and refreshing beer.  Its bold bitterness is offset with a strong malt character and solid spicy-flavored hopping.

Look for Lightning craft beers at in grocery stores, bottle shops and restaurants. Can’t find it? Use our Beer Finder App to locate the closest source near you!  If you’re interested in more details about beer science, beer news, beer pairings and more, subscribe to our Lightning Craft Beer Blog posts where we often answer particular questions our beer connoisseurs and homebrewing community asks. Each month, we send out the Lightning email newsletter which consolidates all blog posts.  You can also ask questions and make comments by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter.

Visit Our Tasting RoomMon-Wed 12-7p | Thur-Sat 1-8p | Sun 12–5p
Last call 10 minutes prior to closing
Phone: 858-513-8071
Visit Our Tasting RoomMon-Wed 12-7p | Thur-Sat 1-8p | Sun 12–5p
Last call
10 minutes prior to closing
Phone: 858-513-8071
Visit Our Tasting RoomMon-Wed 12-7p | Thur-Sat 1-8p | Sun 12–5p
Last call 10 minutes prior to closing
Phone: 858-513-8071
Visit Our Tasting RoomMon-Wed 12-7p | Thur-Sat 1-8p | Sun 12–5p
Last call 10 minutes prior to closing
Phone: 858-513-8071