Saint Arnold Elissa

Saint Arnold Brewing Co.
Houston, TX
Elissa IPA

Now that I’m in the Great State of Texas, I’m trying as many Texas beers as possible. Here’s one from Saint Arnold, a brewery with about ten selections, and which claims to be Texas’ oldest craft brewery. I’ve tried a couple of these while out at night and so far they’ve been good.

The pour immediately jumps up with a good inch of orange-tinged head that’s rocky and lively. The clarity is excellent and the carbonation is a steady string of pearls feeding the now slightly dissipated but still frothy head. The color is copper and orange, like a setting sun, but with les retinal burn.

The nose is very sticky and floral – this beer smells like West Coast hops all the way. Grapefruit and a fragrant and resinous sweetness out of what is sure to be a great hop bite. The mouthfeel is excellent. The malt kicks in at first but is quickly swept to the back of the palate by a wash of crisp hops that snaps but doesn’t sting. Those hops really impart a luscious citrus body that is complex and full but still refreshing and not overwhelming (at least not for a hophead like me).

This is as close to Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale as any bottle I can think of offhand. Perhaps it lacks some of the heavyweight punch that Sierra carries (I’m biased), but this is a truly wonderful example of American IPA. A thick trellis-work of lacing hangs around the glass, too. This beer is a must for hop lovers.

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One response to “Saint Arnold Elissa

  1. There are some great breweries in Texas but we need more. Here are some good ones you might want to try: Real Ale, Independence, (512), and Live Oake. Also you can find more here:
    http://austinbrew.wordpress.com/

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