Saint Arnold Elissa IPA | Saint Arnold Brewing Company

very good
395 Reviews
Saint Arnold Elissa IPASaint Arnold Elissa IPA

Brewed by:
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TXHops on 05-14-2004

For Trade:
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Reviews: 395 | Ratings: 1,019
Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy light orange with white head. Full C resiney hop bitterness with significant maltiness. In your face strong bitterness yet English ingrediants, a Ratatouille receipe of English and American IPA. Drinkable and refreshing though not what you expect

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a very very average ipa. nothing special here at all, and I have a fairly fresh bottle. nice orangey gold glow on the pour, and my globe gives it a good looking inch of white head with solid retention. nose of grassy hops, but everything is really in the background, almost stale. understated in smell and taste to the point of boring. this is an ipa man, assert yourself! balanced again, to the point of not being interesting, and the hops just don't pop for me. medium bodied and sort of creamy and expansive, but this has very little happening for me. I took four days off from drinking beer, a periodic reset for the guts, and all I wanted was a good ipa. this failed me on so many levels, and honestly, a 3 overall is generous. its just missed the mark in every facet. good feel though for a session ipa. saint Arnold has some work to do on their basic lineup...

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Photo of Knapp85
3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

This poure out as a copper color with a small white head on top. The retention is minimal with virtually no lacing at all. The smell of the beer is mostly malt, not sure how old the bottle might be but I have trouble detecting much of the hops on the nose here. The taste is also pretty malt forward as well, decent caramel flavors but not enough hops to give it the punch it needs. The mouthfeel is pretty good, it's got a solid body to it, good carbonation and it's pretty easy to put down. Overall it's more of an English IPA to me than an American one. Either way it's a pretty decent beer.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is a bit bigger than the crisper versions of Blondes that appeal to me. The extra sweetness and fruitiness proves too much in the end.

The golden-orange colored ale gives a nice creamy stark white head that holds firm through the entire session, leaving good amounts of lacing all the while. A good haze keeps the beer glowing, but not bright.

Both aroma and taste deliver a consistent progression of character. Orange zest (from hops) lead the way and settle into a light caramel, cracker-like flavor/aroma that provides the foundation for the body. Light on esters, the beer relies on more hop flavor to deliver grapefruits, pineapple, and tangerines. The graham cracker malts give a modest sweetness but firm taste to balance the hops without competing with them. A bit of pint thinner alcohols is the only deterrent to the very clean taste.

Though the body is light, the crispness, cleanliness, and dryness makes up for it. Quite warming and a bit numbing, the alcohols further emphasize the dryness and bitterness that was started by the hops. The beer finishes with a long and bitter linger. Orange zest and grapefruit return in the modest aftertaste.

This is a very nice IPA. It takes a lot of discipline and craft to make an IPA taste sessionable. This is what Saint Arnolds has done here. Thanks Exiled!

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Photo of biboergosum
3.51/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the "patron saint of brewers", comes the Elissa IPA. No pressure there. This beer appears a light clear copper hue, with voluminous off-white thick foamy head, and lacing left all around. I smell pine hops, and not much else. The taste leads with a toasty, bready malt, and moves to show some moderate pine hops in the middle. There is a fair bit of carbonation, and a dry, hoppy finish. Although slightly underwhelming for an American IPA, I could still have a few of these, at least.

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Photo of brentk56
3.41/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a two finger head that leaves some splashy lace behind

Smell: Some caramel malt and a touch of piney hop

Taste: Starts with a caramel flavor that has a nice fruity character; after the swallow, the piney bitterness kicks in to join the malt; the finish has a grainy aspect that is rather astringent

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Just OK out of the bottle; I liked it a lot better when I had it on cask

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Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Amber in color with quite a bit of haze to it. The head never rises very high, but it retains nicely.

Smell: Not a ton of hop aroma (or aroma in general) from this one, oddly enough. Some mild fruit and grass are all I could pick up.

Taste/mouthfeel: Semi-dry bready malts, a bit of fruit and mild bitterness. Are there hops in this? It's kinda hard to tell. Seriously though, this is rather good stuff, but it drinks more like a nice pale ale. Those used to palate-raping West Coast style IPAs will probably find this overly mild, but it does have a nice flavor to it. The finish is pleasantly dry and reveals a touch more bitterness, but I still have a hard time calling this an IPA.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear orangey color ale with a medium foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of bitter and citrus hops is pleasant but also somewhat reminiscent of a bunch of other IPA I have had before. Taste is very refreshing with nice notes of citrus and bitter hops and a medium malt base. Good carbonation with average body. Well done with no discernable flaws but nothing extraordinary either.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Medium to maybe slightly bigger white to off white head surely does take its time to settle into a pretty decent lacing above a clear honey golden colored IPA.

Citrus, almost a bitter citrus dominates an aroma that also contains some sour grains and some very light spices.

A nice dry citrus filled hops taste, a very welcoming IPA, I'm also a very big fan of big hops bite but this beer with its small hops bite is still a pretty good beer and worth drinking.

As an added bonus this beer has a nice medium body and a nice light but quite dry with some citrus feel aftertaste.

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Photo of mothman
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass. No freshness on bottle.

Pours a small amount of head, but leaves some splattered lace spots. Color is a very clear orange bronze.

The aroma is of floral hops, however not as strong as a typical ipa. There are also hints of lemon zest. Taste is strong on the floral hops. Now, there are some bready malts present.

Mouthfeel is bitter, but not like a typical ipa. It seems to me that this beer is in the middle of a pale ale and an ipa (an EPA maybe?). This beer is also very crisp and goes down with a dry aftertaste.

Overall, this is a very easy to drink beer. I maybe would change the style, because it does seem a slight weak for an ipa. I did enjoy this and would definitely recommend it.

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Photo of jlindros
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to dirtygrind (Reddit) for another Saint Arnold I've never had before.

Bah, another screw cap?! Pours a light fizzy 1/2 finger head that fades at a med pace, light lacing, over a hazy copper honey orange colored beer.

Nose isn't bad, nice light floral hops, some citrus with a light candied orange peel, a bit of pine, and a bit of earthy bittering style hop and some sweet crystal malts.

Taste starts with some sweeter malts, a light syrupy caramel like sweet malt with a hint of a toasty reddish malt, and a light candy flavor. That leads into the hops with again the candied orange peel, a mild bitterness with light earthy bittering hop, and just touches of citrus and faint hint of tropical fruit like tangerine.Finish is a bit malty sweet and syrupy but a bit drier, a ramping grassy earthy hop taste that reminds me that it actually is an IPA despite the light hop flavors and malty sweetness.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb, bit sticky.

Overall eh, not great, it started OK, but the taste dropped off with little hop flavor and even lighter bitterness overall. The malts take a lot more of the show, making this more of a hoppy red ale.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the Gingerman in Austin TX.

Appearance: Hazy deep amber. Long lasting creamy ivory head. Excellent retention and lacing.

Smell: Grassy, leafy, and gently citrusy/piney over a mild, biscuit-like and caramelish malt.

Taste: The flavor follows the aroma. There's more hops than malt, but it's soft and smooth and not bitter (well, yes, but not harsh). Mild fruitiness of apple and pear from the yeast.

Mouthfeel: Supple. Smooth. As cask should be. Simply disappears down the hatch.

Drinkability: Well balanced. Well rounded. Remarkably drinkable. With the exception of its strength this could be a great session ale. Worth trying!!!

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Photo of Kegatron
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Thanks got to armock for this in the Local Beer & Glass BIF.

Pours a hazy medium amber, with a bunch of unappetizing looking floating yeasty bits, and 2 fingers of foamy yet smooth looking off-white head. Good retention, with a thin layer that stays creamy and firm, leaving some nice full lacing back. The aroma is is grainy smelling and citric with a hop profile that is more on the spicy and earthy side.

The taste is similar, being a moderate feeling hop profile with an equal feeling backbone of toasted grainy malts and tangy citrus character. Finishes tangy and lightly bitter with some lingering spicy notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice creamy carbonation and easy feel to it. Pretty nice overall.

I liked this for the most part and thought that it was a pretty decent IPA that I definitely warmed up to the more I drank it. My only complaint was with the floaties in the pour and considering that this was the 2nd bottle of this that I've had (from 2 different TX BAs) that appeared this way, I'm going to have to assume that this is part of it's normal look. Besides this, this was overall pretty solid.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.77/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Acquired from hojuwestlake, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is heavy with a nice floral hops smell, with an excellent compliment of citrus and caramel sweetness.

T: The taste is very well-balanced with a heavy burst of grassy hops bitterness, fruity citrus sweetness and caramelized malt. Each of the flavors accent each other rather than battle for dominance, however, the hops flavor is what win out in the end as you would expect. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not very filling, good kick to it, excellent representation of style, I liked this beer quite a bit and could see myself drinking quite a few of these in an evening.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, amber body with a small, but lasting, white head.

Smell: Definitely a hoppy aroma, here. Chopped grapefruit rinds and flowers soaked in pine resin. Some malted grains in the background, but it's mostly hops.

Taste: Brief caramel maltiness before the burst of citric, pithy grapefruit, pine needles, and discarded Mother's Day flowers. Medium but substantial hop bitterness that lasts until the finish. Small taste of lemon juice right at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A decent, above average IPA from the great state of Texas.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Polished tangerine with a warm copper-like glow. Thanks to a vigorous pour and a healthy amount of carbonation, the pastel orange-ecru crown is three fingers in height. The foam resembles a melted mesa as it descends, leaving abstract squiggles of lace in the process.

The nose isn't hoppy enough. Given the boasting on the SABC website, the expectation was for something a lot more impressive than this. Each sniff delivers a whiff of caramel malt and a minor accenting citric hoppiness. A Cascade-only IPA from a well-regarded brewery should be more tropical fruity. An estimated 60 IBUs? We'll see about that.

Elissa IPA is named for a Texas tall ship. Given the style, that's a pretty appropriate name. Unfortunately, this beer might not have made it all the way to India in optimal shape. It's reasonably bitter, it just isn't very hop flavorful.

Maris Otter and crystal malt lay down a reasonably solid foundation. The latter provides an English toffee vibe that's good if you like that sort of thing in your IPAs. The Cascade hops, on the other hand, are still struggling to fight though and fully engage the taste buds. Warming helps to some degree (pun intended), just not enough.

The mouthfeel is close to good. It could use a little more bulk, a little more creaminess and a little less carbonation. A few minor changes here could pay big dividends.

All things considered, I have been moderately impressed with Saint Arnold beer so far. Since IPA is my favorite style, a home run here would have been nice. Instead, Elissa is more like a weak single to short right field. Under the cap... 'Worts 2 live by'.

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Photo of russpowell
4.53/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Easily the best beer I had in Tx in late April!

Poured bronze with 1.5 fingers of eggshell colored head. Super lacing & really good head retention

S: Fruitty with grassy & piney hop notes

T: Bready, piney hop notes plus fruittyness up front. Citrussy hops show up as this warms. Finishes dry with dates, breadyness & earthy hops

MF: Medium bodied,moderate carbonation with great balance & a pleasing quenching juicyness

Drinks too easy, a super quaffable IPA, that is worthy of higher praise!

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.79/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Just got this one in the mail on Saturday and wasted no time at all. A nice one liter swing top growler straight out of Texas. I have really like everything from them in the past and had not had a chance to try this one yet. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 08/22/2009.
Appearance 3 - Poured very flat, no real carbonation at all here. This is quite odd I have to say as when it was in the growler there was at least an inch and a half of head on top. Hmm.
Aroma 4 - Pungent aroma of sticky hops permeates the air around the glass. Rich notes of pine and dark citrus are very rich and leaping out of the glass. Not much in here as far as balance, but the hops are really showing off their stuff quite nicely I have to admit.
Taste 4 - Suffers from being flat, but I will not let that get in the way of the flavor. Nicely done here, sharp pungent hops again lead the way fairly quickly here and the rich bold notes of pine and orange plan off each other quite nicely. Slight buttery flavor mid palate but it is quickly washed with bitter hops quickly leaving a dry finish.
Feel 2.5 - Flat. A bit oily as well, definitely fresh, but the main problem here was the complete and utter lack of any carbonation, which again I found odd considering it was well carbonated in the growler.
Drinkability 4 - I am going to give this a good score here as I really did enjoy the flavor of it overall. And to have a flat IPA and still manage to finish it has to say something.
Overall - I would love to try this one on tap or a well carbonated growler. Again not really sure what happened between the pop when I opened the growler and the pour into the bottle, but if it had a little more to it that would have made it excellent in my book.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Robert for sending me this one as an extra in a recent trade.

A: The pour is a clear amber/copper color with a thin white head and sticky lacing.

S: The nose is primarily of orange notes from the hops with some sweet caramel malts.

T: The flavors are sweet and malty with plenty of caramel and bread. The finish is mildly piney and bitter, the only main traces of hops on the flavor.

M: The flavor is medium bodied with a moderate level of tingly carbonation.

D: Not a bad IPA, and one of the better ones from the good ol' state of Texas.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Portsmouth tulip. Received as an extra from SSW117; thanks Sam!

a - Pours a nice transparent amber color with one finger of off white head and moderate
carbonation evident. Little bit of retention and lacing.

s - Smells of light citrus hops, pine hops, fruity malts, honey, and caramel malts. Nothing is overpowering, but it is very pleasant.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, citrus hops, floral hops, bready malts, and light pine. Lot more malts in the taste than the smell, and no really bitterness at all. Pretty nice.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, very smooth and easy to drink.

d - I found this to be a very enjoyable, easy to drink IPA. It is not overally hoppy in the smell or taste, and the malts definitely come through more in the taste than the smell, but it is very pleasant. If I was looking for an IPA that was balanced between malts and hops and this was on my shelves I would definitely buy it again sometime.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampling this beer for the second time reminds me of just how far my tastes in beer have expanded since joining BA. The first time I tried Elissa, about 6+ months ago on a brewery tour, I found it too hoppy and almost undrinkable ( I ended up pouring it down a drain). Tonight I'm really enjoying Elissa and thinking it could be a little bit hoppier. To me this proves that to a degree beer is an acquired taste.
On with the review. Appearance is dark amber with a reddish orange hue. Head is slightly below average size but leaves nice lacings. Aroma is hoppy, fairly simple with no particular hop smells sticking out. The taste here seems fairly balanced compared to other IPAs of which I've read reviews. Hops are still the major flavor though, they just aren't strongly bitter or overwhelming to any degree. The flavor is primarily a zesty type generally described as grapefruit or citrus. A nice touch of malt flavor adds to the complexity. This is a very drinkable beer in my book, now that I've enjoyed this IPA I want to try many more.

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Photo of woodychandler
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The Ginger Man had an all-female staff last night when TheChauffeur1 and I stopped in and it took every woman-jackie (manjack) one of them to change the cask. UKBrewing and Imbiber would have been in stitches. The flexing, bending and general ten basic ballet moves had me rolling in laughter.

Their machinations resulted in a thick, foamy, tawny head with not only excellent retention throughout, but also resulting in majestic lacing. The nose was soft and mildly hoppy. The color of mine was a cloudy amber as compared to the deep amber with NE-quality clarity in Greg's glass. Mine was partially from the bottom of the keg, which is one of the hazards of that pour. The mouthfeel was silky smooth with mild hop bite on the tongue. The finish was mildly bitter, which made it a good fit for both of us although I am a hophead and Greg prefers maltier beers. Love at first taste!

My original, draft/keg review is above, but since the mighty JenRay sent me a bottle recently in support of another site's promotion, I want to do a bottle review in addition to the original. Today is Su, 01 Mai 2016.

From the bottle: "1877 Elissa - Texas Tall Ship"; "made with only the finest malt, hops, yeast and water".

A screw-top bottle! Grrr. I really hate those things and since there was no way to tell, I Pop!ed the cap with an unnecessary effort. A gentle pour followed by a vigorous in-glass swirl raised just under two fingers of dense, fluffy, tawny lacing with good retention that produced sticky lacing as it fell. Color was Amber to Deep Amber/Light Copper (SRM = > 9, < 13) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a grassy, freshly-mown hay odor and I could not tell if it was Noble hops or the malt or a combination of both. Either way, I liked it! Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was very akin to a Czech Pils with a very grassy bitterness and a biscuit maltiness. No wonder both The Chauffeur1 and I liked it. It was kind of lightly bitter for an AIPA, but that actually increased its drinkability. Finish was semi-dry as a result with the biscuit malt helping to keep the hops in check. If they were to begin CANning this one, I would happily revisit it for a third go-'round.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
2.73/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from drabmuh. Thanks Matt.

The beer is clear and light orange hued with a small white head. The aroma consists of grain, biscuits, toasted bread. Very little hop presence here. The flavor confirms the absence of the hop profile one would expect in an IPA. Too grainy. Light to medium bodied with appropriate carbonation. Overall, I find this beer unimpressive. Not a repeat for me.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle received in trade from RickSawyer, Thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a slightly cloudy dark amber/copper color with a smallish head that fades to minor lacing on the glass. Aroma is citrusy hops and some caramel malt. Taste follows the smell. Mouthfeel is a medium with a hoppy aftertaste. Solid Ipa, from one of my favorite breweries.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to Ballewblake for this one. Grazi! Grazi!

Pours a clouded brownish amber with a crème head that leaves a decent amount of lacing on the way down. Nose is earthen and leafy with a sharper tang to it. Flavor is fairly deep. A nice robust and earthy/leafy edge. Tangy, but not annoyingly so. It's a milder kind of thing. Overall the whole flavor profile is definitely leaning towards the more earthen side. Feel has a bit of a bite on carbonation and the liquid is about what you would expect. This is a nice IPA. Very easy to drink and carrying a good body of flavor. I'd love to try this on-tap and I bet it would be interesting on cask as well.

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Saint Arnold Elissa IPA from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
3.8 out of 5 based on 1,019 ratings.
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