Sweetwater IPA - SweetWater Brewing Company

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Sweetwater IPASweetwater IPA

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very good

2,924 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,924
Reviews: 870
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 166
Gots: 586 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company visit their website
Georgia, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-05-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,924 | Reviews: 870
Reviews by JoLight:
Photo of JoLight
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden/orange, with lots of sediment floating around, and an eggshell frothy head that leaves lots of nice lacing.

Smell: Citrusy orange, lots of pine and floral hops, and a tad bit of barley malt.

Taste: Floral and piney hops, clean water, and some light breadiness to finish it off.

Mouthfeel: Medium

Overall: It's a lot less flavorful than I suspected, but for what it is, it is very good. I might describe it as a watered-down Sierra Nevada Torpedo.

More User Reviews:
Photo of JLed
4.44/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good! smooth, tasty and EZ to drink more than a few. My wife even likes it and it makes her britches disappear!!

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue II:

The brewery states that it's unfiltered, unpasteurized, with an intense hop character. Crafty sounding to say the least. Sunrise orange hue, nearly crystal clear. The froth clings well. Sticky sweet pink grapefruit with some herbal and wild flower aromas form the hops. Not a whole lot of malt in the nose as the hops are clearly dominant. Exceptionally smooth with a creamy medium body. The prickly sharpness from the hop bitterness needles the taste buds with a clean, spicy character. Heavy and deep herbal and citric rind flavor wrings out the taste buds with each sip. Spikes of malt pop up here and there with dry biscuity flavors, alcohol drops a clean fruitiness that resembles pears and Red Delicious apples. Puckering dry finish with a long dragging trail of hoppiness.

The label deceives, or perhaps we were not ready for the hop onslaught that was delivered from this bottle. A hophead's beery dream. Without a doubt this a good call when it comes to American IPAs.

Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy peach with a tight one finger head that leaves a ring of lace behind,big lemon essence in the aroma along with spruce anf touch of nutty malt.Really like the flavors going on here citrusy and pine/resin really stand out but there is real nutyy malt presence to keep this beer in my mind a true quaffable,sessionable IPA.True American in its big hoppiness but not over the top,well done.

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one poured a beautiful deep but illuminating orange in color with a wonderful, lacing head.

Smell – Ah, the dry-hopping leads the nose here followed by a deeper, leafy hoppiness and some nice, creamy malts. The malt aroma is thick and laced with caramel.

Drinkability – The malts and light yeast come up a bit bigger at the taste, making this a balanced “down South” IPA. The finish is sweet and caramelly.

Mouthfeel – This one just is medium-bodied with some good bitterness throughout and a modest but effective carbonation level.

Drinkability – This IPA is well put together, very balanced, and highly drinkable.

Comments – Thanks to the ever-thoughtful Uncle Flip for putting this in my WTF BIF box.

Photo of ExtraStout
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Cloudy orange color with small head development on the pour.

Smell: Sweet, candy-like aroma.

Taste: Tangy, tuttie-fruity flavor.

Mouthfeel: Pretty much what you would expect from an American IPA, medium-bodied and moderately bitter.

Drinkability: Good.

Notes: Overall a decent beer, although nothing steller for the style but okay at least.

Photo of brownbeer
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours bright orange with some friendly yeast floaties.

It has a really nice nose, very hop forward. Grapefruit is noticeable with American hop resins.

Well balanced flavors with juicy grapefruit notes and fresh orange citrus.

The body is almost too light, though that adds a sessionable element.

I would say if you're having a few, this is a good choice. If you just want one, you might want to go with something a little more satisfying. Good pizza beer.

Photo of hopsleeroy
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice extra sent from Everetends-Thanks Gilly.

A-Honey, Iced tead color with 1 inch head white head that quickly dissipated
S-Grapefruit and sweet melon like flavor
T-Strong grapefruit and lemon lime citrus and pine, very strong flavor, as you drink there is a little more malt forward flavors(honey?) but they are hard to pick out because of the strong hops,
M-Not the creamiest or smoothest mouth feel, decent carbonation, drying finish that isn't the greatest
O-Pretty decent IPA but very rought about the edges, Could use a little time to mellow

Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sweet Water IPA...6.7 alcohol content.

A- Pours a beautiful orange hued fluid that turns to a firey blood orange color in sunlight.
Has a nice foamy head that falls into a small bubbly rim around the edges of glass. Nice lacing grabs the sides.

S- Smells of sweet sun ripened grapefruit with tangy overtones of lemon and sugar.

T-M- Taste is a very balanced grapefruit with tones of orange, lemon zest, mild grass and a whole lot of fruity sweet tart and tang. Strange balance of hops... are there malts? Mouthfeel is wet with slick feel of citrus astringentcy nothing more.

D- Drinkable in my eyes, but strange flavors and burps make me think hop extracts where used in place of real dry-hopping. Hey worked for Hop Stoopid... Would have again just wouldn't look to hard.

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Clear bright copper-gold in color with very light white head that reduces to a thin film of bubbles and a solid ring. Lacing clings nicely down the glass.

S: Very sharp hops on the nose, a very hard floral hop smell.

T: Nice hops are immediate but not nearly at the intensity that might be expected from the initial smell. Nicely matched with a light or pale malt and finishes mostly clean, with just a bit of bitter in the linger.

M&D: Light to moderate mouthfeel with light and persistent carbonation. The quick clean finish makes this enjoyable to drink as you get plenty of hops but don't seem overwhelmed. Nice brew!

Special thanks to Maria for picking this up for me on her travels.

Photo of blitz134
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer takes on a nice golden straw color with a slight orange hue. Head was rather small and disappeared quickly. Aroma is quite strong and runs rampant with juicy hops. Aroma is characterized by a blend of grapefruit and a touch of tangerine. Taste is slightly different than the smell and is a nice crisp blend of citrus, pine and resin flavors. Initially the juicy citrus and pine show through but the finish is of resin. Mouthfeel is average in heaviness for an IPA. Flavors linger for a short while, a little too short. Drinkability is awesome for this beer. The intense aroma and nice taste make this beer my usual session beer of choice (it doesn’t hurt that I can get it locally and fairly cheap).

Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at ATL airport draft house.

A- Pours a clear reddish orange with a small off -white head. Does leave some lacing.

S -- Mostly citrus hops up front. Subtle aroma, but good.

T - Definitely hop-forward, but not a hop bomb. Again, mostly citrus but a bit of pine as well. A subtle malt presence throughout the taste. Finishes dry and pleasantly bitter.

M -- Medium mouthfeel with nice creaminess. Carbonation level seems spot on.

O -- A very good IPA,and one of the best beers I've ever had in an airport, but a step below the best of the style.

Photo of Jason
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very balanced, almost too balanced for the style. Good amount of dextrin sweetness with a softer yet bold hop bitterness. This one reminds me of some west coast pale ales, light in color with a big dose of pale malt and low - medium alpha hops. Clean finish with dextrins and floral hop.

Photo of merlin48
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Twelve ounce bottle with "enjoy before" date. Although unfiltered, it pours a mostly clear, amber orange body with a tall offwhite head. Lacing is lavish and of the patchy variety.

Aroma is citrusy hops, with distinct notes of apricot and ruby red grapefruit. Caramel malt underneath.

Mouthfeel is medium in body and carbonation with a fresh hop oil character.

Taste has a prominent hop bitterness that, thankfully, is not overdone. Very citrusy with red grapefruit but not at all sweet as the aroma suggests. Caramel malt adds an ideal balance. There is a noticeable earthy/leafy note that has a cannabis/cat urine character that I've noticed before only in Bells Hop Slam.

Wow! Very nicely done. This one will become a staple in my fridge since I can find it at a nearby grocery.

Photo of Billolick
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle, best before 4-23-13 faintly printed on the label. Purchased and enjoyed on a mini vacation to Florida

A. Pours lightly hazed orangey amber. Lite tan head nice looking scattered sheeting

S. tropical fruit nose, with resiny hop undertones

T. Pleasingly loaded with pineapple and grapefruit notes. Hop resins present but not overwhelming things

M. Smooth and pleasing

O. High quality IPA. This is a fine example of the American version of the style.

Photo of warriorsoul
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks once again to Ding for this one from his neck of the woods...this is the way I truly rate a brewery, in their ability to produce an enjoyable IPA.
Pours a real attractive rust color w/ a half finger of off-white head with a gentle pour.
Nice blend of sweet malt and fruity hops in the nose...one of those IPA's you can actually smell the bitterness.
Taste is real enjoyable...mainly citrus in flavor w/ enough malt to keep it well balanced. Becomes much more flavorful as it warms w/ the bitterness lessening...a bit dry in its finish w/ no alcohol detected.
Mouthfeel is above average and the carbonation is a bit much IMHO...hurting the drinkability from the bottle just a little.
Otherwise, a solid IPA from what I now conclude is a top notch brewery...good thing I have a couple more to try from these folks.

Photo of tigg924
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: cloudy, orange-brown in color, 1/3 inch head, high carbonation

Smell: piney hops, a touch of citrus hops, some toasted malt

Taste: follows the nose--piney hops, a touch of citrus hops, some toasted malt

Mouthfeel: smooth, moderately bitter with a slightly sweet backbone, moderate to high carbonation, light bodied

Drinkability: A very good IPA that is bitter but not overly so. The hops are there, but not overpowering. A simple yet good beer.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to angrypirate06 for sharing this bottle at thirdeye11's tasting.

The beer pours a light orange color with a white head. The aroma is citrus and resiny hops with some earthy notes. The flavor is resiny and orange citrus hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of livewire05
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cloudy amber color, decent amount of creamy off white head, some lacing.

Smell: Readily apparent but not overpowering hops. Pine notes in the background.

Taste: Not nearly as bitter as I thought it'd be, given the bottle's "mammoth IPA" claim. The hops seemed subdued, but that may just be due to my recent focus on extremely hoppy beers.

Mouthfeel: Nothing out of the ordinary.

Overall: I really enjoyed this beer. It wasn't exactly what I'd expected it to be, but it was good nonetheless. Seeing as I live in Atlanta, I could see making this my go to IPA. I'll have to get over to Sweetwater for a tour - I'd be interested to see how it fairs fresh from the brewery.

Photo of bsp77
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into wine glass.

Appearance: Clear amber with decent off-white head and lacing wisps.

Smell: Grapefruit, orange, pine and toasted malt. Standard but good IPA aroma.

Taste: Just like the aroma, it is a standard mix of grapefruit and orange with a toasted malt backbone. Finish has pine, spiciness and some bitterness.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, hop oily medium body, nice dry finish.

Overall: My first beer from Georgia, and a damn fine one at that. Fairly straightforward IPA, but execution matters the most, and this is well done.

Photo of deebo
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at barcadia in New Orleans.
A-served with a thin finger of a sticky white foam this brew is murky and a ruddy orange.
S-I like the aroma. Nice tropical fruit aroma with a lot of orange like citrus. Nice clean Bready malt.
T-not bad but not as sweet as the smell. A bit heavy on the bitter pine sap taste for me. The citrus is still there but is drowned out a bit. Malt is still there-the bitter hops dominate the finish.
M-low carbonation. A bit of an oily mouthfeel. Fairly long finish.
O-a bit too piney bitter for me but a well made ipa for those who like the in your face bitter punch.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap poured into a 10oz alt glass.

Pours a slightly haze pale amber with a generous fluffy white head. Nose is very grassy and a bit bitter, light maltiness evens it out.

Hop oriole on this is fairly unique, it's very grassy, citrus flavors and some pine notes. Mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth - almost like it's on nitro - but it's not. There's a good sharp light bitterness, it's not overwhelming at all though. It's quite drinkable and quite good!

Photo of ehammond1
3.31/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Bottle (2013)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, HeyOhhh!

While a decent IPA from the South, these simply don't stack up to the hop bombs brewed on the West Coast. Moderate bitterness, somewhat faded citrus hops in the background, and sweet, caramel malts. Nothing bad, and well made, but disappointing as well. Decent enough, but unexciting. Regardless, I'm very glad I got to try this.

Photo of ohmybock
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This IPA is very-well brewed. It has a strong hop aroma and flavor which I look for. The malt is very clean and balanced by a pleasant bitterness. Unfortunately, I'm not much of a fan of Simcoe hops. With that being said, I'm sure I taste Simcoe in it so it loses some points with me because of that. However, I'm in the minority when it comes to Simcoe, and most other beer lovers really appreciate that variety. I feel most American-style IPA drinkers will think this is a very good example of the style...especially for a state like GA which has very limited options when it comes to brewpubs/breweries.

I heard this brew was overhauled a while back. I don't know if that's true, but it certainly tastes different than I remember. I also think the alcohol content might have been raised a bit from the 5.90% listed in the description on BA. (The Sweetwater website was showing a content above 6%.)

Photo of sarahspat
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ordered this one on-tap at the Vortex in L5P.

The liquid is a dark golden, edging toward orange. The white head was about an inch thick when the beer was served to me. Not a whole lot of lacing, but some. A few suds stick around on the surface after the head falls.

Grapefruit! The nose is all about grapefruit and I love it! Tastes very grapefruity as well; also some piney hops flavors. Not overly complex, but the hops flavors (especially the grapefruit) are outstanding and SO delicious. Like eating a ripe grapefruit. YUM! This keg must have been really fresh. The body is medium light; no carbonation problems.

To be honest I didn't have particularly high expectations for this beer. I think I had a bottle of it last summer when I was here (in Atlanta) visiting my parents and wasn't impressed. But I figured I should drink a local beer, and an IPA sounded good to me... Well, allow me to retract my earlier opinion. Sweetwater IPA is a delicious beer. When it's fresh, this beer can stand its ground against any American IPA I've had... Really, it's very good. However, if it's a old, it might only be mediocre.

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Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 2,924 ratings.