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Sweetwater IPA - SweetWater Brewing Company

Sweetwater IPASweetwater IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,887 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1887
Reviews: 763
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.97%

Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company visit their website
Georgia, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-05-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,887 | Reviews: 763 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of nocheinsbitte

North Carolina

2.35/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

had this from a 12-oz bottle

A: pours a rich dark goldn color with a good head and good lacing. A good looking bier.
S: weird. it smells like those little bottles of lemon juice mixed with grapefruit. Very different.
T: follows the smell well. the grapefruit taste is a little overpowering and really takes away from any pale ale taste.
M: Not bad, but the taste is really overpowering and is not pleasing.
D: One, maybe two at the most.

overall, I did not really care for this bier. Not a typical pale ale. Try it if you want...

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2009 00:46:50 | More by nocheinsbitte
Photo of Cobrito


2.38/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thought I'd give one of the more popular, highly-touted local brews another chance. Didn't much like it the first time, but reviewers who like it describe it as citrusy and hop-forward, a style very much to my liking. Made sure I got a fresh bottle--best by date of March 13, which means it's only two weeks old. Here goes.

Not much head for such a fresh beer. Standard amber-copper, mostly translucent.

Aroma is of grapefruit peels. Did they actually put them in there? Some earthy smells, but faint. Aroma pretty one-dimensional and kind of un-beerlike in a way.

Ok this is no different than my first try. Beer is not only one-dimensional, but also rather thin; ingredients don't hold together well. There is something clearly off about this beer. There is grapefruit, yes, and there are two or three other flavors, one is earthy, the other is almost artificial chemically, I hate to say it.

A down-the-drainer, I can't believe it gets so many good reviews.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2012 03:20:59 | More by Cobrito
Photo of donkeyrunner


2.45/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

My first beer since the Boston marathon and the bottle says "the beer you've been training for." Ain't that somethin'.

Pours a clear, dark gold. Decent white head that leaves some lace but has good retention. Freshness dated for 6/1/09!

Smells of floral hop at first pour but as the head faded so did the scent. More of an herbal swamp muck hop. Very malty for an IPA.

Tastes like lemon iced tea. Very mild bitterness and very malty for an IPA. Hops mainly serve as a peppery twang to the lemon tea malt.

I had this on tap in Nashville awhile back and it was great. Not so good in the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2009 22:12:06 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of santoslhalper


2.5/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Appearence: Pours a slightly hazy light copper with a decent, creamy white head. Dies down quickly to a collar. Decent carbonation.

Smell: The smell is of floral hops, not too strong though, and well balanced out by a malt background.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is not as hoppy as I'd expected, and I didn't expect it to be very hoppy. The hops are almost gone, and it's basically blond ale malt flavor from there on out. Doesn't even taste like an IPA, so maybe it's a bad bottle. The mouthfeel is smooth and slick.

Drinkability and Overall: Not an IPA, in my opinion. More malty than hoppy. I just really didn't like this one. Seems like it would be a lot better if on-tap at the brewery. Oh well, can't win them all.

Thanks again to rajendra for the package.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2005 22:44:09 | More by santoslhalper
Photo of Daehpoh


2.63/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle labeled best by 11/20 sampled on 11/4.

Pours a clear golden orange color with minimal head.

Smell is mostly citrus hops including mango and orange. A bit of pine in there as well. This one has the standard IPA aromas, but nothing that really pops out.

The taste mirrors the smell with citrus flavors of mango and pineapple with some light caramel and white cracker underneath. This IPA seems light on flavor to me. It comes and goes rather abruptly.

The mouthfeel is dry with a light body and quick, bitter finish. I prefer my IPAs to linger with a bit of slickness before the dry finish.

Overall this seems to be a middle of the road IPA that came across as a bit dull. It was nearing the best by date, so perhaps this bottle was past its prime.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2011 22:22:19 | More by Daehpoh
Photo of PeterLemonjello


2.65/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Had in bottle and on draft.

Good looking beer with nice carbonation and a decent head. Dark golden, hints of orange color. Unfiltered IPA so it's not crystal clear (kudos).

Smell is very citrus leaving the senses anticipating a big hoppy experience.

Taste is where I get lost after such a great smelling beer. Sweetness from the residual sugars combined with the big/particular hop flavor (as opposed to hop bitterness) have me thinking I just cracked open a can of pineapple juice.

Mouthfeel is appropriate for style.

Drinkability for me is very low as I'm just not a fan of this beer.

Quality brewery and I'm a fan of some of their other offerings (Sweet GA Brown & 420)...but I'll always pass on their IPA.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2009 03:29:30 | More by PeterLemonjello
Photo of wedgie9


2.73/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted from 12oz bottle obtained in a trade. Pours clear bright amber orange with a good-sized beige head that has some real retention. Nose is more caramel malt with the hops, citrus, and light yeast taking a back seat. The palate is similar with the caramel and some chocolate malt taking over. The hops kicks in as bitterness on the back of the palate and finish, and there is also some grapefruit citrus. The body is light with heavy carbonation and a decent bitter and chocolate finish. Kind of strange for an IPA.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2010 18:14:02 | More by wedgie9
Photo of zhanson88


2.88/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Rbald42 for hooking me up with this.

Appearance: Pours a clear light copper color with moderate carbonation. About 1" of white head forms on the pour, and it has very nice retention and lacing.

Smell: Fairly malty smelling, a lot of caramel is prevalent. Some pine resins come out as well, and I would describe the hops as more floral than anything.

Taste: I get a lot of caramel up front. This beer is much maltier than I was expecting. When I drank this it was well before the best by date, but it seems to have dropped off a lot between now and when it was bottled. I also get some floral hops, and a bit of pine resin as well. Not overly bitter.

Mouthfeel/Overall: This beer is light bodied with high carbonation. Fairly smooth going down. Overall, not a favorite of mine based off this experience. If I ever get the chance to try this fresher, I definitely will. I still didn't find it bad by any means; just not what I was expecting.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2011 20:22:19 | More by zhanson88
Photo of KajII

North Carolina

2.95/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Shaker glass]

The pour was a medium hazy amber with an average sized (1-2 finger) white frothy head that had awesome longevity, lasting throughout thus producing some really excellent sticky sheets of lace.

The aroma was a little mild with a citrus hop, a grain malt and a soapy yeast with light notes of caramel and citrus (grapefruit).

The taste was not as strong as I expected it to be, but had a mild maltiness and a hint of caramel early on and then became slightly bitter with a mild citrus note at the end. The flavor lasted an average duration after the swallow with the taste of hops growing slightly as time went on.

Mouthfeel was light in body and had a dry texture with a mild carbonation.

Overall a very light hopped IPA with the complexity kept to a minimum. That being said it was nice and refreshing and had a great drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 17:21:54 | More by KajII
Photo of rlcoffey


2.98/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured an orange/copper color with a nice white head. Great lacing as it goes down.

Nice hoppy aroma with a orange citrusy predominance.

Taste is moderately bitter, underbitter for an IPA. Hop flavor is mostly orange with a touch of mango. Malt sweetness is barely present, allowing the hops to shine, unfortunately, they dont. A bit too subdued.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side with a hop slickness hanging around.

Good, I wouldnt turn one down if handed to me, but not sure I would choose it over very many other IPAs.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2009 23:09:01 | More by rlcoffey
Photo of aracauna


3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The draught version of this beer is bland and only mildy hoppy. The bottled version is one of my favorite beers. Since I can't see a logical reason to brew them on two different recipes I don't know what causes the difference in taste. The only difference I know of for sure is that the stuff out of the tap is clear while the bottle has plenty of yeast, but I am clueless as how the lack of yeast removes the juicy hop flavor and stips a bit of the malt as well. What is a juicy, well-balanced IPA in the bottle becomes a bland middling beer on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2003 00:03:31 | More by aracauna
Photo of Imstillthegman


3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Filled my glass with a golden copper color with just a quick showing of a white head that turns into just a thin ring. Light lacing is left. Citrusy orange smell with not much else going on. Hop flavor comes in the form of grapefruit with some orange. Slight bitterness on swallowing. A bit bubbly as well. Just an average IPA in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2006 01:54:17 | More by Imstillthegman
Photo of kbutler1


3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Cloudy orange color with a slight white head. Aroma is more malty than hoppy. A very pedestrian everyday IPA in my opinion. Not super hoppy but hoppy enough to know you are drinking an IPA. Medium mouthfeel. Citurs hop notes. We don't get Sweetwater here in MN but if I'm down south I'll be sure to try this on tap to see if it is any better that way.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2010 12:28:58 | More by kbutler1
Photo of Phelps


3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle received in a trade with CooperEllis. It's marked with a best by date of September 26 -- just made it!

Looks: the beer cascades into my glass a hazy cadmium orange. A half-finger fuzzy beige head quickly becomes an enduring, filmy layer surrounded by a thick ring of bubbles that leave speckles of lace.

Smells: not bad. Spicy white pepper, nectarines, crushed pine needles and a bit of grass, with a backbone of honeysuckle. Just a little mild.

Tastes: like a wave of flavor that never seems to crest. A quick, feeble shot of piney hops and orange arrives mid-palate, but they never fully reveal themselves. Instead, a moderate bitterness lingers on the sides of the tongue, along with the vaguest honey sweetness.

Feels: moderately carbed, nice and velvety, with a body just a notch under medium.

Drinks: run-of-the-mill. The flavor was just too muted for me. It did, however, pair quite well with some spicy taco meat, which really brought out the sweetness in the IPA.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2010 05:41:50 | More by Phelps
Photo of joepais


3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Kirkpjr for this brew.

I enjoyed pouring this brew into a Sam Adams glass an seeing a short lived one finger head that trailed of to a thin lace. The body of the brew was hazy amber in color. I guess maybe I have been drinking to many IPA's from tap lately. I didn't really get a ton of hoppiness coming from this brew. I got the typical citrus aroma with a lightly biter flavor. There was not much going on here in pronounced hop character. This one would make an awesome Pale Ale.

Sorry guys not my favorite offering from Sweetwater

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2010 17:28:55 | More by joepais
Photo of steve8robin


3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one in a recent trade. Let's give it a go. 12oz bottle, best by 12/2011...

A: A nice clear golden copper with a big 1+ inch off-white head that fades at a decent pace, but never completely disappears. Very good.

S: I get some bready bitter citrus hops upfront with some grassy earthy hops in the middle and some light fruit on the backend. Ok.

T: A mild strange hop flavor with a hint of metallic taste in here. Some soapy dishwater in the middle and some strange bitter citrus overtakes your pallet on the back. Eh.

M: Medium body with a thick carbonation. Leaves a burning acidy finish. Decent.

D: Need to get past the strange blend of flavors to get this one down.

All in all, this started stellar, but ended up not all that good by the end. They definitely need to rework this recipe IMO.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2011 03:12:29 | More by steve8robin
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.03/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours 1/2 finger of white head. Color is a hazed orange gold.

Aroma: Floral, dank hops. Lots of malts. Some citrus flavors.

Taste: Lots of bready malts up front. Bitter floral hops. Grapefruit citrus.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, but bland. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends fairly clean.

Overall, an average ipa at best. Decent drinkability, but nothing special. Too malty for me.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2010 22:36:58 | More by mothman
Photo of jmarsh123


3.03/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a nice gold with a thin white head and lots of bubbles cascading up the glass.

Smells of citrus/grapefruit/pine hops with some malty sweetness.

Taste is a letdown after the wonderful smell. Not as much hop character as I'd like in an IPA. A bitter piney resin lingers on the tongue at the end, but there is also a malt sweetness in the middle.

Beer has good carbonation, but mouthfeel is too light almost watery.

Not a bad beer, but not one of the top IPA's either. I'd like to have it on draft sometime to see if the hop profile is better fresh.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2011 20:29:09 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of Goblinmunkey7


3.03/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Slightly hazed copper. The color of old pennies. Head is bright-white and smooth. Thins to a small ring at the edges of the glass. Carbonation looks to be on point.

Smell: Orange juice and biscuits. Big orange hop hit. Mainly juice. Doughy malt profile rounds out the back. Faintly spicy with some sweetness. Touch of caramel malt.

Taste: Grapefruit and then some. Orange juice as well. Slight pine hit. Where are the malts. Faint hints of biscuit and crust linger in the back, but fail to offer any balance to the hops. Slightly minty with a lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thin, but not quite there. Smooth with a touch of dry on the end of the whole thing.

Overall: Decent, but not earth shattering. The bitterness and intense grapefruit/orange flavors drop some of its long-term drinkability. Definitely a unique hop profile.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2012 23:06:03 | More by Goblinmunkey7
Photo of JDV


3.05/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from robbmotiwalla. Thanks!
Pours an attractive medium to rich amber with an offwhite head that hangs around for a bit. Smell is fruity and earthy hops. Perhaps some light citrusy quality. Flavor is thin and mildly bittered up front, while the body is average. Light malt backing and it needed more hops for my taste. Kind of hop tea like, I thought. Not bad, but not one of my preferred IPAs.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2008 19:13:32 | More by JDV
Photo of suspect

New York

3.1/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Thanks to my buddy Audi for the hookup from the ATL. Best by date of 4/27/11.

A: Pours a semi-clear golden color with slight amber hues. Aggressive pour leads to a white foamy 2-finger head. Little to no lacing. Lots of little yeasty floaties in the glass.

S: Slight hop, mostly citrus with a strong aroma of caramel malt. The malt is shining through on this more so than the hops probably due to the age.

T: Hop presence is even less so in the flavor, again probably due to age but the malt here is a weird flavor as well. Just not tasting much like an IPA.

M: Semi-oily, only very slightly bitter. Aftertaste does not linger very long. Light carbonation, light body.

O: Just about an average IPA. Not great, not bad. easy to drink, I could put away a few.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2011 22:08:40 | More by suspect
Photo of ProfessorCJ


3.13/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an IPA glass.
A- 2 inch almost white head above partly cloudy orange brown beer
S- citrus candle, chemical odor of orange(?)
T- definite hopps with a slightly bitter after taste
M- coated the mouth with bitter "feel", thinner than many IPAs I've had in the past
D- OK, but the aroma doesn't make you want to immediately jump back in for another sip

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2009 20:46:23 | More by ProfessorCJ
Photo of beerinator


3.15/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Coppery golden. Offwhite rocky head with good retention.

Aroma: English hoppy aroma. Smells a bit earthy. Slight citrus in the nose.

Taste: Thin mouthfeel, hop bitterness slight. A slight bit of citrus in the finish. Bitterness doesn't linger too long.

Notes: This beer may have been a bit old when purchased. The hop flavor wasn't as good as remembered from a previous tasting. I will try to repeat this tasting when I can get my hands on this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2003 15:53:45 | More by beerinator
Photo of phattysbox

New York

3.15/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got as an extra from a trade with tjbartjr, thanks Tom!

Poured into Duvel tulip glass with a nice orange/amber shading. Nice one inch head that retreats very slowly into long-lasting lace. Nice looking brew.

The nose went downhill for me unfortunately. It has a muted hop profile that is there but much subdued. Some pine notes but a bit raw and damp in the smell - does not smell fresh. Taste brings the brew down for me even further. Same as the nose, the hop profile is quite muted but there may be a bit of oxidizing in the brew (wet paper). Not terribly oxidizied, just not that fresh. There was also a bit of metallic taste as well, though very small. Mouthfeel was OK and as expected for an IPA.

In my impression, an average IPA. Good to try, but thats about it. I might have had an old bottle so will try again.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2008 18:11:44 | More by phattysbox
Photo of drlumps62


3.15/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a six pack from a grocery store in Chattanooga.
Drank the beer from chilled glass

A: Nice dark golden color. Slight frothy white head. Not much retention. Small bit of lacing.

S: At first I smelled what I considered to be cat urine. It gives way to a piney smell. It put me off a little.

T: I don't like saying it, but cat urine is in the initial sip. It again gives way to a very piney taste with a hint of citrus at the end.

M: Medium body. Right amount of carbonation.

D: Despite, the initial nose this beer is a nice Sunday afternoon football beer.

This is a very different IPA. Despite what I feel about the cat urine smell and taste, this beer levels out and is quite enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2009 03:05:14 | More by drlumps62
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Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,887 ratings.