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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 Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On the plus bitter side, with citrus from Chinook hops? Citrus aroma. Smooth. Well gulped on the night of a humid day. Malts present though not that balanced. Delicate taste, medium mouthfeel. Thanks Mr_kimchee.Had on tap at the brewpub 3 1/3 years later and better than average IPA. Good bubbly head onto grapefruit.

Serving type: on-tap

09-12-2004 01:52:08 | More by Sammy
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dusky, ripe pumpkin orange with an internal flurry of fine yeast. The cap is pastel orange-tinted cream in color and is impressively thick and creamy. It morphs into a melted mesa as it descends and deposits a fair number of fat pseudopods of lace. This is a good looking IPA.

The aroma is beautifully hoppy, but since it's dry hopped, I expected a little more boldness. That borders on nitpicking though since citric hop esters (white grapefruit and sweet orange) are mighty pleasing to the nose. Too bad I can't appreciate a little Georgia peach as well.

While calling Sweetwater IPA 'mammoth' (website) is something of a stretch, it is nicely hoppy and is some kind of delicious. Malt is well accounted for with the merest hint of caramel flavor. Hops, naturally, have center stage. As in the nose, white grapefruit peel is uppermost, with supporting roles played by orange and pineapple. The medium-full body is big enough to provide plenty of flavor intensity and flavor linger.

Sweetwater IPA is a wonderful example of the style from one of the best craft breweries in the South. I'd be thrilled if I had the opportunity to buy their beer on a regular basis. Thanks to aracauna, a man with ready access and a willingness to share.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2004 22:22:56 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy pale orange with a nice white creamy head that lced up well. Smell was strong and very hoppy. Citrus flavors abounded this. The taste was wonderful. Big citrus and pine pop up front with a dry hopped back. All hops, no real balance on this, and non needed. Could easily drink this all night! Goin to get more ASAP!

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2006 23:02:14 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail


4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Charlie for this one.

A: The pour is a slightly hazy straw color with a fluffy white head on top and somewhat minimal lacing.

S: The nose is full of fruity hops which tend to lean towards a mix of grapefruit and assorted tropical fruits, especially pineapple. The malt provides a biscuity aroma.

T: The hops are front and center as they should be with an IPA. The flavor is slightly sweet with some grapefruit and pine to provide bitterness. Again, the biscuity, bready malts are present.

M: The body is somewhat light and the carbonation is plentiful. The overall mouthfeel is rather light and refreshing.

D: A decent little IPA from a region which is not necessarily known for good craft beer. Not a hop-bomb of an IPA, but an easy drinking example

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2010 05:52:45 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy light copper color with a prodigiously rocky head that leaves swaths of lace all over the glass

Smell: Nice hoppy aroma that leans toward the piney side but has some fruit to it as well; a caramel undertones, tool

Taste: Starts with a moderately sweet caramel presence that is quickly overtaken by a fruity, piney bitterness that continues after the swallow; some residual sweetness on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: An excellent mainstream IPA - not sure whether this is the new recipe or not - "Best if Enjoyed by 5/5"

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2006 02:03:14 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a medium brown color ale with medium head and medium retention. Aroma is quite hoppy and I can already feel the bitterness. Taste is extremely bitter, probably one of the most bitter IPA that I had the chance to taste but also I can feel very light sweetness in the background which make this beer very interesting. Body is just above average and carbonation is medium. Probably one of the most interesting IPA, which mixes some extreme characteristics as well as some balance.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2004 20:14:00 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect


4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A seriously formitable and stern IPA with delicate sweetness and bold hop character- such a bitter beer for a Sweet-water brewery.

Pouring a froathy orange hued beer, the lush head gives an off-white, cottony textured appearance. Vibrant carbonation makes the beer dance with zest and sprite. Solid rings of lace reminds me how many drinks it took to reach the bottom of the glass- turns out four on this particularly thirsty day.

Bright and fruity aromas, lead by tangerine and orange zest, fill the nose with a juicy and highly citrusy character. Soft malty sweet scent provides the slightest of caramel scent to give a ripe and sweet citrusy dominance to the nose.

Flavors are very consistent with aromas: Focused on dripping citrusy fruity flavor with a dry bitter finish that remains clean and smooth. The hop showcase is focused more on the flavor of tangerine, pineapple, oranges, and ripe ruby red grapefruit and a little less on the resiny bitterness in finish. A background of powdered sugar sweetness gives a ripe and juicy roundness to support the hop flavor and bitterness, and without interferring with the drinkability.

Soft creamy textures seem less scrubbed to the palate than most IPA's and somewhat reminescent to Witbiers. The malty textures waiver at mid palate and allow for a very clean, very crisp hop bitterness and light alcohol dryness to govern the finish; and with a moderate linger of citrusy hop flavor and bitterness in aftertaste.

Sweetwater's IPA is certainly a showcase for hops on all fronts (aroma, flavor, and bitterness), but in superb balance and with high drinkability. This is an effortless beer to drink!

Serving type: on-tap

06-13-2006 17:34:54 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429


4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours copper with a white head. Nice staying power and good lacing as it goes down my glass. Nose brings some fairly strong citrus hops and a tad bit of light malt. The taste is mostly citrus. There is some light bread and caramel flavors underneath. Good feel with nice bitterness. Not too high in alcohol with a good levels of hops, this is a drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2010 11:52:58 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98

New York

4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy light amber in color, the beer poured with a finger high creamy beige head that slowly dissipated into lacy patterns of bubbles covering the surface. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: The hops contribute moderate to strong aromas of grapefruit and pine resin to the nose.
T: Like the smell, there are flavors of grapefruit and pine in the taste as well as notes of caramel and hints of malty sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very drinkable. I would definitely have another one of these again because it has a nice amount of bitterness and a good amount of flavors. I could easily have a few of these in one sitting.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2010 03:06:20 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

$1.79 single at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Fourth of July. The one day in July you absolutely have to go out and let loose in an uncontained expression of American freedom, fun, and perhaps even a little licentiousness.

Yes sir.


Appearance: Pours a hazy amber-colored body with a small, white head.

Smell: The aroma is showing of juicy, ripe grapefruits, with only a trace amount of dough in the background.

Taste: Faint toasty caramel malt sweetness before the grapefruit plunge and piney hop character that creeps into the long finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Definitely one of Sweetwater's better beers!

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2007 05:25:53 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2005 21:43:24 | More by oberon
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A slightly hazy (unfiltered), very deep amber-orange body reveals wide golden highlights when held to the light; and it's creamy off-white head slowly drops to a good-sized collar and leaves some very nice lace about the glass. The aroma is bold with brightly floral, sweetly citrusy, and softly piney hops over a sweetish malt. Very nice!!! The same hoppiness appears in the flavor (it's loaded with grapefruit!), tempered a bit by the fuller sweetness of the gently biscuity and softly caramelized malt; and accentuated by a delicate, fruity contribution from the yeast. It's bitterness is firm, but never steps ahead of the rich maltiness; and only makes it's full strength known in the dry finish and long-lingering aftertaste. It's rich, and the medium-full body and very fine, moderate carbonation serves to accentuate that. I'd almost like to try this beer a little bit crisper (with the thought that that would add to it's drinkability), but I like it so much as it is that I feel that might be a fool's errand. Quite nice! Brewed with a firm but delicate hand. Well worth trying!

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2003 02:52:09 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice, slightly hazy orane/apricottish hue, with a very generous helping of active foam bubbling above.
Aroma, wonderfully bitter hops greet the nose, grapefruit leads the fruit parade, orange, peach, apricot, but bitterness is king, a beautiful thing in the nose!
Taste is fresh, full, fruity, i reach readily for another sip, and happily, too, smiling all the way. Lordy, this is a happy, and hoppy IPA, oh, so, tasty and terribly rewarding in flavor beyond the bitterness!
Just delicious. Who needs Sierra Nevada PA when you're in Georgia, I say, this one matches that, and maybe even bests it, though they weren't even running a race! Yum, I say, yum, I mean, yum, I keep thinking until my tongue is no less than delighted.

Thanks to Rajenda82, and BiF7 for this one!

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2004 11:16:32 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from SilentSabre, so big “Thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright orange/amber color with a thin white head that fades at a decent rate and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: Strong floral hops aroma when you crack open the bottle, but once the beer is poured the hops smell fades and you smell a heavy fruity citrus & malt sweetness.

T: The taste starts with a decent burst of hops, but not very heavy. What follows is the same fruity sweetness that you get in the smell. I picked up lemon, grapefruit and some dark fruits (which is slightly different for the style) and the hops keep trying to break through as you drink it. The after-taste is a combination of hops bitterness and citrus sweetness.

M: Very crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: I drank this one down fairly quickly for a review. Even though it may be a little sweeter than most IPA’s, it’s very tasty, not-too-filling and is the type of beer I could stick with for a long, long time. This was a very pleasant surprise for a beer that was added in to round out the trade. I think I’m now intrigued by this brewer and I’m going to have to deal for some more stuff from them.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2006 03:26:46 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell


4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This one comes courtesy of Ddarden with a BBD of 05/17/07

Pours peach tea colored with 2 fingers of sand colored head. Good lacing & head retention

S: citric hops

T: Grapefruitty & lemony hops up front. As this warms; breadyness, alng with crisp hops, & some fruittyness &a little apple skin. Finishes crisp,a little dry & oodles of citric hops

MF: Medium bodied, with low carbonation & great balance

Super sessionable IPA, a simple, straight-forward IPA. Not supper aggresive IPA, just a very quaffable one!

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2007 04:36:21 | More by russpowell
Photo of drabmuh


3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle included in a recent trade. Thanks!

Beer served in a shaker pint. Beer is amber and completely clear (wasn't this beer unfiltered at some point), thin head, minimal lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is pine and malt, a little harsh.

Beer is moderate in body and mildly sweet on the get go, the midpalate is earthy sulfury hops and a decent finish with moderate bitterness. Beer does not finish dry, the overall malt backbone weighs this beer down in a bad way unfortunately. I did not thoroughly enjoy this beer. I've had this on tap before and I remember liking it better. I'd have it again to confirm my suspicions that this may be an older bottle as this is not as hoppy as I recall it to be.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2011 03:46:59 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000


4/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2010 23:40:56 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80


4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a one-finger, white head of foam. It left thin rings of lace.

S - It smelled of tons of pine. There was an aroma of citrus and burnt toast maltiness.

T - Great piney/resiney hop bitterness upon first sip. It had a sharp burnt toast maltiness and some sweet caramel & toffee backbone.

M - It was crisp, sharp and had a dry finish. A medium bodied ale that goes down very easy.

D - Glad to find this on tap. I had 420 in a bottle and hoped to find some IPA. I wasn't disappointed.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2010 13:08:05 | More by zeff80
Photo of jlindros


4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this bad-Larry in a fun trade with vicanncam. Adding and editing my review thanks to another supply from JonnyGalt (Reddit).

A: Big 1 finger head spread across a large snifter so its a big nice head. It slowly fades and leaves a creamy looking lacing covering an orange red almost pink like beer, and very hazy.

N: A nice malt start to the aroma, followed by a nice hop aroma. Some fresh hop aromas and bitter piny hops hit quite a bit with even a touch of resin. A slight citrus comes through, but mostly a chewy piny hop aroma. It has a really nice strong hop IPA aroma with fresh hops, pine, citrus, chewy aromas, and slight earthy hop goodness.The more I go though the hops seem a bit muted.

T: Starts with an interesting juicy fruit hop taste. Its quite a bit of the sweet juicy candy hops to hit first and don't seem to go away, light light candied orange. A light fresh musty resinous hop taste hits with it. It adds a light piney and citrus taste as well, almost orange zest but not quite. A nice crystal malt flavor adds a good backbone, with a touch of what could be felt as booze. A slight chewy hop taste comes through as well. It almost gets creamy and slightly spicy hop character, but never quite gets to either. Finish is semi dry with a slight malty sweetness, long lingering bitterness with light citrus orange zest hops, and hint of pine and resin.

M: Body is a bit heavier and slightly chewy with decent carbonation.

Overall pretty good, more like typical fairly balanced east coast style IPA that does it's job, and nothing wrong. Hops are decent, fairly balanced, fairly tasty and drinkable, but not quite a standout.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2009 03:32:39 | More by jlindros
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a frothy tan colored head that is initially one-finger thick, but does not hang out for too long. The beer is a brilliantly clear, full copper color. The aroma is suitably hoppy with a sweet orange note being the most prominent. A dry biscuit like note is noticeable towards the end of the aroma, but you have to look for it. The citrusy hop notes in this are so clean, and remarkably similar to orange.

The beer is lightly sweet up front, with a solid citrusy orange note. The beer finishes with a light, though strange astringency, and a solid toasted malt note. Candied orange zest was definitely used in this beer, I just know it. The beer has a solid bitterness to it that starts up front and becomes more noticeable as it finally has a strangle hold on the long, lingeringly bitter finish. The hop character creates a bit of a tingling tongue sensation, much like carbonation does, and it is accompanied by an herbaceous hop character that is quite nice as well. This beer is fairly light and drinkable, of course I mean that it has a medium fullness to eat that is not so much that I couldn't see drinking a couple pints of this quaffable IPA.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2006 03:17:10 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of jwc215


3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted a few days before best before date.

Pours a hazy (from being unfiltered) orangeish golden with a thin head. Minimal lacing is left.

The smell is of floral, citrusy hops - orange peel, some grapefruit.

The taste is of citrusy, bitter hops - orange and grapefruit dominate. Some grainy malt is in background, but just enough to cut a bit of the bitterness. The hops are pretty powerful. Tasty, but not complex at all.

A bit of an expected tang. Thins slightly, but has some body to it. The citrus lingers in the mouth.

A nice IPA. The citrus hops really stand out. It has a refreshing quality to it.

Thanks to SilentSabre for including a few of these.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2006 18:21:06 | More by jwc215
Photo of RblWthACoz


4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BeerMark for this one.

Pours a slightly gazed amber with a creme head. Flavor is heavy on the bitter with a pine and resin tone. Feel is well bodied on the liquid and the carbonation is fairly noticeable. This is a good IPA. Some might consider it rough around the edges, but if you are looking for something intense, I think you'll like it.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2009 02:36:58 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of smcolw


3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Moderate bottle-poured head. It leaves good ring/spotty lace on the glass. The liquid is copper gold in color. Mildly hazy.

Strong grapefruit rind aroma from the hop. In the background is some melon and caramel with a dash of sweetness. Some alcohol to the nose.

Starts with a neutral malt flavor, but the prickly and peppery hop kicks in quickly. The aftertaste is shorter than one might expect given the biting finish. The body is middle of the road as is the carbonation level.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2013 21:36:30 | More by smcolw
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a well made if a tad generic india pale ale from the great state of georgia. richer bronze color to this, mostly clear, with an inch of pure white head that slowly settles down. it smells like cascade hops, higher alpha but overly common, the classic mix of hop bitterness and juicy punch. malt base is bigger than average and lends some biscuity aromatics, although its flavor is far more subdued. a fuller bodied gulp shows nice carbonation and a long hoppy finish that moves from lightly citric to quite bitter. well done, but the varietals used could be a little more unique i think. this is basic american ipa, well crafted, but not particularly intriguing. a good sixer to drink down thoughtlessly coming from one of the better known georgia beer makers. curious to try their other stuff though, this was good, but couldnt hold my attention past one.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2014 17:52:54 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of barleywinefiend


4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep yellow color with a small white head. Nose is hoppy, citrus, floral with lots of hops. You can feel a dry hop in this beer on the taste. Lots of floral and light citrus notes. Pretty big and tasty IPA overall by Sweeetwater. Worth a try for sure.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2009 03:49:22 | More by barleywinefiend
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Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,887 ratings.