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Sweetwater IPA - SweetWater Brewing Company

Sweetwater IPASweetwater IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,886 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1886
Reviews: 763
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 11.22%

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: 1,886 | Reviews: 763 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mwilbur


4.31/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured on-tap into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a nice clear golden yellow with 1 inch white head with excellent retention.
S: Wonderful citrus, floral hop aroma. Pineapple, passion fruit, grapefruit, and sharp orange notes create a beautiful bouquet.
T: Nice grapefruit, pineapple, and orange hop notes. Still solid, but doesn't quite live up to the promise of the aroma.
M: Light body. Very smooth and softly sweet. The typical hop bitterness of the style is nicely subdued...which makes this eminently more drinkable in my opinion.
D: A wonderful IPA, especially for those who don't want an abrasive feel to their hops. Nicely complex and extremely drinkable. Seek it out!

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2014 23:41:38 | More by mwilbur
Photo of rfisher159


4.66/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Medium amber, fast dissipating head.

S: This beer has the most distinctive smell of any beer, in my opinion. It has a massive fruity/zesty/hoppy scent that's unmistakable.

T: Not as hoppy as it smells. The zest is there with lemon and grapefruit coming through most. It finished clean and slightly bitter. Great balance and ton of flavor.

M: Light to medium with relatively high carbonation.

O: The taste is nearly perfect to me, a very interesting beer overall. This is my #2 everyday favorite behind Centennial Ipa. If it had a nicer looking bottle (and cost more $$) it would probably be rated even higher on this site... j/k

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2014 18:55:31 | More by rfisher159
Photo of mrfrancis


3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, shimmering amber with a thin, creamy white head that recedes slowly.

S: Aromas of nectarine, peach, apricot, honey, orange, lemon, lime, pine, cedar, caramel, and biscuits dominate the nose.

T: Notes of caramel, cream, biscuit, and crackers emerge on the entry, but are soon joined by flavors of cedar, pine, juniper, lemon, lime, grass, herbs, and orange. Around mid-palate delicate notes of apricot, honey, peach, and nectarine manifest,t providing an interesting of balance of sweet fruitiness and resinous, citrusy bitterness. The finish is delicately integrated with a combination of biscuit, cream, caramel, apricot, honey, nectarine, orange, lemon, and pine flavors.

M: On the lighter side of medium and only mildly resinous. Carbonation is crisp, yet delicate. This ale displays a very slight, unobtrusive mouthfeel for the style, but it works, as this is one of the most drinkable American IPAs I have had in some time.

O: A really interesting ale. So far, this is my favorite Sweetwater beer. I really enjoy the odd combination of flavors on display here and would have no problem approaching this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2014 15:24:19 | More by mrfrancis
Photo of Brenden


3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This IPA is a brightly shining clear amber. Gentle bubbling rises from the glass's bottom for the duration. The head is very nearly white, a bit spritzy though it has a thick, creamy texture. Lace is moderate, a thin ring at the top with spotting to follow. Slightly mineral undertones lie beneath perfume and floral bitterness with light fruity esters and breads. Ruby red grapefruit, orange zest, lemon peel, and floral bitterness show a hoppiness not foreseen in the aroma, strong and straightforward with most of the balance coming from a hint of sugared fruits and some bready malts. There's a strong crispness in a medium body with plenty of smoothness running over the tongue and into the finish with a mildly lingering bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2014 03:31:19 | More by Brenden
Photo of BarwoodBonanza


3.64/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rich copper color. Head retention leaves something to be desired, fading quickly with minimal lacing.

Powerful tropical fruit nose with mango and pineapple. A little note of citrus in the background.

Tropical fruits up front in the flavor but with a more prominent grapefruit and orange peel citrus. Finishes with a hefty dose of pine resin and a nice lingering bitterness. Pretty clean hop profile. Malts are noticeable but subdued and act more as a balancing note. I will say the hop aromas are much more powerful than the flavor which fades pretty quickly but while it's there it's really tasty.

Carbonation is lively and nice palate cleanser considering the pretty solid bitterness on the back end.

Overall a really nice IPA. The big hop aromas had me hoping for more than what the flavor delivered but still pretty solid in general. If I wanted an IPA this wouldn't be my first choice but I can see drinking it from time to time. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 18:29:44 | More by BarwoodBonanza
Photo of brewskifan55


3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip glass

A: Opaque, golden with an off-white half-finger head that dissipates fast. Low lacing.

S: Piney hops and grapefruit dominates. This could be a hop bomb.

T: But it wasn't. I get a really nice balance of grassy hops and sweet caramel malts. Smooth.

M: Light to medium with medium carbonation.

O: Now I see why this one is so popular. I like my IPA's well balanced between the bitter and the sweet and this one fits the bill. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2014 16:14:32 | More by brewskifan55
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. November notes.

Pours medium amber, sticky white foam. Layer stays on top. Strong grapefruit nose. Very grassy. Bitter forward hoppy malt, lighter layer next, with a relatively clean finish. Some remains after. Hints of grapefruit. Very flavorful IPA.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2013 22:46:27 | More by KTCamm
Photo of TwelveOunces


4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- A slight haze on a brilliant orange. A slight white head.

S- A dank and resinous hop bomb. A load of citrus and a perfectly balanced sweet malt. Really nice stuff.

T- A sharp citrus at first. A bold orange and lemon flavor. I get a lot of onion and spicy herbal notes as well. More on the bitter side then sweet. A hop focused flavor profile but an overall balanced beer.

M- Kind of bitter but easy drinking.

O- A very solid IPA with a bold hop flavor.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2013 00:34:48 | More by TwelveOunces
Photo of MotoGuitard


4.51/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent looking, rich orange color. Smell is fruity, a bit orangy.

Taste is very citrusy with a bitter and dry finish.

Not an over the top IPA but very very solid. I really love the citrus notes in this one. Orange and lemon with a grapefruit type finish. Very solid and refreshing IPA. A regular for me.

Serving type: on-tap

12-12-2013 23:15:49 | More by MotoGuitard
Photo of Hoperator


4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer was a complete surprise. This proves convincingly that a world class AIPA doesn't have to come from CA or VT. First, when uncapping the bottle the first thing that hits you is the aroma. There is hop cloud released with citrusy, resiny notes. No doubt dry hopped at a high level and certainly with a Cascade, Simcoe blend. The appearance was good clarity, a deep golden color, little head retention and no noticeable lacing on the way down. On the tongue it starts with a grassy presence, leveling out to a little alcohol tinge and finishing with a lingering grapefruit bitterness. Well balanced and extremely drinkable. One of my top 5 all time AIPA examples. Excellent!!

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2013 02:10:55 | More by Hoperator
Photo of Talbott92

North Carolina

4.58/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very delicious fruity smelling ipa. I tried it because they were out of dogfish head so I figured I'd give it a shot. Wow I was shocked at just how good this ipa is! I'm a beginner when it comes to ipa's and beer in general really, but man I get alot of pineapple and some grapefruit with just a little pine on the back. I will definitely keep this in my fridge I need to try their other beers.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2013 21:27:41 | More by Talbott92
Photo of patpbr


4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured into a pint with a burnt orange color and one finger head. lots of carbonation bubbles.
S - Carmel, pine and citrus, a hint of grapefruit
T - Mild pine taste up front. citrus a little pineapple and a grapefruit character. not very bitter. very balanced with the malt backbone.
M - light side on the body and moderate carbonation. A little creamy and crisp.
O - A bit of a different twist not as high ABV. and not very bitter, an easy drinking IPA.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2013 23:32:53 | More by patpbr
Photo of Omnium


3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours a nice rich gold color, 1 finger of soapy white head, medium lacing.
S - Aroma is great, some dank pine, lush tropical notes of mango, papaya, and even some peach, a little pale malt.
T - Taste is good as well, just a little subdued you get more of the malt, slightly on the biscuit type, then some pine dry bitterness, and those tropical fruit notes.
M - Clean, balanced, not too try.
O - Good solid IPA that you could drink anytime.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2013 23:15:31 | More by Omnium
Photo of Jadjunk


4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

"This mammoth IPA is dry hopped to the gills, delivering a kick-you-in-the-teeth hop chop, this beer is unfiltered and, as always with SweetWater's brews, unpasteurized to leave all the natural flavors intact." Brewed in the style of an American India Pale Ale. One of SweetWater's year round beers, their second biggest seller following 420 Extra Pale Ale. SweetWater has caught on to the growing hype, recently expanding this release to the glorious 12-pack with plans for cans to follow in early 2014!

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to my SweetWater pint glass. Served at 54º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a light golden cream head of a medium thick foamy complexion. Body color is a bold amber orange with a very mild haze and plentiful carbonation. Retention is very good, maintaining form and shape long after the beer was poured. lacing is medium foamy and streaked. In similar form with the SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale, IPA has similar qualities to its appearance. It looks quite enjoyable in a glass. 4.5

(Smell) Aroma consists of grapefruit, citrus rind and peppery hop notes, very potent with a moderate bitterness to match. Malt profile is a smooth biscuit and caramel malt syrup. The aroma is very indicative of west coast hop varietals, a very citrusy and grapefruit combination, making for a bright, pleasing aroma, although not one devoid of acidic and rind-like aromas, which may not make the aroma as clean and accessible overall as it could be. 3.75

(Taste) Sudsy, peppery and resinous hop notes with a lesser grapefruit and citrus backbone. The flavor has a better rounded hop flavor diversity with less sharp flavors than in the aroma. Bitterness is moderate. The malt body is a light pale malt with a pinch of biscuit malt for some added malt character. The drinkability is very high and the hop flavor, while not bursting at the seams, presents many unique flavor combinations for the beer with a moderate bitterness to match. 4

(Mouthfeel) Texture is a smooth creamy fuzz with a clean slickness. Carbonation adds some subtle vivaciousness to the finish. Body is medium amongst IPAs and light/medium overall. Alcohol presence is very light. Balance is equally sweet to bitter. I appreciate the soft texture of the mouthfeel, which doesn't negatively interfere with the hop flavors in the IPA. 4.25

(Overall) I had this beer less than a year ago and did my tastes ever change dramatically since then. While this isn't the freshly-squeezed grapefruit of an IPA that some may hope it to be, there's a lot to savor in it's simplicity. The hop profile keeps a nice variety of citrusy, peppery and herbaceous hop flavor in tow and the result is a beer that is exceptionally well balanced and unique amongst one of the world's most intensely critiqued beer styles. This may not be the crown jewel that stands out in the crowd, but it remains a worthy staple choice amongst all Georgia craft beer options. 4.25

SweetWater Brewing Company's
SweetWater IPA: India Pale Ale

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2013 02:48:25 | More by Jadjunk
Photo of Seattleman


4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Citrusy unfiltered IPA that tastes like an above average West Coast IPA. Delicious with a decent head, hop with grapefruit forward and a great finish. Clean in appearance despite being unfiltered. One of the few east coast IPAs that can compete with the left coast.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2013 22:29:34 | More by Seattleman
Photo of woodychandler


3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I got this in a trade with my local buddy, Sam Knocken, so I am delving into something other than CANs as is usually my wont.

From the bottle: "Don't Float the Mainstream!"; "This mammoth IPA is dry hopped to the gills, delivering a kick-you-in-the teeth hop chop. This beer is unfiltered and, as always with SweetWater's brews, unpasteurized to leave all the natural flavors intact."

The head that I initially created was a finger-and-a-half of tawny foam, but it fell as I was typing, leaving great sticky lacing in its wake. Color was a deep-amber with just the slightest haze (SRM = > 7, < 9). Nose had a pine resinous scent that was perfect for post-season baseball. Pine tar and baseball just go together. Mouthfeel was medium and the hops bite was immediate. It was not as much of a kick in the teeth as they might have liked (and I have had those, both literally and figuratively), but this hophead was getting his groove on. The lacing was ongoing and unabating. Finish was semi-dry, very pine-like and a welcome addition to my afternoon.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2013 19:12:08 | More by woodychandler
Photo of chefhatt


3.69/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer has a burnt orange color body, with a small, foamy head. The aroma has a piney notes. The taste is of piney hops and some malt. I also get some citrus also. The mouthfeel is well balanced and very drinkable. Overall this a really good ipa, wish I could it up here in Pa.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2013 03:47:42 | More by chefhatt
Photo of kell50

North Carolina

3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed many times. This particular review is from s bottle version. Botting freshness date- 9-30-2013.

A- A bright orange, golden color brew that pours with much carbonation. Upon pouring, it appears to just attach to the glass. A one finger head with a small thin layer of bubbles sits a top.

S- A lot of citrus and pine on this nose. I'm noticing a lot of tropical notes as well as a hig crusty malt backbone. Very surprised by how "zesty" this beer smells.

T- Awesome blend of citrus, grassiness, and malt. A very heavy dose of pine. The hops are very lively with a lot of zest and crispness. It's quite surprising how easy drinking this IPA truly is until the glass is about half finished.

M- A medium bodied beer with a relatively thick level of carbonation. Large citrus punch that seems to almost attach to your tongue.

O- This is pretty damn tasty for $6.99 a six pack. I liked this one much more than I ever thought I would. The tropical hop notes and malt are very well balanced. This is an IPA I'll definitely select more often.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2013 01:27:42 | More by kell50
Photo of Mikecap


3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Medium golden amber with a small whitish head when poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Belgian style chalice.

Smell: Caramel malt, lemon peel and a bit of grapefruit sweetness come out first. This is followed with some earthy character but this is definitely an east coast style IPA.

Taste: Citrusy most with tastes of lemon, peach and grapefruit. A bit of hops and grassy character on the backend and some toasted notes.

Mouthfeel: A good balance pretty light bodied and easy drinking for an IPA. I could use a bit more bitterness personally but this is good.

Overall: A bit of a letdown as I had high hopes for this but this is a good IPA that all should try if they can.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2013 01:35:57 | More by Mikecap
Photo of dwren89


4.14/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: golden amber orange with thick moussey off white head and great clarity

Aroma: toasted biscuit notes, slight citrus and pine and caramel notes

Taste: toasty, caramelly and biscuit with a nice thirst quenching bitterness and citrusy kick on the finish. Great balance and delicious blend of hops.

Mouthfeel: a delicious light-medium body that is a little lighter than most IPAs which aids in its overall drink ability. Crisp, biting and very thirst quenching with medium-high carbonation

Overall: A definite winner of as a go-to IPA because of its great balance and easy drinkability even with great bitter and hoppy finish.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2013 22:52:57 | More by dwren89
Photo of RonaldTheriot


3.64/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

SweetWater IPA has a thin, off-white head, a mostly clear, orange-golden appearance, lots of powdery sediment seen throughout, and a little bit of lacing left behind. The aroma is of piney, sweet hops and grain sweetness. Taste is of pine, grapefruit, and semi-sweet malt. Bitterness is not so high. Mouthfeel is light to medium and a bit slick, and Sweetwater IPA finishes dry, sweet, piney, and mellow. Overall, this is nice and enjoyable.


Serving type: bottle

08-27-2013 15:06:39 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of jabadehut


4.58/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

Tonight I started with Yazoo Pale Ale, I like it and it's local. After finishing my Yazoo I opened the first bottle of Sweetwater IPA I've had in months. I'd forgotten everything about this beer except the fact that I remember it was pretty good. The liquid flowed through the neck and hit my tongue and left me with an "Oh My God". This beer is extremely interesting for an IPA. It doesn't just sit there and tell you how hoppy it is. It's got great flavor that keeps you interested but so very satisfied from the first drink. I feel Dr. Oz would tell you that you become satiated with this beer with just one drink. How many beers do you know that can leave you "satiated"?


Serving type: bottle

08-11-2013 03:51:05 | More by jabadehut
Photo of KYGunner


3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

For a beer that claims to be unfiltered it is a crystal clear coppery color with very active carbonation bubbling to the top. The head is a bright white, loosely knit tide of foam with ample lacing.

Ahhh, what a pleasant aroma of citrus; like grapefruit, tangerines, orange and mango. Hints of pine and grain hide at the back.

More malt, grain and pine come out in the taste as I don't get nearly the same rush of citrus fruits. Some grapefruit and lemon pops up and some woodsy flavor glides by but the flavors tend more towards the Pale Ale genre. Very crisp and very easy to drink it has a highly carbonated feel.

Overall, it's very well done with a wonderful aroma and crisp feel but the citrus I like seemed to be washed away by high carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2013 20:28:12 | More by KYGunner
Photo of nickapalooza86


4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a almost clear orange with the slightest of hop hazes, half finger of head

Smell is very "west coast", reminds me a lot of Stone IPA and White Rajah, Orange, citrus peel, bready malt, pineapple, a little pine

Taste is nice, lighter then some IPAs, very bittering citrus, lemon, orange, orange peel, grapefruit, really bitter on the finish with a slight malt backing.

Mouthfeel is medium light with sharp carbonation with a very dry finish.

Nice IPA here, nothing to blow you away but very refreshing and citrusy which is something I like! I do prefer there 420 pale which I also had for the first time tonight but this is also very nice. Sweetwater continues to impress!

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2013 01:58:56 | More by nickapalooza86
Photo of barczar


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

Pours a brilliant deep golden with copper highlights and a lingering, frothy ivory head.

Resin, fresh cut grass, citrus, and that Amarillo savory note form the initial aroma. Earthy hop character, pine, cannabis, and body odor emerge later.

Flavor reveals more fresh cut grass, with a citrusy background, on a bed of lightly nutty caramel malt, which becomes resiny and slightly bitter at the finish. Muted grapefruit and sour orange contrast the toasted bread notes well. Bitterness is not overpowering, but lingers.

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation and a touch of harshness from the hops.

More earthy and grassy than citrusy, it's like a Chilean sauvignon blanc vs a Marlborough sb. There's enough citrus to add intrigue, but not dominate. Malt is present and identifiable for somewhat more than support. Probably the best I've had from Sweetwater.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2013 19:27:53 | More by barczar
Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,886 ratings.