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Sweetwater IPA - SweetWater Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sweetwater IPASweetwater IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,165 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,165
Reviews: 781
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.53%
Wants: 137
Gots: 185 | FT: 5
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: 2,165 | Reviews: 781 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JoEBoBpr


4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this gem at the ATL airport.

A - Pours a slightly hazy burnt orange with some nice golden edges. Very nice white head that is dense. Quite attractive and tasty looking.

S - Pine aroma and resin come up nice and bold with some good toasty biscuit malt. Quite delicious aroma. There is some slight tropical and papaya notes as well as some citrus but this mostly yields towards the piney.

T & M - Taste starts off with some nice piney and and resin filled hops. Some nice grassy spice and some dank notes. Reminds me a bit of Ska Modus Hoperandi. Taste is followed by some nice toasty biscuit malt and a good fresh earthy grain backbone. The hops are definitely the main attractions though but the malt is well represented. Mouthfeel is crisp and clean with a nice light bitter finish that is pleasing but not too intense.

O - Good brew that seems to be a bit under the radar. I've enjoyed both regular Sweet Water offerings that I've had.

Serving type: on-tap

05-12-2011 17:35:52 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of Haybeerman


4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Slightly hazy copper/amber color. Poured a 2 finger dirty white head with good retention to a 1 finger cap. Slowly decanted. Laced in wide rings.

S: Floral hops; grapefruit and citrus. A pine aroma intensified as the beer warmed. Bready caramel malt.

T: Caramel malt flavor more pronounced than in the nose. Transitions quickly to grapefruit and citrus hops. Resiny in the middle to a lingering dry bitter.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Resiny and dry with a solid, building bitter to balance. Nicely balanced overall.

O: Good malt and hop character in a beer with good balance overall.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2011 15:48:01 | More by Haybeerman
Photo of StoutHunter


4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My brother brought me back a bottle of Sweetwater IPA from his trip down south. I tried Blue yesterday and I was not too impressed so I hope this brew turns out better. It has a best by date of May 24, 2011. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label is pretty much the same as blue just different color, looks like most of their beers look the same, it would be nice if they switched it up a little. Sweetwater IPA poured a nice looking hazy copper/orange color with a big four fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thick layer that left lots of nice lacing.

S- The aroma is nice mixture of sweet pale malts and fruity citrus hops. The citrus hops dominate the aroma and make for a dank smelling mixture of grapefruits, pineapples, and mango's. The hops also imparts some grassy and piney aromas. This IPA has a nice citrus aroma, that reminds me of some of the high end DIPA's.

T- The flavor is pretty similar to the aroma but everything is much more toned down and subdued. The pale malts show up first and have a nice light grainy flavor that has the right amount of sweetness. The hops start to come out in the middle and the piney and grassy flavors show up the most rather then all the nice citrus notes that showed up in the aroma. It has a mild bitter finish that suits the lighter flavors of this IPA.

M- Medium bodied with high carbonation, the higher carbonation works well with this beer.

Overall this was an OK IPA. Most everything about this beer was spot on for the style but I thought it could have been more flavorful. The aroma was very nice and heavy on the citrus fruits which I liked a lot, but the taste just didn't hold up to the aroma. The taste was lighter and focused more on the pine and grass aspects of the hops. I wish it was bolder and focused more on the nice citrus fruits from the aroma, but I wouldn't have changed the bitterness at the end. In the end I thought this beer smelled like DIPA but tasted like a lighter session IPA. With all the good local IPA's I don't think I would go out of my way to buy this but I am glad I tried it, if you like IPA's this is worth a try but nothing to break a sweat over.

4/14/12 Edit= I managed to get ahold of a much fresher bottle that was best before June 30th 2011, the taste was much brighter and tastier, those great citrus hops make their way to the flavor and show up nicely. This was one refreshing IPA, I am glad I got to try a much fresher example and will change my score to reflect how much better it is fresh. Original Score 4.5/4.5/2.5/4/3

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2011 03:21:40 | More by StoutHunter
Photo of musicforairports

New York

4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at a restaurant whose name I cannot recall in Atlanta.

Comes in a Sweetwater pint glass looking a clear amber, with a fluffy one-finger head that goes on to leave some lacing.

Smell is hop-fruity and a bit dank. Grapefruit and pineapple flavors mostly.

Taste is hop-forward and fruity--tastes to me like a Simcoe/Amarillo mix. Some sweet malt beneath but no caramel flavors jump through. Very little bitterness, except in the finish, and while the hop flavors are spot-on and stellar for an East Coast IPA, the entire flavor is more muted and watery than I'd like. Nothing here jumps out and smacks you at all.

Mouthfeel is medium and good for the style and well-suited to easy drinking.

I love the hop flavor here, but I wish it hit a bit harder. Still, this is the kind of IPA I can put back very easily, and I'd drink it a lot if I could buy it where I live. A good East Coast IPA, and really cheap, at least in Georgia.

Serving type: on-tap

05-08-2011 03:52:50 | More by musicforairports
Photo of TheGordianKnot


3.33/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dated best by 7/4... Poured in Imperial Pint

A- Poured a copper orange color with gold edges. About a half inch head sits atop the beer that looks pretty dense but it settles to a layer of bubbles in a minute and leaves only minimal residual lacing.

S- Little citrus, pineapple, and grapefruit. There is a toast and toffee to back it up but nothing is really strong about this. I wish something would pop more but because it is so light I also sense a faint soapy aroma that isn't pleasing, but also isn't so terrible it ruins the beer... Needs more for an IPA though

T/M- First reaction is that this tastes more like an APA... West coast IPAs and my homebrew may have ruined these nice reserved "not over the top" IPAs for me a bit. It tastes like a great APA mind you, but not quite the bitterness or flavor to convince me its a full on IPA- but with my score I will keep in mind this is an East Coast example of the style. The flavor does start just a bit like orange before getting bitter; balance not quite perfect. Very crisp and efforvescent.

O- I feel like this is a bit overrated on this site. Its a good beer, but not A-... I feel like I got a fresh bottle but I just was looking for more of an IPA bite. Will come back to this again because it is one of the most accessible IPAs for TN, but I won't be coming back to this when I want that in your face hop bite I get with other examples of the style... Above Average; BARELY...

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2011 05:04:08 | More by TheGordianKnot
Photo of dmbsteve


3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours light copper color with a big 3 finger head. Dissipated to about 1 finger and stuck around for the ride.

Big citrusy aromas - grapefruit & pineapple, a little grassy.

Taste is bitter right up front, not much malt backbone. A little out of balance for me. But nice layering of the hop bitterness and the citrusy flavors. Wish it just had a little more malt character to back it up.

Mouthfeel is light, with medium carbonation.

Overall a pretty good IPA, I would classify this as a Southern Summer IPA, if there is such a thing.

Serving type: growler

05-06-2011 23:58:26 | More by dmbsteve
Photo of zoolzoo


3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Thanks NODAK

A: Hazy amber/orange, frothy white head. Plenty of lacing.

S: Sharp citric note, grapefruit. Piney bitter backbone, no malt detectable.

T/M: Much more balanced than the aroma. Sweet bready malt supporting a grapefruit forward citric bitterness. Finish is clean...maybe too clean, a bit watery. Carbonation is medium low.

O: A well balanced, flavorful IPA. Pretty solid, lacking a bit in m/f and finish. Im glad to have tried this.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2011 21:17:25 | More by zoolzoo
Photo of ScreamForMe


4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bennettrox for the fresh bottle!

Lovely amber appearance that many an IPA have.

Citrus first with a little pine behind it - sets you up for the taste.

A well balanced taste - more of the citrus than the pine - some malt to back it up.

Mouthfeel was just fine for me.

Good stuff and very drinkable.

Next review!

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2011 23:01:25 | More by ScreamForMe
Photo of Bennettrox


4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An easily obtained local. Usually can pick this up at just about a week old which does wonders for this IPA.

A - Beautiful copper/amber color with a good full finger head that lingers nicely.

S - Citrus, grapefruit, a little pine. Very aromatic, plays well for what's to come in the taste.

T - Bitter and hoppy but also has a great balance of malt. Taste are similar to the smell with grapefruit and citrus. Has a crisp aftertaste that is very satisfying.

M - Right amount of carbonation. Medium bodied.

O - My go to IPA. Had this a long time ago prior to my appreciation for beer and thought it was okay at best. With a new-found respect for IPA's and having it fresh I can say that it's one of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2011 19:27:44 | More by Bennettrox
Photo of bum732


3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

S: Big orange and mango, some papaya.

L: Unfiltered amber orange, tight white head with 1/4 inch retention, solid lacing.

T: Slight cracker like malt with an orange hoppy backbone. Medium high citrus bitterness leads to a slight drying of the palate. Fairly clean finish, not much residual hoppiness left on the palate.

M: Medium thin mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

Ok, a little thin on body was my only complaint.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2011 03:01:34 | More by bum732
Photo of JWU


3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my mug.

A- a light coppery/amber/orange color. A bit hazy/cloudy, but for being unfiltered, it doesn't have stuff floating in it (Smuttynose IPA comes to mind here) White pillowy head that retains very well.

S- very fragrant. Can smell it from two feet away! This IPA really walks the piney/citrusy line. Has a sweet component to the smell that makes me lean more citrusy. I really pick this one up on the sides of my tongue.

T-one dimensional taste. The hops don't slam you up front or sneak up on you on the backside. Pretty consistent throughout . Taste leans more piney. Not crushingly bitter.

M- moderate to heavy carbonation, tickles the sides of your tongue. feels heavier than most on the palate. Slick.

D- Yeah, I could have a few with no problems.

Overall, not the best I've had, but far from the worst. It lacks that something special on the hop profile or the malt profile to really make it stand out of the crowd, but I'd gladly have one again.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2011 00:29:29 | More by JWU
Photo of forsakenpariah


3.43/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pored from bottle into pint glass

Appearance - Pours a light coppery color; half inch flimsy head with a little bit of lacing and fairly hazy.

Smell - The smell is very nice; kind of sweet with strong earthy, piny, and resinous aroma. The smell is definitely the most enjoyable part of this beer.

Taste - There is some moderate hop bitterness and all the hop aromas, with a bit more citrus than in the nose, but the malt is definitely the star of the show here. The sweetness is disappointingly overpowering and cloying in the mouth.

Mouthfeel - The body is kind of heavy for my liking; carbonation is about right for the style.

This overall isn't a bad beer if you like the malt character, but it's just too damn sweet for me. I'm glad I only got a single; I doubt I'll be buying a six pack of these -- I'll stick to my SN Torpedo.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 04:46:11 | More by forsakenpariah
Photo of drabmuh


3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
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 tvault


4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Good daily IPA..

A- Exceptional IPA. Orange, cloudy

S- Fresh hops, some orange and also slight pine.

T- Hops, citrus and pine come in. Mild finish

M- Very drinkable.

Really good IPA - Local to Atlanta and Sweetwater so it is a daily for me...

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2011 19:30:04 | More by tvault
Photo of victory4me


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

Poured into a tulip.

Thanks to a generous chcfan. Been wanting to try this for a while.

Pours a hazy golden-amber. My favorite color for an IPA. Frothy 2 finger head with excellent lacing leaving gobs of foam behind on the glass. Aroma is a little disappointing, has a slightly metallic aroma although a nice citrus blast accompanies. Reminds me a little of Smutty Finestkind in the smell.

Taste comes up very solid. Lots of citrus in grapefruit and lemon flavors. Slight apricot and mango as well as fresh cut grass. Slightly sticky smooth mouthfeel. Overall very enjoyable and thankful for the opportunity. Will drink again.


Had the opportunity to try this a second time. First time I had concerns it may have been light-struck, which were confirmed the second the super citrusy aroma hit my nostrils. Really an excellent IPA at a reasonable ABV. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2011 02:35:43 | More by victory4me
Photo of JesteR14


4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Exceptional IPA. Orange, cloudy unfiltered look. Love this already..

S- Bunch of fresh hops, some orange and and slight pine. Very refreshing smell.

T- Hops, citrus and pine come in. Its not as powerful and dry as i expected and would of liked, however this is a fantastic drinkable IPA. Still enjoying this one!

M- I wish it had more carbonation but still a fine brew.

Delicious, refreshing and my favorite looking IPA so far.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2011 04:45:11 | More by JesteR14
Photo of Vonerichs


4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has great color to it. It's a clear orange with an almost pinkish hue. It's very "tropical" looking.

Sticking with the theme, the scent has grapefruit and pineapple scents.

It has a respectable dose of grapefruit and a little herbal hops to go along with bready malt. It finishes with a light chalky mint that reminded me of candy cigarettes.

Mouthfeel is crisp, clean, and fresh. Good carbonation.

Overall, this is a good beer in every way. It doesn't have in-your-face hops, but it definitely has an adequate fix of them and is an all around solid beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2011 00:46:14 | More by Vonerichs
Photo of ugamike888


3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - A pretty creamy head, medium thickness.

S - Love the smell. Citrus (Grapefruit, orange) with enough hop smell to it.

T - Pretty good tasting but not remarkable. Smooth, fruity. Too quick of a finish.

M - Fine, once again it finishes quick but is appropriately sweet & crisp.

O - Not the hops in my face IPA I'd reach for if "I'm only having one". However, an easy and nice tasting IPA to knock back a few of on the weekend.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2011 18:50:16 | More by ugamike888
Photo of CMB2012


3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, freshness date 4.27.11 (not very fresh), poured into open mouth wine glass.

A- Clean copper/gold, off white head, dense and creamy, with some nice lacing.

S- Grassy, floral, earthy hops, citrus- orange and lemon, a little pepper, and very little caramel malt. Not an overtly powerful aroma, but nice.

T- Clean, crisp, citric opening, that tightens up in the middle, leans toward bitter, and then smooths out into a creamy pine finish. Not much of a linger (again this is not very fresh).

M- The carbonation on this is right on for the style. It is brisk, but creamy and smooth in the end. Medium body.

O- Certainly a good tasting brew, and very drinkable, even at 6.7% (I neither smelled nor tasted any alcohol). Unfortunately, and despite the fact that I bought this beer at a Atlanta, GA, "package" store, the beer is almost out of code and lacking a lot of the hop presence that made this an IPA to begin with. I much more enjoyed the fresh Hopsecutioner that I purchased in Orlando, FL (go figure). I say give it a try, but try and find it fresh, maybe at the brewery or on tap.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2011 16:10:27 | More by CMB2012
Photo of moreplease


3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good with tones of citrus and strong hops. Orange gold in color and smooth mouth feel. Reminds me of spring.

Although hoppy, it reminded me of a wheat or hefeweizen.

Enjoyable to drink and a good beer. Not sure if I would classify it as an IPA...

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2011 13:03:55 | More by moreplease
Photo of turfy


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

A - Poured into a Duvel tulip. A slightly cloudy dark amber orange color with a one finger ghead.

S - Somewhat muted pine/floral scents. Not very strong.

T - Bitter hops dominate with lighter malt character following, but overall a hop dominant taste.

M - On the lighter side with more than average carbonation

O - A well made sessionable IPA for hop lovers.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2011 18:28:18 | More by turfy
Photo of b3shine


4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft. The bartender told me Sweetwater does a lot with fruity undertones with their beer. He then told me the IPA had grapefruit undertones - which struck me as cliche... Until I tried it! Fantastic - assuming you like grapefruit! A great novel IPA variety!

Serving type: on-tap

03-25-2011 23:10:56 | More by b3shine
Photo of Lerxst


4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a semi hazy amber with a one inch off white head that has good retention and leaves spotty lace.

S-Citrus and piney hops are most notable with just a hint of malt. Not terribly complex, but pleasant.

T-Similar to the nose. Citrus is definitely in the front here with some grapefruit and tangerine qualities, some piney hops make their presence known. A slightly sweet bready malt that is more prominent here than in the nose comes through in the middle but the finish is a bitter hop bite on the palate.

M-Slick and oily, a little lighter than medium bodied with a crisp carb bite.

O-Overall this is a very pleasant beer and easy to drink but there are other IPAs I'd opt for given the choice.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2011 20:04:02 | More by Lerxst
Photo of sbauer


3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

Visiting Atlanta and wanted to try some local beer, reviewed it so that I remember what it tasted like and whether or not I liked it. No glass so straight from the bottle.

A: No idea since it's in a bottle!

S: Nice fresh hops, some hay/grass, lemon, floral (even from a bottle!)

T: Not as much fresh hops as I smelled, but decent blend of hops, citrus (lime more than lemon), and a darker malt flavor. A super light coffee bitter twinge on the finish that I wasn't expecting, not over the top but unexpected.

M: Medium bodied. Good.

D: A nice local brew, will have again if I see it and nothing bomber is on the beer menu.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2011 02:14:25 | More by sbauer
Photo of Pellinore1


4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to SlickMcCricket for sending this.

Pours hazy orange, with a finger of white head. This dissipates, leaving a bit of lacing.

I smell citrus and floral hops, backed up by just a bit of malt sweetness. Very nice balance in the nose.

The hops are clearly dominant in the flavor, but not aggressive. The opening is smooth and easy with some nice citrus and floral notes, then the bitterness comes in for the finish.

Medium-bodied and smooth, this is quite pleasant on the tongue.

Very nice IPA overall, nice flavors, approachable and easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2011 00:18:45 | More by Pellinore1
Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 2,165 ratings.