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Sweetwater IPA - SweetWater Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sweetwater IPASweetwater IPA

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

2,266 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,266
Reviews: 786
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.53%
Wants: 139
Gots: 228 | 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: 2,266 | Reviews: 786 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Pellinore1


4.1/5  rDev +2.8%

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.

03-23-2011 00:18:45 | More by Pellinore1
Photo of FanofHefe


4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Served on-tap in a pint glass. Clear amber body with a nice creamy one-finger head. The head dissipates fairly quickly leaving some solid lacing down the glass.

The aroma is definitely hoppy. Citrus and floral notes give way to a slightly more bitter grapefuit and piney notes in the background. Only a hint of malt.

Good flavor combination. The bitter grapefruit hop taste comes through up front, followed by a sweet malty balance. But, the hop profile is not one dimensional, with a range of citrus flavors coming through.

Overall, this is a solid and tasty IPA.

03-22-2011 23:21:47 | More by FanofHefe
Photo of jacobseyb


4.35/5  rDev +9%

Poured from the bottle into a snifter, color is a good coppery-golden hue with an off white head that laces nicely. Smell is primarily hops with citrus leading the way and some pine following. Taste is very similar with a little more pine. Feel is very nice and smooth, with an oily finish. Overall a great representation of an IPA and a very good beer.

03-22-2011 23:12:57 | More by jacobseyb
Photo of livewire05


4.03/5  rDev +1%

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.

03-18-2011 05:15:21 | More by livewire05
Photo of stewart124


4.38/5  rDev +9.8%

Pours golden orange to copper in color with a nice white head.

Huge amounts of grapefruit in the nose. Amarillo comes to mind with with some Columbus and a nice floral hint

Extremely smooth. There is really is no word for the malt character. This has a great malt backbone and it rounds out this beer with it's lingering bitterness. Delicious and so easy to drink. This has a nice bite on the tongue but drinks so easily. Some oily hop resin but nothing overpowering and nothing stopping you from downing quite a few.

Great body. Great mouthfeel and just an easy drinking IPA with a bold pine note left on the tongue. Again, this is delicious.

03-17-2011 02:32:12 | More by stewart124
Photo of SkeeterHawk


4.2/5  rDev +5.3%

This beer was part of a gift that I received from the staff at Hotel Indigo in Atlanta. A MOST thoughtful thing to do.

Appearance: Pours a light brown color with a slight reddish hue. There was a small active head of tan bubbles. The head was quite fizzy for about 20 seconds and then settled down to end up as a small film across the top of the beer. There were only a couple bubbles rising, but didn't stick at the top.

Aroma: The resiny/oily hops are the predominant aroma, but they are quite citrusy and well blended. I get some reserved caramel malt, but this is very secondary. There are some toasty notes in the aroma that are starting to become more apparent as the beer warms up a bit.

Taste: The flavor is much more balanced than I thought from the aroma. There is plenty of oily hops in the initial part of the flavor, but they don't dominate for very long. The flavor ends up being accentuated by the hops, but there is a significant amount of caramel and toasty notes in this beer too that provide a nice balance to the hops. The body is medium with ample to low carbonation. The finish is balanced slightly toward the bitterness, but it isn't harsh at all.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer and of the five Sweetwater beers that I have tried, I think that this is the best one. Their brown is pretty good too, but this one is superior. I wouldn't call this my favorite IPA, but this is certainly a darn good one.

03-15-2011 23:57:11 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of tbrown4


4.1/5  rDev +2.8%

12 oz. -> Weyerbacher tulip. Got this in a mix 12 pack from a friend after a trip to Atlanta. This is the last new one for me in the pack, been looking forward to trying it.

A - Opaque dark orange, decent off-white/white head of fine bubbles.

S - Sharp fresh hops, toasted bread

T - Grapefruit citrus, intense earthy hop notes. Mildly sweet finish.

M - Medium/slightly medium-heavy bodied.

D - I'd buy/order again with little question. Very representation of the regular American IPA. Very easy to enjoy two or three in an evening. That there would be a good night, I think.

03-13-2011 02:19:11 | More by tbrown4
Photo of taylocd


3.55/5  rDev -11%

Best if enjoyed by date = 05/03/11

This one was poured from a 12-ounce bottle into my Sweetwater pint tumbler and had a murky copper color that was on the pale side of copper. It had only about an eighth-inch of head (probably due to a poor pour) that dissipated quickly, but left a few signs of lacing.

The aroma was rather faint, but there was a whiff of orange in it and even a biscuity scent (I'd never noticed the latter aroma until this tasting).

The short shelf life was most evident in the flavor. The beer starts with a slightly sweet citrus and finishes with a grapefruit bitterness, though, surprisingly it has a lingering sweet taste. Normally with IPA's, the bitter flavor stays longer and more prominently than any sweetness. In this case, the latter held its own.

As for mouthfeel, the beer is only the slightest bit thin, but has a great level of carbonation with just enough "pop" from the bubbles to stimulate the tounge and cheeks.

In my humble opinion, there is not a more drinkable IPA, save for a fresh-from-the-brewer version of this beer. The 6.7% ABV is well-disguised by the satisfying sweet and bitter flavors. This is certainly a beer whose effects could and would sneak up on you.

All in all, this is still an excellent beer, even for one that has been tempered with a couple months of age. Under ideal conditions, it would have a more pronounced citrus aroma and a sweeter flavor. In Montgomery, a really fresh beer is rarely found. I'd love to conduct another review with a truly fresh pour.

03-12-2011 03:42:16 | More by taylocd
Photo of betsona


3.63/5  rDev -9%

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Best enjoyed date of 05.9.11.

A- Murky hazy golden orange. Moderate pour produced a finger of white head. Head dissipates into a a little lacing of head. Little lacing on the glass. No visible carbonation.

S- Getting a lot of sweet malt. Some citrus hop. Mainly tangerine with a little grapefruit. The sweet malt dominants the other tones.

T- Pretty sweet. Straight grapefruit juice mixed with tangerine. A little piney flavor. Smooth at the front with a bitter finish. Nice bready malt that provides the smoothness.

M- Light to medium body with good carbonation for the style. Leaves a lingering refreshing bitter taste for a minute. Easy on the palate for how sweet it starts off.

D- A nice refreshing IPA for a hot summer day. Not too much to it, so I can easily throw a few of these back in an evening.

03-11-2011 21:08:37 | More by betsona
Photo of chrischandler71


4.1/5  rDev +2.8%

I poured this from a bottle into a tulip glass. It poured a nice golden orange color with a nice head and lacing.

I smelled fresh floral citrus aroma after opening bottle, and while pouring in to a glass. After the beer sit in the glass a bit I picked up a hint of malt as well.

Citrus fruity flavors up front, then malt balance in the middle with a nice mild bitter finish.

Good moutfeel, good carbonation and very drinkable.

03-06-2011 18:25:23 | More by chrischandler71
Photo of airheadmtrcycle


4.63/5  rDev +16%

Pours a beautiful opaque orange in a Duvel tulip. Particles of yeast or other debris are floating around in the brew just like another of my faves, Smuttynose IPA. The head is substantial and leaves lots of sticky lacing on the glass. An exceptionally good looking IPA if you like your ales unfiltered as I do. If you don't, subtract a half point here.

The aroma is a hoppy citrus one that promises great IPA flavor. When it's cold the aroma compares well to Two Hearted Ale from Bell's. The flavor delivers everything promised. Of course you get the intense citrus hops, but there's also a counterpoint of earthy yeast flavor that not many other IPAs have. The yeast plays more of a role in the aroma as the beer warms and diverges completely from Two Hearted Ale when it does. Its finish is not as bitter as you might expect, but slightly sweeter and more balanced, not dry at all. Absolutely delicious.

Perfectly carbonated with a substantial mouth feel for an IPA makes every Sweetwater IPA a great experience. An eminently drinkable ale that I like on a hot summer afternoon or a cold winter evening, with a meal or finger food, or all by itself.

Sweetwater IPA is complex; I find different subtle flavors each time I drink one. It's an under-rated beer, even here in its home town. I'm always searching for that perfect or new IPA, but one of, if not my favorite is always right under my nose, at least in the bottle. You can find Sweetwater's ubiquitous 420 everywhere on tap here in Atlanta, but their IPA is not served in nearly as many places. Too bad, as it's a far superior beer whether you're a hop head or not.

03-05-2011 18:19:02 | More by airheadmtrcycle
Photo of shrek806

New York

4.6/5  rDev +15.3%

Pours a beautiful amber orange with a 1/4 inch of head and a staedy even lacing

Smells of grapefruit, mango, and maybe tangerine. My mouth is already watering

Tastes Ohhhh so good. fruity, hoppy, smooth. zero bite. its like a fruit hop smoothie

Mouthful of tiny bubbles sliding down my throat. theres the slight bitter finish

Drinkability. Hell yes. this is a delicious refreshing IPA. I want more of this one


03-03-2011 04:06:38 | More by shrek806
Photo of knm

New Mexico

4.03/5  rDev +1%

Had a best by date of 2/21/11..I think I am close enough. Poured a nice hazy light orange, and it had a head that spent slowly. Immediate strong peach smell coming off the glass, quite fruity! I got it in the taste as well, but more of an undertone. The first thing I got in taste was a smooth hop presence. Then a sour, but fruity finish. Flavors blend together for a very drinkable IPA.

02-25-2011 01:04:09 | More by knm
Photo of DaveAnderson


3.68/5  rDev -7.8%

A - Tawny apricot in color, with the slight cloudiness common to unfiltered beers. Head is neither substantial, nor persistent.

S - A bright whiff of citrus as the bottle is opened, and again as it is poured. Smells malty like a DIPA, but with a fascinating fruit smell I cannot isolate. Hops in abundance.

T - Not as sweet as it smells. Classic American IPA taste, with a satisfying bitterness in the finish.

M - Given the nose, I was expecting something syrupy and thick, but this is pleasantly effervescent and light. Not at all sticky.

D - I'm torn. This drinks well, but I only want one. It's too much of a hop bomb to be anything like a session beer. That said, it didn't stay in my glass very long.

02-20-2011 04:47:59 | More by DaveAnderson
Photo of godlessape


4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Poured this into a pint glass.

Appearance: Copper colored, with a gorgeous pillowy head, that leaves lots of lacing.

Smell: Like an American IPA should; all citrus and pine.

Taste: The full hop wallop drapes itself over the malt real nice.

Mouthfeel: Medium body.

Drinkability: This is great stuff, and lucky for me it's all over the place here in Georgia.

02-19-2011 10:31:04 | More by godlessape
Photo of bucklemyshoe


4.15/5  rDev +4%

12 oz bottle at 42 degrees into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint. Best by: 03/30/11.

A: It pours a beautiful, mostly clear orange color with a finger of white head that recedes slowly and laces okay.

S: Citrus, floral hoppiness, and some tropical fruits; the smell is quite basic for an IPA.

T: Grapefruit, papaya, pineapple, coriander, and various other spices. The aftertaste is almost exclusively of grapefruit.

M: This has a medium body with perfect carbonation and lasting flavors.

D: It's delicious and widely available to me. I've had many and will have many more.

02-18-2011 15:03:28 | More by bucklemyshoe
Photo of DeltaGolfSierra


4.53/5  rDev +13.5%

Appearance is a pleasant gold to amber with a slight orange tint. A vigorous pour yields a decent-sized head, with plenty of lacing down the glass as it disappears. The scent is one of my absolute favorites of any beer - a wonderful fruit cocktail/grapefruit/pear scent. The taste can be summarized in one word - grapefruit. But really, it is more complex than that. There is a grapefruit undertone from start to finish, which pairs well with a malty sweetness at the start to a big burst of tart grapefruit at the end, and a slight lingering piney aftertaste. Enjoyed it immensely, an outstanding IPA.

02-18-2011 02:29:22 | More by DeltaGolfSierra
Photo of theboozecruise


3.95/5  rDev -1%

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

It's a beautiful hazy orange color, kinda like a dark witbier with the texture... not a huge head without much retention or lacing. A better head would be a 5 here...

This one has a strong grapefruit hop smell. There's a faint malt sweetness in there but you have to look for it.

The flavor is a lot of the same... it mirrors the aroma nicely and there's a strong bitter kick at the end.

Great mouthfeel... the creamy look really comes out in the body of the beer as well.

Another good one from SweetWater.

02-17-2011 02:32:24 | More by theboozecruise
Photo of Eriktheipaman


3.9/5  rDev -2.3%

Pours a copper gold with nice white head and great lacing.

The smell is citrus and lemon grass.

The taste is very balanced between malt and bitter hops. The hops are still the forefront of this beer and are bitter bit a little sweet.

Overall its a solid IPA for sure.

02-16-2011 04:10:20 | More by Eriktheipaman
Photo of afksports

New York

4.28/5  rDev +7.3%

I'm enjoying a bottle of this through a trade with Donnie in Florida, by way of Jeff in DC. Man, sometimes bottles get to you in strange methods.

Sweetwater IPA smells almost malt forward when it has its finger thick head on the initial pour. The sexy clear and clean amber body sits underneath the solid lacing that rims the glass and tops the beer. After a bit of sitting, it smells more like hops - citrus and pine - and smells floral too. The taste of it is sweet first (perhaps apt for the brewery's name) but finishes bitter and clean. Malts sit on your tongue afterwards and make this an exceptionally easy drinker, even with its medium body.

It's 6.7% alcohol by volume, and for an American IPA that's about right, maybe even a little high. But for the drinkability this one has, it's excessive. Because this is so delightful that I want to gulp it like I'm thirsty.

Sweetwater IPA doesn't stand out far and above other American IPA's, because we're just so damn good at it right now. But it surely sits there up at the top.

At least as long as its in my glass.

02-13-2011 21:54:14 | More by afksports
Photo of HOPPYKC


4.38/5  rDev +9.8%

Also another brew i got from the Brusin' Ale guys. I appreciate it a lot!! I poured this beer in to a pint glass. I didnt see a bottled on date but a bb date of 03/09/11.

A- Pours a beautiful copper color and also gave rise to a nice inch to inch and a half of solid head. White in color. A bit of carbonation shows. A bit hazy to see through. It says bottle is unfiltered so i'm excited to give it a taste.

S- Funky.. Right out of the bottle i smell almost like a sweat kind of aroma. In the glass it opens a bit and i can get a nice smell of the actual hops. Beautiful.

T- Amazing. Its got a nice funky and bitter taste that doesnt hold back at all. i love it. I get hops from beginning to end. Hop resin and pine are present and hold my tongue hostage. I love the taste of this IPA. Its BIG and BOLD.

M&D- A fuller texture and feel to it. Easy to drink though. I get a, easy drinkability. I would love to have this beer in my fridge all year long. This is one of my new top IPA's.

02-12-2011 03:51:26 | More by HOPPYKC
Photo of MQ4188


4.38/5  rDev +9.8%

Pour chilled from 12 ounce bottle into pint glass.

nice copper - orange hue. Pour left an 1/8th inch white head. First taste was grapefruit hop character but not overwelming. Finish blended into a sweeter / less hop intense smooth American IPA character.

This IPA tasted more like the West Coast Style IPA's (Nectar, etc..), than any East Coast IPA I have tasted for some time.

This was a fine, smooth IPA that might surprise the novice IPA drinker at first sip, but as you stay with it, it finishes nicely without a heavy ester or overly sweet following.

A real nice middle of the road IPA for those who are not into the high 80 - 90 IBU range or Double IPA's.

Sweetwater did a real nice job with this one.

02-10-2011 19:45:06 | More by MQ4188
Photo of InebriatedJoker


4.33/5  rDev +8.5%

Thanks To Tilley4 for throwing one of these in as an extra -

Poured from 12 oz bottle - Best by 03/08/11

Poured semi clear golden orange with one finger head that dissipated into a decent lacing -nice web as it lowers, decent carbonation.

Smell - Light citrus notes with pine

Taste - Hops are definitely in the forefront with a smooth malt backing , decent citrus with slight pine notes.

Drinkability - that was easy to drink - I had planned on enjoying it slowly - didn't happen - very drinkable - well balanced Ipa - I need another one . thanks again Tilley4

02-09-2011 01:29:51 | More by InebriatedJoker
Photo of honkey


4.3/5  rDev +7.8%

I didn't plan on reviewing this because I had a pretty bad day, but it surprised me enough to give a review.
Served in SA perfect pint

A- On the light side for an IPA, decent 1.5 finger head, sticks around and leaves a lace

S- Yes please! Sight citrusy, all I smelled was hops, but doesn't appear to be in your face.

T- A little more hoppy than the smell indicated. Citrus and Pine dominate. Maybe a slight vegetal taste in the background

M- nice and dry the way I like my IPA's. Carbonation right in the medium.

D- Very easy to drink. The aftertaste doesn't linger so it is very easy to continuously sip (or gulp if you like)

Pleasant surprise from what I expected. I expected it to be more malt heavy, but this is much better than what I thought.

02-09-2011 00:48:24 | More by honkey
Photo of Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

4.2/5  rDev +5.3%

From bottle to Bruges hybrid glass 2/4/11

*Purchased in North Carolina during SC release weekend extravaganza.

A: Unfiltered with a slight amber haze, though I wouldn't call it cloudy. There is a trail of sediment left along the side of the bottle from which I poured. 1.25-1.5 finger head with minor lacing.

S: Sweet, ripe and freshly cut fruit on the nose. Citrus and hops overwhelm right away and don't want to budge.

T: A really laid back, San Diego style IPA. It doesn't throw a lot of extreme flavors at the palate, but rather it finds balance. In fact it's so well balanced - with the citrusy hop oil up front, malt on the mid-palate and a nice piney resin on the finish.

M: A lighter mouthfeel which believe it or not, suits this beer perfectly. Prickly carbonation tickles the tounge on the way down.

O: This isn't about being big and brash. This brew is about good quality, everyday drinking.

I lived in Hotlanta for a while back in '05. My roommate and I drank a ton of Sweetwater Blue, but never got into this one, as our palates weren't quite "there" yet. Funny what a few years will do.

I'm eagerly looking forward to the day when I can go to my local bottle shop and pick up a sixer of Sweetwater IPA. I gotta admit it: for everyday drinking, I don't know if it gets any better. I heart this beer.

02-05-2011 19:47:07 | More by Rhettroactive
Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 2,266 ratings.