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Sweetwater IPA - SweetWater Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sweetwater IPASweetwater IPA

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

2,331 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,331
Reviews: 791
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 140
Gots: 249 | 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: 2,331 | Reviews: 791 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chrischandler71
4.1/5  rDev +3%

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.

chrischandler71, Mar 06, 2011
Photo of airheadmtrcycle
4.63/5  rDev +16.3%

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.

airheadmtrcycle, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of shrek806
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%

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


shrek806, Mar 03, 2011
Photo of knm
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%

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.

knm, Feb 25, 2011
Photo of DaveAnderson
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%

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.

DaveAnderson, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of godlessape
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

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.

godlessape, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%

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.

bucklemyshoe, Feb 18, 2011
Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%

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.

DeltaGolfSierra, Feb 18, 2011
Photo of theboozecruise
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%

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.

theboozecruise, Feb 17, 2011
Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.9/5  rDev -2%

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.

Eriktheipaman, Feb 16, 2011
Photo of afksports
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%

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.

afksports, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of HOPPYKC
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%

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.

HOPPYKC, Feb 12, 2011
Photo of MQ4188
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%

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.

MQ4188, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%

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

InebriatedJoker, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of honkey
4.3/5  rDev +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.

honkey, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of Rhettroactive
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%

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.

Rhettroactive, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass. Pour is mostly cloudy amber/orange color with active carbonation bubbles and a pretty two inch off white head. Some sticky lacing is left behind. Aroma of resin citrus, orange sweet with some pine notes. Fresh hop nose, nice. Taste is the nose, pine, resin, citrus; though its not quite as fresh or bright as the nose. Some bitterness towards the finish. Some musty, almost pineapple sour present as well. Palate is medium, with earthy lingering bitterness. Overall, a nice IPA!

CuriousMonk, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of brew3crew
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%

A-Orangish yellow with a head that disapates quickly
S-very faint hop aroma. Not much else comes through...
T-piney hops that slip through occasionally. Above decent ipa
M-nive body and goes down smooth. No hop aftertaste
D-very drinkable. Pleasantly suprised with this brew

brew3crew, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of ColdPoncho
3.98/5  rDev 0%

This bottle is best if enjoyed by one hour from now...here's to hoping this one's not gone bad!

A - Hazy orange copper. Small white head. Not great but ok.

S - smallish citrus hop aroma backed by mild malt scent.

T - this has a bland and generic malt sweetness backed by fading citrus hops. Perhaps this should have been enjoyed earlier. The hops are mostly drying and bitter. Not the citrus I thought I had in the nose, but it's still pretty tasty.

M - not impressive but solid. Nothing to complain about, but not a lot to rave about.

D - this beer drinks greatly well. Tasty and Inoffensive. I digit.

ColdPoncho, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of Chaney
4.58/5  rDev +15.1%

I drank tons of this stuff a few months ago when I was on vacation in the Smokies (Gatlinburg and Pidgeon Forge). However, I didn't realize what a gem it was in my area until I got home.

I got 3 bottles, courtesy of GatorBeerNerd. He gave them to me in a trade (my one and only one there) at Sexual Chocolate Day 2011. Thanks Donnie!

A: Very mildly cloudy in color, with a mild gold-red hue. The head was about 1/2 almost solid white, one-finger in width, and attached itself to the glass like Spider-Man!

S: Fruity-Tutty! This was not a West Coast style IPA, however, it paid hommage to the style. Citrus galore, with grapefruit (mild), orange, and mango.

T: Much more on the fruit side than the hop one. I got the same on the taste as nose, but I've gotta say that this was extremely smooth and citrusy. In my area, I liken it to Heavy Seas "Loose Cannon"... only better.

M: Thick enough for the style, with an organic fruit sugar sweetness. The carbonation was perfect for the style and was well and prickly.

D: I've gone door-to-door and promoted this brew with my craft beer peeps. I think it in one of the best IPAs in the Midwest... but still playing a very distant fiddle to Alpha King and Dreadnaught off course. :)

Chaney, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of Urbancaver
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%

Best by tomorrow... better drink it now!

Pours murky orange with lots of white head. pretty cloudy. Smells nicely hoppy. Some citrus and pine on the nose. A bit more complex than most. Tastes really solid. Lots of pine on the tongue and some grapefruit too. Not much malt on the background but a great mouthfeel. Highly carbonated and very drinkable.

Urbancaver, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of Florida9
3.78/5  rDev -5%

A: Hazed out orange in color. Forms a large white head on an aggressive pour. Head eventually reduces down to a bubbly surface coating, leaving a good bit of lace on the way down.

S: A good blend of citrus, orange, grapefruit, and a light sweet maltiness.

T: Delicately flavored. Starts with the lightly sweet flavor of citrus and malt before moving on to a mild bitterness, then seltzer and finally a herbal hop finish.

M: On the lighter side of medium with heavier carbonation. Quite lively.

D: A lighter IPA that makes for easy drinking.

Florida9, Jan 29, 2011
Photo of n2185
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%

A: Pours a dark, hazy orange with nearly two fingers of white head. The head recedes to a thin white film with some lacing

S: A pleasant aroma of some citrus at first followed strongly by pine and grapefruit rind.

T: Similar to the aroma, there are some citrus flavors up front but then the resiny pine kicks in during the middle. There is some bitterness at the end, but it doesn't stick around long or coat your tongue like many piney IPAs do.

M: Medium body with medium carbonation which goes well with the resiny pine flavors.

D: It's a pretty drinkable IPA, especially for one that shows off the pine flavors so well. Many piney IPAs coat my tongue with bitterness that lingers well after the taste, but not this one.

n2185, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of thedoubler55
4.1/5  rDev +3%

A- A cloudy amber in color, slight head that leaves a nice lacing as you sip away.

S- Right at first scent is grapefruit and pine hops. A nice aroma for an average IPA.

T- Good taste of grapefruit notes, and strong pine hops perfect bitterness

M- Good carbonation and Full Bodied

D- Great Ipa from sweetwater, will always love a cold glass of this beer on a hot day.

thedoubler55, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of EgadBananas
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Light clear amber in color, with a light beige finger of head that leaves spongy lacing behind.

Aroma is of soft piny resins, and big grapefruit and other notes of citrus. Some predominant malt sweetness rounds out the back end.

Taste is mostly grapefruit and citrus, with a bit of floral, spicy hops, moving to sweet caramel malt notes and finishing with a bitter bite.

Feel is creamy, nicely carbonated, upper-light in body.

Drinkability is good. Goes down easy, doesn't fill you up and an overall enjoyable IPA that I would seek out regularly.

This bottle was about a month away from it's best by date, so I think a fresher bottle would be worthy of a re-review. This bottle was still very good as is.

EgadBananas, Jan 21, 2011
Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 2,331 ratings.