1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Sweetwater IPA - SweetWater Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sweetwater IPASweetwater IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

2,253 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,253
Reviews: 786
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.53%
Wants: 140
Gots: 221 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sweetwater IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,253 | Reviews: 786 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of billshmeinke
billshmeinke

California

3.65/5  rDev -8.5%

From notes. Poured into a nonic.

Hazy golden body with a half finger white head. Dies down to a thing layer of ofoam on top. Wisps of lacing left behind.

Smells piney and citrusy (orange and lemon). A hint of sweet malts.

Tastes of biscuity malts, a bit o pine, citrus remniscent of lemon and orange rind, and a slight grassy note.

Mouthfeel is mediuam bodied, wel carbonated, a bit creamy with a nice crispness.

An eas drinking, pleasant IPA.

08-25-2010 20:57:26 | More by billshmeinke
Photo of Daniellobo
Daniellobo

District of Columbia

4.43/5  rDev +11%

Great assertive IPA with a rich hoppy, grapefuit and melon sense.

Presentation: 12 oz brown capped bottle. Yellow background label with a fishing illustration, two men on a bout catching a trout-like fish in the foreground. Side notes hyperbolize the character of the brew, offer main ingredients, and intent. Shows best by date (10/11/10) Served in a tulip glass.

A - Hazy medium amber pour, 1" head with medium to moderate retention, thin surface memory ring, and some spots of lace.

S - Nice hoppy nose, with a rich sense of grapefruit and watermelon, fresh sense.

T - Long hoppy sense, not too aggressive but very assertive, lightly malty in the backbone with a touch of caramel covered in rich grapefruit, pineapple, a bit of resin, and a very nice melony and floral touch.

M - Light-medium body with medium carbonation that emerges towards the finish picking up the closing bite.

D - An IPA with a presence, very nicely crafted and stimulating.

Notes: One of the first Sweetwater offerings I am lucky to try and this is a rock solid and quite recommendable IPA. Worth the trip to Atlanta...

08-23-2010 14:21:39 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of kbutler1
kbutler1

Minnesota

3/5  rDev -24.8%

Bottle. Cloudy orange color with a slight white head. Aroma is more malty than hoppy. A very pedestrian everyday IPA in my opinion. Not super hoppy but hoppy enough to know you are drinking an IPA. Medium mouthfeel. Citurs hop notes. We don't get Sweetwater here in MN but if I'm down south I'll be sure to try this on tap to see if it is any better that way.

08-23-2010 12:28:58 | More by kbutler1
Photo of wedgie9
wedgie9

Tennessee

2.73/5  rDev -31.6%

Tasted from 12oz bottle obtained in a trade. Pours clear bright amber orange with a good-sized beige head that has some real retention. Nose is more caramel malt with the hops, citrus, and light yeast taking a back seat. The palate is similar with the caramel and some chocolate malt taking over. The hops kicks in as bitterness on the back of the palate and finish, and there is also some grapefruit citrus. The body is light with heavy carbonation and a decent bitter and chocolate finish. Kind of strange for an IPA.

08-22-2010 18:14:02 | More by wedgie9
Photo of samie85
samie85

Illinois

3.65/5  rDev -8.5%

A-Pours a slightly hazy orange color with a half-finger head.

S-Smells faintly of grapefruit and some pale malt notes.

T-Some bitter tropical fruit notes upfront (pineapple, mango, and some grapefruit)with some malt backbone and a slightly bitter finish.

M-Really smooth, velevy mouthfeel with a medium body and low carbonation.

D-This is an insanely drinkable IPA, although when you mention "extensive dry hopping" on the bottle I expect from the nose.

08-21-2010 20:34:09 | More by samie85
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky

California

3.85/5  rDev -3.5%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: Ruddy amber, with a beautiful head, bubble streams, and decent lacing. Mmm.

S: Almost exclusively grapefruit. Some hops underneath.

T: Yummy, but overly citrusy. The foretaste is smooth, leading into a main taste which is hoppy but balanced by a chewy maltiness. The endtaste is lightly dry with some traces of bitterness. The grapefruit lurks throughout.

M: Pleasant and smooth, with some citrus spice.

D: A good American IPA that goes too heavy on the grapefruit. However, this is my only complaint, and a mild on at that. Worth picking one up if you're in the Southeast.

08-12-2010 02:09:01 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of Snamnoum
Snamnoum

District of Columbia

4.1/5  rDev +2.8%

Edit: Just had a second one but let it warm up. A lot more malt came through taste wise, and somewhat eliminated my gripe about being unbalanced.

Appearance - hazy caramel orange with one finger of beige head. Significant lingering sticky lace.

Smell - big floral piney hops, grapefruit, and some light malt and yeast.

Taste - very much like it smells. Big west coast style IPA. Massive floral/piney hops dominate. Not much malt presence. Mouth puckeringly bitter finish. I would have prefered a little more balance.

Mouthfeel - light/medium bodied with medium carbonation. Oily hops make this a very slick feeling beer.

Drinkability - extremely drinkable and thoroughly thirst quenching. Worth another purchase especially fresh. I tend to prefer IPAs with a little more sweet maltiness to help mellow out the IBUs, but this is certainly a good brew. Iconic American IPA.

08-05-2010 01:35:05 | More by Snamnoum
Photo of donniecuffs
donniecuffs

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +5.8%

Sampled this at Savor 2010. Poured a golden-orange, with a finger of white, decent retention, and good lacing. Huge citrus nose, with pineapple, grapefruit, and apricot, with some bitter hops. The taste confirmed the aroma, with a huge citrus flavor, though more balanced with malt at midpalate than expected, and then finished on a sweet pineapple citrus note. Not as overpoweringly sweet on the finish as some other pineapple-flavored ipa's I've had recently. Modestly carbonated, and very smooth and medium-bodied. Very nice, citrus-oriented specimen of the style.

08-03-2010 21:42:24 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of Arithmeticus
Arithmeticus

Maryland

4.05/5  rDev +1.5%

A: brownish orange color; moderate head dissipates quickly; slightly cloudy
S: very sweet, fragrant
T: very hoppy, bitter, herby; a classic IPA, this beer has an abundant flavor that lingers long
M: rich mouthfeel
D: very attractive for repeats

Overall this is one of the better IPAs I've had.

08-02-2010 13:19:28 | More by Arithmeticus
Photo of robwestcott
robwestcott

Indiana

3.83/5  rDev -4%

poured from the bottle a thick translucent honeyed orange, to a sun king shaped pint glass with an extremely thin head.

aroma of orange cream, piney hops and lemon rind.

tastes of sweet pink grapefruit followed by sweetened, and barely tart lemonade ad piney hops. very refreshing.

medium carbonation, sweet forward followed by a mildly bitter bite.

quite drinkable.

07-25-2010 21:38:01 | More by robwestcott
Photo of boss302
boss302

Florida

4.2/5  rDev +5.3%

Sweetwater IPA, draft

A Amber, not clear, big thick head. If you like filtered beers, this is not for you.

S Flowery piney aroma. Overwhelming hop aroma. Excellent for an IPA, my favorite part of this beer.

T A rather subdued flavor after the hop aroma. Obviously abundantly dry hoped to get that nice aroma without imparting over the top hop bitterness. Flavor is more malty than the smell would suggest. Kind of drying in the finish. There are some yeasty notes here also. There were some "old beer" flavors that I was going to gig it for, but then the bar keep told me that they just finished the keg. Update, I had this on tap again and the flavor was better. I have increased by rating from 3.5 to 4.0.

M Medium to heavy mouth feel, good carbonation, I like the unfiltered quality of the beer, but again this may have been a by product of the end of the keg.

D Very good IPA, but a little more subdued in the hops from others.

07-21-2010 03:04:08 | More by boss302
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

3.55/5  rDev -11%

12oz bottle thanks to Arbitrator on BA.

Golden in color with a small off-white head.

Great aroma: lots of herbal, citrusy, and resinous.

The flavor isn't quite as good. Sweet pale and caramel malt with a medium intensity hop profile of orange, grapefruit, resin, and herbs.

Average palate: medium body with average carbonation.

Pretty good but not elite level IPA overall, better than I expected from the dirty south.

07-20-2010 17:15:35 | More by nickd717
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.18/5  rDev +4.8%

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.

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

Ohio

4.13/5  rDev +3.5%

This is beer #3 from the blind beers BIF. Sent to me by MMAJYK Reviewed totally blind.

Its a bright, burnt orange with pretty decent clarity. The head rises up pretty big and stays for a while. Im getting pretty lacing in big thick rings.

The smell is nice and bright. Lots of hops. This already seems like a dead give away, I think its some incarnation of an IPA. Really, really nice smelling. Fresh pine bough and juicy oranges. While this smells distinctly like some sort of IPA/IIPA it remains unique. The combination of pine and different citrus fruits make this smell very appetizing to me.

Taste is nearly equally as bright and delicious. Plenty of piney, resinous hoppy stuff going on but bitterness is nicely balanced by some bread crusty malts. Starts and finishes piney but somewhere in the middle Im getting lots of juicy, slightly sweet citrus along with a floral earthiness and spice.

Sharply carbonated, drying, crisp and very clean despite the resinous pine and lingering bitterness.

This stuff is very good. I am thoroughly enjoying it. The perfect thing for an 87* Saturday evening like this.

07-19-2010 22:26:09 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of jeddsp
jeddsp

Georgia

4/5  rDev +0.3%

Living in Atlanta, I have ha this beer numerous times, but with all the other stuff out there have not had it in a while. Drank one tonight and was reminded just how solid of a beer it is. Doesn't knock my socks off...but is a very drinkable American IPA. Great to drink during a BBQ....and because it is not expensive it is a good beer to keep in the fridge. If you are in town...try it on tap., it is better (per norm).

07-16-2010 02:05:17 | More by jeddsp
Photo of scottyshades
scottyshades

Florida

4.65/5  rDev +16.5%

Ah, finally found this on-tap!

A: Pours a transparent, but slightly hop-hazed orange/copper color with a big eggshell soapy looking head. Retention is pretty good...better than I expected.

S: Man, I don't know if the keg makes the nose that much better, but it is. Orchard fruits, tropical fruits, grapefruit, and slight orange. Malts are bready and add some balance. The nose is awesome. nuf said.

T: Lots of different hop characteristics; floral, fruity, and slightly resinous. Malts play a big role, almost bigger than the hops, giving a bready/biscuity flavor to the tropical fruity/citric hops. There is an underlying sweetness (not too sweet by any means) that really plays well, especially with its drinkability. The honey is much less noticeable, both as it ages, and on-tap compared to the bottled version.

MF/D: Alcohol is dangerously hidden, making this an easy drinker, especially out in the sun.

Notes: Still my go-to IPA, and this is FAR from West Coast stuff (in terms of taste)... My opinion of the bottled vs. draught debate is that they are both delicious. I would say that the bottled version may seem a little hoppier and less malt-driven, but its all preference.

07-07-2010 22:17:07 | More by scottyshades
Photo of mklinger
mklinger

North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +19%

Poured into an imperial pint. This beer is a beautiful bronze/copper with a nice off white head forming. Slightly hazy, but that's because it's unpasteurized & unfiltered -- bit of yeast in the bottle -- I've cultured it for homebrew before. Nice looking beer.

Aroma is so grapefruity, it's just incredible. A large whiff of it comes out as soon as the cap was opened. It's really robust once poured into a glass. There's no other standard IPA that I've had that is so intensely grapefruity. There's a bit of slight sweetness that makes it different from sniffing a freshly cut grapefruit, but that's all I get. I do love grapefruit & that makes me love the aroma of this beer.

Taste is also great & more complex than the aroma. A bit of carbonation bit at first, followed by some biscuity/toasty malt, strong citrus, and nice potent but not overwhelming bitterness. Nice bit of sweetness that is just a slight background note to tie things together. Really a nice IPA. When fresh it is exceptional.

Mouthfeel is good. Light bodied as an IPA should be though I found it slightly overcarbonated. But good nonetheless. This is a great beer. It's been 6 months since I've had one and I find it easily as good or better than the big IPAs that everyone (including me) love like Two-Hearted & Stone IPA. Really great stuff.

07-03-2010 03:28:22 | More by mklinger
Photo of AdamGarcia
AdamGarcia

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev -2.8%

12oz btl served in a Hoegaarden tumbler. Best by 9/7/10 marked on the label.

A: Nice golden orange hue. Copper highlights. Appears the color of southern sweet tea when the light hits it right. Fluffy head dwindles to a thin layer rather quickly. A halo of foam hangs on for the life of the beer. Head retention could be better.

S: Very juicy aroma! Valencia orange and sweet tangerine. Honey-soaked mandarin oranges. Smells like an orange Sunkist fruit gem candy. Some piney freshness balances the sweet citrus. Unreal how much this smells like fruit juice. This smells as good as just about any IPA out there, save a few.

T: Citrus up front followed by the pine. Carmel malt holds it all together. Hop bitterness in the finish drys it up a bit. Very nice, but it doesn't quite pop like the aroma does. I was expecting more intense flavor based on the scent and I was let down a little. Wouldn't mind just a little more hop bite.

M: Carbonation could be just a tad higher. Otherwise the mouthfeel is soft and creamy.

D: High. This isn't a terribly complex IPA, but I definitely didn't lose interest. ABV is low enough that 2 or 3 isn't out of the question.

Based on previous experience with Sweetwater I was really looking forward to this beer, and I wasn't let down. It does juicy citrus and pine very well, so if that's your thing give it a try. SweetWater Brewing is on my radar for sure. If it was available in PA it would be a mainstay in my fridge. If you're ever near the ATL or have a trading partner in the dirty south, be sure to grab some of this...you won't be dissapointed.

06-30-2010 20:58:16 | More by AdamGarcia
Photo of chrisale
chrisale

Georgia

5/5  rDev +25.3%

This American-style IPA should be a go-to beer for IPA enthusiasts, especially those from the Southeast.

Served from a bottle at room temperature or refrigerated, you can't go wrong with this flavorful brew. Poured into a 25th Anniversary Samuel Adams Boston Lager Glass, the thick, lacey head develops along the inside of the glass as poured and sits about 2 fingers thick on top. The deep, copper hue contrasts wonderfully with the off-white head.

The initial smell is grapefruit, lots of grapefruit. If you are a citrus fan, you will enjoy the beer. Also, floral aromas come through balancing the citrus qualities.

The best part is this beer is produced year-round and makes a great warming brew in the winter while also offering true refreshment in the heat of the summer months. The taste is healthily hoppy with a true grapefruit character.

Mouthfeel is where this beer wins my go-to status. If you want a beer that enters the mouth mildly and offers a great warming aftertaste without being overly dry, this is a winner.

I can drink these all day and all night and at any occasion. You never get that sick feeling that comes from most macros when you indulge, and that is one of the best qualities of quality brews. Sweetwater IPA is great session beer for sure.

Cheers

06-30-2010 01:26:46 | More by chrisale
Photo of beerwolf77
beerwolf77

Wisconsin

4.45/5  rDev +11.5%

Thanks goes to scottyshades for this beer. Poured into my pint glass the beer is slightly cloudy golden orange. The bright white head rises about a finger and a half before fading to leave a soid lace ring and a thick cap.

The aroma is sweet and tart citrus fruit. Hints of oranges, lemons, and pineapple. Very nice balance of hops and malt.

The flavor is super juicy pineapples and mangos. A solid dose of oranges and lemons as well. A great fruit based IPA flavor. It's like a lighter version of Dreadnaught.

Medium body with moderate carbonation.

Overall a great IPA with tons of fruit flavor. Super drinkable. I wish I had access to this beer on a regualr basis. I would stock cases of it on my fridge. Thanks for the bottle Scott.

06-29-2010 00:48:53 | More by beerwolf77
Photo of emmasdad
emmasdad

Colorado

4.08/5  rDev +2.3%

Received as an extra in a recent trade with scifan (Thanks). Pours a fairly dark amber color, with a thick, fluffy light tan head. Nice floral hop aromas, along with melon and resiny pine. Similar on the palate, although much more subdued, although the melon remains fairly prominent. A pretty solid effort, and a much appreciated extra.

06-27-2010 00:21:41 | More by emmasdad
Photo of PanicUnited
PanicUnited

Georgia

4.8/5  rDev +20.3%

First off, let me tell you how great the sweetwater brewery tour is. $8 gets you 6 half pints and a glass to take home. Definitely a must-see for anyone in or visiting the Atlanta Area.

Sweetwater IPA is a great American IPA. Simply put, its not expensive and the taste is wonderful.

Dont pass this one up.

06-26-2010 00:19:44 | More by PanicUnited
Photo of dmamiano
dmamiano

West Virginia

4.43/5  rDev +11%

Fresh at the Draft House at atlanta airport
Nice copper color with a wonderfull head and copias amount of lacing
fresh citrus...more grapefruit in the nose. malts poking in with nice caramel notes
taste was awesome. Juicy grapefruit hoppines dominated along with a perfect malt balance.
One of the best IPA's I have had in a while

06-25-2010 16:16:39 | More by dmamiano
Photo of dwarvenspirits
dwarvenspirits

Pennsylvania

4.58/5  rDev +14.8%

Had this while on vacation and I never heard of this brewery before. The head held up nicely for the entire pint and the smell was amazing, super fresh with tons and tons of pine aroma in it. And that was exactly how it delivered in flavor. This was like a simcoe hop bomb. Very enjoyable, very good ipa. Not a perfect A, but nearly flawless.

06-22-2010 21:04:40 | More by dwarvenspirits
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

4.29/5  rDev +7.5%

Wow, thanks to reeverbythespeak for this gem! Pours a glowing orange and copper. Gigantic flowery hop aroma, not overly citrus or pine, maybe leaning a little citrus, tangerine, lemon and grapefruit.

Taste, so light on the palate, so heavy on the dry hopping. A pure joy and great example of how you don't need to make an IPA to the triple degree. Between this and the St. Lupulin, I've now had 2 excellent standard APA and IPA's that were extremely hoppy and yet not over the top in resinous sticky-ness and alcohol. Ironically, sessionable, "to the extreme." Better than 98% of west coast ipas. So drinkable, so delic. No nuances or weird for the sake of weird shit going on, just big dry hopping without making a bitter alcohol bomb. Rad.

EDIT: So, in finishing the remaining beers from my 6 pack, I noticed they degraded faster than any other beer I've ever had. Some may disagree, but I've lowered my ratings. Sure, in its ideal form, its phenomenal. But the beer can't hold that ideal form for any reasonable amount of time (drink by date is still 7 weeks away and its already a shell of its former self, and I'm not part of the ipa faded army). Anyways, its ratings are now changed accordingly. This was a 4.75 originally.

06-22-2010 15:42:40 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 2,253 ratings.