1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.
very good

2,422 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,422
Reviews: 796
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 12.09%
Wants: 149
Gots: 293 | 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: 2,422 | Reviews: 796 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ccrida
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark gold with a small off-white head leaving light lace, leaving a thick stillness.

Smell is hoppy, some cat pee, herbal, earthy, with a light crystal sweetness.

Taste is good, a nice hop flavor, some citrus, pine resin, herbal, on a caramel accentuated biscuit malt base. Finishes sweet, with moderate bitterness.

Mouthfeel is dry, crisp, medium bodied.

Drinkability is good, this is a solid IPA, especially for the east coast! Still has the iced tea maltiness I don't love so much.

ccrida, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of MayLattimore
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper color with a thick, creamy head that leaves a lot of lacing on the side of the glass. It has a wonderfully sweet, floral, perfume-like aroma. This floral hop character is well-balanced, however, by an abundant but light malt sweetness. The hop character is a welcome change from the citrus hop flavor that is so prevalent in many of the IPAs on the market. In addition, despite being an IPA, the bitterness is not overwhelming, making this a very easy-drinking.

MayLattimore, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of jcartamdg
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden orange with a one finger head, decent lacing throughout. Aroma of all citrus hops, simply delicious flavor profile that balances out with malts. Taste follows the nose, well balanced. More than average for an ipa but man, this is easy drinking and delicious!

jcartamdg, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of Klym
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to N2185 for this generous extra! Poured into a surly nonic.

This was quite good for a single IPA but I found it lacking backbone a bit. Hops came through in a strong and elegant manner, but the body was a little thin and the hop flavors had very little backup from the rest of the beer. Definitely a good six-pack beer but not in my dream team lineup.

Klym, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of WoodBrew
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Visited J. Clydes in Birmingham and was able to due a flight of tap beers and selected Sweetwater IPA as one of five to try. Pours a hazy orange amber color with a white head that settles into a very sticky lace that loves to cling to the sides of the glass. Wonderful IPA aroma of pine oil with some underlying fruity notes. Medium in body with a good amount of active carbonation that does a nice job of offsetting the sticky texture of the beer. Taste begins with some sweet and biscuity malt flavors that soon give way to tart acidic citrus rind and bitter hop resins that remain in a lasting aftertaste. I certainly would recommend any hop head to try it.

WoodBrew, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of RonfromJersey
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer four in my one stop Southern tour.

Dark orange body with extreme haze. Creamy off-white billowing head rose above the rim. Excellent lace.

Big time grapefruit aroma draws you in hard. Like inhaling the rind.

Quick burst of semi-sweet malt barely shouts "hi" before its falling down the well. Fruitiness explodes throughout the mouth. Bitterness builds steady and engulfs more than bites. Final flash of fruit mingles with the bitter in the afterglow.

Solid medium mouthfeel rolls by with a bit of a tingle.

A great IPA I will jump for if it shows up in NJ or PA.

RonfromJersey, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of DarthKostrizer
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Pours a nice amber color with 1 inch head and good retention and some lace

Smell: Citrus and pine not much else

Taste: The malt to hop ratio in this beer is actually really well balanced. The front of the beer carries some pine while the backend finishes with some caramel toffee and just a bit of grapefruit

Mouthfeel: Light body and high carbonation

Overall: Very nice drinkable east coast IPA

DarthKostrizer, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Spartan98 for the trade bonus!

A copper looking ale with a thin, wispy, white head and a crystal clear body. The beer is different shades of orange in the light and there is generous lacing left behind. I would have preferred an IPA with a little more haze, but the color is appealing.

Citrus, pine, and alcohol.
Although this isn't a particularly strong IPA (abv wise), it's still got biting ethanol in its nose. The beer's sweetness is also present, but well in check by the potent alpha acids infused into this broth of nature. I'm glad they decided to dry hop, it's an essential element to producing a great IPA that is often overlooked.

This is a tasty IPA, sweetness mixed with a healthy amount of bitterness and carbonation. I like the citrus sweetness that lingers on my palate keeping me satisfied after every sip. However, this beer wouldn't have scored as well if it didn't have a generously sweet malt backbone.

An average amount of carbonation, but strong sweetness and citrus aftertaste. Although the beer is more filtered than I prefer, it gives very nice flavors and balance and is definitely a classic example IPA recipe. The bitterness that is initially tasted does not cling to your palate in a way that some IPAs can.

I definitely appreciate the trade bonus and can honestly say this is a tasty IPA. There is a lot of flavor and it's a good taste to leave in your mouth at the end of the night. I would have liked to try a fresher bottle, but this was still a treat. I will pursue sweetwater's other IPA/DIPAs in the future.

ThePorterSorter, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of jale
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to my buddy Jason for a 6-pack of this.

A: Pours a clear amber with 2 quarters of tan head.

S: Lots of grapefruit and light roasted malt.

T: Grapefruit and orange hop bitterness upfront followed by light roasted malt.

M: Light body with good carbonation.

O: Nice drinkable IPA

jale, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of metal850
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Light amber, tan two finger head, fluffy, nice lacing, clear.

S: Strong citrus and pine American hop aroma with slight caramel sweetness.

T: Good bitterness, piney hop flavor, slight caramel malt profile, hops dominate.

M: Medium body and carbonation.

O: Nice craft IPA.

metal850, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of prdstmnky
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle ~ best by 10/9/11

Poured into a nonic, light amber body, and about a finger of creamy fastly fading head. Some citrus in the nose, but getting alot of sweet and bready malts. The taste is fairly malty and somewhat bland upfront, with a sneaky bitter hop finish. I thought it was a bit watery and maybe even lacking in carbonation.

Its an ok IPA, just many I enjoy alot more. Kinda expected a bit more. I think this is dated with a 3 month shelf life, so this selection should only be about 6 weeks out. Nevertheless, happy just to get to try something that is outside the distribution area.

prdstmnky, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in trade from GPHarris, thanks for the opportunity! Best enjoyed by 9/23/11
Pours a slightly cloudy yellow amber color with a stingy white head that dissipates quickly. Smells of grapefruit and lemons mostly. Pine and resin play a role here, but this one is all about the citrus. Malt, yeah I guess there's some in there. If I close my eyes and take a deep breath I can find hints of bread and maybe some hay. Taste is lemon and grapefruity with surprisingly a little bready grainy malt in there as well. Fairly dry finish with a bitter lemony aftertaste. Medium to thin body, moderated level of carbonation with a resinous watery mouthfeel. Decent light IPA that I could see going down quite easily on a hot summer day.

johnnnniee, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of BennyL1
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes on 8/17/11.

Thanks to jerryfreak for the bottle, poured into a standard pint.

Pours a nice orange color with some cloudiness from the yeast sediment. Pretty good sized cream colored head on top that sticks around for a bit. Decent lacing along the glass.

Aroma was fairly strong with some good citrus notes. A bit of floral and pine but not as pronounced.

Loaded citrus taste with some soft malt that helps the hops shine. Nice and bitter, just the way I like it.

Medium in body and carbonation.

Solid IPA that I would drink on a regular basis if I had access too.

BennyL1, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of Pete27lax
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this beer in a trade from Kirkpjr, thanks! (8/21/11)

Very light amber color, one finger head with moderate retention and good lacing.

Smell is extremely strong. Strong floral hops dominate the smell with a little bit of malts coming through.

Taste is slightly disappointing here. Enjoyable floral and citrus hops, not extremely bitter. Not much going on with malts here but the floral hops and slight bitterness is very good.

Mouthfeel was ok, nothing special. A little less carbonated than I first expected.

Overall this was an enjoyable IPA. Smell was the highlight here but the taste was also very good. Very drinkable beer as well.

Pete27lax, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of zhanson88
2.88/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Rbald42 for hooking me up with this.

Appearance: Pours a clear light copper color with moderate carbonation. About 1" of white head forms on the pour, and it has very nice retention and lacing.

Smell: Fairly malty smelling, a lot of caramel is prevalent. Some pine resins come out as well, and I would describe the hops as more floral than anything.

Taste: I get a lot of caramel up front. This beer is much maltier than I was expecting. When I drank this it was well before the best by date, but it seems to have dropped off a lot between now and when it was bottled. I also get some floral hops, and a bit of pine resin as well. Not overly bitter.

Mouthfeel/Overall: This beer is light bodied with high carbonation. Fairly smooth going down. Overall, not a favorite of mine based off this experience. If I ever get the chance to try this fresher, I definitely will. I still didn't find it bad by any means; just not what I was expecting.

zhanson88, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of david370
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz.bottle with a best enjoyed date of 10/22/2011

kind of a nice hazy golden color in the glass with a finger of white head,not much lacing

awesome citrusy aromas with a hint of malt

gets good from the first sip,a nice balance that i like in IPAs with nice citrus taste upfront balnced with a slight bitter finish

a staple in my fridge,always fresh and very drinkable year round

david370, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of eclipse54
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 ounce bottle from jyounger30 (thank you!); into a nonic glass...

A translucent gold body with about a finger’s-breadth of foamy, almost frothy white head that consists of billions of tiny, tiny bubbles. The head hangs around for a while, but doesn't leave any lacing as it subsides and the liquid level lowers. Smells of piney hops, citrus (orange, grapefruit), some floral notes, and some nice hop spice. Taste is a bit weak; hops and citrus up front, a watery middle, and some spice and faint malt on the finish. All of the flavors seem a bit muted, though balanced. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but smooth and crisp; amply carbonated. Overall, a decent IPA that I'm glad to have tried, but there are other readily available offerings I prefer a bit more.

eclipse54, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of jmarsh123
3.03/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a nice gold with a thin white head and lots of bubbles cascading up the glass.

Smells of citrus/grapefruit/pine hops with some malty sweetness.

Taste is a letdown after the wonderful smell. Not as much hop character as I'd like in an IPA. A bitter piney resin lingers on the tongue at the end, but there is also a malt sweetness in the middle.

Beer has good carbonation, but mouthfeel is too light almost watery.

Not a bad beer, but not one of the top IPA's either. I'd like to have it on draft sometime to see if the hop profile is better fresh.

jmarsh123, Aug 17, 2011
Photo of Jerone
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color is caramel/copper with an off white 1 finger head, with a few bubbles coming up.

Smell is of hops, floral and piney, and some malt sweetness.

Taste is well balanced with floral/piney hops and malt sweetness, bitter but not harsh. Slight bitter aftertaste of pine. Mouthfeel is medium body with light carbonation.

Good IPA, well balanced with a bit of malt sweetness, worth a try.

Jerone, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of dcloeren
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes...

Poured a translucent sunset orange with 2 fingers of bright white soapy head

Great blasts of pine resin hops with some great citrus notes. Subtle caramel malt

Taste follows the nose but in a watered down way. Its actually kind of off-putting compared to how great this beer looks and smells

Very thin and slick. Well carbonated but the body is too thin for my taste.

Overall, this beer was a let down compared to how great it looked and smelled. I guess you can't judge a book by its cover... oh well.

dcloeren, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of mgbickel
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Perfect Pint glass.

One and a half fingers of bone white head formed quickly and stuck around for a while. The foam receded slowly, leaving behind bunches of lace. The body is crystal clear with a hazy center; various shades sunset orange.

Citrus hops hit the nose first. As it warms, the hops turn piney. The backbone is a sugary bread/malt aroma.

The hops start and finish the flavor cycle of this drink. The center is a sweet almost caramel character that hides quickly once the resin of pine kicks back in.

Medium bodied, slightly astringent with moderate carbonation.

Highly drinkable, great flavor and complexity. Man...I wish this was available in my neck of the woods!

mgbickel, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of GeorgeAldi
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy, sappy gold with a really nice white head. The nose on this is very enjoyable. It’s sweet of flowers and honey with pine, tea, and citrus depth. Really tasty brew here, it walks the line of a beefier APA and a more typical IPA. The finish lingers of sweetened green tea and honey with adequate hop bite to deliver refreshing zing. Citrus notes are there, but not as prominant as a piny, foresty character. This is really well done, easily one of the better india pale ales I’ve had from the south.

GeorgeAldi, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of NCBeerFan
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As far as southeastern IPAs I've had, this is probably one of my favorites. Pours a coppery-orange with a fingers' worth of head….swirling he brew in the glass leaves an ameoba-like ring around the edges. I love the nose on this IPA….some pineapple, orange marmalade, and floral notes abound. The taste closely follows the nose, but there seems to be more of the grapefruit and piney notes and not as much as the sweet citrus flavors. Goes down with a slight bitterness from the hops, but not too overpowering….it also has a pleasant lingering, citrusy aftertaste. Just a solid IPA from one of my favorite southeastern breweries.

NCBeerFan, Aug 09, 2011
Photo of suspect
3.1/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Thanks to my buddy Audi for the hookup from the ATL. Best by date of 4/27/11.

A: Pours a semi-clear golden color with slight amber hues. Aggressive pour leads to a white foamy 2-finger head. Little to no lacing. Lots of little yeasty floaties in the glass.

S: Slight hop, mostly citrus with a strong aroma of caramel malt. The malt is shining through on this more so than the hops probably due to the age.

T: Hop presence is even less so in the flavor, again probably due to age but the malt here is a weird flavor as well. Just not tasting much like an IPA.

M: Semi-oily, only very slightly bitter. Aftertaste does not linger very long. Light carbonation, light body.

O: Just about an average IPA. Not great, not bad. easy to drink, I could put away a few.

suspect, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of bljebd
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

perfect everday ipa

apperance good with darker than normal golden hue...decent head and good carbonation

smells inviting with a slightly citrus but hoppy smell dominating

taste is very well balanced..not overpowering...plenty of hops for bitterness and average citris (maybe even zesty feel) to the finish

mouthfeel and smell go hand in hand (no suprises) smooth finish...when finished, u know youve had an ipa

good buy good drink

bljebd, Jul 31, 2011
Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 2,422 ratings.