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Sweetwater IPA - SweetWater Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sweetwater IPASweetwater IPA

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

2,252 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,252
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
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Ratings: 2,252 | Reviews: 786 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of abrand


3.98/5  rDev -0.3%

12 ounce bottle out of the tacklebox sampler. The biggest hit out of the sampler in my opinion. Poured into a pint glass.

The Sweetwater IPA pours a hazy orange color with a frothy 2 finger head that has great retention. Some noticeable sediment is seen in this unfiltered brew. Aromas are grainy and sugary. Lots of sweetness that far outweighs the hoppiness. Some malts are also present. Taste is also somewhat sweeter than I expected. I actually enjoy the sweetness to it, there isn't much bitterness at all. Some fruit is also present in the taste. Mouthfeel is thin bodied and smooth. Drinkability is pretty good for this. ABV is mediocre and the taste was a pleasant suprise.

06-15-2010 03:39:54 | More by abrand
Photo of hooliganlife


3.9/5  rDev -2.3%

thanks bullywee!

pours a light copper with hints of orange. nice light fluffy head with nice retention. light lacing on the side of the glass.

light floral up front with subtle hints of orange

nice light vibrant citrus flavors. lots of tangerine, orange, and lemon. light pine through out, but very light. not much bitterness in this at all. just a wee bit in the finish. malts are very light and hardly noticeable.

light body, but medium if that makes sense. very refreshing.

this is super easy to drink. not too much of anything and a really nice hop flavor that creams refreshing. i like this a lot.

05-29-2010 22:31:09 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of haddon


4.33/5  rDev +8.5%

NOTE: updated review on 12/18/2010

pours a cloudy copper with a massive frothy head. looks good in the glass. good lacing all the way down

S- citrusy hops at first but then overpowered by the malty aroma. brown sugar, caramel, floral hops

T- very sweet & citrusy hop notes that are dominated by grapefruit. small amounts of caramel and brown sugar but overran by bitter/tangy grapefruit

M- medium body with average carbonation

d- I love this beer. has turned into my ipa standby and I always keep sixer in fridge. at $9/sixer, it really is hard to beat.

05-17-2010 23:27:33 | More by haddon
Photo of birchstick


4.22/5  rDev +5.8%

A - pours a light copper with a bready-looking head

S - smells of delicious grapefruity hops and some cereal malts

T - the taste follows the nose. Loads of grapefruit hops that are balanced with some cereal malts on the finish. This is very fruity and sweet, but the cereal malts help pull in the reigns on the hops.

M - kind of watery with a medium body.

D - this is a solid IPA. I love the grapefruity hops. This is a really sweet IPA that isn't overly sweet. I bought one six packan but will buy another before I head back to St. Louis.

05-17-2010 23:14:02 | More by birchstick
Photo of ktrillionaire


4.15/5  rDev +4%

A - translucent honey-copper hue, big billowing head, and plastered lacing

S - Huge, I mean ridiculously huge, notes of citrus. The aroma is grapefruit and tangerine and spicy caramel malt.

T - The taste, while good, is a slight letdown from the promise of the nose. Pros: it is very pleasant and refreshing. Cons: the flavor is a tad sweet and not too long-lasting.

M - A bit on the thin side, and missing the lingering bitterness.

D - Overall, this is a fantastic IPA, despite my nitpicking review. We will see how it fares in the East Coast-West Coast beef that I have arranged... can it be felled by a can from Oregon? Caldera IPA is up next... (Update: Sweetwater wins, barely)

05-17-2010 15:41:57 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of branimal9

South Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +11%

Poured from a growler procured at Total Wine in Greenville into my bro's Ommegang tulip glass...

appearance - clear, light gold with a sizable white tight-bubbled head.

aroma - bright, citrus hops hit you, and you can smell some malt in there as well.

taste - hops immediately, just as you thought they'd taste. nice, bitter & like biting into a juicy grapefruit. the malt follows, balancing the bitterness and giving a bit of sweetness that makes this beer stand out from others.

mouthfeel - full bodied & flavorful.

drinkability - as it is deceptively full bodied, this beer is super easy drinking, but packs full flavor behind the sweetness of the malts.

this beer has become my go-to inexpensive IPA. very underrated, it's got some of my favorite characteristics in this style, citic hops, a bit of sweetness, and, to borrow a phrase, "superior drinkability". keep making it and i'll keep drinking it, sweetwater.

05-15-2010 00:42:08 | More by branimal9
Photo of Crazy4LegMoose


3.65/5  rDev -8.5%

A: Golden orange translucent color with 2 fingers of creamy off white head that leaves thick lacing on the glass.

S: Strong smell of pine/grassy hops mixed with a slight hint of vanilla almond sweetness.

T: Sweet malty flavor that finishes with a clean pine grassy taste. Very similar to the smell. The name of the brewery seems to match the taste of this IPA, very sweet tasting IPA with a good amount of hop punch.

M: Medium body with nice creamy carbonation.

D: Very drinkable solid IPA. The sweet malty taste makes this an interesting full flavored beer.

05-13-2010 16:38:50 | More by Crazy4LegMoose
Photo of klkatz


3.75/5  rDev -6%

In a trip back to our temporary home of Atlanta... i was excited to try some of the staples I used to enjoy.... Sweetwater Brewing company is that staple. At our old Whole Foods I bough a six pack of the IPA... wifey got a Blue Moon six pack... (i know, I'm wincing too)....

The day was long... 3:30 wake-up to catch an early morning flight... my 8month old son slept on me the entire way... we (my son and I) strolled around the Emory campus while wifey fulfilled her obligation of speaking on a panel. We found a baseball game, and watched Emory score a few runs... then finally went back to the hotel to enjoy the sweet water....

From the brown bottle directly to the hotel bathroom glass/tumbler... the color was not that impressive... it was a dark amber, with a thick white head...

a grapefruit aroma... gave way to a good taste... a strong start, with a sweet finish... the drinkability would be a 6 if I could rate it that high.

can't wait to go back to ATL and get me some more sweetwater.

05-04-2010 01:42:28 | More by klkatz
Photo of reeverbythespeak


4.53/5  rDev +13.5%

This is a standard of mine for an after work start to the evening. The color is a lovely straw amber grain. The nose is grapefruity and slightly piny. The flavor is VERY grapefruity with that sweet tartness. It coats the mouth, but not in an overbearing way. As much of it as I have consumed, I must declare this beer extremely drinkable.

05-03-2010 22:33:51 | More by reeverbythespeak
Photo of seedsofchaos


3.9/5  rDev -2.3%

Pours with hues of oranges and yellows. High transparency. Decent head that fades quickly. Great carbonation. Lacing isn't this brew's strong point.

Nose is of hops and not much else. I think I get Centennial off the nose. It's a little spicy with just a touch of pine. A lot of sweetness in the nose after with no pronounced reason for being. Can't detect any complexities or malts by smell.

This beer is definitely going for more of the bitter side of the IPA coin than the flavor or aroma. Great bittering with a touch of citrus. The malts are fairly subdued and what I do get is only a pinch of biscuit/bread followed immediately by the faintest medicinal quality of the hops and then immediately turned back on again my the pine, citrus and bittering.

Mouthfeel is medium-light and smooth

Sessionable. Low ABV. Highly drinkable. Great highly available brew.

05-01-2010 11:51:43 | More by seedsofchaos
Photo of Mora2000


4/5  rDev +0.3%

Thanks to angrypirate06 for sharing this bottle at thirdeye11's tasting.

The beer pours a light orange color with a white head. The aroma is citrus and resiny hops with some earthy notes. The flavor is resiny and orange citrus hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

04-26-2010 23:40:56 | More by Mora2000
Photo of maximum12


3.3/5  rDev -17.3%

Thanks to moose3285 for dropping this extra into one of our frequent, earth-shaking trades. Heading out to a neighbor's bonfire momentarily & thought I'd start out with a little IPA action.

Pours a glowing, floatie-laced orange. Nose on this IPA is on mute - faint hops, perhaps citrusy in origin.

Sweetwater IPA is nicely bitter. Lemon-lime comes through, but not much other flavor off the hops. Finished up malty. Drinks pretty heavy for a decent ABV IPA.

Pretty good IPA. This is par for the course with my experiences with Sweetwater to date - like all of them, love none of them. Still looking for that can't-put-it-down experience.

04-18-2010 00:55:45 | More by maximum12
Photo of speter

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +8.5%

A: Pours deep gold with a one-finger off-white head. Good lacing as the head fades.

S: Wow! Hops in all their glory. This one's very citrusy, with grapefruit dominating, but with a little pine thrown in for good measure.

T: I've always heard of beers being described as tasting like Jolly Rancher watermelon. This has truly frightened me, as I can't stand either real watermelon, or the candy version. This beer I think does hint at JR, but I still like it. The hop flavors are complex enough that the initial bittersweet taste transforms into an interesting interplay of citrus and pine in the center, and the finish has a one-two of dryness followed by more citrus. The aftertaste is similar to the center in being an interplay of citrus and pine.

M: Medium bodied with a good level of carbonation. Not much to write home about here, but the taste, not the mouthfeel, is the star here.

D: Oh that I could get these up here on a regular basis. I will definitely have to stock up when I visit family in Georgia.

04-13-2010 22:31:06 | More by speter
Photo of GeezLynn


3.88/5  rDev -2.8%

Poured in to Duvel glass

A: Nice lighter shade of amber with a good white head that settles into clumps.

S: Fresh hops, pine and grapefruit, with a medium level of sweet caramel malt.

T: Not all that sweet or overly hopped. Fairly good balance with the bitterness being held in check by lots of light toasty malt. The hop flavors are where my main complaint with this IPA lies as it's not really a resinous piny hopbomb or a juicy citrus fruit type IPA either. Not bad, just a little nondescript.

M: I like the feel as the body is between light and medium, fairly smooth and carbonated just enough for the style.

Finally got around to reviewing this semi-regular local for me. I think this beer encapsulates Sweetwater's approach (non-Dank Tank) which is to build a beer that appeals to the largest variety of drinkers possible. Would consider it SE's best widely-distributed IPA and one that would appeal to those looking for a balanced/restrained version of the style.

04-10-2010 23:39:27 | More by GeezLynn
Photo of womencantsail


4.05/5  rDev +1.5%

Thanks to Charlie for this one.

A: The pour is a slightly hazy straw color with a fluffy white head on top and somewhat minimal lacing.

S: The nose is full of fruity hops which tend to lean towards a mix of grapefruit and assorted tropical fruits, especially pineapple. The malt provides a biscuity aroma.

T: The hops are front and center as they should be with an IPA. The flavor is slightly sweet with some grapefruit and pine to provide bitterness. Again, the biscuity, bready malts are present.

M: The body is somewhat light and the carbonation is plentiful. The overall mouthfeel is rather light and refreshing.

D: A decent little IPA from a region which is not necessarily known for good craft beer. Not a hop-bomb of an IPA, but an easy drinking example

04-10-2010 05:52:45 | More by womencantsail
Photo of argock


4.33/5  rDev +8.5%

Poured from 12oa brown bottle into a clear glass tumbler. Enjoy by 06/07/10 on bottle neck.

A: SLightly hazy peach-amber with thick, sticky, 2-finger off-white head with good retention and nice crusty lacing.

S: Delicious aromas of tropical fruit and evergreen dominate with a bit of herbal flair. Malts are pale and simple as they should be.

T: A top-tier IPA with lush pineapple, orange, lemon, and spruce-evergreen with a bit of minty herbal hops. This is definitely a brightly flavored IPA as compared to those with earthier, tobacco, resinous flavor. Malts are pretty substantial in heft but minimal in flavor to allow the wonderful hoppiness to assert.

M: Slick and coating with a bit of dryness to keep from being to heavy and palate-fatiguing. Aftertaste is piney and slightly minty hops.

D: An excellent IPA with a crispness and brightness which is unique. It belongs in the upper tier of American IPAs. Thanks to my friend Erinn for bringing it up from Atlanta for us to enjoy.

04-10-2010 03:43:16 | More by argock
Photo of BlackBearForge


4/5  rDev +0.3%

12 oz. bottle: Best enjoyed by 6/28/10

Sweetwater IPA pours a nice copper with a big off-white head leaving loads of lacing on the glass.

The aroma has nice big citrus hop tones of grapefruit and orange with a bit of biscuity malt.

The flavor has an immediate bitter bite of big grapefruit and other citrus hops, malt is present with a nice muted caramel well in the background as a counterpoint to the citrusy hops. Orange is prominent along with a resiny pine. Grapefruit is king however.

Mouthfeel is medium and creamy with nicely done carbonation.

This is a good very drinkable and hoppy IPA from my own backyard long overlooked by me. Not overlooked anymore!

04-09-2010 22:35:08 | More by BlackBearForge
Photo of thegodfather2701

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

A-Pours a dark gold with a thick white head that thinned out, but stayed the entire time and left some nice lacing on the glass.

S-When this beer was brought to me I could smell the hops, but when I tried to further inspect the nose it seemed more subdued. All I could really pick up were citrus hops, specifically grape fruit, and a touch of malt.

T-Citrussy hops, grapefruit, with a nice malt backbone. It has a nice balance with a little sweetness in the finish.

M-Very nice mouthfeel, not too carbonated and not to syrupy.

D-Perfect session IPA. Its not too filling and tastes delicious.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this IPA. Maybe I was just really in the mood for some hops, but I will definitely be purchasing this beer again and hopefully soon. It could be more complex but, I think it tastes delicious.

04-09-2010 00:12:58 | More by thegodfather2701
Photo of Thur123


4.22/5  rDev +5.8%

This beer pours a slight brown orange color with two fingers of head that fade at a moderate pace in my tall tulip glass. The smell is a combination of sweet citrus hops with a smaller herbal profile with it. The malt exists only enough to add the required balance, but the smell is hop heavy.

Glug glug glug

Lemony hops dominate with a bittersweet grapefruit flavor showing up as well. The middle of the flavor has more of the herbal bitterness with that component lasting through the after taste. The malt reminds me of the malt in 90 minute, but on a smaller scale, very standard but tasty. Overall a great IPA for the region and a competitor with some of the great AIPAs like 60 minute and smuttynose and even many Cali breweries. The mouth feel is fine for the style, not too thin and just sticky enough.

04-08-2010 23:23:27 | More by Thur123
Photo of generalnotsew


4.28/5  rDev +7.3%

A: Quite dark for an IPA. A light mahogany color with a decent head if not a bit thin.

S: A nice rich, floral and sweet nose. Not especially hoppy but still very pleasant in the nose.

T: Nice bittering hops upfront with the usual grapefruit taking the backburner for a change. The fruitiness seems mostly present in the aftertaste. Very well rounded and is much akin to the taste of a good DIPA.

M: Nothing to complain about here. But now after taking a few more sips it actually has an alcohol warming. Not something expected in a low gravity beer.

D: It goes down quite smooth and is almost a thirst quencher beer.

Very surprised by this one. Can't figure out how they snuck this into the TN grocery stores considering it is 6.7% abv. I may have found a new go to IPA. Very cheap and must say I like it more than my standard favorite DFH 60. Just hope the ATF don't ever crack down on it.

04-08-2010 04:06:58 | More by generalnotsew
Photo of nsmartell


3.58/5  rDev -10.3%

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. Poured from the 12oz bottle with a best by date of 4/6/10 to a standard pint glass. Picked up a 6 pack while at a family wedding in Mobile.

Appearance: Orange with a big billowy white head that does not last too long.

Smell: Grapefruit, piney hops.

Taste: Just as the smell suggests, this beer tastes of grapefruit, piney hops but now the maltiness comes through.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium-bodied and creamy smooth with good carbonation.

Drinkability: OK. Standard, average IPA. Would recommend to those new to the world of IPA.

04-06-2010 10:52:46 | More by nsmartell
Photo of AgentZero


4.33/5  rDev +8.5%

Thanks to marine1975, great trader who threw this in as an extra.

A - Orangish tinted golden color, pretty clear, nice huge head with good retention, great lacing on the sides.

S - Lot of orange and grapefruit hops, slight hint of bitter resin pine, and some mild floral hops.

T - Starts out with a lot of bitter citrus going toward a big grapefruit taste, but never quite gets there, which I like. Nicely bitter, but not overpowering, pine is hinted at, but harder to pick out. Fruity sweetness is perfectly balanced with the bitter that is present.

M - Smooth with nice carbonation. Leaves cleanly.

D - Highly drinkable, great thirst quencher, surprised how much I liked this.

03-31-2010 16:21:07 | More by AgentZero
Photo of kdawg105


4.97/5  rDev +24.6%

WoW!! I love it!! When I poured the brew into a 150z mug it poured into a merky amber color not much head that sticks very well to the glass. The smell is great with a smell of pure hops. The taste is wounderful with a balance but with a wonderful citrus flavor that is through and through which include a great taste of grapefruit. The mouthfeel is great considering which makes for the best drinkability. I would highly sugest that you try this brew!! You will not go wrong I promise!!!

03-30-2010 02:41:38 | More by kdawg105
Photo of DavoleBomb


4.03/5  rDev +1%

Poured into a pint glass. Big thanks to jyounger30 for this one.

3.5 A: Clear light orange color. Two fingers of creamy off white head with average retention and a decent amount of lacing.

4.5 S: What a crazy interesting aroma! Hops give off grapefruit, orange, and mango that somehow combine to give a rather intense watermelon jolly rancher aroma (which I've never experience before).

4.0 T: Soft bitter backbone, which is overtaken by strong hop flavor. Hops include grapefruit, a touch of pine, and a touch of mango with a surprisingly big herbal component. Touch of crystal for the malts.

3.5 M: Light to medium body. Healthy amount of carbonation, perhaps even a bit too much. A bit creamy, but could be moreso.

4.0 D: Very interesting brew and definitely worth a try.

03-30-2010 01:25:22 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of ugaterrapin


4.13/5  rDev +3.5%

It has a nice golden brown color with about a finger of white head resting on top. The head recedes to leave some excellent lacing. It has a robust pine aroma with a slight citrus grapefruit smell. The taste is quite similar. The front of the taste is of earthy pine followed by some citrus notes in the finish. The finish is slightly bitter, but nothing that takes away from the drinkability. It has a crisp hop presence throughout. Overall and excellent IPA. Definitely my favorite offering from Sweetwater. With warmer weather approaching this will start to become a staple in my fridge.

03-28-2010 22:37:15 | More by ugaterrapin
Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 2,252 ratings.