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Sweetwater IPA - SweetWater Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sweetwater IPASweetwater IPA

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

2,353 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,353
Reviews: 791
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 140
Gots: 260 | 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: 2,353 | Reviews: 791 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of domtronzero
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Slightly hazy golden copper colored with a long lasting whitish head. Very little lacing.

S - Sweet bready malts are very slight and rather muted. Light fruity esters and subtle piny hops.

F/M - Nice sweet bready malts, with a light citrusy/piny hop character. Medium bitterness with a dry finish. Not much POW in the flavor - its really muted and in the backseat in this one.

D - Clean, dry, refreshing and tasty, it pretty easy to put down. Just not up to par with most other IPAs I've had.

domtronzero, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of jsdunlop
4.65/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out a nice looking darkish golden-light amber color into my pint glass. Nice amount of yeast sediment seems to be floating around in this one as well. A fluffy, thick white head immediately formed and left copious amounts of lacing behind after each sip. Beautiful. Smell is of strong pine, grapefruit and citrus. The taste starts out strong with hops, a barrage of pine, oranges, lemons and limes, while a semi-sweet maltiness manages to make it's way onto the palate to mellow out the hoppiness. This beer is mildly carbonated, allowing for your tastebuds to be fully aware of the hop presence, not at all blinding the piney, earthy and natural citrus flavors. You get the strong, crisp bitterness at the end of each sip, while a slick and oily mouthfeel hangs around. Moderate body in this one with a bready and sweet malt presence. Pretty darn good in my opinion, light enough to enjoy more than a few. I'd say the drinkability is higher than most IPA's I've had in the past. Great brew from Sweetwater.

jsdunlop, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of StoneTSR
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Opaque, deep copper with a thin head that perfectly fit into a snifter when poured from a 12oz. bottle. Full disclosure here, the bottle on this one does say "best if enjoyed by: 12/26/10", but my guess is that it is still good on Jan. 11.

SMELL: I smelled the sweet aroma of hops as soon as I poured this one. I like IPAs like this - floral, piney and citrus smelling. All the best an IPA has to offer. The "extensive dry hopping" mentioned on the bottle seems to have done its job.

TASTE: Starts out far more bitter than expected and sweetens throughout the sip. The sweet flavor is a very mild citrus with caramel and pine dominating. There is no mistake about this being an IPA. The aftertaste is dry and bitter with an odd hint of orange.

MOUTHFEEL: This could be a product of the age of the beer, but the mouthfeel seems to be the weak point with the Sweetwater IPA. It lacks the sparkle I generally prefer and is fairly mouth coating. Not bad by any means, but not as solid as the rest of this beer's characteristics are.

OVERALL: Sweetwater is one of the few things I have ever enjoyed from Atlanta, Georgia. I've got some horrific memories attached to that city and state, but the Sweetwater IPA is good enough to make me forget that for a moment. If I'm ever stuck there, I know how I'm passing the time. Like their other beers I've tried the IPA is amongst the best in the South.

StoneTSR, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of NODAK
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is sharp, sharp grapefruit hoppiness. Among the sharpest I've smelled in a beer. Probably an omen of things to come.

The taste is basically like sucking on a grapefruit. A bitter one, that is. Be that as it may though, it isn't over the top bitter. I'm not a hophead by any means, and I found this to be pretty dang drinkable. While it's not quite the complete assault on the taste buds I thought it would be, it's still quite hoppy. Did I mention tasty?? Yes, it is. Oh, and malt?? Nah, but that's OK. Didn't expect that in an American IPA anyway.

If you want an IPA that's as grapefruit as they get, go ahead and pick this one up. I'm impressed though, that they stopped short of making it ridiculously bitter. Recommended!

NODAK, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of tchaos
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Victory tulip...free from a local restaurant that may start stocking it.

A -- Clear, amber/orange; solid two-finger white head with moderate retention and lacing

S -- Pine and citrus hops dominate, with some fruity sweetness present

T -- Excellent citrus, pine, and fruity notes, with a great amount of appropriate hop bitterness. Peak bitterness delves off quickly to a dry, crisp finish. Bitterness lingers slightly -- the overall balance adds a great deal to the drinkability.

M -- smooth, medium body; moderate carbonation

D -- Very drinkable for the hop lover, and the crisp finish makes it one for those expanding into IPAs as well. Will definitely keep stocked.

tchaos, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pretty peach color, hazy with a good, lasting head and nice lacing.

A mellow smelling somewhat fruity IPA. Good hoppiness and citrus presence.

Really mellow IPA, I'm liking this one a lot. Easy going smooth floral and fruity flavors, accented perfectly with a healthy dose of hops.

Medium bodied and well carbonated. Very nice aftertaste.

Drinks very well. Great stuff!

AlCaponeJunior, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of LiquidBread219
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= Nice golden yellow with a nice foamy head provided nice lacing.

S= Pine and Floral hops

T= Nice mixture of hops in the beginning you get a grapefruit taste to it and then you get some pine really like the mixture of hops in this one.

M= Medium bodied just enough carbonation (could have used a little more.)

D= Very good beer really drinkable not that high of a ABV. really enjoyed it.

LiquidBread219, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of beerdown77
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The IPA had 1 1/2 Fingers of head and was copper in color. The chunky head lasted throughout. The smell was strong hops and floral. This was suprisingly more refreshing than some other IPAs that I've had. The taste is bold, but is quickly out of your mouth. It does not have that lingering sour flavor that makes you wish you could brush your teeth; and you would if you didn't already know how terrible beeramint is. It has a welcome crispness and a little malty finish. It was medium bodied and easy to drink, but pretty zesty. I probably wouldn't drink more than two of these in a sitting.

beerdown77, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of jimixr
4.8/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Golden with a nice foamy head. Beautiful carbonation

S: Pine and citrus hops. Very nice

T: Very hoppy. The first sip is like a grapefruit punch in the mouth. Pretty dry finish.

M: Medium bodied and just enough carbonation.

D: Very good. This is my go to beer. One of my all time favorites.

jimixr, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of unclejimbay
5/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Golden honey/copper in color with short head and mediocre lacing.
Aromas of sweet malts and citrus hops.
Tastes as it smells with notable citrus dominant flavors, followed by a dash of pine and sweet malt support.
Light body, semi slick and high carbo.

I really dig this one! My new easily accessible IPA after homebrew and Bells Two Hearted..
New to our area and I am excited about this arrival! Available most places in Jacksonville FL!

unclejimbay, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of Domingo
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this as part of the Sweetwater mix pack. Probably a typical IPA, right? 1 sip later I know this is not the case.
Bright orange/copper. Lots of head initially, but it fades into a sheen. Initial foam lacing still around, but that's all.
The flavor profile is a pineapple grapefruit assault. Huge notes that go from tropical to a bitter pucker, to a lingering mix of sweet peaches and citrus rind.
Potent, but still quaffable.
One of the best normal IPA's I've had in a while...and unique tasting as well. One of the best beers in the entire region easily.

Domingo, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of Spica66
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this as an extra from FutureCowboy. Thanks, Timmons!

Best by 01/26/11.

A: Copper color with excellent head formation and retention. Monster lacing.

S: Sweet caramel malt and citrusy hops.

T: Sweet malt on the front and lots of citrusy/piney hops in the middle. Finishes sweet, juicy, and medium bitter.

M: Medium body with excellent carbonation level. Smooth and nice.

D: Very easy and pleasant!

Spica66, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy light amber in color, the beer poured with a finger high creamy beige head that slowly dissipated into lacy patterns of bubbles covering the surface. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: The hops contribute moderate to strong aromas of grapefruit and pine resin to the nose.
T: Like the smell, there are flavors of grapefruit and pine in the taste as well as notes of caramel and hints of malty sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very drinkable. I would definitely have another one of these again because it has a nice amount of bitterness and a good amount of flavors. I could easily have a few of these in one sitting.

metter98, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of jbphoto88
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A sweet potato and honey colored beer that is slightly hazed but still translucent. The head is thin and almost nonexistent with just a thin collar around the rim of the glass. A slightly above average looker.

Wow. The nose on this beer just makes me want to dive in. Grapefruit and sweet, bready malts finished with a slight peach note. It's perfectly mild and has a good balance of everything with not one scent being the dominator.

Taste dips away from the nose but only by a fraction. The citrus and peach are present but not as potent as in the scent. A slightly watered down grain is there but eclipsed by a nice hop bitterness. The smell makes me expect more from this beer but that doesn't mean it isn't fantastic. In fact this is a truly tasty and simple IPA. Well done.

The mouthfeel has some perky carbonation that sizzles the tongue and a medium body that coats your mouth slightly. Another area of this beer that is simple but well done. It doesn't need anything more complex then the bitterness and malt sweetness it has. A very easy drinker and one worth checking out.

jbphoto88, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of JayS2629
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Nice copper color. Beautiful white foamy head with nice retention and creamy walls of lace.

S- Nice citrus hops, grapefruit, and pine with hints of lemon and orange peel.

T- Piney hops followed by bitter grapefruit and a background of sweet caramel malt

M- Medium bodied, semi-creamy, bright and zippy. Refreshing.

D- Very easy to drink. Very nice refreshing, hoppy beer.

JayS2629, Dec 24, 2010
Photo of Double06
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a fresh 12oz bottle into a tulip at home. Nice to see Best Before dates on the bottle so you know how fresh it is, and this is very fresh.

A: Slightly cloudy, orange in color with about a 1/2 in foamy white head. Solid amount of lacing on the glass.

S: One of my favorite smelling IPAs when fresh. Lots of citrus and a hint of sweetness but the citrus really shines here.

T: Again more of the cirtus to start, followed by a slight puckering from the bitter hops and wrapped by just enough sweetness from the malt.

M: Solid for an IPA. Doesn't leave that resinous coating in the mouth like some others. Just the right amount of carbonation to fill the mouth however.

D: Very high, especially for a 6.7% brew. With the excellent balance between the bitter and sweet, this is dangerously drinkable.

Overall, an excellent brew and cost effective. Like many IPAs, this is much better fresh and Sweetwater providing a Best Before date is awesome.

Double06, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of cutout
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into pint glass

A- Dark amber cloudy appearance full head good lacing

S- A little more earthy IPA than I am use to but notes of grapefruit and pine are very good.

T- For a IPA a shade twangy if thats possible but still delightful

M- Good carbonation and full body taste

D- very good hoppy beer on the verge of a sessionable

cutout, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of atsprings
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Brixx Pizza in Chapel Hill served in a standard pint glass a nice hazy orange with a decent off white head that lasts as a thin layer and leaves decent lacing on the glass. Aroma is a nice amount of pine hops in front of caramel malts. The taste is a nice kick of bitter pine hops with a sturdy caramel malt backbone providing nice balance. The beer is medium bodied with a nice hint of dryness. This is a very enjoyable cask IPA, one I was glad to go a bit out of my way for!

atsprings, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of Hammerknocker
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice golden amber. Creamy white head and some impressive lacing in a standard pint glass.

Smell: Aroma is a combination of hops and citrus(mostly grapefruit). Very nice indeed.

Taste: Fruity hops and some grapefruit and pine flavors. Great balance with the mild malt sweetness. Nice combination of bitter and sweet. Not too intense. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation and very crisp. Medium body and silky smooth.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable and highly thirst quenching. Exceptional. This moves high up on the list of my favorite beers. I plan to have it on hand regularly. Wish I could find it on tap more often.

Hammerknocker, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
4.63/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

nice golden haze hue and cloud white head, small bubbles, leaves a little lacing.
smells like uber sweet, juicy fresh hops.... sooo good. this to me is the epitome of a solid smelling ipa, good things are to come. nectar of gods.
its the almost perfect balance of massive hops, pineiness, and citrus. i really cant think of it getting much better, and i find myself thinking fondly of pliny. west coast claims the best ipas and this east coast monster has to run with the best of them. the dry hopping pokes through on the end and the bitterness is mild, just the right amount. i wish i had access to this beer on a regular basis, although if i did, i may drink nothing else... ever.
drinkability and mouthfeel are perfect, and i wouldnt change a thing.

Kkottonmouthkngz, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of morimech
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First review of a beer I received in Secret Santa '10. Slightly hazy orange color with two fingers of white head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass. Huge citrus and tropical fruit in the aroma. Malt does not make an appearance. And the malt does not add much to the flavor either. This is a hop showpiece and the brewer evidently did not want any of that pesky malt getting in the way. Just a lot of citrus hops is tasted but bitterness does not get out of hand and is very manageable. I enjoyed the body in this beer. Although it is not that big, it has really good carbonation that lends a very good texture. Overall a good IPA that features the hops nicely without blistering bitterness.

morimech, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of DIM
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: This had a very light haze for being unfiltered. It was a pale golden color with a smallish head.

s: This was very well balanced and extremely aromatic. A malt backbone that smells of light caramel and sugar cookies. Strong hop aromas of lemon zest and grapefruit.

t: This is damn tasty. I tasted strongly citric hops with lots of bitter bite balanced by a soft malt profile of vanilla, shortbread, and toffee.

m: Slick body with prickly carbonation and a long lasting bitter lemon rind aftertaste.

d: Top notch IPA. If this was local it might knock off 60 minute as my go to IPA. Thanks to titosupertramp for the treat.

DIM, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of harpus
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Orange/Copper, good clarity, 1.5 finger head

S: Beautiful Aroma. Hoppy, citrusy, grapefruit, pine

T: A lot like it smells. Hoppy but well balanced. Same flavors that you get from the nose but slightly milder in taste.

D: Extremely drinkable. ABV isn't too high...I could drink it all night.

This is one of my favorite IPA's and definitely my favorite of the Sweetwater beers.

harpus, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of despainmakesbeer
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mildy hazy light brownish orange color. Thick Ring on edge of glass with thin covering on face of beer. Outstanding aroma, brown sugar, some honey, and excellent citrusy grapefruit aroma. Mild to moderate carbonation. Very smooth mouthfeel, with a mild grapefruit finish. A little on the sweeter side but pretty well balanced. Extremely drinkable for an ipa with such a good flavor and good hop character. Has that citrus peel aftertaste, but nothing in the aftertaste that linger longer than it should.

despainmakesbeer, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of Brent
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having previously enjoyed quite a few of the 420 extra pale ale, I was surprised by how many notches Sweetwater cranks up the hops for this product. Big hops profile, with some floral notes and a touch of honey/dextrose sweetness in the background. Color is an unsual orange/gold. Finish is a firm, lingering bitterness. Nicely done.

Brent, Dec 03, 2010
Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 2,353 ratings.