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Sweetwater IPA - SweetWater Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sweetwater IPASweetwater IPA

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

2,422 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,422
Reviews: 796
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 12.09%
Wants: 149
Gots: 294 | 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: 2,422 | Reviews: 796 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mosley1212
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A--Dark orange. Lot of color. Vibrantly shines in the light. 3" head from an aggressive pour. Spiderweb lacing throughout.

S--Wonderously citrusy. Fresh and green. Bitter hops. The nose is fantastic even though this is past the best-by date.

T--Perfect blend of hops and citrus. The grass comes through and sits wonderfully on the tongue, then the bitter pinecone taste washes over for a wonderful finish.

M--Medium bodied. Thick feel, but at the same time it has a bit of a watery taste also.

O--This is an absolute gem from an otherwise mediocre brewery. I want this to be my everyday go-to IPA.

Mosley1212, May 23, 2011
Photo of beertunes
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to CBlack85 for sending this one my way. Poured into straight pint glass. Poured a fairly typical golden yellow with about 1/4 inch of white head that had medium retention and good lacing.

The had strong pine hop scent upfront with a bit of citrus and floral in the background. On the tongue the story was pretty similar, mostly hops with just a bit of a malt backbone.

The body was perhaps a bit fuller than average for the style and had a slightly sticky finish. Drinkability was good for a hop bomb, you could have a couple before palate fatigue set in. Overall, a very nice brew. Worth checking out.

Note: This bottle had a best by date of 4/6/11, but due to circumstances I could only get to it now. If I get to try it fresher, I'll update my review.

beertunes, May 22, 2011
Photo of ExtraStout
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Cloudy orange color with small head development on the pour.

Smell: Sweet, candy-like aroma.

Taste: Tangy, tuttie-fruity flavor.

Mouthfeel: Pretty much what you would expect from an American IPA, medium-bodied and moderately bitter.

Drinkability: Good.

Notes: Overall a decent beer, although nothing steller for the style but okay at least.

ExtraStout, May 22, 2011
Photo of isaacpopp
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a Brittish pint glass. Pours a golden orange color with a nice thick head that has only a small amount of lacing.

S - Pine nose with some fruity notes as well, possibly mango or orange.

T - Great taste that goes along well with the nose (fruity/pine), not to many surprises. Has a well-balanced finish with adequate hop bitterness. A bit of malty sweetness upfront but fades pleasantly into the bitterness.

M - Medium body, really smooth with medium carbonation.

O - A great beer overall. I would drink this again, no doubt. Very pleasant smell. I have a special place in my heart for this beer because it was the first IPA I ever had. I would recommend this to any beer lover.

isaacpopp, May 17, 2011
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Bennettrox for the bottle in Monster Trade!
12oz bottle poured into a Pint glass.

Appearance - Darker orange, very cloudy with a 3/4 finger cream-colored head. The head fades quickly, but leaves some lacing.

Smell - Pine, and a touch musty.

Taste - Piney hop bitterness, no citrus here.

Drinkability - Starts with a bitter bite, but smoothes out nicely. Average Carbonation.

Overall - I really like pine heave IPAs, so this did not disappoint.

HuskyinPDX, May 17, 2011
Photo of kingcrowing
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap poured into a 10oz alt glass.

Pours a slightly haze pale amber with a generous fluffy white head. Nose is very grassy and a bit bitter, light maltiness evens it out.

Hop oriole on this is fairly unique, it's very grassy, citrus flavors and some pine notes. Mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth - almost like it's on nitro - but it's not. There's a good sharp light bitterness, it's not overwhelming at all though. It's quite drinkable and quite good!

kingcrowing, May 15, 2011
Photo of bigrzman
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of 12 oz bottle into pint glass with a small white head and a light amber color.

Smells very piney and some citric notes.

Tastes like pine needles, lime, caramel malts, and a little lemon.

Mouthfeel bis cloying, drying, light, and piney.

Overall a good Americaqn IPA, not a world class but certainly worth paise.

bigrzman, May 13, 2011
Photo of crunkchiggin2002
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good solid "go to" IPA. Nice citrus notes with enough malt to make it multi-dimensional. Grapefruit is the overriding citrus flavor with no alcohol hotness. Best bang for your buck from the Atlanta breweries IMO. Freshness is important with this one and the "Best Before" date is always worth checking out.

crunkchiggin2002, May 13, 2011
Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this gem at the ATL airport.

A - Pours a slightly hazy burnt orange with some nice golden edges. Very nice white head that is dense. Quite attractive and tasty looking.

S - Pine aroma and resin come up nice and bold with some good toasty biscuit malt. Quite delicious aroma. There is some slight tropical and papaya notes as well as some citrus but this mostly yields towards the piney.

T & M - Taste starts off with some nice piney and and resin filled hops. Some nice grassy spice and some dank notes. Reminds me a bit of Ska Modus Hoperandi. Taste is followed by some nice toasty biscuit malt and a good fresh earthy grain backbone. The hops are definitely the main attractions though but the malt is well represented. Mouthfeel is crisp and clean with a nice light bitter finish that is pleasing but not too intense.

O - Good brew that seems to be a bit under the radar. I've enjoyed both regular Sweet Water offerings that I've had.

JoEBoBpr, May 12, 2011
Photo of Haybeerman
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Slightly hazy copper/amber color. Poured a 2 finger dirty white head with good retention to a 1 finger cap. Slowly decanted. Laced in wide rings.

S: Floral hops; grapefruit and citrus. A pine aroma intensified as the beer warmed. Bready caramel malt.

T: Caramel malt flavor more pronounced than in the nose. Transitions quickly to grapefruit and citrus hops. Resiny in the middle to a lingering dry bitter.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Resiny and dry with a solid, building bitter to balance. Nicely balanced overall.

O: Good malt and hop character in a beer with good balance overall.

Haybeerman, May 10, 2011
Photo of StoutHunter
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My brother brought me back a bottle of Sweetwater IPA from his trip down south. I tried Blue yesterday and I was not too impressed so I hope this brew turns out better. It has a best by date of May 24, 2011. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label is pretty much the same as blue just different color, looks like most of their beers look the same, it would be nice if they switched it up a little. Sweetwater IPA poured a nice looking hazy copper/orange color with a big four fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thick layer that left lots of nice lacing.

S- The aroma is nice mixture of sweet pale malts and fruity citrus hops. The citrus hops dominate the aroma and make for a dank smelling mixture of grapefruits, pineapples, and mango's. The hops also imparts some grassy and piney aromas. This IPA has a nice citrus aroma, that reminds me of some of the high end DIPA's.

T- The flavor is pretty similar to the aroma but everything is much more toned down and subdued. The pale malts show up first and have a nice light grainy flavor that has the right amount of sweetness. The hops start to come out in the middle and the piney and grassy flavors show up the most rather then all the nice citrus notes that showed up in the aroma. It has a mild bitter finish that suits the lighter flavors of this IPA.

M- Medium bodied with high carbonation, the higher carbonation works well with this beer.

Overall this was an OK IPA. Most everything about this beer was spot on for the style but I thought it could have been more flavorful. The aroma was very nice and heavy on the citrus fruits which I liked a lot, but the taste just didn't hold up to the aroma. The taste was lighter and focused more on the pine and grass aspects of the hops. I wish it was bolder and focused more on the nice citrus fruits from the aroma, but I wouldn't have changed the bitterness at the end. In the end I thought this beer smelled like DIPA but tasted like a lighter session IPA. With all the good local IPA's I don't think I would go out of my way to buy this but I am glad I tried it, if you like IPA's this is worth a try but nothing to break a sweat over.

4/14/12 Edit= I managed to get ahold of a much fresher bottle that was best before June 30th 2011, the taste was much brighter and tastier, those great citrus hops make their way to the flavor and show up nicely. This was one refreshing IPA, I am glad I got to try a much fresher example and will change my score to reflect how much better it is fresh. Original Score 4.5/4.5/2.5/4/3

StoutHunter, May 10, 2011
Photo of musicforairports
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at a restaurant whose name I cannot recall in Atlanta.

Comes in a Sweetwater pint glass looking a clear amber, with a fluffy one-finger head that goes on to leave some lacing.

Smell is hop-fruity and a bit dank. Grapefruit and pineapple flavors mostly.

Taste is hop-forward and fruity--tastes to me like a Simcoe/Amarillo mix. Some sweet malt beneath but no caramel flavors jump through. Very little bitterness, except in the finish, and while the hop flavors are spot-on and stellar for an East Coast IPA, the entire flavor is more muted and watery than I'd like. Nothing here jumps out and smacks you at all.

Mouthfeel is medium and good for the style and well-suited to easy drinking.

I love the hop flavor here, but I wish it hit a bit harder. Still, this is the kind of IPA I can put back very easily, and I'd drink it a lot if I could buy it where I live. A good East Coast IPA, and really cheap, at least in Georgia.

musicforairports, May 08, 2011
Photo of TheGordianKnot
3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dated best by 7/4... Poured in Imperial Pint

A- Poured a copper orange color with gold edges. About a half inch head sits atop the beer that looks pretty dense but it settles to a layer of bubbles in a minute and leaves only minimal residual lacing.

S- Little citrus, pineapple, and grapefruit. There is a toast and toffee to back it up but nothing is really strong about this. I wish something would pop more but because it is so light I also sense a faint soapy aroma that isn't pleasing, but also isn't so terrible it ruins the beer... Needs more for an IPA though

T/M- First reaction is that this tastes more like an APA... West coast IPAs and my homebrew may have ruined these nice reserved "not over the top" IPAs for me a bit. It tastes like a great APA mind you, but not quite the bitterness or flavor to convince me its a full on IPA- but with my score I will keep in mind this is an East Coast example of the style. The flavor does start just a bit like orange before getting bitter; balance not quite perfect. Very crisp and efforvescent.

O- I feel like this is a bit overrated on this site. Its a good beer, but not A-... I feel like I got a fresh bottle but I just was looking for more of an IPA bite. Will come back to this again because it is one of the most accessible IPAs for TN, but I won't be coming back to this when I want that in your face hop bite I get with other examples of the style... Above Average; BARELY...

TheGordianKnot, May 07, 2011
Photo of dmbsteve
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours light copper color with a big 3 finger head. Dissipated to about 1 finger and stuck around for the ride.

Big citrusy aromas - grapefruit & pineapple, a little grassy.

Taste is bitter right up front, not much malt backbone. A little out of balance for me. But nice layering of the hop bitterness and the citrusy flavors. Wish it just had a little more malt character to back it up.

Mouthfeel is light, with medium carbonation.

Overall a pretty good IPA, I would classify this as a Southern Summer IPA, if there is such a thing.

dmbsteve, May 07, 2011
Photo of zoolzoo
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Thanks NODAK

A: Hazy amber/orange, frothy white head. Plenty of lacing.

S: Sharp citric note, grapefruit. Piney bitter backbone, no malt detectable.

T/M: Much more balanced than the aroma. Sweet bready malt supporting a grapefruit forward citric bitterness. Finish is clean...maybe too clean, a bit watery. Carbonation is medium low.

O: A well balanced, flavorful IPA. Pretty solid, lacking a bit in m/f and finish. Im glad to have tried this.

zoolzoo, May 06, 2011
Photo of ScreamForMe
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bennettrox for the fresh bottle!

Lovely amber appearance that many an IPA have.

Citrus first with a little pine behind it - sets you up for the taste.

A well balanced taste - more of the citrus than the pine - some malt to back it up.

Mouthfeel was just fine for me.

Good stuff and very drinkable.

Next review!

ScreamForMe, May 05, 2011
Photo of Bennettrox
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An easily obtained local. Usually can pick this up at just about a week old which does wonders for this IPA.

A - Beautiful copper/amber color with a good full finger head that lingers nicely.

S - Citrus, grapefruit, a little pine. Very aromatic, plays well for what's to come in the taste.

T - Bitter and hoppy but also has a great balance of malt. Taste are similar to the smell with grapefruit and citrus. Has a crisp aftertaste that is very satisfying.

M - Right amount of carbonation. Medium bodied.

O - My go to IPA. Had this a long time ago prior to my appreciation for beer and thought it was okay at best. With a new-found respect for IPA's and having it fresh I can say that it's one of my favorites.

Bennettrox, May 04, 2011
Photo of bum732
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

S: Big orange and mango, some papaya.

L: Unfiltered amber orange, tight white head with 1/4 inch retention, solid lacing.

T: Slight cracker like malt with an orange hoppy backbone. Medium high citrus bitterness leads to a slight drying of the palate. Fairly clean finish, not much residual hoppiness left on the palate.

M: Medium thin mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

Ok, a little thin on body was my only complaint.

bum732, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of JWU
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my mug.

A- a light coppery/amber/orange color. A bit hazy/cloudy, but for being unfiltered, it doesn't have stuff floating in it (Smuttynose IPA comes to mind here) White pillowy head that retains very well.

S- very fragrant. Can smell it from two feet away! This IPA really walks the piney/citrusy line. Has a sweet component to the smell that makes me lean more citrusy. I really pick this one up on the sides of my tongue.

T-one dimensional taste. The hops don't slam you up front or sneak up on you on the backside. Pretty consistent throughout . Taste leans more piney. Not crushingly bitter.

M- moderate to heavy carbonation, tickles the sides of your tongue. feels heavier than most on the palate. Slick.

D- Yeah, I could have a few with no problems.

Overall, not the best I've had, but far from the worst. It lacks that something special on the hop profile or the malt profile to really make it stand out of the crowd, but I'd gladly have one again.

JWU, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of forsakenpariah
3.43/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pored from bottle into pint glass

Appearance - Pours a light coppery color; half inch flimsy head with a little bit of lacing and fairly hazy.

Smell - The smell is very nice; kind of sweet with strong earthy, piny, and resinous aroma. The smell is definitely the most enjoyable part of this beer.

Taste - There is some moderate hop bitterness and all the hop aromas, with a bit more citrus than in the nose, but the malt is definitely the star of the show here. The sweetness is disappointingly overpowering and cloying in the mouth.

Mouthfeel - The body is kind of heavy for my liking; carbonation is about right for the style.

This overall isn't a bad beer if you like the malt character, but it's just too damn sweet for me. I'm glad I only got a single; I doubt I'll be buying a six pack of these -- I'll stick to my SN Torpedo.

forsakenpariah, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of drabmuh
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle included in a recent trade. Thanks!

Beer served in a shaker pint. Beer is amber and completely clear (wasn't this beer unfiltered at some point), thin head, minimal lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is pine and malt, a little harsh.

Beer is moderate in body and mildly sweet on the get go, the midpalate is earthy sulfury hops and a decent finish with moderate bitterness. Beer does not finish dry, the overall malt backbone weighs this beer down in a bad way unfortunately. I did not thoroughly enjoy this beer. I've had this on tap before and I remember liking it better. I'd have it again to confirm my suspicions that this may be an older bottle as this is not as hoppy as I recall it to be.

drabmuh, Apr 08, 2011
Photo of tvault
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Good daily IPA..

A- Exceptional IPA. Orange, cloudy

S- Fresh hops, some orange and also slight pine.

T- Hops, citrus and pine come in. Mild finish

M- Very drinkable.

Really good IPA - Local to Atlanta and Sweetwater so it is a daily for me...

Serving type: bottle

tvault, Apr 05, 2011
Photo of victory4me
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip.

Thanks to a generous chcfan. Been wanting to try this for a while.

Pours a hazy golden-amber. My favorite color for an IPA. Frothy 2 finger head with excellent lacing leaving gobs of foam behind on the glass. Aroma is a little disappointing, has a slightly metallic aroma although a nice citrus blast accompanies. Reminds me a little of Smutty Finestkind in the smell.

Taste comes up very solid. Lots of citrus in grapefruit and lemon flavors. Slight apricot and mango as well as fresh cut grass. Slightly sticky smooth mouthfeel. Overall very enjoyable and thankful for the opportunity. Will drink again.


Had the opportunity to try this a second time. First time I had concerns it may have been light-struck, which were confirmed the second the super citrusy aroma hit my nostrils. Really an excellent IPA at a reasonable ABV. Highly recommended.

victory4me, Apr 05, 2011
Photo of JesteR14
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Exceptional IPA. Orange, cloudy unfiltered look. Love this already..

S- Bunch of fresh hops, some orange and and slight pine. Very refreshing smell.

T- Hops, citrus and pine come in. Its not as powerful and dry as i expected and would of liked, however this is a fantastic drinkable IPA. Still enjoying this one!

M- I wish it had more carbonation but still a fine brew.

Delicious, refreshing and my favorite looking IPA so far.

JesteR14, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of Vonerichs
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has great color to it. It's a clear orange with an almost pinkish hue. It's very "tropical" looking.

Sticking with the theme, the scent has grapefruit and pineapple scents.

It has a respectable dose of grapefruit and a little herbal hops to go along with bready malt. It finishes with a light chalky mint that reminded me of candy cigarettes.

Mouthfeel is crisp, clean, and fresh. Good carbonation.

Overall, this is a good beer in every way. It doesn't have in-your-face hops, but it definitely has an adequate fix of them and is an all around solid beer.

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