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

2,348 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,348
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sweetwater IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,348 | Reviews: 791 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chinchill
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unfiltered IPA served in pint glass at brewery (and previous day at a festival where it made an excellent pairing with chili).

A - golden with short-lived white head; slightly hazy

S -Piney and citrusy hops

T - crisp. Floral/citrus hoppy then hoppy with some malt tones then hoppy grapefruit finish. Bolder and drier than average for style.

D - hop-heads should like this one. More intense than the average IPA.

[re-sampled 6/19/2011 with bottle: as excellent as the draft version]

chinchill, Nov 09, 2010
Photo of BeerDawgs
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A clear golden color with a slight head.

S - A nice hoppy aroma.

T - A smooth, bitter IPA. The hops are delicious. Citrus & grapefruit hop flavors. Dry finish.

M - Medium body. Low carbonation

D - Exceptional. Quite simply, one of my favorite beers and a regular go-to standard.

BeerDawgs, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle brought by Doug.

A: Amber color, small white head, nice lacing.

S: I get a nice fruit and grassy hop aroma, bitterness, and a small sweet malt aroma. Nice, just about what you'd like from a single IPA.

T: Nice taste, much more malt in there than I thought there would be from the smell. Nice hop bitters, some tropical fruit, all balanced out well. Bitterness lingers, an overall clean clear taste. Solid.

M: This i wasn't quite as into because it seemed a little too prickly in terms of mouthfeel to me, but it isn't too bad because of the hop presence.

D: A very solid sessionable IPA.

Dreadnaught33, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours copper with a white head. Nice staying power and good lacing as it goes down my glass. Nose brings some fairly strong citrus hops and a tad bit of light malt. The taste is mostly citrus. There is some light bread and caramel flavors underneath. Good feel with nice bitterness. Not too high in alcohol with a good levels of hops, this is a drinkable beer.

Thorpe429, Oct 28, 2010
Photo of Bierguy5
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, best before 11/15/10. Cloudy, bright copper color, great white rocky head. Pretty nice head retention, nice spots of lace. A great looking IPA.

Nose is full of citrusy, grapefruity hops, with some sugary caramel malt backing it up. More fruit follows, with some slightly floral notes as well.

A bit of sweetness up front, but not as much as I expected. Citrusy, and slight tropical fruit notes, with some earthy bitterness. Dry finish.

Medium body, carbonation is soft and adequate. Not as juicy as I thought from the nose. Alcohol is hidden, making this an easy drinker. Very nice.

Bierguy5, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of blittle
4.83/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Crisp, clear light orange hue with minimal head.
S - Great aromatics, mostly picked up surpising floral notes balanced with citrus and pine. I kept wanting to take it in all the way through the drink. Very appealing.
T - Ranks among my top three IPA experiences. The IBUs don't overtake the essence of the hops like so many American IPAs tend to do.
M - Carbonation is right on.
D - So refreshing its impossible to drink just one. I rarely buy multiples of any beer, but this will become a repeating stock in my fridge.

blittle, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of jsanford
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Orange-amber with a medium off-white head. Very creamy head with good retention and moderate lacing.
S - Sweet tropical hops (pineapple and mandarin orange) with sweet caramel malt and a bit of pine resin.
T - More tropical hop flavors and sweet caramel malt. Very close to the nose. Nice, floral finish.
M - Medium-bodied with high, crisp carbonation.
D - Nice and drinkable, put me down for a couple more. This was much better then I expected, I'll have to seek out other Sweetwater brews now.

jsanford, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of TCgoalie
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 10/14/10

Pours a darker red caramel color with a 2 finger head. The lacing is good showing a wall of bubbles on the offside of the glass midway through the drink.

The smell shows ample bready malts with some pine hops. A bit of citrus overtones are also present.

I would call this a medium IPA in the category of bitterness. The hop additions show grassy, pine mild hops with a touch of grapefruit.

There is plenty of carbonation and this brew feels a bit on the light side of medium on the tongue.

I was lucky enough to find this beer at the Atlanta airport at the Sweetwater bar/restaurant. A decent IPA but an awesome find at an Airport.

TCgoalie, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of jsprain1
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a slightly oranged hazy amber with a 1.5 finger cream head. good lacing on it as well.
S- smell is very hop-forward. Virtually no malt, but citus and tropical hops.
T- The taste is very much tropical hop flavor. Pineapple, with slight mango and grapefruit notes, with the malts there, but only as a support.
M- Big enough for an ipa with medium carbotion.
D- A good IPA and one of the better made in the south.

jsprain1, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of beerprovedwright
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour resulted in a thin head of light brown foam that faded quickly, leaving a very thin ring on lace. Medium cloudy amber color, rating a 13 on the SRM chart. Rich smell of citrus, wheat, and malt. Deep rich flavor of lemon zest, grapefruit, sweet malt, and spice. Crisp flavor with a mild bitter finish. A little thin in mouthfeel, but none the less pleasing. Good blended flavor, good price and availability. I would be glad to have one with a meal if it was on the drink menu.

beerprovedwright, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of livewire78
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to AgingWarrior for this in a trade.

Pours a hazy golden amber. The exact same color as every other IPA in the world. Pretty, but nothing super-d-duper. Nice rings of lace are left on the glass.

Smells lovely. A nice sharp piney aroma is what I'm getting first then I can't tell what the sub smells are. Fruity for sure but is that apricot? Whatever it is I like it.

Tastes like an IPA just in an unusually good way. This starts out piney, and then moves into a nice hoppy, bitter middle, and at the end fades into a nice lingering sweetness. The bitterness is there to carry the other flavors instead of being it's own separate flavor. Like I said- different but unusually good.

Feels light and crisp in the mouth. Carbonation is right in the sweet spot for me. I'd like it a little more resinous but it's still friggin good.

This is exactly like making out with a hot chick. You think it's gonna be good before you even get to it and then when you're in the middle you don't realize how good it really is. Then when it's over you wish you'd taken your time and savored things more.

livewire78, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of wallaceandvomit
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a- really nice opaque medium amber color, medium head with average duration
s- really peachy smell
t- mild hops taste, peach taste dominates, reminds me a lot of the orange colored v8 splash
m- decent mouthfeel i suppose, nothing to brag about
d- this is a good beer for sure, if you like fruity ipas then this should be in your wants list

wallaceandvomit, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of joepais
3/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Kirkpjr for this brew.

I enjoyed pouring this brew into a Sam Adams glass an seeing a short lived one finger head that trailed of to a thin lace. The body of the brew was hazy amber in color. I guess maybe I have been drinking to many IPA's from tap lately. I didn't really get a ton of hoppiness coming from this brew. I got the typical citrus aroma with a lightly biter flavor. There was not much going on here in pronounced hop character. This one would make an awesome Pale Ale.

Sorry guys not my favorite offering from Sweetwater

joepais, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of CampusCrew
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: golden amber color. poor head and no lacing. lager like

smell: huge hop aroma, tons of grapefruit

taste: hmmm, not as much grapefruit on the taste as I thought. pretty good ipa. one the balanced side

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: solid IPA selection and Im sure to have it again

CampusCrew, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of Phelps
3/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle received in a trade with CooperEllis. It's marked with a best by date of September 26 -- just made it!

Looks: the beer cascades into my glass a hazy cadmium orange. A half-finger fuzzy beige head quickly becomes an enduring, filmy layer surrounded by a thick ring of bubbles that leave speckles of lace.

Smells: not bad. Spicy white pepper, nectarines, crushed pine needles and a bit of grass, with a backbone of honeysuckle. Just a little mild.

Tastes: like a wave of flavor that never seems to crest. A quick, feeble shot of piney hops and orange arrives mid-palate, but they never fully reveal themselves. Instead, a moderate bitterness lingers on the sides of the tongue, along with the vaguest honey sweetness.

Feels: moderately carbed, nice and velvety, with a body just a notch under medium.

Drinks: run-of-the-mill. The flavor was just too muted for me. It did, however, pair quite well with some spicy taco meat, which really brought out the sweetness in the IPA.

Phelps, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of holco34
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've had this many times living here in Atlanta and just now getting around to reviewing it. Typing as I finish this one off...ahhh.

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.

holco34, Sep 17, 2010
Photo of Xul
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours translucent orange with an amber hue, capped by one finger of frothy white head. Retention is moderate to poor as the head recedes fairly quickly, leaving behind some scant lacing.

S: Strong hops up front with a blend of citrus and pine character. Lots of juicy grapefruit and orange along with some light tropical fruits. Some faint bready malts in the background.

T: Big citrus character up front with the same juicy grapefruit and orange as in the nose, and a big dose of pine follows right behind. Some floral hops come in on the mid-palate along with the malt base before giving way to a fruit-filled finish with both citrus and tropical sides.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, very clean finish.

D: Very drinkable with a good hop bite, this is a rather impressive IPA.

Xul, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of gmfessen
4.7/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reading the best by date, this should have been consumed by 6/13/10... hopefully the hops haven't faded too much. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a slightly hazy burnt golden orange color with a thick, soapy white head. The nose definitely tells the story of an AIPA, thick with citrus notes like orange and grapefruit, resinous piney notes also are present. Upfront the flavor is very malty sweet, hops are almost unnoticeable in bitterness but are definitely present in the preceding flavor components. This IPA is very interesting in that it does have an intense hop nose/flavor but most of it must come from dry hopping because it doesn't have the mouth puckering bitterness you would expect. Very well done indeed. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a thin yet creamy carbonation. Overall an incredibly easy drinking beer due to the excellent hop flavor but subdued yet balanced bitterness. Definitely a winner in my book, cheers to Sweetwater for this one!

gmfessen, Sep 05, 2010
Photo of SuperSpy
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass.

Golden amber and hazy from the lack of filtration. The head is huge and eggshell white. As it dies down it leaves behind a lot of lace and finally settles into a 1/4 inch foam cap. The aroma is very citrusy with grapefruit, hints of lemon, sweet wildflowers and a slight earthiness. The first impression is that it is quite creamy, medium bodied and actually has more balance to it than I initially expected. Some light malt flavor is intertwined with all the citrusy hop flavors that the aroma prepared me for. The malt is very good, but not what I would expect from the style or the aroma. A great IPA and I have to say that so far this is my favorite Sweet Water beer.

SuperSpy, Aug 31, 2010
Photo of cdizinno
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz. bottle, as pictured, with a BEST BY 11/03/10 date on the label.

A: Clear amber/copper color with a 1/2 finger white head. Minimal to moderate lacing.

S: Mild pine, grapefruit, and floral hops. Almost nothing compared to a fresh growler or tap pour though!

T&M: Nice and smooth. The taste follows right along with the smell, but closer to the freshness I remember from the pint I had last week. Fruity hops with some grapefruit and piney flavors. Nice balance with the mild malt sweetness. Medium bodied. Starts smooth but ends with a semi-dry, oily hop feel.

This is definitely better fresher!!! Still a good, drinkable IPA.

cdizinno, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of mothman
3.03/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours 1/2 finger of white head. Color is a hazed orange gold.

Aroma: Floral, dank hops. Lots of malts. Some citrus flavors.

Taste: Lots of bready malts up front. Bitter floral hops. Grapefruit citrus.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, but bland. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends fairly clean.

Overall, an average ipa at best. Decent drinkability, but nothing special. Too malty for me.

mothman, Aug 28, 2010
Photo of billshmeinke
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

billshmeinke, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of Daniellobo
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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...

Daniellobo, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of kbutler1
3/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

kbutler1, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of wedgie9
2.73/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

wedgie9, Aug 22, 2010
Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 2,348 ratings.