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Sweetwater IPA - SweetWater Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sweetwater IPASweetwater IPA

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

2,150 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,150
Reviews: 781
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.53%
Wants: 137
Gots: 179 | 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: 2,150 | Reviews: 781 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sublimesipping


4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I guess that a layover at the airport does not mean the dirth of good beer, au contraire mes amis, quite the opposite this BA experienced stranded in Atlanta Hartsfield- never been to this airport before or Atlanta or GA for that matter so did not know what to expect, WOW did I find a great beer to help me pass the time...
Served in the airport special 20oz size, very very fresh , excellent glass lacing and a honied amber color. great aroma of fresh cut grass, pine, and floral aromas. the taste reminds me of Pliny(slightly watered down and not quite as deep) but no matter, a comparison to what for me is a world class IPA says a lot about this beer. Had some other tastes of this brewery's beer and very suprised. If I am ever in atlanta I will seek this place out. Very good beer but this one stood out above the rest. For a BA who prides himself as a discerning hophead, this was a great IPA. worth drinking anyplace, anytime, airports included. Seek it out and you will not be disappointed. Cheers to the Sweetwater brewers!

Serving type: on-tap

03-21-2009 01:08:48 | More by sublimesipping
Photo of scifan

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful golden honey color with a nice two finger head that fades fairly quickly into a foamy ring around the glass leaving some nice lacing.
Smells great. Nice floral and citrusy hops and some nice sweet maltiness. Taste similar to smell great hop flavor, very citrus almost lemony and some nice malt too balance. Tons of awesome hop flavor and not too much hop bitterness. Well done Sweetwater.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2009 03:47:24 | More by scifan
Photo of FtownThrowDown


3.25/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber in color with a very nice, frothy, bubbly head.
Smell is very green, sticky icky hops. These come through even more in the taste. Don't know if it was intended or the hops just weren't ready. But it's a bit too much to get past. Different.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2009 01:09:44 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of spointon


4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A= This ale poured a cloudy orange-gold color with a 3/4" white head that slowly dropped to a thin sudsy cap. There was a huge amount of sticky lace left behind on my glass.

S= This beer smelled like a sweet caramelly burst of biscuit malt blended perfectly with a big pine and citrus hop wallop. Very pungent yet beautifully aromatic and balanced.

T= Wow this ale impressed me. The biscuity sweet malts lead off with a healthy dose of caramel shot through. The hops soon came crashing in with all their fresh pine and citrus beauty. Lots of fruity esters present in the flavor as well. The finish got progressively drier as it progressed toward a lingering hop aftertaste.

MF= Medium bodied with a relatively crisp mouthfeel.

D= For a beer that I had never even heard of and that I acquired as an "extra: in a trade, this was a freaking awesome beer! Totally flavorful, and i could drink a bunch of these in a sitting for sure. Wow!

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2009 05:00:37 | More by spointon
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle, best by 3/30/09. Pours a clear orange with a small white head. Aroma of sweet citrus, tropical fruits, grapefruit, and grassy hops. Flavor of sweet oranges, some grapefruit and caramel malt. Incredibly fruity and awesome. Super smooth drinking. Wow, this beer just awed me! I need a case of this stuff!
9/4/9/5/17 (4.4/5)

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2009 16:32:41 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of BigBry

Alberta (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this bottle at the Total Wine and More, Raleigh. Best before 5/29/09. Label as pictured above:
"Don't float the Mainstream - This mammoth IPA is defined by generous quantities of premium hops. Extensive dry hopping contributes to its very intense hop character. This beer is unfiltered and as always unpasteurized to leave all the natural flavors intact. The beer you've been training for!"
Pours a clear, copper color with a light and bubbly head. Foam recedes slowly leaving a thin sheet of lace. Fruity hop aroma, grapefruit and orange citrus, flowery sweet hops. Love the smell.
Hop bitterness to start, but sweet toasted malts keep eveything in balance. Then piney, resin hops finish the profile. Bitterness matches the malt very nicely. Solid mouthfeel, creamy with decent carbonation, lingering bitter aftertaste.
A very well made local IPA.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2009 23:49:27 | More by BigBry
Photo of Bounty628


4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweetwater IPA is a generous 6.7% ABV and is a nicely balanced IPA that hides some of the 6.7% behind a crisp hop freshness. As the beer ranks in somewhat moderately at 6.7%, Sweetwater IPA is a great selection for a session beer.

The pour yields a brilliant and bright orange color that has the right amount of haze to it. There is a moderate amount of carbonation in the pour. A nice white head of about two fingers fills the top of the pint glass nicely and there is an ample amount of lacing left along the glass throughout the offering.

There is no hiding the nose once this beer is poured into the glass. Immediately an inviting mixture of hops and citrus is recognized in the nose but the hops certainly take the ribbon in terms of winning out. Though there is a pleasant sweetness to the citrus that invites you into tasting the beer, really what impressed me with Sweetwater IPA was the fresh hop smell at play.

One need not fear that all the hops present in the nose would somehow bow out when it comes to the taste. Au contraire! The same inviting hops that were there in the nose come racing through on the taste and the beer shines as a true example of a solid American IPA. There is a nicely crafted pine hop complexity at work in the Sweetwater IPA that matches itself to hints of both grapefruit and oranges. There is a sense of a smooth beginning to the taste that ends up with a more citric, quasi-acidic finish that is worked out in such a way to not offend.

There is a rather nice mouthfeel to the Sweetwater IPA even given the intense hop nature that is in the taste. With a moderate carbonation level, there is a nice smoothness to the beer that works its way across the palate nicely. Though a strong IPA in nature, the mouthfeel is certain well balanced enough to have plenty of different beer drinkers find this offering as being a well rounded IPA.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2009 00:14:47 | More by Bounty628
Photo of Onenote81

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, slightly murky, gold. Decent frothy head on top. Retention is firm. Great spotty lacing.

This smells like the bastard child of a grapefruit and an orange. Wow! Citrusy as all get out. Smells great.

This really is the quinticential grapefruit beer. Huge citrus flavor with a nice tangy bite at the end. Great hop bitterness. Finishes bready. Slight sweet notes in there as well. This is plenty drinkable. It is a thirst-quencher for sure. Highly recommend.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2009 23:03:01 | More by Onenote81
Photo of djeucalyptus


4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a clear rich and vibrant orange copper hue with a light canary head of a solid two fingers, which fades slowly leaving behind nice sheets of lacing.

aroma of toasted malt, caramel malt, strong pine hops, some toffee and honey. Not very rich or complex, but definitely smells good.

whoah. sweet malts of caramel, toffee, maple syrup, and some rich toasted and roasted malting. Then the hops kick in to deliver a powerful yet pleasant citrus-pine-floral hopping. The hop character isn't complex, yet it matches perfectly to the malt sweetness. Deliciously drinkable.

mouthfeel is solidly creamy, full and vibrant. ample carbonation, pleasant lingering bitterness. All in all, a great feel. A touch thick maybe, but it works alright with the malt bill.

If this were my local IPA, I doubt I could be happier. I could drink this one 'til I explode. An all around solid IPA with so many good things going for it, it's hard to nitpick. Definitely worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2009 03:25:59 | More by djeucalyptus
Photo of casemw

South Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Hard for me to say much about the appearance. Drank this one straight out of the bottle (I know thats not the proper way to review a beer), but I'm sure it's nice.

S-Full of citrus. All the characteristic of a well put together IPA.

T-Nice and refreshing, not a huge hop profile in the flavor. Bitter taste at the end, but not overwhelming.

M & D-Felt lighter in body than most, hard to believe its 6.7% abv, but I'll take their word for it. Only drank the one, but I imagine I could have put back a few more.

Overall a really nice IPA that's meant to appeal to the masses. Nothing amazing, but well done!

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2009 01:57:30 | More by casemw
Photo of dukedevil0


3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at J Clyde in Birmingham, AL

A: pours a pale orange amber with a finger of white head and good lacing on the glass.

S: Smells of hops, citrus, orange juice

T: Flavor is similar to the taste but very muted.

M: a little thin but I think it feels more thin because of the muted flavor.

D: easily drinkable, just suffers from lack of flavor

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2009 23:49:31 | More by dukedevil0
Photo of gunnerman


4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on draft at the SweetWater location in the Atlanta airport. Pours a rustic orange with a fluffy head that leaves nice thick lace on the glass. Smell is very citrus with hints of nice apricots and outdoor goodness. This is a great smelling IPA and one that will stick with me for some time. Taste is out of this world the hop profile is not a palate burner but very subtle. Hints of orange and pine with a bit of a lingering hop bitterness towards the end. This was my first offering from Sweetwater and man was is awesome, this has to be one the best IPA's that I have ever tasted.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2009 15:52:59 | More by gunnerman
Photo of PatrickJR

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Clear golden with an orange tint. A finger of white head rises with moderate retention, falling to a persistent thin cap. Some lacing.

S - Great hoppy aroma with lots of floral and citrus. Fruitiness abounds also (apricots maybe?) with a generous dose of pine.

T - Some toasted malt comes through first with a sweet fruitiness. Faint citrus (something like actual orange juice) enters the picture before the brew dries out a bit. Floral elements and moderate amounts of pine appear late palate with a somewhat sour, citric bitterness though the sweetness remains strong throughout.

M - Solid medium body with moderate to low carbonation. Very smooth and almost silky.

D - A great IPA, I definitely prefer the ever present sweetness to balance things out. Mouthfeel makes this all the more easy to session.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2009 01:19:07 | More by PatrickJR
Photo of nc41

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice orange copper color, deeper than I expected. Decent head, but would like to see more oomph. Nose is all citrus, the taste is grapefruit all the way. A very nice IPA but really is dying for more depth in flavor, and a longer finish, Fresh , refreshing very clean IPA, and good enough to buy by the case. Taste profile resembles Hopslam with a big grapefruit hit, but not as pungent or quite the hammer on the palate. It starts out strong and finishes a little weak, but it's still a tasty brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2009 04:23:10 | More by nc41
Photo of srandycarter


4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours Bright fairly clear honey, .5 inch near white head, leaves to ring. Thin webby lacing.

S- Citrus hops and sweet malt.

T - Nice sweet center quickly transformed by juicy citrus hops. Clean finish.

M - Nice presence overall. Hits all the points. Weighty enough to do the job, but clean and refreshing.

D - oh, yeah...

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2009 06:18:53 | More by srandycarter
Photo of gford217


4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear golden amber underneath a small creamy white head that hangs on as a small cap and leaves spotty lacing on the way down.

The pine hops jump out of the bottle before I even pour this one. Lots of floral in the nose as well as some biscuity malts in the background.

The taste isn't quite as aggressively hopped as I remember the tap version. It's still got the floral pine hop bitterness up front but it's not nearly as bracingly bitter as the tap version. The bready malt backbone is present but secondary.

The mouthfeel is prickly with pine hops with enough soft carbonation to compliment the sticky hop juice.

This is a very good IPA out of the bottle, but the tap version I had recently is markedly better. Nonetheless, this is Sweetwater's best year-round bottle by some margin.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2009 22:57:45 | More by gford217
Photo of Cyberkedi


4.95/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This one pours a deep, hazy, almost opaque coppery amber with a thick, orangy-tan head that sticks around for a bit. Aroma is strong and very evergreenish. Flavor is seriously hoppy, like drinking a pine tree, with just a whisper of sweetness, and mildly bitter. Texture is smooth and jazzy, very pleasing, leaving an evergreen aftertaste. I have had this in a bottle, and it is better on-tap! Strongly recommended to all hops fans.

Serving type: on-tap

02-10-2009 01:41:23 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of dancinwillie


3.25/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy orange body, with a quickly departing white head.

Very light aroma, caramelized citrus fruits, some pineapple.

Flavor is mainly made up of citrus, although a little soft. Medium bitterness, and herbal hop flavors, that both increase as the beer warms. The caramelized flavors from the aroma come into play, but like the other flavors, they are also restrained.

Medium in body, a little chewy, and the finish is a tad sweet for my tastes. Nothing too far out of style here however.

Overall, this is a good beer, but not a great one. All the flavors are tasty, but just too tame for an IPA. Bump it up a couple of notches fellas, and this could be a great beer. I would try this on tap, if given the chance, but won't be seeking out another bottle anytime soon. Too many great IPA's out there.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2009 02:49:42 | More by dancinwillie
Photo of houstoncarl


4.7/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

OK, I LOVE THIS BEER, really love it. I've been drinking and brewing IPA for 25 years and this is now my all time favorite IPA, just bumping out the IPA made by the Kona Brew Pub, Kona Hi.

It almost brought tears to my eyes when I tried my first one. later that day,I had another and I liked it even better the 2nd time around.

Solid, solid dry hopping & fantastic nose. well balanced and a good buzz.

Unfortunately, Sweetwater Brewery (Atlanta, GA) has limited distributorship and it's only available in 4-5 states. If you are in the south or as far west as North Carolina....you gotta try this IPA

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2009 03:38:21 | More by houstoncarl
Photo of Reagan1984


4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bhalter8 for providing this in a recent trade.

Thick and rich 2+finger head forms atop this brew. Slowly settles back to a ¼ inch cap that shows some nice retention. Thick lacing clings all around the glass. Beer has excellent clarity and some sporadic carbonation.

Aroma is fantastic.. Fresh juicy citrus hops.. grapefruit... Deep, rich and fresh

Really nice IPA, well balanced and slightly tilted towards the fresh hop flavor. Initial flavor is of citrus and then you head into some nice toasted malt tones that have a cracker quality. Then you are hit again with the fresh hop juicy citrus notes... This settles to a lingering hope effect. Very nice... At the end there is a lemon citrus flavor more than grapefruit...

Mouth feel is bright, clean and body is medium/light. Very drinkable...

Glad I had the opportunity to try this one..

Very nice IPA.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2009 21:19:32 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of drlumps62


3.15/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a six pack from a grocery store in Chattanooga.
Drank the beer from chilled glass

A: Nice dark golden color. Slight frothy white head. Not much retention. Small bit of lacing.

S: At first I smelled what I considered to be cat urine. It gives way to a piney smell. It put me off a little.

T: I don't like saying it, but cat urine is in the initial sip. It again gives way to a very piney taste with a hint of citrus at the end.

M: Medium body. Right amount of carbonation.

D: Despite, the initial nose this beer is a nice Sunday afternoon football beer.

This is a very different IPA. Despite what I feel about the cat urine smell and taste, this beer levels out and is quite enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2009 03:05:14 | More by drlumps62
Photo of CHSLBrew


4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A-Slightly hazy (symptom of dry hopping) orange-amber beer with a bright-off-white, 1-finger head that slowly reduces to sparse bubbles.

S-Strong grapefruit and citrus hoppiness takes the lead in this aroma with pine undertones (which become more prominent as the taste goes on).

T-Grapefruit and hop bitterness strong at the start, then fade into a lighter crisp citrus with a hint of pine. The bitterness settles down a bit and remains through the flavor profile. Deep under all of this intense hoppiness, I can finger some light bready malt with a slight sweetness. Finishes crisp and bitter, with a lingering dry malty aftertaste.

M-Medium-high carbonation and a moderate body. The sting of carbonation lingers slightly, then dissipates into a beautiful, light and bitter finish.

D-Strong drinkability, due to its ease of consumption, but also largely because of its tasty and appropriate hoppiness. This is a fun beer to enjoy, perhaps a bit too hoppy and strong for a session, but easily smooth enough to crack a couple open.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2009 21:34:38 | More by CHSLBrew
Photo of imagineiii


4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade with Sincerenc. Poured into a pint tumbler. Clear amber color. decent head of rough bubbly head. Retention is about a minute. carbonation is ample but fine.

Smells like cascades, maybe amarillo, and caramel malts.

I cant help but think of a beer I had last night when I sip this beer. It smells and tastes alot like 2 avery beers: maharaja and ale to the chief. Slightly drier and cleaner, much lighter. however it comes up short on the bitter aftertaste of an IPA, especially considering its 6.7% abv. Maybe thats just good balance.

Fine carbonation on the tongue. flavors are mostly on the back of the tongue.

I could drink a few of these, however i notice a slight alcohol numbness on the palate towards the end of the first one. Theres that 6.7%alc that didnt seem to be there earlier.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2009 23:39:27 | More by imagineiii
Photo of johnd513


3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes to mschae1017 for this one.
This beer pours a copper orange color with a small head that quickly disappears. The aroma is floral and citrusy and a little piny. The taste follows the smell, starts smooth and ends bitter. The mouthfeel is smooth but a tad thin. Drinkability is decent. I could probably drink two of these. Overall, not a bad IPA.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2009 23:15:49 | More by johnd513
Photo of nrbw23


4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark honey color, slightly hazy, with a one finger cream colored head that slowly settles to a thick cap. Stringy lacing along the glass.

S- Sharp and piney hops make up most of the aroma. A little bit of bready malts are in the background, giving a light, sweet, honey aroma. Pretty well balanced and smells very nice.

T- The hops are sharp, citrusy, and a little spicy. Big citrus hop character up front, followed by balancing malt and caramel. Malty sweetness shows in the middle and the finish is dominated by moderate hop bitterness.

M- Full bodied with good carbonation.

D- Probably one of the most balanced IPA's I ever had. Highly recommended for sure.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2009 23:11:53 | More by nrbw23
Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 2,150 ratings.