1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.
very good

2,474 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,474
Reviews: 801
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 12.09%
Wants: 147
Gots: 307 | 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: 2,474 | Reviews: 801 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tchaos
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
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 -1.8%
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 +3.3%
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 +12.6%
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 +20.9%
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 +25.9%
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 +4.5%
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 +12.1%
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 +3.3%
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 +6.3%
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 -3.5%
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%
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 -10.6%
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 +11.6%
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 +15.9%
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 +16.6%
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 +2%
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 +12.1%
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
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 +5.3%
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 +6.3%
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
Photo of silver0rlead
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lighter shade of amber with a thin beige head that retains OK. The aroma is all piney and citrusy hops, along with some caramel and turbinado sugar, fruity esters and some alcohol. The flavor is similar with pineapple and grapefruit hops, along with some piney and grassy hop notes, caramel and brown sugar, fruity esters, and some alcohol. The mouthfeel is moderate and drinkability is pretty good. A solid, but unspectacular IPA.

silver0rlead, Nov 30, 2010
Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A. Pours a hazy orange with a one finger creamy white head that leaves clumps of residual lacing.

S. Smells of caramel malt with some wonderful citrus hops and a touch of herbal grassiness. A bit of tropical fruit hoppiness comes out as it warms.

T. Bitter upfront with earthy/herbal hops and some grapefruit. The caramel malt backbone definitely takes a backseat to the upfront hop character that works its magic across the tongue and through the swallow.

M. Thin to medium body with a somewhat biting carbonation. Ends fairly dry.

D. A very good representation of the style. I like how all of the hop character interacts to create a complex IPA.

BeerAndBourbon, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of Reaper16
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

served on-tap (for only $2.75!) at The Downtown Pub, Tuscaloosa, AL, into a pint glass

Pours a typical orange/amber color. Looks watery. The head is nicely creamy, sitting at less than a finger's worth of off-white foam. Pretty meh looking brew. It scores a 3.0 but I'm giving it a 3.5 because I feel that the overall score on this review came out too low on account of appearance being weighted too much on the reviews here.

Whao. Right off the bat, this is a much different Sweetwater IPA than the bottle I reviewed back in March. I hadn't touched the beer since then. This... this is pretty dank! Resins and oranges out the ass, sure, but there's a good deal of marijuana dankness to this nose as well. I can't get much malt out of here, but I'm not exactly complaining about that. Good work, this.

I am just as surprised by the taste. Flavors of lush tangelo citrus and dagger of pine and an overall blossoming dankness. Crystal malt peeks through to give some sweetness and balance. This is a good IPA, hands down.

This is thicker than I prefer my IPAs, I have to say. For some reason, though, I am not as put-off by it in this beer. I was able to put away three glasses of this, the dank orange flavor profile never got old.

OK. I get it now. I get why people love this beer so much. I just need to be wary of Sweetwater IPA's freshness in the future.

Reaper16, Nov 18, 2010
Photo of nickthegun12
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ah the most wonderful beer i love to love!!!!....good thing this brewery isn't too far away from where i live!!!

def a darker ipa...kinda a brownish color...with a head that fades fast...and very nice lacing.

the smell is def of amarillo hops...a sweet grapefruit smell...smells almost of candy.

the taste is def bitter grapefruit....with a decent amount of sweetness from the malt....not much just enough to counter the hops.

medium mouthfeel...not too dry not to creamy.

def a session ipa....although its like 6.5%abv.

nickthegun12, Nov 15, 2010
Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 2,474 ratings.