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Sweetwater IPA - SweetWater Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sweetwater IPASweetwater IPA

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

2,156 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,156
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: 2,156 | Reviews: 781 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ncvbc

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Holy crap, I almost forgot how good this is. Pours a solid amber with a nice fluffy head and great lacing down the glass. Smell is so strong of fresh and juicy citrus. Grapefruit is the main culprit and a sugary sweet malt is also present. About as great as it gets, with hops winning but malts providing a solid backbone that keeps it in place. A crisp, refreshing mouthfeel. Slightly bitter and drying finish. Mouth watering. Excellent drinkability. It's gone before you know it. An all around classic IPA in my book. I need to pick this up more often, damn!

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2008 23:27:48 | More by ncvbc
Photo of nickfl


4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Half finger of white foam on a clear copper body. The head settles quickly and leaves almost no lace.

S - Nice hop aroma, mostly grapefruit with notes of plums, oranges and pepper.

T - 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 and grapefruit hops flavor with a hint of mint.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Well balanced with excellent hop character, easily drinkable. I have been less than impressed with most of what I have had from Sweetwater, but this IPA is a wonderful exception.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2008 04:16:47 | More by nickfl
Photo of armock

New York

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

A - Poured a copper color with a thin off white head

S - Is of piney hops very nice

T - Each sip is a mouthful of piney hops

M - This beer has a higher medium carbonation to it

D - This is the kind of beer that I want to come home to after a day of work and sit back with and enjoy the hops its worth a try

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2008 02:46:41 | More by armock
Photo of lackenhauser


4.68/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bright golden color. Not a lot of head or carbonation. Nice hoppy aroma-a lot of grapefruit in there. Fantastic hop flavor. Not overly bitter but a great, great hop flavor across the board. Killer malty sweetness to offset the hops. Really a great tasting beer. Touch of lingering bitterness. Nice body-not too big or thin. Simply a great US IPA. A style that can really run the gamut of flavors. They nailed this one for sure. I could do this all night.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2008 00:15:49 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of JohnGalt1


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

12 oz received as an extra in trade with MMAJYK .. Thanks a bunch. Poured into my New Belgium snifter.

1" head drops pretty quick.. spotty lacing.. clear amber brew.

Piney .. with quite a bit of toasty and a little bit less caramel aromas... floral hop aromas come out quite a bit as it warms.

Flavor is really not that bitter for the style .. alot of toasted bread with a good dose of flavor hops.. balanced more toward the malts than many American IPA's .. good medium body with a lower carbonation really makes the mouthfeel nice. Very drinkable... mild melon like yeasty component when it warms up.

Fantastic extra Marc! This would be a regular in my fridge if I had access to it.. I prefer a little maltier IPA.. and the Sweetwater delivers nicely.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2008 07:14:06 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of jdubjacket


3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Always have this on tap at the brewery, so I thought I would try it in a bottle.

Pours an amber color with minimal lacing. No head to speak of.

Smells like hops, pine, and citrus. Taste is similar except it has a rather bitter aftertaste, which is typical of Sweetwater.

Overall, this is a decent IPA and is one of the better offerings of Sweetwater.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2008 01:04:04 | More by jdubjacket
Photo of AshevilleSippin

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Short Version:
Nice hoppy IPA. Bitter and astringent on the finish. Enough malt to keep the drinkability factor up. Much better than the Sweetwater 420 I rated the other day.

Poured a deep amber-honey color with thick light-khaki 2" foamy head with nice durability. It dropped in uneven splotches that reminded me of iceburg sheer walls at times. Lace was sticky at the top but failed to muster any cling on the lower 2/3 of the glass.

Bright hoppy smell with maybe a little sour citrus. Head settled to a thin-film ring with volcanic islands in the center. Busy and appetizing. Oddly enough there seems to be the faint smell of band-aids involved. That rich sweetish plasticy-latex smell of a quality band-aid is somehow intertwined with the hops. I know it sounds crazy but it was there. Glass was clean and rinsed prior to the pour too. Subtle and not sickening but I think it's a reasonable approximation of what I'm picking up.

Taste is hoppy with a some decent caramel malt balance. Medium bodied and flavorful. There's something dusty/earthy about it (not a sweet or flowery hoppiness) that I can't quite place. Very bitter and astringent on the tongue. The deep biting bitter like you'd get from alumn or some kind of cleaning supply.

Finish is dry and bitter with a little malt running fullback to keep it pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2008 18:58:43 | More by AshevilleSippin
Photo of whiplash3825


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

Pours copper/amber with a smallish off-white head that lasts all the way through... minimal lacing.

The smell is refreshing all on it's own without ever taking a sip! Beer aromatherapy... like a spring day in a pine forest, along with some citrus, earthiness, and light malt.

Great balance in the flavor, with piney and grapefruit hops backed up with a nice malt presence. Someone else mentioned mango in the taste, and it's definitely there! Very fruity.

Good mouthfeel... hops oilyness with a nice level of carbonation.

Even with the strong hops, drinkability is great because of the balance in taste.

I'm not a hopshead, but I love this beer! I think that attests to the nicely balanced malt in the backgroud that keep the hops from being overpowering. My favorite IPA to date, and IMO the best Sweetwater offering by far.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2008 22:53:18 | More by whiplash3825
Photo of pacothrash


4.93/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is in my top 5 and I was fortunate to have the wife travel to Atlanta. She picked me up a case. The first bottle was just as I remember, if not better. Very nice citrus, grapefruit smell from the hops. Nice balance. Definately my favorite session beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2008 13:47:55 | More by pacothrash
Photo of slatetupelo


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

A - Pours a nice coppery color with a small white head a little lacing.

S - Really strong citrus smell, I'd say along the lines of a grapefruit, this beer actually smells refreshing if that makes any sense.

T - Very good and bittersweet, it tastes just like it smells. Strong citrus and pine hops balanced out with some malts. Leaves a great aftertaste that makes you want to drink another one.

D - Very drinkable, I could see myself going through a 12 pack on a hot summer day. This would make for a great session beer. I would love to try this one of tap someday.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2008 04:52:53 | More by slatetupelo
Photo of RustyDiamond


4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very pretty clear golden appearance with a slight tint of orange.

Very floral, citrus hop aroma. Cascade, maybe Simcoe too?

Chewy, medicinal hop taste. Sweet, syrupy hop finish. Definitely a palate coater. As hoppy as this is, very drinkable...scary.

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2008 23:07:25 | More by RustyDiamond
Photo of MarkSCCOT

South Carolina

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

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle obtained at Green's in Atlanta into a pint glass.

A. Very nice amber brew with a fluffy head and typical light lacing.

S. Very robust hops. I liked the profile since it reminded me of a SN brew without the raw power. Very discreet hop mixing and some malt.

T. Dead on to the smell. The hops are piney with a grapefruit finish. A discreet malt finish.

M. Very clean finish. The carbonation is light.

D. Very drinkable. I personally like to keep an IPA in the main fridge and this would be a choice if it were available in my area.

A solid IPA.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2008 01:33:27 | More by MarkSCCOT
Photo of MMAJYK


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

A- Nice coppery orange color with 2 fingers of fluffy, white head after an agressive pour. There is a few spots of lacing down the glass while drinking it down.

S- Ahhh. The citrusy grapefruit aromas of these hops. It is hoppy, but the sweetness of the fruits blend well and make it quite an experience on the nose. It is soft and very sweet; not overpowering at all. I also pick up a smell of pineapples hidden in there.

T- Just like the smell. The hops are bittersweet. The taste starts sweet, midstream turns to bitter, then sweet again on the finish. It is very complex, surprisingly. I also pick up the same grapefruits and pineapples that I picked up on the nose.

M- Medium in thickness, and is a little bit oily. The oils coat the surface of the tongue with a nice film. I think because I poured it somewhat agressively, it took away a little bit of the carb sting.

D- Very drinkable and enjoyable. It is low enough on the ABV to really down a few of these in one sitting, but holds the qualities of the style well.

Overall- This is a strong offering from Sweetwater. This one was from the bottle, but I have had it on tap at the brewery too. Both are equally enjoyable. I cannot believe that it has taken me this long to review this brew, but I am glad I did. I have found a new session beer that will be taken advantage of!

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2007 01:27:47 | More by MMAJYK
Photo of goindownsouth


4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Awe inspiring in its unfiltered beauty, deep and almost amber in colour. Creamy off-white head left legit lace along the sides of the pint glass. Bright and floral aromas of sweet and citrusy goodness. Piney resins play well with just the right hint of malt sweetness for balance. Good bitterness to boot. Great body and high quaffability, for sure. It could be a little bit more crisp, as some others have said, but this is very, very well balanced. Perhaps one of the more well balanced, quality brews available that I have tried in the Southeast. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2007 12:44:31 | More by goindownsouth
Photo of meechum


3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Coppery in color with very little head and a thin layer of foam on top..no lace on the glass

S - Has a strong citrus smell..I couldn't place at first but finally I think it was grapefruit could also smell some of the malt in there also

T/M - Taste is strong on the piney, citrus hops especially with a bent towards grapefruit..but delivers this flavor along a nice caramel malt backbone. Mouthfeel is medium and carbonation delivers the taste to the palate well.

D - I'm not much of a hop head and I found this to be a very enjoyable IPA..the hops were strong but balanced well and the grapefruit flavor and sweetness in the drink balance out well with the sweet malty caramel flavors

Serving type: on-tap

10-13-2007 01:19:04 | More by meechum
Photo of brewcrew76


4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Cloudy orange with a thin white head and no lacing.

S - Pine, citrus and grapefruit hops with a touch of caramel malt in the background.

T - Bitter piney hops that linger with some citrus and grapefruit thrown in. Caramel malt is there for some balance but the piney hops take over a bit.

M - Medium body with a dry lingering piney hop finish.

D - A hop driven IPA that is tasty.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2007 00:51:45 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of Monkeyknife


3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap a hazy apricot color with a foamy off-white head.

Aroma is blessed with plenty of enticing grapefruit and floral hops.

Taste is like the aroma with plenty of grapefruit while also sharing a bit of pine.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a light carbonation.

This is a very nice IPA. In fact, it's one of my favorites. I had to vacation in Florida to find it. It was worth the trip.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2007 03:44:12 | More by Monkeyknife
Photo of Budro


4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Held up to the light, this beer presents with a beguiling, buttery lava lamp orange, redolent of peach flesh and butterscotch candy. The body is cloudy, with a generous dusting of yeast that calls to mind a heavy hand with the cinnamon. The foamy, creamy-looking head atop the whole affair looks rich and lightly cinnamon-colored.

S: The bouquet is lively with floral citrus notes, calling to mind a bushel of fresh-picked pink grapefruit. Underneath, there's the aroma of sugared peaches.

T: Bright and lively on the palate, bitter but almost juicy with citrus, with a piquant dry finish. Sugared peaches underneath, paired with sharp cheddar cheese. Perfectly balanced. Not as robust as a many IPAs, but the flavor is distinctive.

M: The bright carbonation explodes like popping flash bulbs; it's here and then it's gone. Nothing special, perhaps even a bit thin.

D: Agreeably sessionable. Brightly and fully flavored--delicious, really--but not too heavy in the belly.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2007 22:06:19 | More by Budro
Photo of genog


4.93/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a gorgeous dark orange with a light brown two inch head that builds then falls leaving a creamy white head that has lacing sticking to the side. Smell is like a christmas tree, with a lot of strong pine, and a little earthy character too. Some citrus type smells left in the background. The taste is one of the best beers I've ever had. Citrus, mostly grapefruit taste, some pine followed by bitter hops. Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated for a refreshing taste in an IPA.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2007 02:51:05 | More by genog
Photo of franksnbeans


4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazed apricot with a finger of lively white head that dies rather quick and laces nice random sheets. Awesome smell. Floral, piney, juicy hops with grapefruit. Taste is a delight. Big hops, rind, grapefruit but backed by some malt that finally gives way to the hops at the end for nice bitter finish. Light in the mouth with the perfect amount of carbonation. Drinkability...lets just say if I lived in the ATL, this would be my drank all day, every day. Give this one a shot and be rewarded..

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2007 05:19:54 | More by franksnbeans
Photo of biggmike


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

Had this one on draft at the Emerald Coast Brew Fest in Pensacola, FL. Poured a hazy copper color with a nice white head. Aroma is sweet and of hops. Taste is citusy and very hoppy. Mouthfeel is good. Drinkability is way up there. I thought this was excellent and will have whenever I get the opportunity. Unfortunately, not available in Mississippi.

Serving type: on-tap

09-09-2007 15:56:29 | More by biggmike
Photo of Slatetank


4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Recieved this bottle from Phatz, thanks.
Poured into a Dogfish head shaped pint cold

A - Decants a hazed amber w/ a 1finger head that settles down around the miniscus. The head is white and leaves lots of sticky lace clinging.

S - Sweet and juicy w/ loads of grapefruity hop odors. Nice fresh herbal hop smell.

M - Juicy, resinous, sweet + bitter are placed side by side w/ skill.

T - The resinous grapefruity hops are sweet and juicy like a ruby red and lightly acidic. They fill the mouth with gusto and the pleasant malt backing gives this a great deal of depth. The prickly nature of the hops is aided by the carbonation hanging in with mellow tasty green flavor til the end. A really nice fade.

D - A very drinkable IPA with a lot of flavor - this tastes fresh. I would enjoy this beer if I cross paths w/ it again. I think the feel is slightly undercarbonated, but has a very nice oily hop feel. It is a very good example of the IPA style.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2007 14:52:45 | More by Slatetank
Photo of elgiacomo


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


12oz bottled Mar 1, 2010. Picked up a very fresh sixer of Sweetwater IPA after not having it in quite a while and man did I forget how great this IPA is, especially when ridiculously fresh.

Pours amber with a two finger off white head that leaves some nice rings and trails of lacing and maintains a nice cap.

Aroma is big on the grapefruit and citrus, simcoe hops, a little bit of pine, grass, and bread.

Flavor is more serious grapefruit, but there is that pine and resinous hops. Decent caramel malt to balance things out a bit. I love citrus-forward IPAs and this one delivers in a big way.

Mouthfeel is great, medium bodied, medium carbonation, finishes great, very drinkable.

Overall this is one of my favorite regular IPAs. Gets a bump for being a helluva bargain since it is a local brew. I think a lot of folks in the South take this one for granted, but it's a top-tier IPA and one I won't go so long without drinking again.


12oz. bottle, best by 10/15/07. Pours a pretty amber/orange with a small head that diminishes to a nice swirl that lasts quite a while. Aroma is a big 'ol grapefruit to the face, whole lotta hops goin' on here. Flavor is equally as strong. More grapefruit, tons of hops, some pine. Mouthfeel is excellent, medium carbonation, quite smooth. Finishes nice and dry. Very refreshing IPA that doesn't hold anything back. Tone it down a little? Hell no! This stuff is great and a relative bargain! Makes me glad to live in Georgia! :)
Aroma 4/5, Appearance 3/5, Taste 4/5, Palate 4/5, Drinkability 4/5: 3.8/5

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2007 01:56:01 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of jettjon


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

From the tap into a pint glass, this one looks like an IPA should: a hazy orange with a bit of brown beneath a pale quite cap. The head fades quickly, leaving a solid cap and sheet-like lacing; very attractive. Nose is quite pungent, with strong notes of citrus and floral hops, kind of like piney grapefruit. Tastes follows right along with the nose, coming across almost like grapefruit juice, steeped in middle-to-bitter citrus and piney hops. Perfumy. Finishes on a crisp and bitter note. Mouth is wet, thinnish, and clean. Sharp carbonation keeps it crisp. Drinkability is very good; it’s tasty and thirst-quenching without crossing over into uber-bitterness.

Overall: A great citrusy domestic IPA, definitely worth a try. Certainly the best of the Sweetwater line that I’ve tried so far.

Serving type: on-tap

08-20-2007 23:34:55 | More by jettjon
Photo of akorsak


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

A 12 oz bottle courtesy of Phatz.

A: The ale is best described as orange. I suppose a better way to word it would be amber with brilliant highlights but it still looks orange. The head has, thus far, laced nicely around the mouth of the glass.

S: First time I had this, I was underwhelmed by the nose. Luckily I've given it a second look. The hop aroma wafting off of this beer is quite pleasing. It is thick and resiny, full of pine and citrus notes that invite a sip.

T: The ale opens with an ill-defined hop bitterness, intense but formless before it transitions into a pine needle sweetness. The flavor is quite strong and keeps the ale's caramel malt body at bay while it lays waste to the tastebuds. The pine flavor is strong throughout, leaving a great finish that mixes nicely with some exotic citrus hop flavors.

M: The IPA is defined by its hops, piney and delicious with an unusual sweetness.. This could easily (if not for the availability issues) become my go-to IPA.

D: That bottle was my only one, looks like I need to add this to my 'Wants' list.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2007 01:17:38 | More by akorsak
Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 2,156 ratings.