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Sweetwater IPA - SweetWater Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sweetwater IPASweetwater IPA

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

2,335 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,335
Reviews: 791
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 140
Gots: 253 | 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: 2,335 | Reviews: 791 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jnn4v
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: golden brown, honey-like color. Moderate white head. No sediment or haze.

S: gorgeous. Sweet, fruity, honey/ sugar, floral, and citrus.

T: not quite as sweet as the scent would lead me to believe, bit nicely balanced instead. Incredible amounts of flavors from the hops, including papaya, mango, grapefruit, pineapple, and passion fruit. Very good.

M: good, medium body. Nothing extraordinary.

D: very drinkable. Such excellent flavor and balance.

jnn4v, Oct 26, 2009
Photo of cvfish
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer poured a light orange golden color that produced a fluffy white head that had good retention and laced the side of the glass very nicely

S - The aromas produced by this beer were the strongest part of this beer, great hoppy aroma of citrus and tropical fruits, the way a good IPA should smell

T - The taste of this beer had the pale malts that I expected, but was quickly overtaken by a burst of citrus and tropical fruits, pineapple, orange, and grapefruit to be exact

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body with a light to moderate amount of carbonation

D - This was a very nice IPA, if it was available full time down here, I would buy this beer a lot

cvfish, Oct 10, 2009
Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sweet Water IPA...6.7 alcohol content.

A- Pours a beautiful orange hued fluid that turns to a firey blood orange color in sunlight.
Has a nice foamy head that falls into a small bubbly rim around the edges of glass. Nice lacing grabs the sides.

S- Smells of sweet sun ripened grapefruit with tangy overtones of lemon and sugar.

T-M- Taste is a very balanced grapefruit with tones of orange, lemon zest, mild grass and a whole lot of fruity sweet tart and tang. Strange balance of hops... are there malts? Mouthfeel is wet with slick feel of citrus astringentcy nothing more.

D- Drinkable in my eyes, but strange flavors and burps make me think hop extracts where used in place of real dry-hopping. Hey worked for Hop Stoopid... Would have again just wouldn't look to hard.

wesbrownyeah, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of nms1987
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle. Drank on 10/7/09. Best by date 10/25/09

God this is good stuff.

Pours a wonderful dark orange color, very hazy and unfiltered. Big billowy off-white head that stays around a little while.

Nice nose. Good combination between lots of grapefruit and a lil floral elements. West coast-ish hops (amarillo? theres definately grapefruit there) and some goldings... lovely combo.
A little bit of a honeyed element to the aroma as well.

Fairly bitter on the palate and bursting with hoppy fruity goodness. Grapefruit shows up for sure but I can accept all manner of citrus and tropical notes in describing this beer.
Not a super malty IPA but there is a hint, just a hint, of that honeyed sweetness of malt on the finish. That slight hint of honey, plus the bitterness and citrus blast this beer delivers makes for one pleasing finish. Those flavors really come together nicely to close things out.

Very drinkable as far as IPAs go. Delivers the goods but doesn't shred the palate into wanting to stick to water all night. This stuff keeps you craving it.
The only real demerit I can give is there is maybe, maybe, a slight lack of body on the midpalate.

Great beer

nms1987, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of apbarwood
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale amber color with a small amount of lace and some rimming. Loses a point for head retention but pretty nice overall. Strong aroma with citrus flavors leaping out of the glass and coming through nicely on the palate. Loads of grapefruit and some sweet orange flavors and I almost feel like there's some mango in there as well. It seems a little softer than most IPA's. It's different but nice. Very drinkable and better than I had expected to be honest. A nice choice for an IPA from the Southeast.

apbarwood, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of Overlord
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orangeish amber. Smells ... interesting. Not the in your face aroma of a west coast ipa, but a more subdued, mellow fruit presence. Big fat white foam head.

Taste is nice, more balanced than expected. Sweet, rather than tangy, grapefruit, and a bit of almost orange to it. There's a nice sweet malt current.

Not a hop bomb, nor is it that in your face, just a solid IPA. Thanks deaconbluez!

Overlord, Oct 02, 2009
Photo of devilben02
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Opened a week after the freshness date, but still very enjoyable. Pours a deep copper color with a thick, creamy head that leaves a lot of lacing on the side of the glass. It has a wonderfully sweet, floral, perfume-like aroma that melds with a grapefruit character that is more typical of IPAs on the market. This grapefruit-laden, floral hop character is well-balanced, however, by an abundant but light malt sweetness. In addition, despite being an IPA, the bitterness is not overwhelming, making this a very easy-drinking selection. Two thumbs up.

devilben02, Sep 30, 2009
Photo of Deuane
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Golden hued copper with a medium white head that reduces to a thin cap and leaves spotty lace.

S-Fairly strong citrus, grapefruit and orange, with a bit of spicy pine and light sweet biscuit malt.

T-Grapefruit and orange flavours dominate a touch of pine spiciness and a light backing from sweet biscuit. Certainly hop forward.

M-Medium-light bodied sharp and crisp with good lingering bitterness. Has a "west coast" feel to it.

D-A sharp, hop forward, light bodied and fully sessionable IPA. A very nice brew that is the kind of beer you would be happy to have as your local.

Deuane, Sep 25, 2009
Photo of blackie
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: light caramel orange-amber in color, slightly hazy, with a reasonably well-retained layer of white carbonation

s: juicy tropical fruit hops with sweet citrus, perhaps grapefruit, well rounded caramel malt body - lighter and not overly grainy or sweet, smells great

m: medium in body with a moderate level of carbonation

t: follows the body with a pale and light caramel malt backbone, big tropical fruit hop flavors and a moderate citric bitterness, a ways from the upper echelon of craft ipas - but it certainly toes that line

d: easily drinkable, a fine ipa

blackie, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of Mistofminn
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle courtesy of beernerd81. Thanks again, Ben!

Pours a clear golden color with a slight amber tint. About a one finger slightly off-white head leaves sheets of lacing. Great retention on the head as well.

The nose is a battle field! Citrus and floral hops duke it out with earthy and piney hops. Very good smelling IPA, definitely this breweries best product (that I've had te pleasure of trying)

Grapefruit like hops are strong up front, then the bitter taste of the earthy hops kicks in and dominates. A little twinge of the malt backbone shines through, just enough to balance this out nicely and give it a great taste. Great bitter aftertaste that lingers for quite some time.

The mouthfeel on this is medium, with an appropriate carbonation level. Nice bitter aftertaste. Drinkability is very good.

Overall, a great example of an IPA. If I had regular access to this beer, I think it would challenge Furious's permanent spot in my fridge. Great beer, thanks a bunch Ben!

Mistofminn, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of alleykatking
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle I got as an extra from shuaj. Thanks for everything Josh!

A- Pours a nice deep golden amber color. I was surprised at the clarity of this beer to be honest. Nice 2 finger offwhite head that leaves tons of sticky lacing all over the glass. This is a good looking IPA!

S- Sweet citrus (pineapple and mango) collide with some bittering hops (pine) in the forefront of the aroma. Some sweet underlying malts bring this up as well a notch. I can see why people really like this beer.

T- Oh yea this is a good IPA. Citrus hops (pineapple) come into play right off the bat. Sweet malts come through in the middle of the beer and ending with a sweet yet bitter kick to it. Pleasant crisp hop bite in the tail end of this beer. I like this very much.

M- Medium mouthfeel to this beer. Great carbonation levels make this beer a very easy drinker. Beer floats across the palate with great ease leaving hop resin everywhere. Wow this beer also has a nice crisp hop aftertaste. Very great mouthfeel!

D- This is the kind of IPA that will get me in trouble. It is very drinkable and you will quickly put them back without even knowning you did. I would recommend this beer to anyone who has not tried it and like citrusy IPA's.

alleykatking, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of younger35
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this brew from MMAJYK in a recent trade. Have enjoyed my Sweet Water experiences so far and I don't doubt this one will be bad either. Drank from my Surly nonic pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a semi chill hazed orange with a decent one finger bright white head that dissipates fairly quickly. A spotty cap and decent collar remain that manage to leave a bit of spotty lacing.
Smell- Loads of orange up in this biznatch along with a speck of grapefruit. It's somewhat raw smelling with just a hint of alcohol. A bit of caramel is noticeable as well especially as it warms.
Taste- Starts with a fairly bitter kick of grapefruit and tangerine peel right from the get go. The bitterness is lightly fruity but held in check for the most part by the malt. A tinge of caramel or toffee is present but it's light and really lets the hops shine. The finish is still slightly bitter with a bit of lingering orange zest.
Mouthfeel- Medium body with a slick oily feel and very light carbonation.
Drinkability- Not sure of the freshness on this but I'm assuming with the dry hopping this thing is fruit galore when fresh. It's still got a fairly crisp zing but you can tell the hops have faded a bit. Still damned good though!! Thanks much Marc!

younger35, Sep 09, 2009
Photo of botham
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottle poured into a tasting glass. pours a rich orangish amber with one finger of white head that lasts a minte or so. nice.

aroma is full of tropical hop notes, with passionfruit, citrus and grapefruit notes. nicely fresh with a unique hop quality (apart from a typical IPA).

taste is more of the same with a mellow and easy-going character. the hops are flavorful and not bitter, except for a semi-dry note on the back end.

mouthfeel is medium bodied with a semi-dry finish and a residual dryness that creeps up on the rear of the palate.

drinkability is good. an easy-going IPA with a very drinkable aura. the tropical hops are very fresh and the aftertaste is solid. cheers!

botham, Sep 09, 2009
Photo of ndillon45
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not a big fan of the 420, but this one has merit. I personally love the hops and was quite surprised. Pours a hazy, dirty brown with lots of carbonation present. Head is medium/thin and leaves soapy lace. I'm still a newb, so I haven't identified the hop, but I absolutely love it. Not as refined as a few other IPA's but still very, very good. Thank you sweetwater, can't wait to try this off the tap.

ndillon45, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of portia99
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle received in trade with TimmyP. Thanks Tim! Best enjoyed by 10/17/09 on bottle. Poured into a Harpoon 100 Barrel Series goblet.

A - Pours a bright, translucent orange with hints of darker copper/amber hues. A thin, short lasting white head...fades immediately to sparse bubbles on the surface of the beer.

S - Lots of fresh grapefruit and pine. Caramel, fruityness and sweet malt in the background. Well balanced IPA.

T - Fruity and caramel malt backbone. Crisp bitterness, not as intense as the aroma would indicate. Nice citrus - grapefruit, pineapple flavor with some pine notes to complement. Again, well balanced IPA.

M - Well carbonated...malt gives a good, solid body to this one. Smooth...bitterness lingers into the aftertaste. Nothing special here, but it alls works well.

D - Very drinkable IPA...this one goes down easy. Plenty of bitterness and hop flavor, but well balanced, everything blends well without any one aspect being overpowering. Balanced on the hop side of the equation, but definitely balanced.

portia99, Sep 04, 2009
Photo of Soonami
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden Red, hazy from yeast and quickly dissipating head
S - Light, bready malt, fruity, some pine, but not much in terms of hops
T - Balanced: juicy and sweet upfront with hop bitterness in the back.
M - Clingy and Full, made my mouth water
D - Yes!

Not what I expected, but it still tasted good. Usually I like more hoppiness in an IPA, the sweet, toasty malt in this made it more like an American Pale Ale, but very enjoyable. Would rather have this than a lot of other beers

Soonami, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of CoolJosh
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to the huge Sweetwater haul that Gford217. Really excited for this one, as I have heard good things from friends.

This pours a really nice looking burnt golden orange with a soft white 3 finger head. Tons of lacing is left behind, and the head reduces to a respectable layer.

The smell is initially that of a tropical and citrus fruit basket. Unfortunately, as the beer nears room temperature it completely falls apart as the grains start to show more. The same thing happens in the taste, however the mango and lemon remain in the flavor and match with a light caramel flavor. The body is full but sort of grainy. I could drink this often and in great quantity. This beer would be perfect for those hot days mowing the lawn.

CoolJosh, Aug 26, 2009
Photo of danielharper
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Had this years ago in bottles, reviewing the growler I purchased at Riverside Beverages in Chattanooga.)

Appearance: Dark red-yellow body, almost brown, with a thin white head that dissipates quickly. Nice presentation. I'm not taking any points off for the smaller head than the bottle, as that's almost certainly an artifact of the growler.

Smell: Nice crisp dry hops, strong citrus backbone.

Taste: Very sweet, fruity, with a dry hop finish that lets you know this is a nice IPA. Much more grapefruit than I remember from the bottles, but still delicious.

Mouthfeel: Moderate thickness, coats the tongue, low carbonation.

Drinkability: This is a very different beer than I remember. Whether this is due to my changed palate since October 2005, or whether the brewery has tweaked the recipe, or whether it's just an artifact of the growler vs. the bottle, I can't say. In any case, this is a very good IPA, although the characteristics seem to vary widely between the bottle and the growler.

danielharper, Aug 26, 2009
Photo of yesferro
4.93/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got a bottle of this at Letters in Tuscaloosa AL. Bought it 2 weeks past its good date though

Pours a medium orangy brown, about 1/2" head that didn't last too long.
The smell o the smell! Sweet fruity smell, very inviting! And it delivers great taste, very rarely does a sweet beer rub me the right way, and this one is nr 1 on that list. I little bitterness at the end, kinda leaves a dry feeling. Not all too carbonated, just right. This beer goes down easily, almost too easily I'd almost say a non beer drinker could get fooled into having a few off these without protesting too much.

I like this, and I am very glad AL upped its ancient beerlaws so us Mississippians can cross the border and get acces to this beer goodness, one more please!

yesferro, Aug 22, 2009
Photo of gameface23
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle with a best by date of 8/17/09...a few days past it's prime.

A: Light golden/copper/orangish, not much haze. A 1-finger sized head that dissipated rather quickly. Minimal lacing.

S: Grapefruit! I hope in my lifetime that I will get to try this fresh, because if this is what it smells like past its prime, I can't wait to smell it at its peak!

T: The refreshing aspects of citrus rind paired with a clean and light malt presence. Very clean beer, perfect for a hot day.

M: Medium bodied with a crisp finish.

D: This is easily one of the better IPAs out there.

gameface23, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of aggiearcher13
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Atlanta airport.

A: Pretty light actually, maybe a golden-copper with some head, probably wasn't the greatest pour but it certainly seemed to struggle in this department.

S: Very citrusy aroma, some pine, not much in the way of malt.

T: Not as bitter as I anticipated. Grapefruit and orange flavors dominate, some pine. Slight flavor of caramel malts balances things out a little.

M: Decent body, keeps it drinkable, overall it's pretty solid.

D: Quite high actually, it's very easy drinking and almost "sessionable" compared to some IPAs.

aggiearcher13, Aug 19, 2009
Photo of DanielClouser
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into DFH shaped pint glass (I also really like drinking it from my Duvel tulip, even if that's not style-appropriate).

I buy this beer more than any other IPA (maybe more than any other beer). I really love it.

A-Nice copper color, but poor head retention and minimal lacing. The DFH glass encourages head formation, but one can turn the bottle upside down over some glasses and still get relatively little head.

S-I love the aroma--lots of citrus, mainly grapefruit.

T-Great flavor. I was told at the brewery that Simcoe is the main hops variety used (the guide seemed to be implying that it is the only variety in the beer, but I don't know if that's true). The malt balances well--a touch of caramel without a trace of cloying. Jason Alstrom said that it is perhaps too well-balanced for the style. I think that depends. If you get it really fresh, the hops are bold enough that it is the perfectly balanced IPA.

M-Very good. Light enough but with ample body for the style.

D-To me, drinkability is very high. I can go through a six pack without even realizing it. Well, until the ABV hits you, which, while moderate, is still high enough to do some damage if your hopheadedness leads you to chug them down.

DanielClouser, Aug 16, 2009
Photo of ewright
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy light copper color with just a thin layer of bubbles. Within a minute, there is no noticable head at all.

S: Sharp aromas of fresh oranges with a supporting note of grapefruit rind. No evident contribution from the malt.

T: The fresh orange juice aroma contributes to a note of orange peel up front. More herbal hop flavors are apparent in the middle. The bitterness only kicks in late and is not overpowering. Enough of a malt backbone to make this a well balanced beer. As the beer warms, I get a faint minty hop note as well.

M: Medium body with moderate to low carbonation for the style. Neither cloying nor overly astringent. Nicely balanced.

D: An easy drinker with little evidence of any alcoholic punch. The balance between malt and hops makes this one go down easy.

ewright, Aug 14, 2009
Photo of ClevoPiwo
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice light brown color with a decent head that didn't last too long.

The smell is pretty good, not much of a surprise here. Hops up front with a background of sweetness from the malt coming through.

Taste is very balanced. Lots of hops, but also a good amount of maltiness giving it a decent body. The citrus and fruity notes balance with the malts.

Overall a good IPA, well balanced with a decent body.

ClevoPiwo, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of bonsreeb85
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First and foremost, a thank you is in order for Brairscratch for the chance to sample this one. Cheers man!

A - Deep orange hue, with a quickly shrinking 1.5 inch velvet-like off white head that leaves a layer of film over the top of the beer.
good lacing

S - smells juicy and fruity, grapefruit, orange, caramael malts and some honey. good.

T - very balanced, i expected more of a hop bomb. but i like what i got instead. very citrus and piney hop forward, but a good helping of caramel malts keep things in check.

MF - very smooth and silky going down, no sticky or oily feeling. medium carbonation and a medium leaning towards heavy side.

D - decent session IPA, nothing FANTASTIC, but overall pretty darn good in all facets.

bonsreeb85, Jul 28, 2009
Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 2,335 ratings.