Sweetwater IPA - SweetWater Brewing Company

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Sweetwater IPASweetwater IPA

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829 Reviews
very good

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Reviews: 829
Hads: 2,955
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 9.41%
Wants: 169
Gots: 612 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company visit their website
Georgia, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-05-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 829 | Hads: 2,955
Photo of SportsandJorts
3.76/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: earthy orange color. two plus fingers of a foamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a bit of a lacing behind. almost clear with just a touch of haziness

Smell: sweet bread and caramel malt flavors. strong citrusy hop with low bitterness

Taste: opens up with bready and slightly sweet caramel malts. end is full of citrus and leafy hops. a good amount of hop flavor with only a small amount of bitterness. lots of balance

Mouthfeel: light and drinkable, just a small amount of bitterness, even too little to be refreshing.

Overall: good malt backbone and good hop character, just lacking a little bit in the bitterness department. if it had more of a bold hop character this would be a top contender in the ipa world for me. (745 characters)

Photo of LambicPentameter
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Received this as an extra in a sweet monster trade with BA ThickNStout. Enjoyed out of a 12 oz can and while it may have had a canning date, I failed to note it or write it down. Poured into a shitty hotel water glass because it was that or a shitty hotel wine glass. Somehow, I don't think the beer will suffer terribly for it, even though it did mean I had to pour it out in stages, given the small size of the glass.

Appearance - Pours a murky carrot orange hue that provides just a hint of translucency near the bottom of the glass as the particulate in suspension makes it's way down to disperse throughout the glass. Atop the body sits a half finger head of bone white foam that dissipates pretty quickly into a healthy film that is slightly thicker around the edges of the glass than in the middle. Lacing is sparse.

Smell - Nose comes off as decidedly citrus, but not in that pungent pop of hops that some citrusy IPAs will hit you with. Nice bit of grapefruit and orange zest are present, as well as an appearance from the grain side of things to round this out. A bit of malt and water cracker.

Taste - Similar lack of pungency to the taste as was going on in the aroma. And now I can't help but wonder if my previous beer has impacted my tastebuds in a way that isn't terribly friendly to this beer. Nice zesty citrus and now a bit of herbal grassiness and bittering elements, sort of like baby greens, but the light pith and orange are the main characters in this show. Again the malt make a play, this time a bit stronger than in the aroma, but for some reason it doesn't quite meld with the hops. So instead of balance and synergy, we have standoff and competition.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied and moderate carbonation, with a faint bitterness on the aftertaste.

Overall, a reasonable take on IPA, but as the market continues to flood with them, and many really good ones, this one just probably just middle of the pack. That said, the fishing boat artwork on the can does seem to match the fact that I'd gladly take this on on a hot summer day floating down the river or out on the lake. Low bitterness and a nice gentle hop characteristic would make for easy summer drinking. (2,193 characters)

Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: golden orange; smallish white head; good lacing

Smell: Malty; grapefruity

Taste: Good refreshing malt with grapefruit citrus notes. Very good us ipa.

mouthfeel: slightly creamy and good carb level for style

Remarks: not a huge US IPA fan but this one is pretty tasty (290 characters)

Photo of BurningTreeMufen
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Beautiful coppery-orange with a small head. Light lacing

Smell: Grapefruit with a hint of maltiness.

Taste: Lots of grapefruit but not overwhelmingly bitter.

Mouthfeel: Nice, clean finish. Little carbonation.

Overall: Well balanced IPA and great for the grapefruit lovers which I am. (301 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a shaker, the beer is a hazy, vibrant, copper coloring with a tall, foamy, off-white head. Aromas of rich and sweet caramel, tart citrus fruits (grapefruit and lemon), bitter hops aromas, subtle pine pitch, and subtle spice. Flavors are a well blended blast of grapefruit, resinous piney hops, and a caramel backbone. Cut grass, pine tassels, and hints of evergreen build as you go. Despite all the robust flavors, the body stays light and crisp. A tart, bitter, dry aftertaste loaded with hops characteristics and citrus highlights. The finish is clean, crisp, and dry, as well. Very well put together, drinkable IPA. Bravo! (651 characters)

Photo of blordo1685
2.33/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

What to say? Man North Carolina, you're killing me! I know this is a Georgia IPA, but trying to locate a good IPA in these parts is becoming a daunting challenge.
Can't blame the date on the bottle, drink before August 14, it's June 21st.

This IPA looked beautiful as I was pouring it, but appearance tells you little.

Upon smelling it, nothing. Second try, I may have dug out some piney notes.

Taste- Just bad off flavors. Would have rather had a Bud. Poured it out.

Hopefully, this was a "bad" batch, but with the date and my luck with the East Coast IPA'S, I am losing hope.

Thankfully, I can still get Lagunitas out here. (630 characters)

Photo of deebo
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at barcadia in New Orleans.
A-served with a thin finger of a sticky white foam this brew is murky and a ruddy orange.
S-I like the aroma. Nice tropical fruit aroma with a lot of orange like citrus. Nice clean Bready malt.
T-not bad but not as sweet as the smell. A bit heavy on the bitter pine sap taste for me. The citrus is still there but is drowned out a bit. Malt is still there-the bitter hops dominate the finish.
M-low carbonation. A bit of an oily mouthfeel. Fairly long finish.
O-a bit too piney bitter for me but a well made ipa for those who like the in your face bitter punch. (601 characters)

Photo of Eeroomnhoj
3.71/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bought a twelve pack of sweet water beer the other day and I am working on the IPA beer tonight and tomorrow. I can enjoy drinking one IPA but any more than that and I feel bloated. With that said, I do like the IPA better than most.

Bought a twelve pack of sweet water beer the other day and I am working on the IPA beer tonight and tomorrow. I can enjoy drinking one IPA but any more than that and I feel bloated. With that said, I do like the IPA better than most. (474 characters)

Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a rich copper with a tall off white head.

Smells a little dank and largely of citrus = bright and tropical.

Taste is a big citrus punch of a little lemon and lots of grapefruit - bitter, sweet, and delicious. It has some minor earthy undertones and the whole thing is hung on a thin malt backbone only slightly detected. A very nice American India Pale Ale. (365 characters)

Photo of DenverHopHead
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap, poured into a pint glass.
Appearance - very cloudy orange, some carbonation bubbles that build a thin, off white head. Lacing is minimal.
Smell - mostly grapefruit, with some sweet bread possibly.
Taste - bitter grapefruit with a nice malt backbone!
Feel - highly carbonated with a powerful bitter finish.
Overall - good value and worth a shot if you find yourself with a chance to try! (394 characters)

Photo of neenerzig
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a single 12 oz bottle of this from a Publix in Osprey, FL, as I am currently on vacation there. Poured into a pint glass. This beer pours a mainly clear, slightly cloudy, medium golden/copper/amber color. The white head was only about 1/2 inch thick when first poured, settling all too quickly to a thin to medium sized ring lining the inside of the glass with bits of foam dotting the beer's surface here and there. Not much lacing at all either. Aromas of some sweet caramel malt and zesty citrus hops and not much else really. The aroma is a bit weak overall, it needs to be more pungent for sure. The taste is much better, with flavors of caramel malt sweetness that gives way to nice zesty, citrus, piney, and earthy hops. Good balance between the malty sweetness and the hop bitterness here. Has a crisp yet smooth, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Easy to drink in a good way. A pretty solid IPA here indeed!

Eric (951 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
3.74/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Hazy orange body. One finger white head, good retention, solid lacing.

S- Citrus, a bit of pine, biscuits. Not terribly complex or interesting but not exactly a one-note brew either. Solid.

F- Grapefruit, oranges. Biscuits, a bit of caramel malt. Altogether balanced in my opinion; not overly hoppy but not overly sweet either.

M- Medium body, a bit on the lighter side with good carbonation. A bit of grapefruit rind bitterness on the backend.

O- Pretty good southern shelf IPA that isn't terribly bitter nor sweet. (523 characters)

Photo of Tone
3.74/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/3 inch head of a white color. Good retention and great lacing. Smells of citrus hops, hint of floral hops, sweet malt, hint of yeast, and a hint of alcohol. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of slight floral hops, strong citrus hops, sweet malt, hint of yeast, and slight alcohol. Overall, good appearance, aroma, and body. (428 characters)

Photo of ArchimedesSox
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice copper color with a really good 2 inch head that leaves lots of lacing on a 16oz pub glass.

Smell is a little weak but I do get the hops, mostly pine.

Taste follows the nose with the pine hops right up front but I do get some malts that really tends to balance the brew quite nicely.

Mouthfeel is nice with good carbonation.

Overall, a really good IPA. Probably my favorite IPA thus far. It has all that you want from an IPA, the balance of hops and malts with an ABV of 6.3%. (496 characters)

Photo of MikeWard
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into standard pint glass. Best by 6/26/14

Nice light copper color, with 1 inch foamy white head. Decent carbonation and lacing.

Smell was a fresh floral and citrus.

Taste is spectacular big lusciuos fruity hops with a nice bite to it.

slightly dry finish with a sharp hops bite around the edge of the tongue.

Much sadness that Sweetwater do not distribute to PA, hafta wait until I visit down south to grab some of this excellent IPA. (451 characters)

Photo of reebtaerG
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured bottle best by 7/3/14 into New Belgium globe

A-The beer had a cloudy deep amber-straw color with some fine sediment and an one finger foamy white head with modest retention, but very nice cling and lacing.

S-Its aroma had a pleasant blend of citrus, floral, and pine hops with bits of grain and perhaps wheat.

T-The taste was a mostly grainy-citrus bitter blend with some earthy straw notes and a very light sour effect.

M-It had very lively, fizz mouthfeel with high carbonation, and a thicker, fuller feel with a very dry character and finish.

O-Overall very decent IPA I enjoy it more and more I have it. (621 characters)

Photo of Tucquan
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this on 2015-04-03 in the Nasville Airport on tap

A - Clear dark orange with a 1-finger white head.

S - Dank, floral, pine. Nice but not strong.

T - Moderately dank, orange flesh, pine, toasted bread, caramel. Balanced bitter finish.

M - Light-medium body and high carbonation. Dry and a touch prickly.

O - I quite enjoyed this today, especially the balanced flavors. (380 characters)

Photo of Foyle
3.47/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: pours a 2” cream colored fluffy head that recedes slowly. Color is clear copper. Moderate lacing and carbonation bubbles.
Aroma: aroma is very citrus. Tangerine, Orange rind, Grapefruit with some bread dough in the background.
Mouthfeel: fairly light, carbonated, and a little bit sticky with a mostly dry finish.
Flavor: as expected for an IPA, the hops dominate the flavor, but they don’t overwhelm the malts completely. There is the grapefruit and tangerine but it is balanced with some sweet caramel and toasted bread flavors. There is a lingering bitterness coating my entire tongue and throat after the swallow.
Overall: This is a very nice and well balanced IPA. (689 characters)

Photo of benloho
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear copper color. Almost reddish. Good head that dissipates. Good lacing on the glass.
S: Strong grapefruit and citrus. I could smell this beer while it was sitting on the table before I even put a nose on it. Great aroma.
T: Bitter grapefruit with some piney and earthy notes. Pretty refreshing taste. Just dry enough on the end to want more.
MF: Clean and crisp. Could use a bit more carb. Doesn't leave a bad feeling on my palate. Bitter but not overpowering.
O: This is the best year-round beer I've ever had from Sweetwater. A little bit of West Coast dankness pairing with Southern sweetness. (612 characters)

Photo of HopHog87
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sweetwater IPA

Serving- bottle from a friend who brought one over the other day when we were trying some homebrew. Into a pint glass it goes. Glug, Glug!

Appearance- Certainly filtered and force-carbonated, as most readily available IPA's seem to be. It's that clean type of IPA. Not the down and dirty, hazy, cloudy, sediment I prefer but it looks good.

Nose- Very nice with emphasis on the lighter notes- sweet, juicy fruit punch and light, floral hops.

Taste- Very clean and crisp. The malt is balanced well with the hops. I'd probably prefer an IPA with more assertive hop characteristics. Grapefruit was the one taste that shines through. It finished a bit sweet on the lips after about half of the glass was gone.

Overall- A pleasant, easy and smooth drinking IPA. Not an IBU or high alpha stronghold but not a wash, either. At 7% it's really not a session ale for me and doesn't have quite a unique or bold taste for a beer I'd relax with at the end of the day. So, for me, it doesn't have a place in my fridge as a regular resident but it's not a bad choice if you're on the go and looking for something less expensive and yet enjoyable. Probably good for a day in the sun or on the lake when you just don't want a massive IPA. (1,243 characters)

Photo of scotorum
3.74/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Best by 5/17/14. Bought in a mixed threepack at a Publix market while in Florida.

a: Clear amber with an inch tall white head which receded to rocky surface foam and dense lacing. Lots of carbonation bubbles.

s: Mild fruit.

t: Fruit cup up front over moderate hop bite.

m: Light to medium.

o: An easy-drinking, refreshing IPA. (332 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.49/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a semi-clear copper color. There's a finger worth of barely off-white colored head, with retention that's average for the style. Touches of lacing are left on the glass, also. Generally, it looks quite good.

S: There are some decent grapefruity hops on the nose, also taking on some piny notes as well. The malts aren't exactly timid, either - some caramel, honey, and toffee can definitely be tasted. Decent, but a bit too standard for the style.

T: Much like the nose, there are no surprises or amazing moments, just a rock-solid IPA. Herbaceous, grapefruity hops open it up, while caramel malts finish it off. The hop profile also takes on a slight tea leaf character on the aftertaste. It's definitely a balanced example of the style, maybe *sliiightly* erring towards sweet.

M: It has a light-to-medium body, with some lingering sweetness post-swallow to balance out the crisp bite. Carbonation feels restrained. I figured out what I like so much about this - it's so refreshing going down. In a way, it's just like drinking a glass of sweet tea...except it's a 6.3% IPA.

O: This one really hit the spot, more than I anticipated it to. It's one of the more refreshing IPAs I've drank in a while (I've drank many of them recently, keep in mind), and it's just so drinkable without having to resort to being hop water. I'd drink it again, absolutely. (1,400 characters)

Photo of Swedgin_Wu
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Amber/Copper. Minimal lacing, nice but small white head

S: pine, citrus, grapefruit, floral. Pungent but refreshing

T: Great balance of malt/hops. Similar to the nose. The hops are not overbearing. easy drinker. Clean and smooth. A very tame but refreshing IPA

M: medium carbonation, mouthfeel is just right

O: A very accessible IPA (you can find it in almost any grocery store in South Florida, despite the limited and behind but ascending craft beer scene here). It's a great staple. It's a great blend of both West Coast and East coast IPAs. The citrus/floral aspect does not completely overpower the beer like some west coast varieties, and neither does the malt like east coast. A very solid, staple choice in your rotation. (737 characters)

Photo of Seanem44
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had this on draft at a bar. I might revisit the review at some point with the bottled version, because to be fair, it was not as good as I remembered it while I was down in Columbia, SC last year, close to the source.

It was good, but that is about it. The hops were not overwhelming. Nothing about what I had was overwhelming. In fact, it tasted a little watered down. That might be because I have had some very good, very bold IPAs as of late. It may be because it was on draft and who knows how long it had been there for.

Still, for the price and availability, it is a good IPA. It won't knock your socks off, but you can have more than a few and won't get tired of it. (676 characters)

Photo of TheBrewo
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

We pour this brew from the bottle into Hop City pint glasses. It shows a ruddy, brassy orange coloring, with darker tawny hues around the edges. It holds a two finger tall head of off-white chunky foam with a glossy, glistening shimmer to it. Patterned specks of biomechanical lacing are left around the glasses following a nice retention. Haze and finite granules of sediment pour with the dregs of the bottle. Carbonation appears to be moderate. The nose shows hops that are sweetly grapefruity and deeply herbal and floral. These mingle with clean toasty pale and somewhat wheaty maltiness, fruity flesh of apricot, guava, and mango, rice and white flour, fresh concrete, confectioner’s sugar, brushed honey, and celery vegetals. With warmth comes a soft caramel depth to the grain. Our first impression is that the flavoring is clean, lightly drinking, and robustly bitter, but all with just enough sweetness for a clean, thorough sip. The taste begins with big citric hoppiness enhanced by independent lemon and orange juice and peel oils, hints of metallics, toasty pale and lightly adjuncty grittiness, cotton, drinking straw plastics, and soured but savory white flour gravy roux. The middle progresses with clean citric hop wash set high into light mineral water, dried mint, white sugar, soapy bite, and your basic pale and dusty wheaty graininess. The finish is marked by freshly squeezed lemon juice, unsweetened tannic tea, continued citric hops, sea saltiness, icy coolness of planty greenness, musky cologne sweetness, Styrofoam plastics, black peppercorns, crisp vegetal snap of cucumbers, and dirty, warming, earthy rumbles of hops. The aftertaste breathes of mineral-laden well water, sweet iced tea tannins, fresh basil, lemon zest, pine nuts, green and twiggy sap resins, coin, bittered yeast, basement musk, warmed white sugar sweetness, warmed gingerbread, and lactic acidity. The body is light to touch, and the carbonation is lightly medium. Each sip gives nice slurp and smack, but offers nothing really special in the froth, foam, or cream departments. Finishing pop is clean and light. The mouth is left cooled and lightly speckled with a crisp, decently drying finish with foci of harsher astringency. The abv is appropriate, and drinkability and pull are clean and easy going.

Overall, the most enjoyable thing about this brew is its aroma and its drinkability. The nose seems to have been the muse for Founders All Day IPA, as they are quite similar in base, but with more booze and medicinal bite here. That said, however, the flavoring does cheapen up a bit in the grain profile, causing the hops to come across, themselves, as a bit hollow and skeletonized. This takes the balance off in a direction that we were not too eager to follow, although we were ultimately pleased with the big picture of the beer as a whole. This is a beverage for some fun outdoor activities in the sun, and nobody can argue with how easy it slugs back. This is an excellent beer if you’re all about sippin’ and relaxin’, but if you linger too long and begin to dissect it out, you might find some unwelcomed and simplified layers here and there. (3,166 characters)

Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 829 ratings.