1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Sweetwater IPA - SweetWater Brewing Company

Sweetwater IPASweetwater IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,895 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1895
Reviews: 763
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 11.22%

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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sweetwater IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,895 | Reviews: 763 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jeonseh


3.59/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Amber with golden tints. Dark but clean body. Nice one finger foam head makes a thick layer of foam

S - Citrus nose with orange and light passion fruit. Caramel malts come through as well to give it a slightly sweet nose. Slight pine comes through as well from the bittering hops

T - Pine up front to give it a slight bitter bite. As it rolls along the tongue, there is sweet caramel malt and light tangerine. The finish is slightly bitter.

M - Light body with a creamy mouthfeel from the carbonation. Finish is slightly astringent

O - Solid easy drinking warm weather IPA. Good flavor but not too thick or challenging to drink

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2013 04:15:36 | More by jeonseh
Photo of DenverHopHead


4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not bad at all, I'd definitely have a few of this IPA! The appearance and smell aren't top notch, but this is a great tasting IPA with a pleasing feel! This was nowhere on my radar; I just stumbled upon it and thought for the price it was worth a shot...and it was!

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2013 03:04:28 | More by DenverHopHead
Photo of sommersb


4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tasted On: 06-10-2013
Freshness: Best by 08-07-2013
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Tulip pint
Purchased: 6-pack from Kroger

A: Big white head sits on the semi-clear orange beer. The head shows very good retention and excellent lace.

S: Aromas start with a big hoppy nose of citrus and floral hops. Also has some tropical fruit smells.

T: Starts with a sharp hop bitterness, with citrus fruit like grapefruit and oranges. Other flavors include tropical fruits and some malt sweetness in the background.

M: High carbonation on the feel, with a medium body. The beer finishes fairly bitter from the hops, but has some malts as well for balance.

O: Excellent example of an American IPA!

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2013 00:34:31 | More by sommersb
Photo of HopHeadRyan


4.59/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Picked up at the A-Plus Sunoco of all places in Mt Plseasan, SC. In SC they apparently know what they are doing...6 beers on tap at a gas station for growler fills and reasonably priced.

Picked up a sixer of Sweetwater IPA based on BA reviews...very good choice...

Great hoppy aromas, delicious hop flavors and malt sweetness, superbly balanced, a great example of an American IPA.

Try this one if you are ever in the Southeast. Would love to visit the brewery in Atlanta.

There APA is also excellent! Give sweetwater a try! Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2013 18:26:32 | More by HopHeadRyan
Photo of Roman5150


4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

bottle best by 6/30/13

appearance: a semi darker amber orange, with a huge white foamy head that last for awhile.

smell: citrus, subtle grapefruit, lemon (perhaps accentuated by the yellow label?), earthy hops, wheat, hay

taste: hops are very smooth and earthy, very balanced and not a "super hoppy" ipa. smooth malt backbone, and i got notes of citrus, some grapfruit, and wheat. it tasted like a summer IPA, very refreshing but not much for the hop head.

Mouthfeel: not much carbonation at all, could really use a boost. a bit watery....

Overall: While I would prefer more hoppiness, this is just a single IPA and Sweetwater succeeded in making a well balanced drinkable summer IPA. Very subtle earthy hops, smooth malt backbone, and it's very drinkable. I like it better than most of Terrapins IPA offerings.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2013 03:38:33 | More by Roman5150
Photo of garuda


4.14/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Golden body, white head has decent retention and lacing.

S/T - Tropical fruit hop character with grapefruit flesh, orange, some pineapple. Pine hop finish. Sweet caramel malts stay underlying throughout the drink.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation. Smooth, finishes moderately bitter.

O - Fine libation to find at an airport bar. I'd be happy if all airport bars had something this good on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

04-18-2013 13:59:42 | More by garuda
Photo of harrymel


3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best by 23APR13

Hazed tanned leather with a solid fine sheet of light tan foam. Smells like mangoes, light malt, some bits of bubble gum, and more mango. Although pretty one dimensional, the fruity character of the nose is really nice. Flavor follows through a bit more malt balanced with some light bitterness, hints of wood and still plenty of fruity sweet mango with a touch of grapefruit pith. Medium on full bodied for the style with a light, fine carbonation and a wet finish. I bet this hits the spot on a hot southern day.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2013 04:56:42 | More by harrymel
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle, best before 4-23-13 faintly printed on the label. Purchased and enjoyed on a mini vacation to Florida

A. Pours lightly hazed orangey amber. Lite tan head nice looking scattered sheeting

S. tropical fruit nose, with resiny hop undertones

T. Pleasingly loaded with pineapple and grapefruit notes. Hop resins present but not overwhelming things

M. Smooth and pleasing

O. High quality IPA. This is a fine example of the American version of the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2013 03:10:55 | More by Billolick
Photo of csparace


4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This isn't my first time with this beer. I've had it on tap and bottle before and just got a sixer. Its a tad old but still pretty fresh. It pours a hazy orange brown with a two finger head of large bubbles. There are hints of carbonation rising to the top. Nice lacing. Head fades within a couple of minutes. Right from the start you get a combination of sweetness and hops. The hop bite isn't quite as large as other times I've had it, but has a large body to it. Hints of lemon and grapefruit. The finish has more of the hop bite. It has a very refreshing feel to it and should be best enjoyed after a lot of man sweating. Overall a seriously good IPA.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2013 01:55:23 | More by csparace
Photo of bsp77


4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into wine glass.

Appearance: Clear amber with decent off-white head and lacing wisps.

Smell: Grapefruit, orange, pine and toasted malt. Standard but good IPA aroma.

Taste: Just like the aroma, it is a standard mix of grapefruit and orange with a toasted malt backbone. Finish has pine, spiciness and some bitterness.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, hop oily medium body, nice dry finish.

Overall: My first beer from Georgia, and a damn fine one at that. Fairly straightforward IPA, but execution matters the most, and this is well done.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2013 23:53:45 | More by bsp77
Photo of buschbeer


3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass
Acquired in trade. Thanks sommersb

A - It is amber colored and hazy. This beer is highlighted along the edges with a sunset, golden color. Two inches of off-white head rest comfortably on top.

S - At first I smelled some skunky weed. As it warmed some citrus and caramel malt come through.

T - The taste consists of some weak citrus and a watered down pine finish. The flavors grow as I consume it.

M - Thin to moderate

O - It's a slightly above average beer. Maybe I am spoiled by big flavored IPA's, but this one seems a little weak to me.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2013 23:53:22 | More by buschbeer
Photo of StJamesGate

New York

4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fast-fading white head that laces, speckles and sheets over rusty amber body.
Mango, resin and clementine nose - real zesty.
Apricot danish with huge canned orange chunks hops.
Lemon Italian ice finish and long orange peel linger.
Medium, chewy, crisp.

A champion, citrussy IPA - very surprised to see that this is EKG and not something like Centennial. Malt is there and the IBUs are not huge - very East Coast that way. I could sit with this one all day.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2013 10:23:09 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of BeerKangaroo


4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanx Damian74Shensky:

Enjoy by April 7, 2013:

A: hazy orange/amber colored body with a one finger white head that dies fairly quick, clingy lacing is left in rings

S: citrus, pine and floral tones combined and are up front, ever so light malt in the background, the smell stays that way all throughout the brew

T: bittersweet through the previously mentioned flavors and combined thoroughly

M: light to medium, carbonation is felt just right, very sessionable, dry bitter aftertaste and finish

O: this is a very good American IPA that I would definitely come back to as it is simple and didn't change throughout

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2013 21:07:50 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of AmitC


4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A very good IPA once more for me.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Had passed this brewery the first time around shopping in Atlanta. Went to their brewery, it was not yet open and i did not have much time so had to come back as is.

Very good overall appearance. Hazy Orangish amber color. A good one finger thick off white colored head with good persistence. Receding head leaves an excellent looking head. Sticky yes. Some bubbles are seen through the haze.

Wow citrus and flowery hop aroma. Full of life. Pervasive. Strength is good to strong. A decent malt backbone with very slight hint of sweetness. A lot of citrus type - grapefruit or orange aroma come through. Very near to Hopslam aroma just a tad low.

A nice mix of citrus hops that impart a lemony, grapefruit or orange peel like flavor. Punches the tongue for a little while more due to carbonation than bitterness. Decent malt presence. End and finish is bitter with a slight lingering and fading malt. More like a well balanced pale ale than an IPA.

Mouth feel is medium bodied. Moderate carbonation. No astringency. Punch packed IPA with no alcohol to speak of.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2013 23:16:44 | More by AmitC
Photo of Immortale25

North Carolina

4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. There's supposed to be a Best By date but it's blank.

A- Pours a dark amber with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains for quite a bit before decaying to an 1/8 inch head. Thick, foamy lacing is very adherent to the glass.

S- Smooth, citrusy hop aroma brings to mind grapefruit, pineapple and Starburst candy. Malt is a distant afterthought but still there to round out the profile.

T- Taste is a bit more balanced with the malt sticking in and bringing a bready characteristic to back up the mildly bitter hops. The hops are more grassy and piney than in the aroma. The flavor is also decidedly less sweet than the smell. Alcohol is masked as well as one would expect for the ABV.

M- Slightly sharp and oily with medium carbonation and a light-medium body.

O- A subtle, yet effective IPA. Very sessionable and enjoyable, like most of Sweetwater's beers.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2013 04:04:16 | More by Immortale25
Photo of BryanCarey


3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweetwater IPA pours to a slightly hazy orange hue with a nose that includes scents of citrus, tropical fruit, and a small amount of pine. The foam looks good and the beer manages to leave some lacing on the sides of the glass as you consume.

The taste of Sweetwater IPA is about what one would expect based on the nose. The flavors of grapefruit and light spice stand out, but there are also some tastes of caramel and a sweet maltiness that balance out the bitterness of the hops. The bitterness level is lower than most IPA but there is still enough present that you cannot help but take notice.

Sweetwater IPA is not over the top like other American IPA and this fact adds to its appeal. When I first sampled this beer, my initial impression was that it didn’t contain enough hops and wasn’t worthy of the IPA label. But the more I tried it, the more I appreciated and respected its unique flavor angle. The juiciness of this beer and the wide acceptability of its taste are two of its best qualities and it seems like a good beer for the uninitiated as well as the seasoned craft beer geek.

This beer is not as hop- infused as others of its style, but it does have many positive qualities. It offers a more unique twist on the style and makes a good option for the craft beer curious who want to like IPA, but cannot make the palate leap to the 90+ IBU level. Try it if you can find it- you should like what you discover.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2013 05:39:02 | More by BryanCarey
Photo of smcolw


3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Moderate bottle-poured head. It leaves good ring/spotty lace on the glass. The liquid is copper gold in color. Mildly hazy.

Strong grapefruit rind aroma from the hop. In the background is some melon and caramel with a dash of sweetness. Some alcohol to the nose.

Starts with a neutral malt flavor, but the prickly and peppery hop kicks in quickly. The aftertaste is shorter than one might expect given the biting finish. The body is middle of the road as is the carbonation level.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2013 21:36:30 | More by smcolw
Photo of acsprouse

South Carolina

3.74/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: orangish pour/ cloudy in appearance. Soft pour produced thin white head. With some retention.

S: floral hops. Citrus. Some malt sweetness in there.

M: slightly resiny, Yet still on the more thin side.

T: everything From the nose is there. Its floral. The hops are straight forward. Its piney. Some citrusy.

O: pretty average beer. I suggest a try

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2013 06:51:17 | More by acsprouse
Photo of jackalish


4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

If you love a citrus hop aroma, this is the beer for you. It's refreshing, not overly bitter and has a really nice feel.

The beer is unfiltered and has a cloudy appearance but not as cloudy as a wheat beer.

The citrus hop aroma is incredible and hits you right off. In fact, you don't get much malt aroma from the hops. Before the first drink you're going to expect an overwhelmingly bitterness with that aroma, but it's more bark than bite.

Like with all people, taste is a highly subjective thing, however, I think any seasoned beer drinker who enjoys diversity will enjoy this fine beer.

Now, with that said it could use a bit more diversity in the aroma, but otherwise, not bad.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2013 04:08:02 | More by jackalish
Photo of jucifer1818


3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dirty light amber

S: smells of fresh hops, right off the farm, with some earthy udnertones.

t: Light peach, with heavy earthy hops. Not too agressive, but a bit to light for my taste

m: heavy carbination bite, but a bit wattery for my standard. Average

Overall: slightly better than average, you can do better but for the price you could do worse.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2013 20:20:00 | More by jucifer1818
Photo of guityler83


4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Not sure its in a bottle.. i know i know

S: Sweet with a tropical/citrus fruit hop nose. slightly catty and grainy.

T: Strong piney bitterness that follows you all the way through. Modest doughy malty backbone that balances nicely. Catty and citrusy hop flavors that fatigue that pallet after the first few sips.

M: The amount of hop oils in this beer provide a mouth drying astringency like most late hopped IPAs.

O: As I drink this in a hotel room in rural Georgia I've got to say this a very enjoyable IPA. Definatly want to drink it before the date on the bottle since its dry hopped. Only my second beer from sweetwater and its a winner.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 03:11:24 | More by guityler83
Photo of Beerandboards

New Mexico

3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle into a pint glass

A - translucent copper color with cotton white foam. Fridge temp pour produces an inch or two of head, crown retains and lacing at the top of the glass.

S - nice, citrus peel/zest type of smell. Somewhat muted, orange and grapefruit dominate with some tropical mango type notes on the edge.

T - very drinkable. Citrus and floral hop leads, a good dose of mild bittering follows to close it out. Nothing really asserts itself as a particular flavor or note, but overall, a very easy drinking IPA.

M - solid. Nice carb, light medium body.

O - a tasty IPA that I would pick up regularly if it were available in my area.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 05:55:28 | More by Beerandboards
Photo of Ell


4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is an excellent everyday drinker. It makes me sad to see it losing store and bar space to its smaller, more malty brother 420 (which is good, but not great).

Pours an orangey hue. Pretty color.

Nose is grapefruit. Very floral as well.

Big hop bite, then balanced nicely with a bisuity malt taste. Very hop forward, but not cloyingly so.

Mouthfeel is light - maybe too drinkable. Very easy to down a boatload of these.

Really excellent beer from a very good brewery.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2013 15:24:01 | More by Ell
Photo of chickenflea


3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz: Hazy golden color, small white head that settles quickly. Good lacing. Grapefruit aroma with a touch of spiciness. Dried apricot sweetness also in the nose. A very nice aroma. Taste is very sweet with just the right amount of bittering for an IPA. Hops taste more floral than the citrusy aroma promised. The finish is long and steady with no odd tangents. Texture is a little sticky. Carbonation is above average - biting. The carbonation gives the beer a refreshing quality. A nice IPA the selection of hops (Columbia for bittering, and Golding for aroma) made this IPA interesting.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2013 10:23:31 | More by chickenflea
Photo of davey101


3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Best if enjoyed by 02/13/13. Thanks for the extra sommersb.

A - Pours a vibrant orange body with one finger of off white foam. Great lacing and retention.

S - Grapefruit and some pine followed by a solid caramel malt backbone.

T - Similar to the nose. Grapefruit ad piney hops followed by a very sweet malt backbone. Basic, simple, tasty, to the point.

M - Light to medium bodied with decent carbonation. Highly drinkable with a nice lasting bitterness. Very clean and refreshing.

O - Probably a bit old at this point, but still a very solid and highly drinkable IPA. Proves the point that a hoppy beer should have a solid malt base to hold up to a bit of age.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2013 23:11:11 | More by davey101
Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,895 ratings.