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Sweetwater IPA - SweetWater Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sweetwater IPASweetwater IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

847 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 847
Hads: 3,044
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 21.95%
Wants: 178
Gots: 680 | FT: 9
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sweetwater IPA Alström Bros
Reviews: 847 | Hads: 3,044
Photo of AC-Mivsek
4.39/5  rDev +9.5%

Pours a mostly clear orange, not too much carbonation, frothy pure white head. Smells delicious, very potent nose on this guy, very juicy pine hops, slightly citrusty with some grapefruit. Taste is very similar, mostly piney hops coming through, goes down nice and easy, very smooth. This is a good beer I really enjoy it.

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Photo of HeightsEats
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer, but I am not getting the "hop bomb" angle on it. Hops on the nose and front of the palate are definitely there, with dominant grapefruit and a bit of sour apple. The beer's body is where it differs from a typical IPA, though. The hopping doesn't seem heavy in the boil, leading to a some sweetness after a couple sips. While the bitterness of many IPAs can get cloying, the balance of a sharp hop nose and sweeter body make this really drinkable. My wife, who typically tends towards sweeter beers and shies away from bitterness even in food, found the grapefruit element refreshing. A great beer and really unique.

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Photo of y2jrock60
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

This was the first Sweet Water beer I've had. To be honest I was expecting more. There's nothing off with the beer but it's lacking in the flavor and aroma that I expect in an American IPA. The nose was very muted and it appeared to be hopped along the lines of a pale ale. I perceived the flavors I expect in an IPA, but it didn't burst with flavor. Not a bad beer, but nothing warrants another buy.

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4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I really like this beer. It's pretty available in my area and usually fairly fresh. Maybe not the most memorable IPA, but one I will continue to return to.

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

12oz bottle best by 1/5/15 poured into a pint glass
A: Transparent orange color with a one-finger head
S: Pretty classic IPA. Heavy on the tropical fruits. Also grapefruit/orange and a hint of pine
T: A touch on the sweet side with citrus, earth, and a hint of tropical fruit
M: Medium-bodied, a bit sweet/bitter
O: Solid IPA. I agree with BB1313 the nose is easily the best part. If the tropical fruit was more prevalent on the palate this would be outstanding. Still definitely worth a try & glad to have it available in Ohio

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Photo of BB1313
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Best if enjoyed by 1/6/15. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours golden with nice clarity; very subtle haze; fluffy white head that leaves nice lacing and retention. The aromas are great. It has a bit of a westcoast vibe going on. Lots of melon. Lots of mango and pineapple. It has tropical notes, but there are citrus notes as well. Sticky grapefruit. Some sweet bready malts are there. A touch of caramel too. It smells great. The flavors fall off a bit compared to the nose, but it still tastes good. Lots of earthy fresh grass. Some pine needles in the mix. More melon. Hints of grapefruit and orange peel. There's an earthy bitterness to this one, but it's definitely not an over-the-top bitterness. It's balanced. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with active carbonation. This is smooth and clean. Easy to drink. Alcohol goes unnoticed.

The aromas steal the show, but everything else is on point. This is a very nice IPA, especially at its price-point. I understand why this beer was always reguarded as one of the better IPAs in the past. This was something that was ahead of its time at one point. Maybe other breweries have caught up and eclipsed this, but this still holds up as a winner in the world of IPAs. I like it.

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Photo of sourd
4/5  rDev -0.2%

poured into a 16oz jar glass...be burley

beautiful orange, bordering on red in the right light

lovely herbal, sweet aroma with grapefruit zest in the end

pine and grapefruit with an spicy herbal tinge...dank

slightly on the lighter side, bitter and a pinch sticky as it flows over the gums...also, dank

this is my kind of beer. dank, resinous, piney...in the vein of lagunitas, racer 5, and stone. well done, excited to try their other seasonal ipas

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Photo of EHopkinsi
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Lots of piney aroma at the pour. Lots of piney taste. Kinda like drinking a Christmas tree. Without the tinsel floss afterwards. Taste improves as beer warms.

It actually gets pretty drinkable by the middle of the bottle. Considering I just can't get into IPAs, even though I try them on occasion, it isn't bad.

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Photo of kellyej
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%

A: Hazy to opaque; weak head; amberish color
S: Peppery, dank, musty, wildflower, mint, floral, malty
M: Smooth, medium body
T: Citrus skins, pine; hints of wildflower and mint

Note: Beer taste and smell opened-up after letting it warm-up a bit

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Photo of SysopChris
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Hard to believe this is 6.3% ABV. Extremely smooth, very drinkable. Unlike other IPA's that are similar ABV I don't feel the need for a glass of water after every glass of beer.

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Photo of Boneswally
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Had this in cans while on vaca in the smokey mountains...took a sixer with me fly fishing and this beer was such a treat to have, I felt guilty that I actually found a great beer while on vacation. Usually settling for some macro crap. Thanks for the great day guys. Word, Atlanta! whodathunk.

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Photo of Brackh
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Pours an amber color. Pine and citrus smell. Smells great. Great taste that lines up well with the smell. Smooth and easy to throw back a few of these without thinking twice. One of the first IPAs I have ever had. I Love Sweetwater brews. An overlooked beer that I don't drink often enough.

Wife's Review: "It is one of the more drinkable IPAs. I could enjoy that if it was my third or fourth drink of the night."

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Photo of gatornation
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-pours a clear golden/amber color with a 1 finger off white head some adequate lacing and a nice collar
S-Citrus and pine hops with malt
T-nice citrus and slight tropical start to this some bitter pine plays here also a toasty malt presence mellows the hops
M-dry and sweet with a touch of bitterness
O-a solid IPA not great but one to look for and try

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Pint mug
From: Total Wine in Ballantyne (Charlotte), N.C.
Price: $15.99 for a variety 12-pack
Purchased: July 30, 2014
Consumed: July 30, 2014
Misc.: Enjoy by Sept. 22, 2014

Poured a caramel, amber, honey clear color with 1-to-2 fingers of khaki white frothy head. Lots of bubbles coming up from the bottom. Good spiderweb lacing along the sides of the glass. Good retention on the top of the glass all the way down.

Smelled grapefruit, piney, citrus hops, floral hops, caramel, bitter spices and orange rind. It all dried up late.

Tasted similar to the nose. Very good. Got piney grapefruit, citrus, floral, caramel, Simcoe, Centennial and Mosaic. It reminded me a bit of a session IPA.

Light-to-medium body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth finish.

Really enjoyed this IPA.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

BBD 9/15/14. Clear medium amber pour with a very faint ruby tint. Excellent head, lacing and retention. Very nice nose of grapefruit and tropical (mango) with a touch of spice and pine over a very light biscuit. Medium bodied with a normal carbonation level that imparts a bit of effervescence on the finish. Nice balanced flavor profile with a bit of hop complexity in a blended fashion. It begins with the flavors of the nose then flows into a mild bitterness. The finish is dry, not quite crisp, and leaves you with a light grapefruit rind bitterness and a touch of spice.

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

Pours a beautiful dark amber with a flurry of cascading bubbles and a one inch billowy foamy head. Leaves a slight amount of lacing along the glass. The smell -- grapefruit, grapefruit, grapefruit! Also subtle hints of mango in there. Really nice. Grapefruit is also the overwhelming quality of the taste. Nice level of carbonation. Really fresh tasting beer. I had one on 8/7 that had a Best Buy date of 8/17 and it felt like I was drinking this right at a brewery. Really solid IPA. For a 6.3% ABV, very easy to drink.

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Photo of FocusDave
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a pint can into a tall tulip.

A - Nice amber color with about a finger of light tan soap bubble head. Short retention and sticky lacing.

S - Nice and balanced citusy hop aroma.

T - Tastes like an IPA. Bright and citrusy up front with a bitter hop finish. Nothing life changing or Earth shattering, but not bad by any means.

M - Crisp with a nice dry finish.

O - A good IPA. Nothing more, nothing less.

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Photo of sfprint
3.15/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Transparent orange with a single finger of fuzzy head. Not a particularly strong scent but a pleasant fruitiness. Probably the beers strongest trait. Not a harsh bitterness but reminds me of tree bark. A bit sour. Not so fruity for an IPA. Dry mouthfeel. Decent but odd.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.76/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
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

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Photo of BurningTreeMufen
4.21/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
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!

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Photo of blordo1685
2.33/5  rDev -41.9%
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.

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Photo of deebo
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

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Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 847 ratings.