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Sweetwater IPA - SweetWater Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sweetwater IPASweetwater IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

850 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 850
Hads: 3,059
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 21.95%
Wants: 178
Gots: 686 | 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: 850 | Hads: 3,059
Photo of HerrBob
4.59/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sm and Tst- I have heard pine/citrus to describe hoppy beer. I think Christmas Tree better describes this brew. Most smells & tastes are related to memories attached to them and this one deffinitely gives a warm comfortable feel to the smell & taste - like a Christmas tree in the night.

Drinkability & Mouthfeel- excellent whether a small sip or more it satisfies with excellent slightly bitter aftertaste. Just right on carbonation - fresh but no tingle.

In AL a good beer is hard to find & this one is on the top of my list.

Appearance - nice warm tan with slight cloudiness. I put little on this as I don't watch beer but drink it.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from SilentSabre, so big “Thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright orange/amber color with a thin white head that fades at a decent rate and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: Strong floral hops aroma when you crack open the bottle, but once the beer is poured the hops smell fades and you smell a heavy fruity citrus & malt sweetness.

T: The taste starts with a decent burst of hops, but not very heavy. What follows is the same fruity sweetness that you get in the smell. I picked up lemon, grapefruit and some dark fruits (which is slightly different for the style) and the hops keep trying to break through as you drink it. The after-taste is a combination of hops bitterness and citrus sweetness.

M: Very crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: I drank this one down fairly quickly for a review. Even though it may be a little sweeter than most IPA’s, it’s very tasty, not-too-filling and is the type of beer I could stick with for a long, long time. This was a very pleasant surprise for a beer that was added in to round out the trade. I think I’m now intrigued by this brewer and I’m going to have to deal for some more stuff from them.

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Photo of llitsua
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer I probably buy more than any other. Despite Alabama’s awful beer laws, we are very lucky to have this available here.

Poured from 12 oz. bottle w/ Best Before 10/22/06 stamped on it,

A- Pours a nice gold color, with a hint of orange. Two- finger head that quickly dissipates into cm thick ring. Generous lacing left in glass.

S- Notable citrusy and piney hops, very pleasant smell.

T- malt with citrusy and piney hops up front, quite delightful. Fades in to some more hop bitterness, with a very easy, smooth finish. Hops dominate the taste overall.

M- Carbonation is felt, but not overwhelming, fairly light mouthfeel overall- makes you want more.

D- Very drinkable, I usually drink a few of these when I have them. Great session IPA.

One of my favorite beers overall, the best you can get in AL, IMO.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- A pretty bright honey amber with a very steady and strong column of bubbles ascending to the heaven that is my palate. Leaving behind almost a finger worth of foam and lacing. Great beer to look at in wonder.

Smell- A mild hop aroma for an American IPA. Plenty oof bittersweet bread crust aromas. Lots o biscuit dough.

Taste- Some orange peel mixes with the toasty malts to give it a burnt orange peel hopp flavor. Clean hop presence. Not resiny or syrupy. Almost like a lager with IPA flavors.

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Photo of supascape
4.54/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One word to describe this brew...wow! I must say that this is one of my favorite beers. The SweetWater Brewing Company just keeps getting it right. On to the review:

The beer pours a really nice hazy-orange, golden-brown color. Poured down the middle of the glass, it starts with a pretty large, white head which quickly disappears and leaves a nice lace behind.

As the beer pours, the scent of grapefruit just explodes from the glass. The grapefruit is complimented by a hint of cloves in the background. The scent is so large that it grabs the attention immediately. The scent is very plesant. It does not slap you in the face, but you definitely know it is there.

WOW! Taste is borderline exceptional. This beer starts with a citrus blast and is quickly joined by a light, malty presence. Somehow the malt presence does not disturb the citrus (grapefruit in particular) flavor. It complements it nicely. Hops are at the forefront here. At first taste, a hint of grapefruit rushes to the front, quickly followed by malt and grass. Grapefruit stays at the front throughout the drink but the malty, grassy taste stays along for the journey. Ends with a pretty damn bitter flavor that is bold but non-intrusive.

Brew has a medium-bold mouthfeel. Very juicy but not overly-dry. Does not feel as good as Exodus Porter but what does?

This beer is very drinkable and versatile. Drink this beer anytime and anyplace.

This beer is excellent.

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Photo of karst
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a chil hazed orange copper with two fingered head that maintains a cap of fine bubbles from strong beading. Solid sheet of lace slowly erodes forming a rete pattern on the side of the pint glass.

Beautiful aroma suggesting a fruit (hop) salad. Apricot esters add to Chinook, Cascade, Centennial flavors. Soft sweet malts balance the awesome hop flavors that fall away to an excellent lingering bitter finish. Round mouthfeel with a medium body. Caramel flavors emerge with warmth. Not an extreme IPA but one that you can easily turn to as a session beer. Would pair well with barbequed chicken or just pepper cheese and crackers.

From BA Rammerjammer in Boaz, Al. - What else have you been hiding down in your parts, Mike?

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Photo of brentk56
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy light copper color with a prodigiously rocky head that leaves swaths of lace all over the glass

Smell: Nice hoppy aroma that leans toward the piney side but has some fruit to it as well; a caramel undertones, tool

Taste: Starts with a moderately sweet caramel presence that is quickly overtaken by a fruity, piney bitterness that continues after the swallow; some residual sweetness on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: An excellent mainstream IPA - not sure whether this is the new recipe or not - "Best if Enjoyed by 5/5"

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Photo of trep
4.44/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle thanks to pugman who tells me this is the new recipe.

A murky burnt orange, similar to that of U of Texas colors. Creamy off-white head that lasts for ages.

Intense grapefruit and honey hop aroma. So bittersweet, with a nice malt background. One of the most pleasant aromas i've had the pleasure to sniff.

Oh my. Awesome citrus flavored hops. Slightly bitter initially then fades to the bittersweet grapefruit taste that i've grown to love. Solid malt sweetness is present, but plays second fiddle to the hops. Finishes damn smooth.

Medium body, perfect carbonation tickles your tongue. Such a smooth beer. Although its not high ABV it is still incredibly smooth and easy to drink. Incredibly refreshing too...good god.

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.62/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I’m a big fan of IPA’s, and while this is not the best I’ve had, it did not disappoint. Had the fruity aroma (apples, oranges) you would expect, and was highly hopped. A good bitterness in the finish, and an overall good drinking beer. This is one I could see having several of at once. Glad to see the local brewery did well.

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Photo of bort11
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of Bonhoeffer and the Brews'n'Tunes BIF.

12 oz bottle poured into a hefe glass. Hazey orange color with a white head, about an inch thick. Lacing was moderately sticky. Smell is citrusy and sweet, like oranges. Taste goes back and forth between grapefruit and oranges, but I think the oranges come out on top. The hops is not bitter, and it has only a slight pucker to it. Mouthfeel is pretty light, almost juicey. Typically I don't like an IPA to be too sweet, but I think the flavor was balanced enough to pull it off. Quite enjoyable.

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Photo of SilentSabre
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very impressed with this one. If you like that West-Coast citrus / pine hops like Dale's Pale ale, you must try this one. It poured a slightly cloudy orange bronze colour with loads of carbonation bubbles streaming upward to maintain its fluffy white head. Nice sticky lacing and great head retention. Smells like grapefruit and pine resin. I must admit, I have to be in the mood for this kind of beer, and it just so happens that right now, I am! The taste is wonderfully bitter and pine like, and while I know that they must be there, I cannot really detect any malt; Just pure pine sap and grapefruit. The mouthfeel is very smooth, but a bit lighter than I was thinking it would be. Drinkability is fantastic! This would be a wonderful session beer. A smash hit from Sweetwater, for sure!!

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Photo of BRoberts914
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is certainly not what I have come to think of as a traditional IPA. It was gold to amber in color (lighter than expected) and was very effervescent. Overall, quite an attractive appearance. The nose was surprising also. The most prominently projected aromas here are of peach and apricot and a little of noble hops. The taste is a bit light on the malt for my taste, but is still pretty flavorful. The hops domiate the palate, as expected. I could certainly drink a few of these on a hot summer evening. Outstanding beer.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A seriously formitable and stern IPA with delicate sweetness and bold hop character- such a bitter beer for a Sweet-water brewery.

Pouring a froathy orange hued beer, the lush head gives an off-white, cottony textured appearance. Vibrant carbonation makes the beer dance with zest and sprite. Solid rings of lace reminds me how many drinks it took to reach the bottom of the glass- turns out four on this particularly thirsty day.

Bright and fruity aromas, lead by tangerine and orange zest, fill the nose with a juicy and highly citrusy character. Soft malty sweet scent provides the slightest of caramel scent to give a ripe and sweet citrusy dominance to the nose.

Flavors are very consistent with aromas: Focused on dripping citrusy fruity flavor with a dry bitter finish that remains clean and smooth. The hop showcase is focused more on the flavor of tangerine, pineapple, oranges, and ripe ruby red grapefruit and a little less on the resiny bitterness in finish. A background of powdered sugar sweetness gives a ripe and juicy roundness to support the hop flavor and bitterness, and without interferring with the drinkability.

Soft creamy textures seem less scrubbed to the palate than most IPA's and somewhat reminescent to Witbiers. The malty textures waiver at mid palate and allow for a very clean, very crisp hop bitterness and light alcohol dryness to govern the finish; and with a moderate linger of citrusy hop flavor and bitterness in aftertaste.

Sweetwater's IPA is certainly a showcase for hops on all fronts (aroma, flavor, and bitterness), but in superb balance and with high drinkability. This is an effortless beer to drink!

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Photo of doubleipa
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been drinking this for a while, but the new version has really increased my interest. Big pine and resin and lemon and citrus aroma -really nice. Very little malt taste. A little hazy with an OK, creamy, white head. I'm starting to prefer this to Terrapin. I really like that they added teh Simcoe hops. Nwo if they would only make a DIPA.

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Photo of KyleVick4
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz

A: A very pretty IPA. Good thick head, that remains on the beer as you drink it. Also leaves nice lacing on the sides. A bit hazy though, the color is a nice golden amber.

S: Wow hop city. Smells grassy oily hops. Musta dry hopped the hell outta this one. Maybe some sweet malt in the background.

T: Nice balanced IPA. Its sweet rather than bitter to begin with, then the flavor hops hit you fast. A big rush of piney hops maybe a little oily but good flavor for an IPA. The aftertaste is a smooth hoppiness. Not a killer IPA, but I guess they dont call it a double IPA now do they...

M: Real nice and smooth. Medium bodied not as dry as most IPAs. Good carbonation, not under carbonated like many IPAs are.

D: Probally the most drinkable IPA I have ever had. Not too often can one say "This IPA is a great session beer" but I have been able to put down a sixer of these and could have drank more if need be. Good job on making a light bodied, but full flavored beer.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Filled my glass with a golden copper color with just a quick showing of a white head that turns into just a thin ring. Light lacing is left. Citrusy orange smell with not much else going on. Hop flavor comes in the form of grapefruit with some orange. Slight bitterness on swallowing. A bit bubbly as well. Just an average IPA in my opinion.

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Photo of LittleWolf
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice burnt orange color with a medium frothy head. The head actually stays a while, which makes this beer very appealing to the eye.
The citrus hop smell is supported by notes of grainy malt.
The flavor follows the smell, and I add that the mouthfeel on this beer is a pleasant surprise. This is a very solid IPA, and if that is your thing, this beer is for you. Not overly hopped, which is perfect for the balance on this beer. Very drinkable, the kind that could turn into a "session six-pack."

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Photo of BeerRun13
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to DeaconBluez.
Part of BIF Across America.

Poured Dark Orange copper color with a small white head. The head disipates quickly, and leaves a minimal amount of lacing.
Smells a little caramel like and citrus aromas also rise up. A little bit of a rasiny quality maybe in there too. Doesnt smell much like any IPA that I'm used too.
Definate citrus probably grapefruit flavor with a bit of malt. The hop bitterness increases a little with each drink, but is not overwhelming. I still say there's a bit of a raisiny quality to this beer. Tastes good.
Medium bodied and carbonation. The hops kind of help out the mouthfeel.
A good drinking beer even though it is not like an IPA that I'd normaly grab for.

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.4/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This one pours out of the bottle just a touch deeper than gold, with a nice billowing head and remarkable retention. Yeast is suspended during the pour and eventually settles to the bottom of the glass.

The nose of this beer is all about hops; lemon-peel, orange pith, grapefruit meat. Also has a green after-image, chlorophyll, and just the faintest suggestion of caramel malts.

The taste of this beer - like the nose - is all about the hops. Unfortunately, the high acid levels and low maltiness make this unbalanced to say the least. This particularly fresh batch was searing in its hop acidity, with not enough malt to make this anything less than liquid heartburn. Fireball hop belches.

The more I drink local and regional IPAs the more I realize how good i've got it. IPA is a difficult style to hit; make it too malty and you've upset hopheads, make it too hoppy and you're drinking acid hop-tea. Balance, grasshopper.

This one falls just on the hop-tea side of things, but is fairly strong especially for the $6 price tag.

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3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - 1/4" off-white head. Falls immediately to a cap. Light lacing. Golden amber color.

S - Ripe citrus. Mainly orange peel.

T - Lots of lime character. Tangy. Light malt. Light bitterness for an IPA.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

D - Good drinkability. Hop driven, but with a seemingly different hop profile than I am used to. This is a decent IPA, but I prefer their 420 APA over this one.

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Photo of Jredner
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Citrusy in both the bitter rind qualities and the sweeter orange fruit aromas. Lusterous amber in color with a thumb thick white head that is mostly lasting. Sweet fore tastes a bit of orange/lemon spiked cake, slightly toasty with a firm malty feel. Hops are fairly low in bitterness and an excellent compliment to the fruity malt base. I put of trying this because I tend to dislike IPA’s (really hoppy ones anyway) but this is a tasty fine beer.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a frothy tan colored head that is initially one-finger thick, but does not hang out for too long. The beer is a brilliantly clear, full copper color. The aroma is suitably hoppy with a sweet orange note being the most prominent. A dry biscuit like note is noticeable towards the end of the aroma, but you have to look for it. The citrusy hop notes in this are so clean, and remarkably similar to orange.

The beer is lightly sweet up front, with a solid citrusy orange note. The beer finishes with a light, though strange astringency, and a solid toasted malt note. Candied orange zest was definitely used in this beer, I just know it. The beer has a solid bitterness to it that starts up front and becomes more noticeable as it finally has a strangle hold on the long, lingeringly bitter finish. The hop character creates a bit of a tingling tongue sensation, much like carbonation does, and it is accompanied by an herbaceous hop character that is quite nice as well. This beer is fairly light and drinkable, of course I mean that it has a medium fullness to eat that is not so much that I couldn't see drinking a couple pints of this quaffable IPA.

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Photo of CNeilP09
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

By far, my favorite from the Sweetwater Family. I'm biased though, being a Georgia resident. But seriously, this is what all other IPAs want to be when they grow up. This thirst quenching ale from the south does its job tenfold in the IPA department. As far as flavor, undoubtedly the best. Please try this beer. Do yourself the favor.

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Photo of hero27
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.

Textbook IPA burnt orange/clear-copper color..creamy head and nice lacing down to the last drop. The obvious dry-hopping leads to the extra punch of hops..big floral hops and pine sap blended with citrus. A lot of flavor without being too harsh..quite creamy, actually. Killer drinkability and a massive array of hops..i tell ya, that's my kind of beer.

Thanks again to timtheenchanta for the bottle.

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Photo of hopsaplenty
3.47/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. brown bottle, best before the 3rd week in January, no year.

Clouded copper with burnt orange highlights. A puffy head of loose small eggshell colored bubbles with vibrant carbonation streams. Dimpled and slowly settling, it leaves splotchy lacing. The smell is of citrusy hops, candied grapefruit. Fresh and bold. Hops, more piney up front and in the finish, some sugar notes struggle to make their presence known. Citrus rind flavors linger in the finish. Medium body, soft and loose feeling. Kind of mushy and watery. Mainly hops without much malt body.

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Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 850 ratings.