Sweetwater IPA - SweetWater Brewing Company

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Sweetwater IPASweetwater IPA

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830 Reviews
very good

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Reviews: 830
Hads: 2,961
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 9.41%
Wants: 170
Gots: 617 | 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: 830 | Hads: 2,961
Photo of Jredner
4/5  rDev -1%
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. (449 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
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. (1,164 characters)

Photo of CNeilP09
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
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. (335 characters)

Photo of hero27
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
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. (420 characters)

Photo of hopsaplenty
3.47/5  rDev -14.1%
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. (564 characters)

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

Sampled through the efforts of DeaconBluez and the BCG BIF.

Slightly hazy orange colored beer with a fair tan colored head.

Smell is quite sweet and fairly spicy to the nose. Candied orange peel and maraschino cherry in the scent with some sweetened grapefruit and pine smells too. Additional scents of vanilla, caramel and wood.

Taste is sweet with a big hit of caramel and vanilla at the start. Tart citrus and woody hop flavors join in the mix later on.

Mouthfeel is good.

Fairly drinkable and a very sweet for the style IPA. I don't know that I would buy this again, I would buy a drier beer. (611 characters)

Photo of BeerBeing
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown glass longneck generic bottle, multicolored label

Appearance: hazy orange color, medium off-white head, some lacing

Smell: very hoppy and citrusy, sweet maltiness

Taste: medium body, crisp mouth feel, hoppy bitterness big way, but pleasant not harsh, strong citrus, malty sweetness,

Notes: very good brew (343 characters)

Photo of Enola
3.42/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is an average beer. It poured out with a little head. It is a cloudy yellow color. It has some floaters. It has a hoppy smell and the taste is fairly bitter. It has somewhat off a negative aftertaste which distracts from the drinkability. Still it is not a bad choice if you like IPA's. I could possibly drink a few of these. I may try this again sometime. (361 characters)

Photo of wcudwight
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Looks like a southern sweet tea with a solid inch creamy milky colored head. Heavy lacing.
S: Fruity. Fresh orange and grapefruit. Very sweet. My nose keeps going back for more.
T: Has the hop bitterness that I was expecting, but there's a sweetness that I just can't identify. It's a fruity sweetness I just can't distinguish what fruit. Either way it's a very quaffable beverage. Not what I was expecting but good.
M: Very average. Nothing special in the mouthfeel. Would like to feel the hops.
D: I think you could session this IPA because the hops don't attack your mouth like some do.
Sweetwater does a good job of mixing in a fruity sweetness into this IPA while still maintaining it's hoppy character. (716 characters)

Photo of Chadbrew
3.72/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - Somewhat hazy with a touch of particulates (yeast?). Good carbonation and good lacing also.
Aroma - Sweet and hoppy.
Taste - A fine balance between sweet and doughy malt and bright citrusy hops. There is some slight astringency in this one, aside from that the finish is pleasant and bitter sweet.
Mouthfeel - A touch thin.
Drinkability - If you could take away the astringency this would be highly drinkable. Nonetheless... thanks to 1hoppymonster for the drink. (480 characters)

Photo of imblane
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, best by date of 1st week in December, from JP's liquor in Brunswick, GA. Poured a deep orange into my pint glass with a nice 2 finger head which dissipated rather quickly leaving some nice lacing. Smell is malty sweet at first then the hops come in and take over the sweetness. Taste is initially bubblegum sweet then the hops take over, but not with the authority of a good IPA such as Stone or Hop Ottin. The label claims this is the beer I have been training for, but I'm not feelin it. This may be a step up for a macro beer drinker, but in my opinion it is a decent Pale Ale that is easy drinking but not much more than that. (645 characters)

Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Okay, so they weren't lying when they claimed that it's a "mammoth beer" even though it's only 5.9% ABV. The beer pours a very nice deep hazy orange with a thin off-white head. No lacing and very little crown otherwise I'd have rated the appearance much higher.

Smell is plenty hoppy - a good warning that there's an IPA ahead! Pine, citrus and primarily floral notes throughout. On tasting there's a reasonable malt body to keep the hops balanced. Light bready notes and a rather sweet syrup note counteract the very pronounced hops. True to style there's plenty of citrus and herbal flavors in every sip.

Mouthfeel is quite good. The medium bodied brew has a good amount of fine bottle conditioned bubbles giving each sip an interesting texture and a good sparkley lightness. Hop bittering drys out each sip nicely.

All in all very drinkable. I was concerned that the low ABV indicated a Pale Ale masquerading as an IPA but I was quite wrong. This is a nice jolt of hop juice that packs a more subdued punch.

[Thanks to mntlover for sending this pleasant surprise from Atlanta] (1,091 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one poured a beautiful deep but illuminating orange in color with a wonderful, lacing head.

Smell – Ah, the dry-hopping leads the nose here followed by a deeper, leafy hoppiness and some nice, creamy malts. The malt aroma is thick and laced with caramel.

Drinkability – The malts and light yeast come up a bit bigger at the taste, making this a balanced “down South” IPA. The finish is sweet and caramelly.

Mouthfeel – This one just is medium-bodied with some good bitterness throughout and a modest but effective carbonation level.

Drinkability – This IPA is well put together, very balanced, and highly drinkable.

Comments – Thanks to the ever-thoughtful Uncle Flip for putting this in my WTF BIF box. (744 characters)

Photo of moocey
4.84/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I don't know if it's because I haven't had a great IPA in a while or if it's because the beer might have been fresh from the brewery in Atlanta, but I had a Sweetwater IPA at Taco Mac in Decatur and it was delicious.

It smelled like a handfull of fresh pacific northwest hops and tasted the same. Loaded with bursts of hoppy goodness, and a good malt backbone. Damn fine beer. (380 characters)

Photo of Bonhoeffer
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had it on tap last night at the 5 Points Grill, the first place i ever tasted this divine nectar, many moons ago now.

Seemed like the hop flavor was less intense and the malt came through a little more than it typically does from the bottle. More balanced.

It was the draught version of this that first won my heart, but i think i may actually prefer it from the bottle. I'll evaluate it again another time. (413 characters)

Photo of pezoids
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very slightly hazed golden orange into my pint glass. The thin head leaves a Swiss cheese like lace on the glass. The aroma is musty, floral and sweet – like a flowery meadow. Some fruitiness and dark nuttiness. Intriguing aroma. The taste is very appealing. Accent on the hoppy with the malt bringing up a close second. There’s a grapefruit rind bitterness in the finish. A fine and flavorful IPA. (409 characters)

Photo of santoslhalper
2.58/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Appearence: Pours a slightly hazy light copper with a decent, creamy white head. Dies down quickly to a collar. Decent carbonation.

Smell: The smell is of floral hops, not too strong though, and well balanced out by a malt background.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is not as hoppy as I'd expected, and I didn't expect it to be very hoppy. The hops are almost gone, and it's basically blond ale malt flavor from there on out. Doesn't even taste like an IPA, so maybe it's a bad bottle. The mouthfeel is smooth and slick.

Drinkability and Overall: Not an IPA, in my opinion. More malty than hoppy. I just really didn't like this one. Seems like it would be a lot better if on-tap at the brewery. Oh well, can't win them all.

Thanks again to rajendra for the package. (777 characters)

Photo of rajendra82
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After the new brewery opened, Sweetwater IPA has taken a turn for the worse. What was once a cloudy, gritty, hoppy, exciting beer, has now turned into a clear bodied, timid little IPA. Not a bad beer, but not as good as it used to be. I wish they would go back to the old formula, or better yet brew a Double IPA for the adventurous types. (339 characters)

Photo of mattcrill
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to Ding for the chance to sample this bottle.

Presentation: States that it's best buy the first week of November. Should be good to go here..

Appearance: Pours into my snifter a bright orange amber with a sudsy ivory cap. Some carbonation noted going up the sides of the glass.

Smell: Fresh citrus hops, peaches, orange, and a touch of carmel. Seems to be nicely balanced but definitely leaning towards the hop side.

Taste: Bittering hops first, then a burst of orange sweetness, followed by a wheaty, bready finish. Kind of cool how it transitions nicely between those different flavor profiles.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with the carbonation bordering on a tad too much. Still, leaves a nice lingering bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability: Pretty good for me. No ETOH noted, the hops are interesting but not destructive. A refreshing brew for the end of the summer. Recommended. (908 characters)

Photo of mentor
3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle provided by UncleFlip, thanks for the opportunity! Freshness markings are Month 8 Week 3. Pours an easy two finger very light yellow head over a rather cloudy apricot orange liquid. Smells oranges and tangerines, some grapefruit pith beneath, and just a wisp of pine sol. It's got a real sugary sweet smell, like rock candy. Tastes citrus hoppy with a little bit of a sour hop twang at the end. The draw is grapefruit pith, orange oil and honey in the mouth, and then "pine sol" at the end. I think the "Pine sol" is actually a combination of a pine hop character mixed with rough grassy co-humulone, topped with some acrid on the tongue from a bit too much carbonation. Not much in the way of fruity esters. Perhaps some mango as the beer warms. Md body and md-heavily carbonation. The flavor grew on me as I drank it and as it warmed. (843 characters)

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer knocked my socks off it too me by such surprise. Pours a murky brown in color with a clean and foamy head. Nose is full of hops. Flavor has intial stong tones of malts with some honey, but then come the hops with lots of clover and grass. Picked up a sixer while in Boone and had to ration myself when I find out how far I was going to be from refreshing my empty beer cooler. Mouthfeel is almost enough to call heavy with some chewiness going on, but not so much that it destroyed my interest in having a few more of these beers. (540 characters)

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

Pours a slightly hazy peach with a tight one finger head that leaves a ring of lace behind,big lemon essence in the aroma along with spruce anf touch of nutty malt.Really like the flavors going on here citrusy and pine/resin really stand out but there is real nutyy malt presence to keep this beer in my mind a true quaffable,sessionable IPA.True American in its big hoppiness but not over the top,well done. (408 characters)

Photo of AlexJ
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy apricot/orange in color supporting a thick eggshell colored head that has moderate retention and nice, thick lace.

Solid IPA aromas of semi sweet medium roasted malts, lovely floral notes, sweet orange or tangerine, grapefruit, and honey. Rather sweet and fruity nose for an IPA.

The flavor is initially malty sweet with notes of clover honey, caramel malts, and doughy bread. A good balance of strong hop flavors steps in with tangerine/ grapefruit, fresh flowers, and finishes with strong citrus hops. There'a a bit too much malt sweetness for a IPA that's barely 6%ABV. The hops flavors are well done however. Needs some fine tuning to be a serious contender.

Body is medium to big with a chewy and heavy mouthfeel. I could definately session with this and would buy it again if it was sold near me. (816 characters)

Photo of futaboots
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not like a lot of IPA's I've tried, but I like it.

Plenty of aroma. Lots and lots of hops in the aroma, plus some caramel, and a tiny bit of fruityness.

Frothy head, at first. Settles down to a respectable lacing.

Taste kind of reminds me of baked bread. There is loads of spicy hop flavor. The bitterness takes center stage, but it's not overpowering. Some caramel, and a tiny bit of fruit punch also in the taste.

The beer I've been training for? Not exactly, but the hops are definitely a force to be reckoned with. However, in this day and age hoppier American IPA's can easily be found in most states. Still, I really liked this one a lot. (659 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Milky apricot. Fading small cap of creamy off-white foam. Thick webby lacing sticks generously.

Aroma has a very nice balance of soft caramel and mild tropical fruity juices. Slowly emerging from its center of caramel is tangerine, apricot, pineapple, and light pine needle spirits.

Taste has a nice mild tone of juicy tropicalized hops with light lemon and tangerine pulp with late returns of grapefruit pith and lightly fluffy pine needle greenness. The caramel isn't as prominent as the aroma leans towards but is there with a small backing element of sweetness. Overall; tasty and citrusy mild with a favorable balance with a slight extra nudge towards the hop end. And thats not a bad thing.

Medium bodied and firm with a fine leafy/fluffyness of hops and a super refined tone of bitterness under the realm of tropical citrus. Light piney notes float off the back end. Stays creamy on the understatement with the caramel malt and is down right slamable. One stupendously slippery drinkin' IPA! I would stock up on this in my fridge as the 5.9% makes for a extremely steadfast sessionable brew. Infallibly deliciousifibly drinkable! (1,145 characters)

Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 830 ratings.