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Sweetwater IPA - SweetWater Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sweetwater IPASweetwater IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

861 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 861
Hads: 3,125
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 21.95%
Wants: 177
Gots: 731 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sweetwater IPA Alström Bros
Reviews: 861 | Hads: 3,125
Photo of ClockworkOrange
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to pugman for sending this one my way. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a shaker glass. BB: 3-2-07. Appears a very clear golden amber color with two fingers of egg shell colored foam . Minimal lacing left on the glass with each sip. Smells of pineapple, sweet malts, and white grapefruit juice. Tastes of lemon, grapefruit, mildly bitter hops that are nicely balanced by the malt presence. Finish is dry and bitter. A very drinkable IPA. Well done Sweetwater.

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Photo of joe1510
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. Bottle
Courtesy of Mikesgroove

My first beer from Sweetwater. Finally getting around to it. Sweetwater's IPA poured a crystal clear golden with an orange tinge into my pint glass. Very few tiny carbonation bubbles rise through the body. Poured with a 1+ finger creamy white head that fades to a half finger but then stays put. Leaves spotted sticky lacing.This is an attractive beer.

The smell is what I encounter with a lot ofthe better IPAs. Solid aromas of sweetened grapefruit and orange rind. There's even a touch of pine but it comes in very faintly. Surprisingly there's a strong caramel maltiness and lightly toasted white bread. I like the smell of this one quite a bit.

The gulp starts off with the caramel bakbone which is quickly pushed back by sweet lemon hoppiness up front. The caramel stays in the background throughout but sweetened grapefruit takes the place of the lemon mid-palate. on the finish the grapefruit turns tart with a nice moderate lingering bitterness. Nicely balanced IPA with a nice hop kick on the finish. Enjoyable.

The body is on the lighter side of medium. Crisp and refreshing. Coats the mouth nicely to let the hops linger. Gives the tongue a jumpstart with the hoppy bitterness. Very nice.

This beer is very easy to drink. It's crisp and refreshing with a nice hop kick to it. The abv. is right to enjoy a few in a sitting.

Thanks for the sample Mike. I'm glad I have the chance to try Sweetwater's IPA. To tell you the truth I was expecting a middle of the road IPA but this one really surprised. Many familiar IPA flavors but very polished and done just right.


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

Thank You dano213, and gford217

Pours a nice clean/clear golden copper color, with some nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, nice sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is sweet, hoppy, citrusy, and slight caramel. The taste is hoppy, and citrusy, very tasty. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a very nice IPA, glad to have gotten a chance to try it.

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

Poured a cloudy pale orange with a nice white creamy head that lced up well. Smell was strong and very hoppy. Citrus flavors abounded this. The taste was wonderful. Big citrus and pine pop up front with a dry hopped back. All hops, no real balance on this, and non needed. Could easily drink this all night! Goin to get more ASAP!

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Photo of ikats
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Light orange in color. Hazy which is a bit of a minus for appearance since I prefer my IPAs filtered and clear. Slightly off-white head disappears into an even sticky cover.

Wonderful hoppy aroma. Full of citrus fruits, and more into bittersweetness of grapefruits and oranges then pure bitterness of lemons.

Surprisingly mild taste. There's hoppy bitterness, but it is balanced by malty sweetness. "Mellow" comes to mind in trying to describe the taste. And all this makes this beer a lot more drinkable for me.

Mouthfeel's great too. This beer feels mild in your mouth, but as it goes down, it has enough of an after-bite to remind the drinker that it's an IPA.

Nice bottle out of Atlanta!

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Photo of
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle.

Hazy orange-yellow, with a medium off-white head.

Aroma was grapefruit, grapefruit, did I mention grapefruit? A faint bit of honey in the middle of all the .... grapefruit.

Taste was ... grapefruit - wow, go figure. As the beer warmed up a bit, some sweetness came into play. Honey wheat in character. Some biscuity taste as well. Malt was absolutely second fiddle in this beer.

Relatively light, with medium carbonation. Not very drying, but enough to keep you sipping steadily.

A very sessionable IPA. Nice hop flavor, but not a palate crusher. Purchased this on my last trip to Alabama back in October, and decided to roll with it again over Thanksgiving. My only complaint is that it seems to be a bit one dimensional. I like the flavor, but if the grapefruit was complemented/contrasted a bit more, I think this would be a better beer.

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Photo of jwc215
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted a few days before best before date.

Pours a hazy (from being unfiltered) orangeish golden with a thin head. Minimal lacing is left.

The smell is of floral, citrusy hops - orange peel, some grapefruit.

The taste is of citrusy, bitter hops - orange and grapefruit dominate. Some grainy malt is in background, but just enough to cut a bit of the bitterness. The hops are pretty powerful. Tasty, but not complex at all.

A bit of an expected tang. Thins slightly, but has some body to it. The citrus lingers in the mouth.

A nice IPA. The citrus hops really stand out. It has a refreshing quality to it.

Thanks to SilentSabre for including a few of these.

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Photo of jackorain
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It is really a shame that this bartender thinks that she needs to fill the pint glass to the tippy top and detract from my experience. This is in stark contrast to the bartender (Jessica) yesterday at this same Tacomac in Alpharetta GA, who poured a perfect beer.

A- No head (bartender) copper color no lace as there was not on top of this beer when placed in front of me. After a few sips and subsequent swirl, I was able to coax some head out of it which produced a little lace.

S-really nice oervtly citrus hop, smells like concentrated white grapefruit juice. some malt comes through if really think about it.

T- Immediate citrus hop bite, grapefruit there is also a malty carmel sweetness in the middle, though it is not balanced as it beaten back again by the bitter citrus hop finish. Still really good though

M-Fizzy carbonation, oily on the tongue, meduim body

D-I could have 2 then the long lingering bitterness would force me to move on. But I would come back

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to TheManiacalOne for this opportunity.
Pours an orangish yellow with a nie half finger head that melts to a pretty lacing.
As soon as you pop the top on the bottle you are hit with fresh piney hops...LOTS of piney hops. As it warms they melt into an orange peel citrus scent.
Taste is immediately citrus hops...orange to orange peel to grapefruit peel with a moderate malt sweetness for balance. Piney resins on the finish.
As it warms the malt makes more of it's presence known which only makes it more balance.
This is a wonderfully hoppy thirst quencher.

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Photo of GPHarris
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a one finger thick creamy off-white head into a tumbler. very hazy golden-blond color.
s - the hops really hit you with a hint of yeast and lots of citrus.
t - citrus taste is overwhelming with the main flavor being grapefruits. slight piney taste as it warms.
m - very crisp and medium mouthfeel.
d - incredibly refreshing beer that really smooths out as it warms. top notch beer and one of the few in alabama (for now).

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Photo of acrawf6
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a nice orangish amber with a one-fingure white head.

Smell. Lots of citrus, with a touch of pine. Slightly sweet of caramel.

Taste. A burst of citrus hops- lemony and slightly piney, but mostly grapefruits. The grapefruit taste really takes over this beer, in a good way though. Malts have a small, but nice undertone.

Mouthfeel. Body is meduim-full with a slightly chewy texture. Balance is pretty good. Carbonation is good.

Overall, a very enjoyable beer. Not one i would want everyday, but when i want hops, and grapefruits- this is one i would go for (if it was readily available down here).

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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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Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 861 ratings.