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Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale - SweetWater Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale AleSweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,131 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,131
Reviews: 621
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.15%
Wants: 56
Gots: 176 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company visit their website
Georgia, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-29-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,131 | Reviews: 621 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of harpus


3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a perfectly translucent deep golden, capped by a finger and a half of frothy white head. Retention is moderate as it slowly recedes to a thin layer of foam, leaving moderate lacing down the glass.

S: Moderate citrus and pine hops up front with some light floral character as well. Biscuity malt backbone, but aroma is pretty subdued as a whole.

T: Citrus and floral hops up front balanced by some caramel sweetness on the mid-palate. Hops return near the backend with an earthy character and stick through the finish.

M: Medium bodied with a smooth, low to moderate carbonation.

D: Very drinkable but somewhat lacking in interesting characteristics.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2010 02:24:37 | More by harpus
Photo of ztaylor1


3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance- a slightly hazy gold with a nice one finger head.

Smell- pale malt with a slight floral and the faintest citrus in the back. Rather weak overall.

Taste- sweet, buttery malt up front with a nice crunchy floral hop finish. Some noted of citrus and grapefruit in the finish.

Mouthfeel- a little thin but still nice.

Drinkability- fairly refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 05:25:41 | More by ztaylor1
Photo of cjgator3


3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A- Pours a clear golden amber color with an off-white head with some lacing around the glass.

S- The aroma is a little underwhelming for the style. Malt, a hint of caramel and some citusy hops make up the nose. Not bad, just a little faint.

T- The taste is malt and caramel up front with a good dose of citrusy hops in the finish. A very nice balanced APA.

M- The mouthfeel is between light and medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, Sweetwater 420 is a solid pale ale that is worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2010 03:29:35 | More by cjgator3
Photo of JayS2629


3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is what I call a good grilling beer, or one to drink after mowing the lawn. Its pretty average but has a piney hop bite that makes it refreshing for a summer beer in the sun.

A- Hazy straw yellow with a creamy off white head. Nothing I haven't seen before in this style.

S- Pine, citrus, lemon, hops, grass and grapefruit. Toasted malts in the back.

T- Sweet straw with lemon grass, honey, grapefruit and toasted malts. Hops is in the front.

M- Light body...slightly oily feel. Over-carbonated.

D- Refreshing summer beer. Easy to drink. Watery and average. Slightly over-carbonated.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2010 01:11:05 | More by JayS2629
Photo of jsdunlop

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice bright golden color with decent head and retention throughout. Smells of pine, citrus, stale, grass, lemons. Tastes mainly of citrusy, bitter hops with a very light malt presence and a hint of alcohol with a slight sweetness after each sip. Carbonation is a bit extreme on this bottle, could be toned down a notch, slick, oily and fairly light mouthfeel as well. Overall, drinkability is about average, nothing really stood out to me in this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2010 22:43:26 | More by jsdunlop
Photo of Reaper16


2.58/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served on-tap @ The Downtown Pub, Tuscaloosa, AL, into a pint glass

I'll be quick with this review, because a beer this average doesn't need that many words to describe it because the word "average" describes it in full.

Pours a light, golden yellow color. Not far off from the glass full of Bud Light sitting on the counter nearby. Very bland looking. A creamy, somewhat dense looking off-white foam bumps the score up to at least 3.0.

This beer is below average in terms of flavor and aroma. Yeah, you get grassy, uncomplex hop aromas. Yeah, you get some doughy, cracker grain aromas. Yeah, these combine on your tongue as a sort of lawn clippings-flavored doughnut sort of taste. This is a pale ale, alright. You can't get any more safe than this flavor profile.

I can't even bring myself to write words about its mouthfeel. The carbonation is alright, the size of the body is alright. Nothing stands out, nothing takes charge. This is a boring beer, frankly, and boredom keeps it from being a viable session candidate for me.

How is it that Sierra Nevada and Boulevard have 20+ year old pale ale recipes that completely outclass this offering from Sweetwater? 420 is not terrible beer, but it is boring. At least with some bad beers, you can say "Well, they tried for something big and they happened to fail." With 420, all one can say is "they tried to play it as safe as possible and still failed." Slightly below average beer, but still an embarrassment.

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2010 08:58:56 | More by Reaper16
Photo of portia99


3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Portsmouth tulip.

A - Pours a hazed golden kissed amber color with a finger of white head that dies quickly to a rocky collar.

S - Malty and citrusy. Smells a bit sweet overall with a sugary base aroma. Citrus - oranges and lemons on the sides with grapefruit in the center. Hops don't quite overcome the malt character. Fairly well balanced although definitely tending towards the malty side.

T - Malty sweet, crisp with mild fruity aspects from the hops with some lemony and grapefruity persence...also some grassy flavors from the hops. Bitterness is a bit subdued and doesn't make much of an impression other than to simply add balance.

M - On the light side of medium bodied with a lowish medium carbonation level. Prickly and alive but not in a dominating sorta way. Sweet malt flavors linger into the aftertaste.

D - Solid beer. Good everyday, sessionable pale ale. Perhaps a bit too much malty sweetness for the long haul (at least to my tastes), but definitely a beer that you can settle in with for an afternoon and have a few.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2010 16:28:18 | More by portia99
Photo of silver0rlead

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before 1/11/10: pours a nice golden color with a thick and frothy white head that leaves impressive lacing. The aroma has grassy and citrusy hops upfront, along with biscuit, caramel, fruity esters, candied orange and some alcohol. The flavor has a piney and citrusy blast initially, along with some biscuit and caramel malt notes, orange peel, fruity esters and some alcohol. The mouthfeel is appropriately light, and drinkability is very good. This one is a pretty tasty (yet simple) APA when fresh, but thoroughly mediocre when the hops fade.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2010 02:08:44 | More by silver0rlead
Photo of StoneTSR


3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

APPEARANCE: 12 oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Transparent with just a hint of haziness and a half-inch, thick, white head. Very little lacing.

SMELL: Floral hops with a very subtle hint of smokiness. A medium strength and pleasant nose.

TASTE: Sweet, fairly piney hoppy flavor with notes of honey. The sweetness remains throughout the sip, but there is a sneaky undertone of sour flavor, which is not a bad thing at all. The sour undertone becomes more apparent throughout the glass, it is almost as if they snuck a tiny bit of wild yeast in there. Interesting.

MOUTHFEEL: Rich and smooth. The 420 sits a little heavy and the sweetness would prevent this beer from being a session beer for me, but one or two at a time would certainly be a treat.

OVERALL: No born on date, but it did have an expiration date of 12/26/10. Very unusual flavor that sets it apart and makes it unique. A great beer to enjoy if you're ever forced to be in the state of Georgia.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2010 22:35:50 | More by StoneTSR
Photo of JayQue


3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap with dinner at Vic's on the River in Savannah. Pours a hazy bright gold color with a medium size head, average retention and some lacing. Aroma was mild citrus hops.

Taste is primarily citrus hops with balancing bready malt. The hops are the stronger flavor but this beer is pretty well balanced. A good tasting Pale Ale.

Mouthfeel is crisp and rich enough for the style. Drinkability is good. I had it with dinner and could have had a few more.

I'm sure this beer would have been even better without the ice cold beer mug. Why do restaurants serve everything like it is Coors light?

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2010 02:45:07 | More by JayQue
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Got this as part of my beer of the month club.

a - Pours a nice golden amber color with one inch of white head and light carbonation evident. Tiny bit of lacing and no retention in the head.

s - Smells of citrus hops mostly up front, but also some pine hops, bready malts, and wheat. Light fruity malts as well. Ok, but nothing really stands out in the smell.

t - Tastes of bready malts, caramel malts, pale malts, and light fruit and citrus hops. A step up from the smell, and more malt forward than the smell.

m - Light body and pretty crisp. Moderate to high carbonation.

d - A decent APA that goes down pretty easy. Not a lot stands out in the smell or taste, but not bad at all. Would try again and have no problem drinking the 3 that came to me, but wouldn't seek it out.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2010 23:33:47 | More by mdfb79
Photo of jsanford


3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

A - Clear gold with a chunky white head. Nice retention, leaves thick, sticky lacing.
S - Grapefruit and pine resin hops with a toast and caramel malt profile.
T - Very subdued grassy hops with more sweet toasted malt.
M - Light-bodied with medium carbonation. Quite crisp and refreshing.
D - Nice and drinkable, but not too complex and flavorful. A good grilling/lawnmower beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2010 02:45:56 | More by jsanford
Photo of errantnight


2.88/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Best by date of 12/29/10, from Beer of the Month club.

Pours a crystal clear pale, pale gold. Light retention, some moderate but attractive organic lacing.

Aroma is cracker and very lightly toasted bread backed by slightly fruity, citrus-forward hops that are a touch too mild.

On the palate this is nicely medium bodied with a crisp finish and a sharp carbonation... unfortunately, the palate is dominated by a tangy pale malt presence that never shines. Which would seem to leave plenty of room for an assertive, hoppy character, but it never arrives.

On the whole, this is decidedly bland, but generally inoffensive.

Compared to, say, Mission St. Pale Ale, available locally for 5.99 (and sometimes less) a six pack at Trader Joe's... this pales (pun intended) by comparison.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2010 23:13:51 | More by errantnight
Photo of Lerxst


3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a pale gold with just a wisp of head and no lace.

S-Faint floral and citrus hops and a bit of malt.

T-Follows the nose, but with the taste being a bit more pronounced. Floral, citrus hops with a slightly sweet caramel malt flavor.

M-Light bodied, crisp carb bite, somewhat dry.

D-Goes down easily enough, it just doesn't entice me to have another.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2010 19:12:29 | More by Lerxst
Photo of Thorpe429


3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a fairly clear golden color with a white head and a touch of lacing. The nose brings some pretty strong pine, floral, and citrus hops that work well together in tandem. The taste lays off a bit with some mild hop flavors and a bit of pale malt below. Light feel with good carbonation. This is an extremely drinkable pale ale with some nice characteristics all around.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2010 11:45:37 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of beersensei305


3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This ale pours a hazy-gold with a white head. There is not a real big aroma, mild hops with maltiness, hint of some citrus- lemon?. The taste is clean with a mild malt, and a bitter hoppiness kind of bready. Decent beer, worth trying it out and drinking a couple.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2010 21:12:45 | More by beersensei305
Photo of bucklemyshoe


4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 08/24/2010:

Pint on-tap at Mellow Mushroom.

A: This pours an effervescent golden color with a frothy, two finger head.

S: It reveals some piney hoppiness, floral notes, citrus flavors, and a little grass.

T: It resides somewhere between APA and IPA. Piney hops, refreshing citrus notes, floral bits, and some pale malt bitterness to finish.

M: It's light as all pale ales should be.

D: This is very sessionable and refreshing.

Serving type: on-tap

10-18-2010 03:35:37 | More by bucklemyshoe
Photo of beerprovedwright


3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The head on this beer was not very impressive, about a finger of soap suds looking bubbles. The color rates a 6 on the SRM chart, impressive for a APA. Smell of lemon, lime, grapefruit, baked wheat, and spices. Well balanced flavor of citrus fruit, malt, and grains. Nice bite on my tongue and upper palate, sort of a velvet smooth feeling as it slides down my throat. This beer goes well with fish and fries, as well as with snacks. Good price, I will have some more of this in the future.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2010 19:47:32 | More by beerprovedwright
Photo of stewart124


4.75/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a golden yellow with a fizzy white head.

Smells of rich malts and slightly sweet esters.

Smooth. Oh this is smooth. Deliciously blended malt to hop balance. Nice rich body and just the right amount of hops to top this off. Some pear, apple and a nice hop bitterness in the finish that tingles the tongue.

Mouthfeel is spot on. Just a great malty/bready feel that is hard to do.

Aftertaste has a nice sharp finish with some pine, citrus, and light fruity esters left on the palate. Splendid.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2010 00:42:11 | More by stewart124
Photo of daliandragon

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I really like the IPA from these guys so I'm pumped to try this one although I expect a scaled down version of the former. Nice head retention on top of a medium golden honey hued body with mild citrus and pine notes in the nose.

tasy with solid balance and a pleasingly bitter finish that reminds me of an ESB or English IPA, except with west coast hops. Very smooth and creamy but thinner and a bit watery where you'd like to see it stand a touch taller.

A little disappointing but very quaffable in quantity and likeable in its own way.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2010 01:00:56 | More by daliandragon
Photo of 321jeff


3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle picked up last week in North Carolina poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear golden color with some hints of amber with about a finger of white head that recedes quickly leaving no lacing.

Smells of mild floral hops and some bread.

Taste is similar with a slight hop bite and plenty of bread and grains. Not bad, but not great either.

This one is light in body with fairly low carbonation for a pale ale and the finish is rather watery. This is an inoffensive example of a pale ale that I could drink all day if it was on hand, but it's certainly not what I would reach for if I wanted something interesting and exciting.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 22:50:51 | More by 321jeff
Photo of unclejimbay


4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Working through my second case of these. Whispers of SNPA with less caramel malt and citrus aroma. Smells and tastes more of noble hops than American like SNPA. Golden color, impressive clarity and lace color.

Thanks to Scott with NFS for the Oktoberfest raffle, and my house case for hosting the party.

My new go to APA and excited they come to Jax this week!

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 22:36:15 | More by unclejimbay
Photo of Xul


3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a perfectly translucent deep golden, capped by a finger and a half of frothy white head. Retention is moderate as it slowly recedes to a thin layer of foam, leaving moderate lacing down the glass.

S: Moderate citrus and pine hops up front with some light floral character as well. Biscuity malt backbone, but aroma is pretty subdued as a whole.

T: Citrus and floral hops up front balanced by some caramel sweetness on the mid-palate. Hops return near the backend with an earthy character and stick through the finish.

M: Medium bodied with a smooth, low to moderate carbonation.

D: Very drinkable but somewhat lacking in interesting characteristics.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2010 22:40:53 | More by Xul
Photo of despainmakesbeer


3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Moderate hop aroma, little to no malt aroma. Pleasant floral aroma. Nice golden color, nice clear appearance. Thin, white lace around edge of glass. Mild carbonation. Balanced hop flavor, no malt flavor. Smooth, low dry finish, slightly sweet mouthfeel. Very drinkable beer, well balanced, but very tame for an extra ipa.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2010 22:11:40 | More by despainmakesbeer
Photo of gmfessen


3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Loved Sweetwater's IPA so I'm hoping this one will be just as good. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a clear golden sunrise color with a crackling, soapy white head. The nose is rather unremarkable but this may not be the beer's fault, it does have a best by date of 4-19-10 and its September now. Pale malts, a touch of fruitiness and just a hint of lightly toasted malt are all present. Tastes like it smells, rather unremarkable. The aforementioned smells are accurately translated into corresponding flavors with some hop bitterness for balance but not much flavor (again this is probably not the beer's fault). Mouthfeel is a full-medium bodied beer with a creamy carbonation and a semi-dry finish. Overall, a decently drinkable beer but not impressive. I would like to try this one again within its freshness range. If it is anything like their IPA I'm sure it's great.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2010 20:18:30 | More by gmfessen
Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 2,131 ratings.