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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.

2,174 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,174
Reviews: 622
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.15%
Wants: 58
Gots: 198 | 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: 2,174 | Reviews: 622 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ktrillionaire


2.8/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at TGI Friday's in the ATL airport, on my way to DLD.

A - It pours a caramel-orange hue, slightly hazy, and has a small off-white head, no lace.

S - The smell is sweaty, catty and leathery, initially; it subsides a bit as I drain the glass, but not enough. Honey and caramel maltiness is also in the nose.

T - The taste is basically the same as the nose suggests, but better in terms of cohesion. The catty notes are integrated, the sweatiness is subdued and the honey flavor is complementary. I am now done applying lip-liner to this swine.

M - Just not special at all. Too slick, to pick a specific gripe.

O - Mehhh at best.

Serving type: on-tap

04-28-2011 15:18:52 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of BeerDawgs


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

Finally getting around to reviewing the classic 420. I have probably drank more of this beer than any other in my life. Except for maybe Beast Light in college.

A - A nice, copper, golden, dark amber color. A little bit of head, and nice sticky lace on my glass.

S - Nice citrus hops. Smells like an IPA honestly, even though its a American Pale ale.

T - Bready malts up front, and then the hops kick in. Well balanced. Very tasty.

M - Nice and crisp, with a little bite at the end. Very smooth. medium bodied. Treats the palate right.

D - A classic. Very high drinkability. Tasty, and very smooth. Pour me another!

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2011 01:03:28 | More by BeerDawgs
Photo of KYBrewgrass


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

A- 3.5 The 420 pours a very clear straw yellow with a decently sized 1/2 finger white head that isn't uniform. The lacing is pretty slippery but sticky in spots. Carbonation is visible.

S- 4 I like this. It doesn't provoke senses of anything exotic, but I do get a bit of a citrus hop and a sweet, malty backbone. The combo definitely says caramel.

T- 3.5 Not all that complex, but a decent mix of mild hops and malts balance it well. It hits with a bitterness that lasts but a second or two then turns to the malt. It is a little bland, but not bad. Finishes fairly sweet.

M- 3 Pretty light in body and a high carbonation give this an average feel. A little on the watery side though the carbonation helps a tad in that sense.

D- 4 Despite not being crazy good in any one area I feel I could drink several of these. It goes down easily and has a good enough aroma and taste. It is balanced. I'd imagine it would be even better fresh off the line or on draft. A refreshing, easy-to-drink brew that's worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2011 02:30:37 | More by KYBrewgrass
Photo of mynie


3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at approximately 107% of bars in the greater Atlanta metro area. Damn, that's a pretty good standby.

Pours like a solid APA--bright orange, nice white head. Smells like--hmm, call me old fashinoned, but I was raised to believe that if you attach the number "420" to something, that something better resemble pot. I was hoping for a marijuanay hop profile, like Gumballhead, but this is just regular old APA grapefruit hops. Good, but a little bit of a letdown.

Tastes a bit more adventurous than it smells. Pale barley malt starts off bready, goes almost immediately into an aggressive hop profile of grapefruit and orange. The hops linger long after the beer goes down your throat and the intensity is thoroughly pleasant, well shy of overwhelming. My only complaint is that the malt is kind thin, the beer ain't balanced enough well and the hops aren't *quite* good enough to stand out all on their own.

Still, like I said, this is a damn fine standby.

Serving type: on-tap

04-17-2011 01:43:04 | More by mynie
Photo of Preismj


3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: creamy quarter inch head. moderate lacing...uneven. beer is a light amber and very watery looking. looks to have good carbonation though.

s: not getting much on the nose here. scents of rose and lemongrass with a bit of a sweetness.

t: sweet and sour, though the taste isn't strong. I'm getting faint flavors of floral and sugarcane, a touch of caramel...other than that not a whole lot going on in the palette. for the style, it is fine, but lacking any complex flavor for sure.

m: nice carbonation, just the right amount since there isn't a ton of flavor here. not too sticky and finishes pretty well leaving the palette semi-dry.

o: not too bad. I'd like to try more sweetwater, though for a pale ale (extra pale) this isn't too shabby. I don't need to seek this out again actively, though I could grab it at a bar once in a while if something else doesn't spark my interest.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 01:46:06 | More by Preismj
Photo of drabmuh


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

Beer served in a shaker pint. Beer is yellow and has a slight haze to it, thin white head, diffuse, some lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is grainy with a mild pine hop scent.

Beer is light to medium in body, easy drinking overall, mild hoppiness, mild bitterness, mild overall. It's a little sweet and a little dry at the end. Decent.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2011 00:25:00 | More by drabmuh
Photo of DrDemento456


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

A - Poured a clear golden yellow, which is a great pale ale color. A nice bountiful white foam too.

S - More hop forward than expected which was nice. Some mild wheat and grain as well.

T - Didn't like it more than Great Lakes or Headwaters but it was pretty smooth. Came off more pine than grapefruit forward but grain was timid than aggressive and malt played well for the whole body.

M - Light to medium. Easy drinking.

Overall I got this as a single for around 3 bucks and as a single not worth it. As for local pales of better quality being around 32 a case (with tax) this beer will most likely not be purchased in the near future. Still a great beer overall that the locals can appreciate.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2011 23:30:34 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of THECPJ


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

Reviewed from notes:
Tried when passing through the Atlanta Airport.

appearance: golden yellow with a 2 finger white head

smell: citrus, floral, sweet malts,

taste: citrus, malts

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: a very nice well balanced Pale Ale. would love to get me more of this beer because of how easy it was to drink.


Serving type: bottle

04-10-2011 14:46:59 | More by THECPJ
Photo of welldigger888

South Carolina

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

Poured a nice golden crystal clear hue w/ a rocky white head that laced well.

A sweet malty breadiness seems prevailent,a slight fruity yeast & a whiff of hop.

Sweet bready malt and a kiss of hop bitterness to smooth it out.

Good carbonation and medium light mouthfeel.

A good x pale ale

Serving type: growler

04-07-2011 20:37:23 | More by welldigger888
Photo of katan


3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a light golden color - perhaps a few brown highlights. Strong bright whtie pearly white head formation. Very clear, lots of bubbling.

S - Lightly hoppy nose, somewhat fruity. Very restrained overall.

T - Starts off lightly malty, somewhat sweet, perhaps fruity from a few esters. Mid-stream gets some yeasty bready notes, hopping is very light. Pretty balanced. Malts actually build strongest in the finish, more nutty notes.

M - Moderate mouthfeel, somewhat light at times. Carbonation is underwhelming. No alcohol warmth.

O/D - Easy drinking, flavors are not overwhelming. ABV is very manageable. Somewhat filling.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2011 04:22:07 | More by katan
Photo of delapowicz


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

Very nice taste. A crowded style, but very drinkable. A hint of astringency takes away points but over all nice Pale. I could have another. Citrus comes through as to style. mellow malt character and subtle hops. Clean pour. It was lighter in body than expected, so that made it drinkable. Thanks to Flying Saucer Raleigh NC

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2011 17:19:38 | More by delapowicz
Photo of DCon


3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed @ the Corner Bar in Nashville, TN. Poured into a Pint Glass and even know the "Bartender" here didn't know anything (Style, ABV) about this Ale, BeerAdvocate helped me out in ordering this APA.

Appearance- Copper, Orange in color and Clear with tiny white sudsy bubbles on the 2 fingers of head. Not much lacing on the glass.

Smell- There is a honey smell but then at the end I get a hint of a Porter style. There is a mild amount of hop but nothing serious.

Taste- Honey taste in the beginning, a citrus hop that is low and a sweet malt finish. Not sure I would consider this to be an APA...

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied with a good carbonation. Crisp and refreshing.

Overall- Not a bad ale, just not true to its style. I finished this beer quickly, while most APA's in the past are Fuller Bodied and have more hop to them. I'm not going to bash this beer, but is sure isn't my favorite.

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2011 15:19:12 | More by DCon
Photo of moreplease


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

This is a solid IPA, but not impressive. It smell is robust and hoppy, but the overall taste does not live up to the initial impression. Like many have said, SweetWater's beers are usually hoppy. I expected more.

It has a crisp front end and good carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2011 12:54:18 | More by moreplease
Photo of BrewCrew2010


2.9/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Pours a golden orange body with a white head that leaves spotty lacing.

S: A delicate nose of biscuit malts and citrus & pine hops. More malt forward which is weird for an "extra" pale ale.

T: Malty upfront followed by a hint of bitter grapefruit hops. Kind of a weak taste.

M: Light body, medium carbonation, and a watery/lean texture.

O: I don't ever see myself getting this again. It taste sort of ammature. The nose & flavor is weak and the mouthfeel is too watery. If it was a little more hop forward then maybe I would get it, but for now, I'll pass.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2011 20:47:34 | More by BrewCrew2010
Photo of JordonHoltzman

New York

3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a translucent orange-yellow with a white head about a finger thick.
smells of sweet grapefruit/citrus from the hops, as well as pale malts and caramel.
taste matches the aroma, but not as well. taste lacks compares to the smell. taste mostly malt and not as much hops.
mouthfeel is decent. has an aftertaste i don't like. carbonation is ok.
I feel like maybe this would be better if it were fresh out the tank or just on tap. it needs something to it. its an average beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2011 17:49:00 | More by JordonHoltzman
Photo of bamojr


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

*Notes from 03/08/2011*

On a recent trip to Atlanta, I thought I should try some of the local brew. I found Sweetwater to be quite easy to find around town with a good variety of beers, so I picked up a few 6-packs including this one. I think of all the Sweetwater brews I tried this was the best. It had a nice hoppy flavor with a well rounded, crisp finish. A nice fruity aroma also carried through in flavor. Overall this is a good local beer and if you find yourself near Atlanta I would get this one before others from this company.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2011 18:28:02 | More by bamojr
Photo of SkeeterHawk


2.95/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer was part of a gift that I received from the staff at Hotel Indigo in Atlanta. A MOST thoughtful thing to do.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear orangish gold color with a small head of active white bubbles. The head faded back into the beer within about 20 seconds. There were a few bubbles rising, but they didn't stick once they made it to the top.

Aroma: The aroma is somewhat hoppy, but this not as dominant as you get in a lot of examples of this style. There is some mild citrus in here along with some grassy notes. Deeper into the beer there is a bit of sweet caramel.

Taste: The flavor is a bit more balanced toward the hops than I thought it would be from the aroma. There is bitterness in here that is noticeable from the start of the sip and it stays with you for the entire time to the finish. The balance is medium with low carbonation. There is a little bit of balance provided by some sweet malt, but the bittering hops runt this beer.

Opinion: This is an OK beer, but I don't really like the hop balance that much because it is quite bitter for the gravity and the grassy hops are too dominant. I have a bottle of their regular IPA, so I have higher hopes for that one since it is a little bigger. This hopping schedule may be OK for a ~7% beer, but it is a bit much for a 5.4% beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 23:32:11 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

3.08/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 3/9/11
*From notes

A: Quite a light 14k gold - a brilliant yellow. 2.5 finger head on a big pour and great lacing.

S: Subdued hops and quite malty. A good amount of grassiness. It really comes off like an ESB.

T: Slight cereal grains and not overly hoppy. The finish does have a small amount of bitterness, but it's fairly weak and meager.

M: It's loose, not sharp or intense in the slightest. I'll say it again: it drinks like an English bitter.

Overall: Not my favorite of Sweetwater's lineup. It's just doesn't wow me or make a lasting impression. Is it bad? Nah, it's just forgettable.

Great name though.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2011 20:23:39 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of jbm5


3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap @ victory lane @ atlanta airport.
A: nice brownish red hue with about 1" white head
S: bitter w/notes of pine and grapefruit
M: a bit thin and quickly leaves pallette
T: bitter slightly piney with a hint of grapefruit and earth, a slight malt note at the end
O: drinkable American pale ale. Wouldn't go out of my way to get it, but would order it again.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2011 14:42:40 | More by jbm5
Photo of JesteR14


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

A- Nice golden orange color. One finger white head that doesnt last long. Little to no bubbles coming from the bottom

S- Yum, citrus and some hops. Very nice smell that reminds me of the sunshine.

T- great citrus tastes, some orange and maybe some lemon? Nice mild hop flavor.

M- Good carbonation that makes my mouth perk, along with the hops. Leaves very smoothly..

D- Good beer, i will defiantly be getting this again.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2011 06:57:33 | More by JesteR14
Photo of tbrown4


4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. -> Hop Ruiter glass. Got this in a mixed 12 pack from a buddy of mine after recent trip to Atlanta. This is the first brew I've had from SweetWater. Enjoyed this with home made cheedar/mozzarella pizza.

A - Hazy dark gold, fine bright white head, little to no lacing

S - Relatively malt forward aroma, mild creaminess.

T - Mild hop front cuts through an appropriate light malty middle. Clean slightly peppery finish.

M - Foams up nicely for a creamy texture on the tongue.

D - Super easy to drink. I'd grab this again if I could find it.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2011 05:00:55 | More by tbrown4
Photo of generallee

New York

4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The label has a "Best If Enjoyed By" date but no abv%.

Appearance: The body has deep, slightly orange golden with a very slight haze. Its head is off white and tall. Its retention is very good and as I drink it makes lots of cool lacing on the glass.

Smell: The aroma is sweet and summery with a juicy lemon citrus and grassy/floral hop over pale sweet biscuity/bready malt.

Taste/Palate: There is a light base of bready malt with a touch of honey like sweetness mixed with juicy citrus hops. The hops have a lemonade like sweetness up front then floral and pine notes move in and add mellow bitterness. It finishes with a mild hop linger. The palate has nice lively carbonation and a very drinkable medium body.

Notes: This Pale Ale screams summer time cookouts and picnics.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2011 16:43:06 | More by generallee
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

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

served in pint glass

A - clear amber with ample off-white head

Aroma of mild piney hops. Tastes a bit better than it smells. Some malt sweetness hits the tongue initially, but there's pleanty of hop bitterness right after and in aftertaste.

M= crisp; medium body and carbonation.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2011 01:18:30 | More by chinchill
Photo of JoEBoBpr


3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass at the Flying Saucer in Nashville.

A - Pours a nice strong copper color with some amber hints. The head is white but thin.

S - Good biscuit malt aroma with some slight toasty malt hints. Some sweet and bready malt hints are well complimented by some slight grassy hop hints.

T & M - The flavors is very much like the nose there is good tasty biscuit malt as well as slight earthy grain notes. balanced well by the hops. The hops are slightly piney and resiny but not too intense or overwhelming just enough to balanced the slight malt sweetness. Im quite surprised about this beers rating. The flavor is delicious and balanced just as an APA should be.

D - Very delicious and for me a session beer as the ABV is low.

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2011 22:55:39 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of G2Brew


3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap.

A: A nice coppery gold, quite clear, with rising bubbles initially, that stopped very quickly. Moderate white head, that didn't last long, and decent lacing.

S: Aromas of malt, toast, caramel sweetness, and floral and grapefruit /lemon citrus hops.

T: Big flavor, mirrors the aromas. A solid profile, not unusual, but very solid. Great balance of hops and sweet malts. This beer is proof that you don't need big alcohol content to get big flavor.

M: Medium bodied, smooth, crisp with good carbonation.

D: This is a very easy drinking APA. Light enough to drink a few, yet satisfying if you only have time for one. I like this and would not hesitate to drink another one, although I probably won't stock it in my fridge.

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2011 03:18:34 | More by G2Brew
Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 2,174 ratings.