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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.

2,531 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,531
Reviews: 646
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 71
Gots: 338 | FT: 3
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
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Ratings: 2,531 | Reviews: 646 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GJ40
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12oz bottle in a standard pint glass. Best by date is 10/18/10.

A - A light but vibrant golden color with great clarity and a fluffy white head. Very attractive and inviting.

S - Mild piney hops that fade quickly with some fruity esters.

T - Clean and slightly crisp with a mild sweetness. The bitterness is low but it lingers a bit. The flavors seem a little disconnected but it's good enough.

M - Smooth and silky with a nice low carbonation.

D - Not outstanding but enjoyable and easy to drink.

GJ40, Aug 24, 2010
Photo of Baraka
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(reviewed from notes)

Very citrusy hop flavors abound in this beer. It seems rather hoppy and unbalanced for an APA (I suppose this is the "extra" in the title). It has a certain sweetness to it that meshes really well with the hop character but doesn't really temper the hop flavors with a malty balance. Certainly an interesting take on the APA as well as a very crisp and sessionable beer. Certainly worth trying if you find yourself in the southern states that Sweetwater distributes to.

Baraka, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of Squelch
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: tan with no head. Mostly clear.

Aroma: I don't pick up anything here.

Taste: smooth perfectly balanced pale ale. Will hav e again.

Mouthfeel: light bodied. No astringency. Nice beer

Drinkability: wonderful beer for summertime sipping.

Squelch, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of charlesbyrd
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on draft at, well, just about every restaurant I visited in Savannah, GA. Served in a pint glass.

A: Pours an almost clear straw yellow. About a finger of biscuity off-white head. The head dissipates fairly quickly and leaves a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

S: A very straightforward pale ale aroma. Up front I got several distinct hop aromas ranging from floral to citric. There is also a faint bready backbone.

T: The palate is overwhelmed with a grassy crispness, followed by citric peel bitterness which is just balanced by the malt. A very refreshing, if short-lived, flavor.

M: Light and crisp on the palate with just the right amount of bubble. It's extremely dry, and thus the flavor doesn't stay around for very long. It has an almost puckering effect.

D: This was the perfect companion for exploring the Savannah Historic District during July. Whenever you fell parched, you can walk into pretty much any bar and pick up a pint to go. It doesn't have quite as much character as SNPA to me, but it's still very good.

charlesbyrd, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of Gouxman
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This West Coast style APA has a great hop flavor and aroma. I've heard a lot about this beer before I tried it, so there was some hype surrounding it.

I thoroughly enjoyed the citrus hop flavors that were nicely balanced by a bready malt base. The carbonation was spot on, leaving a nice subtle lace inside my cup. The bitterness did not linger on the palate for too long and left me thirsty for more.

A great example of the style.

Gouxman, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of AgentMunky
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: A pale, clear honey colour with lots of bubbles and nice-looking head. Significant lacing.

S: Faint hops and vague grain. Not much going on here.

T: Mild citrus is the best flavour in the beer, the others being soapy hops and a beery background taste. Otherwise, 420 is light in body and smooth drinking. Aftertaste is mild.

M: Tart and biting carbonation pleases the tongue, but there is a less pleasant clinging bitterness.

D: Very easy drinking! A bit hoppy for some, mayhap, but good overall.

AgentMunky, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of jadpsu
3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a good foamy head with good retention and sticky lace.
Citrus, mosthly lemon peel aroma. More hoppy than malty but enough malts to provide good balance.
Malts surface in the mouthfeel with some toastiness evident.
The citrus characteristics make this a good hot weahter selection APA.

jadpsu, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden/orange color with a good deal of carbonation. It had a two-finger, off-white head of big bubbles. It left some nice rings of lace.

S - It smelled of pine, citrus and burnt toast malt.

T - This is a good APA with piney/resiny hop bitterness, a touch of orange peel and sweet burnt toast maltiness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale that finished very dry.

D - This is a good beer. I'm glad I finally found a 420 Extra Pale Ale.

zeff80, Jul 15, 2010
Photo of mjw06
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Excellent clarity with a golden rose color and small medium lasting head, descent lace as well.

The smell was of a beautiful sweet pollinated rose.

The taste was superiorly well-balanced, with all the flavors you should expect and want in in an pale ale. Floral hop with a sweet malt, not much residual, that entered at the center of the tongue.

Really enjoyed this beer, quite possible will become my pale ale of choice when travelling in the South, where it seems to be widely available.

mjw06, Jul 15, 2010
Photo of GeezLynn
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Best if enjoyed by 08/17/10"

A: Dark honey color with a thick white head that is very well-retained. Definitely passes the "look test".

S: Bready pale malt, with some hints of sweetness. Hops seem absent at first, but show up with a little time out of the bottle. Nothing too bright or spectacular however.

T: Flavor is fairly sweet and fruity (esp. orange) for a pale ale. Not all that bready and less bitterness than many APAs. Malt is light but shows a little more as the beer warms. Relatively soft flavor, but not a dull softness.

M: Light and surprisingly under-carbonated despite the impressive head. Some snappy carbonation might compensate for the low bitterness.

This really just a different kind of APA than most out there. With the fruit flavors, it's almost like a toned-down version of Sweetwater's IPA. I like my Pales a little more bready and bitter, but this isn't a bad beer by any stretch. Light, but interesting enough to have a couple.

420's the flagship and pretty representative of Sweetwater's approach to their market.

GeezLynn, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of Ryan011235
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass on 7/11/10

Best by 8/23/10

Thanks to scottyshades for the bottle

Faded amber color; held to the light it looks pale gold. Poured one & a half fingers of foam that thins to a skim after a few minutes, leaving sporadic lace. Thin retention with marginal lace.

The aroma exhibits all sorts of grassiness; light & airy. Notes of citric hops - orange juice & lemon - never quite push to the front. Toasted grains & a notable breadiness round it out.

Similar to the nose, there grass & grains are immediately apparent. Lemon zest & orange peel hoppiness peppers the beer throughout. Toasted malt backdrop. Balance seems to be key with this one; nothing really jumps out of the pack, especially after the beer warms a little. Very chill.

The feel is pretty standard; medium body, moderate carbonation (maybe a hair on the low side) & a shot, rather clean finish. Just a spritz of zest & grass linger briefly.

Sweetwater seems to have brewed 420 with safety in mind. Safety in that the average person could easily handle the beer without being overwhelmed; nothing wrong with that, of course. Not bad, but 420 hasn't swayed me from their excellent IPA.

Ryan011235, Jul 13, 2010
Photo of Arbitrator
2.28/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. A generous extra from jophish17. Thanks Joe!

I've heard great things about this pale ale. I'm not exactly an APA connoisseur, but I enjoy drinking them on the days when I don't feel like downing a bomber of 13% imperial stout by myself (which is most days). Best by date is 09/05/10, so I expect it to be pretty fresh.

A: Pours a clear, straw-amber body with a finger of short-lived head. Retention is short, leaving a thin collar and no lace.

S: Not particularly pungent, even after it warms and opens up. Citrus zest and bread are noticeable, but so is white corn (like maize). It's strange.

T: A little simple tasting; dominated mostly by a general pale malt flavor, some bread, and very light citrus zest (grapefruit). Maize on the exhalation. I gathered from the bottle that this was West Coast-inspired, but it's definitely not as hoppy as the label suggests. Nor is it particularly malty. It's just sort of a toned-down, inoffensive flavor.

M: Light-bodied, with medium carbonation. A bit low for the style. I expected it to be crisper.

D: Kind of a letdown, but maybe those were my expectations at work. I thought it would be a really solid pale ale like Terrapin's Rye PA, but this seems like a lager targeted toward the macro crowd. Skip.

Arbitrator, Jul 11, 2010
Photo of scottyshades
4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My first 420 experience on-tap, along with SW IPA on-tap

A: Pours a transparent pale copper color with a big fluffy/soapy head. Retention is surprisingly excellent.

S: The nose is really subtle and light, but if you dig a little bit it's there, and pretty nice. Floral hops greet you at first, then transitions into a malty/bready/biscuity dominant aspect. Light citrus from the hops, as well as some underlying sweetness and honey. Alcohol is faintly noticeable.

T: Wow, much better than the nose, and different from the bottled version as I remember. The hops give some delicate floral notes, a sturdy bitterness, and slight pineapple, grapefruit, peach, and orange. LOTS of honey in the end palate, and the way that it adds to the sweetness, and at the same time, balances the bitterness is awesome.

MF/D: Carbonation is pretty much what one would expect it to be; a little bit fizzly, but smooth enough. Lingering honey finish on it, and the alcohol is slightly noticeable. This is a dry finish. Very drinkable, especially at $6 a pitcher...

Notes: I slightly prefer this on-tap, but otherwise pretty even. I personally think that this beer deserves better numbers.

scottyshades, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of jsprain1
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- clear amber, with a nice head and good lacing.
S- The smell is a refreshing citrus hop smell. a bit of pale malts as well.
T- Pretty sweet throughout, with the sweetness playing off of the slight bitterness of the citrus and pineapple flavored hops.
M- Notably thin.
D- Overall this a good pale ale. Positive recommendation.

jsprain1, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of erosier
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a nice amber color with a medium sized and medium bodied white colored head that laces the glass a bit as it fades down the glass.
S: Smells of sweet roasted and toasted malts, hints of citrus, then a nice big citrus-y, earthy, somewhat sweet hop aroma.
T: Tastes of sweet roasted and toasted malts, a nice mix of lemon, orange, grapefruit citrus flavors, finishing up with a nice earthy and citrus-y hop flavor.
M: Very crisp, fresh, refreshing, light to medium bodied, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable beer, all the flavors blend well and make for a great summer sipping beer.

erosier, Jul 01, 2010
Photo of rarbring
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A clear dark amber beverage, an off-white head leaving lacing.

Citric aromas, grapefruit, somewhat piny and a bitter tang.

The taste is faintly sweet of biscuits, then we have the lemon and grape-juice. Finishing of being dominated by bitter hop oils.

Medium high carbonation, soft and creamy, a dry finish.

A nice beer, with a good long bitterness.

rarbring, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of RomaniIteDomum
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice head. Good amber color with killer retention and lacing.

Nice, yet gentle, hoppy smell.

Good sweetness up front with a pleasant hoppy finish.

Light, bordering watery, but pretty good.

Super easy drinking. This is a quality session beer. I just hope Tampa gets distrobution soon. I don't like having to drive.

RomaniIteDomum, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of boss302
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sweetwater 420, draft

A Amber. Darker than a pilsner, but lighter than red ale.  Had a nice head, but didn't last long. 

S Very prominant hop aroma.  Flowery sweet.  Some malty notes as well. Very clean!  Take your sniffs while there is still some head.  

T Crisp, hops up front, hops dominate but are not overwhelming. Those that like hops will love it and those that don't should broden their horizons, because they are missing a really good beer.  You can taste the malt, but it is hidden behind the hops. 

M Medium body, no warming on the aftertaste. 

O A very good beer. Recommended for the pale ale lover.   

boss302, May 22, 2010
Photo of tchenery
4.28/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured bottle to glass.

Beer color is a nice yellowish-orange, very clear, very inviting. Has a nice head that dissipates to a thin layer and stays.

It smells slightly floral, fruity, and earthy. The fruits would be light/white fruits, maybe pear. The beer tastes great. It has a very straightforward bitter front that finishes nicely with a fruitlike hop finish. It has a pretty dry finish.

Very drinkable beer. We used to drink this stuff in college all the time. Go Dawgs! And it's nice to try it again. I'll have no trouble finishing this 6-pack and will stock up next time I head to the deep South.

tchenery, May 22, 2010
Photo of aepb1
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- Light, golden color with a small white head

S- Very hoppy and a bit earthy in there too

T- Light sweet malt with a slight piney hop finish that's dry and crisp

M- Light mouthfeel that's quite mild

D- Smooth and easy to drink

It's a decent pale ale but nothing surprising here but a nice drinkability.

aepb1, May 15, 2010
Photo of abrand
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle out of the tackle box sampler brought back from FL by my mother. Poured into a pint glass.

The 420 pale ale pours an orange color with good clarity and a nice pillowy white head and some retention. A nice malt backbone to the nose with very subtle hop characteristics. Citrus fruits are faint, but present. Taste is water downed and some hints of malts and pines. Smell is much more dominating than the quaff. Mouthfeel is watery and thin. Not the best pale ale out there. Not much complexity or taste to it.

abrand, May 12, 2010
Photo of generalnotsew
2.78/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Didn't get much of a head. Very thin lacing. But it does have a nice copper coloring.

S: Very weird smell. I am getting week old milk and nothing else. No hops anywhere in this. But still better than the skunky one I had before.

T: Really nothing special here. Just some semi sharp citrus notes with a soothing malt finish. Really aren't getting any hops here.

M: Well at least it scores some points here. It lays very nicely on the tongue with sharp carbonation.

D: Seems like a good summer beer. It has a lager feel with a bit of spiceness.

This has failed to impress me again. Stay away from it if it isn't fresh as it tends to skunk pretty easily. I must say their IPA is killer though.

generalnotsew, May 10, 2010
Photo of Thur123
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a medium orange/yellow color. A small amount of head fades quickly and I can smell musky hops from the bottle. The smell is, upon sniffing up close, sweet caramel malt with an herbal bitterness accentuated by a slightly fruity smell. A balanced nose for sure.

Glug glug glug

The flavor is a present but mellow hop profile which is a nice blend of the smell. Bitter herbal hops flow into a sweeter more citrus rind like taste towards the end of the profile. The malt really rounds out the flavor by creating a tasty, mild and sweet base. In the end this is a better APA than I remember it being and kind of makes me feel bad for always going for the AIPA, but o well, a well made and tasty brew. Mouth feel leaves me satisfied.

Thur123, May 02, 2010
Photo of haddon
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at flying saucer

pours a light golden wheat color with minimal head. good lacing down the pint glass

fruity notes... hops, grapefruit, orange, pine. must admit it is hard to capture all of the smell when you are drinking in a cigar friendly bar

orange dominates on the palate. hops, pine and malts are in the mix as well. good balance

light to medium body. decent amount of carbonation.

very drinkable beer. I could session this beer on a hot summer evening. nice drink

haddon, May 01, 2010
Photo of papat444
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My 100th different brewery reviewed!

Thanks to dmunroe for this one. Enjoyed with my supper, cheese fondue with some deli meat, salad and brie.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle, best before June 6, 2010.

Appearance: A clear pale orange body with a rather generous head and lots of pockmarks.

Smell: A little faint but i'm able to pick out some earthy hops.

Taste: Good bold hops at first with grapefruit and orange. Has a sort of dirty, rough finish to it. Good bitterness through and through.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is just right and the body is fine. Feels fairly at ease in the mouth.

Drinkability: Drinks well and i might have it again though it wouldn't be my first pick.

Overall: I really liked it at first and then i kind of got bored with it. The taste is good but it is a quite average beer. Nothing bad really. Might have been a B if that harsh earthen finish would have been toned down.

papat444, May 01, 2010
Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 2,531 ratings.