Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale - SweetWater Brewing Company

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Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale AleSweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale

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2,620 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,620
Reviews: 654
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 72
Gots: 376 | 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: 2,620 | Reviews: 654 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of goldennectar
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Beautiful head that laced the sides of the glass. Nice copper color

Smell: Hoppy, fragrant and fresh. Slight hint of citrus

Taste: Balanced - fresh and hoppy Full of flavor

Mouthfeel: Crisp and Balanced Finishes very well & not overly dry

Overall: WOW Very drinkable. Very flavorful. This was a great beer for a lazy afternoon chillin & grillin poolside at the tiki bar. Wish I could get around here.

Photo of richkrull
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a partially cloudy bronze color with tons of slightly off-white head.

Smell is nice and hoppy. A little sweet maybe too.

Taste is great. Hops throughout. Fairly well balanced beer though.

Mouthfeel is light-medium. Very good drinking beer. Really smooth and enjoyable.

Overall a great beer. I really like it. Wood definitely look for it if they distributed here.

Photo of alleykatking
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle. Thanks to betsona for bringing this one over for me to try!

A- Pours a orangeish copper color. One finger white head shows light retention. Light sized streaks of lace on the sides of the glass when I'm drinking this one.

S- Nice citrus hops in the front of the aroma. This is balanced out by a mix between caramel sweetness and light pale malts. Ending of the aroma is piney hops that blend together with the alcohol rather nice. A little muted overall I thought but not enough to kill the style.

T- Upon the first taste I get a dominate tropical hops front (grapefruit, light citrus, mango). This lasts through to the middle of the beer which shows off a light caramel malt in there. The ending is more caramel malt mixed in with piney bitter hops to balance it all out. There is a hint of citrus right on the backing which dies quickly as the alcohol comes out in the finish.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Citrus hops and caramel malts are left on the palate. Aftertaste is clean alcohol, light bittering hops, and caramel malts. Flavors are very well blended for the style I thought. No off flavors at all which I expected. Medium alcohol drying on the palate.

O- I thought this was a very easy drinking pale ale that gave a little extra to the flavor. The ABV is lighter which means you can drink this in the summertime while grilling...and we all love to grill!

Photo of PhageLab
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Bright clear golden orange color. Produced a nice two finger head. Decent retention.

S - Citrus on the nose, with a touch of pine hops.

T - Grapefruits, orange peel, lemon, with a pine hop backing. Lots of flavor, almost an IPA, and actually more flavorful than many IPAs I've had. Decent bitterness and a slight bit of funk on the tail end.

M - Crisp light body, mild carbonation level.

D - Very good extra pale ale. I see a lot of the reviews here saying it was dull, don't believe them. This brew packs a ton of flavor.

Photo of Treebs
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz. bottle into pint glass.

From Sweetwater tacklebox mix pack.

Bottle: Best by 08/14/11

A: Pours a clear dark straw with some light amber tints throughout the middle. 1 finger white head that dissipates quickly. No lacing.

S: Smooth flowery hops with slight roasty malt smell lingering in the background. Some slight yeasty as well.

T: Light grapefruit peeks through at the beginning then makes way for a nice bitter hop taste. A little malt creeps in and out as the drink makes it way down the throat.

M: Light to Medium bodied. Smooth with a medium carbonation.

O: I liked this brew. Great summer drinking beer. Nothing really special about it, but still a decent brew.

Photo of dali27
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a glass.

A: A light orange/copper color with foamy white head.

S: Fruity hops, pale malts and some earthiness.

T: A nice balance between citrus fruits of the hops and the sweet malts that make up this beer. Fresh tasting.

M: Medium bodied. Easy to drink, fresh and clean.

O: Overall this one is a winner in my book. I like it, and on a hot Atlanta day this beer is an excellent choice. Smooth and clean flavors that work well with each other. I will gladly take another!

Photo of MacQ32
3.13/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a very light amber color, poured aggressively to a 2+ finger head that dissipated within a minute or two and left a very nice lacing on the glass

S - Smells mostly sweet, caramel and slightly grassy.

T - Tastes malty sweet and grassy just like it smells, nice slightly hoppy finish but malt dominates this epa.

M - Mouthfeels great, medium body, well carbonated and very drinkable

O - Not bad, not impressive either.. pretty good. One of those beers I enjoy enough to drink and the gf likes em too

Photo of ExtraStout
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a golden amber color with a moderate light head which left a nice lacing along the glass.

The smell was high on the hops with the aroma consisting of citris fruits, as well as a slight caramel undertone.

The taste is fairly well balanced with hops and malts and is fairly sweet overall. The sweet taste holds throughout the tasting as there is amazingly little to no bitterness at all.

The mouthfeel is a little thin but the drinkability is very high as this beer goes down incredibly smooth.

Overall, this is a very drinkable APA and I could easily lose track of how many I've had.

Photo of BayouBengal1537
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into Sam Adams perfect pint glass
Smells of sweet pale malts mainly, grassy hops, light citrus.
Taste of more hops than what I got in the aroma. Citrus, grassy notes, sweet caramel malt in the middle and finishes with some light hoppy notes. Mouthfeel was heavier than expecting from an extra pale ale, but i'm not complaining. Overall, very drinkable and I enjoyed this APA and wish I could get this locally.

Photo of SWMeyer4141
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had 2 of these on 2 different occassions at the Atlanta Airport, and enjoyed them.

Appearance-Light orange with some haze. 1 finger off white head when poured into the glass, Nice retention and good lacing.

Smell-Lots of malts off the bat, very sweet. Some slight bitter hops and some light citrus as well.

Taste-Nice blend of Citrus, Pine and Malts with a nice bitterness. Very nicely balanced, smooth and creamy.

Mouthfeel-Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Extremely creamy, feels like a root beer float in the mouth. I could drink this for desert.

Overall-I wish I had access to this beer because when in the mood for a creamy, smooth, refreshing brew this would be perfect. Didn't knock my socks off by any means but really enjoyed it.

Photo of beertunes
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to CBlack85 for sending me this one. Poured into straight pint glass. Poured a very pleasant orange-gold color with about 3/4 inch of white head that had moderate retention and light lacing.

The aroma had some hops forward with a nice malt foundation. The flavor was more hop dominant than the scent led me to expect.

The body was a touch fuller than average for the style, but not at all heavy. Drinkability was very good, I could easily see having these on regular basis if it were local to me. Overall,a very nice beer that fall into the trap that a lot of APA's do, that of being an "IPA Light". I tend to like my Pales more to the malty side. Certainly worth trying.

NOTE: This bottle had a best by date of 4/14/11, but due to circumstances I was not able to try it until now. I may try to get another bottle, and if my opinion changes I'll update my review.

Photo of zoolzoo
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Straw colored pour, white head.

S: Clean, pale malt profile. Grassy hops.

T: The taste pops alot more than the aroma. Hop profile is highlighted by a citric quality, beginning to approach IPA territory here. The malt profile is crisp and clean. Really high marks.

M: Medium body, high carbonation.

O: An excellent APA, a prime example of the style.

Photo of RoboScreech
4.75/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a pale golden into a mug with quickly disappearing fluffy white head.

A- Nice for a pale, small retaining white foam.
S-Citrusy hops, something else a little fruitish
T-Clean, slight citrusy hops especially in the finish. Refreshing.
M-Heavier carbonation than expected (pleasant though)
O-One of my favorite beers of the style. Good paired with almost any food, flavorful but still refreshing.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, bottled 04/26/11.

A very light pale color with a small white head, what'd you expect. Nose is a bit light but hoppy and fresh with a bit of malt.

Taste is crisp and hoppy, a bit grassy like their IPA but obviously to much lesser extent. Mouthfeel is light and creamy with some sharp carbonation on the finish.

Photo of SkunkWorks
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've had this beer before via trade but I think the freshness might've been in question. It seemed like the best option on the tap list so I went for it.

Review from notes.

Had on tap in a pint glass at the Blue Heron in Clemson, South Carolina.

Look: the body is clear, light amber in color, with a small, fluffy white head. There's a little bit of lacing but it doesn't stick very long and the retention leaves something to be desired as well.

Smell: hoppier than I remember. Grapefruity, citrusy, and resinous hops stand out though not quite reaching into IPA territory.

Taste: also hoppier than I remember. Follows the nose with a citrusy hop presence, a little resin, and a light, lingering hop bitterness balanced by some bready, biscuity malt.

Feel: medium bodied, carbonation spot on, lingering hop taste in the finish, and a little dry. Easy drinking on a hot, South Carolina day.

Overall: much improved fresh and on tap than in the bottle that had travelled a ways to get to my glass. Its a decent pale ale that lingers somewhere between IPA and APA. It might be better served to make up its mind. Worth a try. Cheers!

Photo of StoutHunter
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My brother brought me back a couple bottles of Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale from his trip down south. I thought their IPA was average and so was the blue, so I am hoping that 420 turns out better. It had a best drink by date of April 19, 2011, pretty ironic, hope this beer held up ok and I will keep it's age in mind while reviewing it. Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label is the same as all their other beers, it just has a green background, but I really like the name of the beer, it is an attention grabber. 420 poured a deep nice looking golden yellow color that had three fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thick, chunky layer that stayed the rest of the time and left some lacing.

S- At first I pick up a good amount of sweet pale malts, but that is quickly overpowered by lots of citrus hops that impart some grapefruit, orange, and mango aromas. It smells like an IPA to me with all the citrus hops, this must be a highly hopped APA.

T- Just like in the aroma the pale malts are the first thing I notice, they aren't as sweet as the aroma led me to believe and they have a strong bready and biscuit like flavor to them. There is some mild citrus hops in the middle that more then likely would be a little bolder and citrusy, but time must have muted it a little. The finish is slightly bitter, just like how an APA should be.

M- Crisp, medium light bodied and it had just the right amount of carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a good American Pale Ale. Even though it didn't smell like an APA, all the other aspects were pretty spot on for the style. I thought this beer had great drinkability, it was light and refreshing but it still had enough flavors to hold my attention. I got to this beer a little late but I can only imagine it would be a little better fresh and maybe the citrus hops would come out more in the flavor, but all in all this brew held up pretty well and I don't think the age hurt it that much, but I would be more then willing to re-review one fresh, but since I don't think I can get this in Michigan it might not happen anytime soon. If I had access to this beer I could see buying this often in the summer time, 420 would fit in perfect with a round of disc golf with the crew. If you like APA's then this should be right up your alley, drinkable as hell. This was the best of the three Sweetwater beers I tried, if I have the opportunity I would like to revisit this beer and try some of their other offering fresh. Orginal score- 4.5, 3.5, 3, 4.5, 4.

April 11th 2012 EDIT- I got a fresher bottle that had a best buy date June 30th 2012. This is much better fresher, since the hops are more vibrant and haven't faded, but I did find the carbonation to a be a little fizzy so I am going to adjust the scores accordingly. I liked this beer, it's a really solid American Pale Ale.

Photo of chilly460
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear deep golden yellow, capped by a finger and a half of frothy white head. Retention is moderate, leaving moderate lacing down the glass.

S: Mild citrus and pine hops up front with some light floral character as well. Biscuity malt backbone, pleasant aroma but not very pronounced.

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.

Photo of dmbsteve
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden/straw with one finger white head. Settles to a layer that stays around and sticks well to the glass.

Smells of bready malt and citrusy hops (pineapple and grapeftuit).

Taste like it smells malty than citrusy, and back to malty again. Very pleasant. Hops are not overpowering like some APA's. Nice balance.

Mouthfell is medium bodied. The head that stays around attributes to a pleasant creaminess that is missing in other APA's. Light carbonation is just right.

Overall an outstanding session brew. One of my go-to beers in the summertime.

Photo of Haybeerman
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pale gold color with a light haze. Poured a 2 finger off-white head with good retention to a thick skim. Decanted slowly. Laced in wide intermittent rings.

S: Citrussy flavoring hops. Bready malt. Pretty simple and straightforward.

T: Like the nose, but sweet bready malts up front. Light floral hop character well short of resiny. Smooth middle transitions to a balanced bitter finish. Very solid.

M: Light-to-medium body. Moderate carbonation. Smooth in the middle with a nice balancing bite in the finish.

D: Very drinkable. Flavorful, smooth and balanced.

Photo of GSmithBeer
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of my go-to pale ales when I can't find anything else to drink. Nice looking pale. Perfect color for a XPA. The smell is nice and hoppy. The taste follows the smell. Citrus hop pale with and very nice finish. Good carbonation and mouthfeel. Overall, this is a standard to drink when there is nothing else exciting on tap. It's a well-done execution on a well=known beer style.

Photo of bum732
3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S: Orange and cracker like malt, some grapefruit, some spiciness.

L: Crystal clear golden yellow, sparse head that dissipates slightly. Good retention and solid lacing.

T: Fruity malt, orange with a cracker malty sweetness. Medium citrus bitterness leads to a touch of malty sweetness, honey perhaps? Finishes semi-sweet and with some more cracker graininess.

M: Medium thin mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

A light, crisp pale ale. Not super hoppy, fairly sweet. Better as it warms.

Photo of ktrillionaire
2.8/5  rDev -23.1%
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.

Photo of BeerDawgs
4/5  rDev +9.9%
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!

Photo of KYBrewgrass
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Photo of mynie
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 2,620 ratings.