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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.

2,362 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,362
Reviews: 631
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 64
Gots: 276 | 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: 2,362 | Reviews: 631 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jdoncbus
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into wine glass. Golden color, small head, moderate lacing, and not much carbonation.

Smell is toffee, butterscotch, mild pine resin, and lightly toasted malt. Notes of lemon and apricot appear as well.

Crisp on the palate yet rounds out well with a slick finish. Taste is granny smith apples, peach, and a woody finish with lemon grass. Not too much in the way of malt; very faint. Mouth is left a bit dry and tart but nothing over the top.

A light bodied Pale Ale with a nice crispness. A good summer beer and a pleasure to drink down here on vacation (Hilton Head).

jdoncbus, Jul 19, 2008
Photo of Domingo
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color with rosey highlights. Nothing "extra pale" here, but then again in the South they don't want to scare away macro drinkers with something potentially dark.
Smells of floral hops. Reminds me European pale ales with their use of a more floral hop rather than a citrus/fruity one.
Taste is a solid balance of floral bitterness and a solid malt base. Tea's definitely there. I'm also picking up some mild honey and pit fruit flavors.
Goes down easy and would make a great pale ale to keep around all of the time.
Reminds me of a mix between a US and UK version of a pale ale.

Domingo, Jul 18, 2008
Photo of aubuc1
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle in to an imperial pint glass.

Pours clear orange with a nice white head.

Nice hoppy arrangement of smells. Orangey, piney with some biscuit.

Taste is somewhat sweet bitter. Kind of resiny sweetness with some malt in the background.

Nice regional beer that smells good, but is a little light feeling and not too special.

aubuc1, Jul 13, 2008
Photo of CWiggins
3.08/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My first Sweetwater sample! A friend of mine has raved about these brews since attending college in Asheville. Sweetwater products aren't available in the Triangle, and I've just never been inspired to pick up some when encountered in other areas. My aforementioned friend brought two bottles from Asheville for my enjoyment. One of them is the 420 Extra Pale Ale.

It pours a light-bending caramel with bright gold highlights. No substantial head formed, but there was a decent lacing of white bubbles around the perimeter. Aromas of a floral character dominate the nose, while piney hops and a touch of sweet malt lurk in the background. The flavor is quite refreshing; the tongue first notices a mild sweet flavor of lightly roasted malts, which is soon followed by that familiar, bitter aftertaste of hops. It's medium-bodied with about the right amount of carbonation. It's a solid pale ale, but not extraordinary by any means.

CWiggins, Jul 11, 2008
Photo of deepsouth
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this beer poured a clear golden into my glass. some good head and decent retention. lots of bubbles.

the smell is hops and spice with a touch of sweetness. not a robust aroma, but it's there.

this is a pretty tasty pale ale. tastes like it smells with a little more presence in the mouth than in the nose, but not overwhelming.

the mouthfeel is light and bubbly.

this was an easy to drink APA. i've been enjoying them this summer. too bad i'm about to run out for a coupe months until i can get more.

deepsouth, Jul 07, 2008
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass the liquid is gold with ok carbonation. The head is small white and leaves little lace.

The smell is nice good and hoppy with a bit of malt, the hops are pine and citrus.

The taste follows pretty much the same, good pine and citrus, orange and grapefruit, with a light bready malt.

The mouthfeel is good medium body with ok carbonation.

The drinkability is good, not a brew I will seek out but nice clean good drinking. Prosit, MK

MuenchenerKindl, Jul 05, 2008
Photo of JDV
3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of robbmotiwalla. Thanks!
Pours a clear orangish amber with a light whitish head. Smell is more whole grain unmalted barley than anything, along with some mild hops. Interesting. Taste is unusual again with raw barley flavor and somewhat faint hop flavor and mild bitterness. Slightly fruity flavor, but very raw grain like. Not bad, just very unusual and unexpected. Somewhat full mouthfeel and slightly rich. Interesting beer.

JDV, Jun 30, 2008
Photo of Metalmonk
3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clean, well-filtered copper/bronze, while a thin head leaves wispy oblong dots of lace on the glass.

Aroma of damp hay, biscuit, and insanely faint fruit and hops. A pale ale doesn't need to explode the nostrils, but this is way too mild for the style. Let's hope the flavor fares better...

Flavor exhibits good balance between malt and hop...toasty, with just a bit of fruity zing. Tamed cinnamon-ish spiciness comes in with just a little warming. Incredibly light texture, just borders on watery but it's clean and the finish leaves mildly minty hops dancing on the tongue.

Extremely easy-drinking, but the flavor doesn't really stick, sip to sip. A pale ale ought to beckon you to drink it with gusto; this doesn't. But other than the weak aroma, there's nothing glaringly wrong with it--it's enjoyable enough, and I'll have no problem sitting with the other bottles in this 6-pack over time. Will I buy it again? Probably not, considering the much better offerings in this field.

Metalmonk, Jun 18, 2008
Photo of CrellMoset
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Sweetewater Tavern in Concourse B of Hartsfield International. Mega 22 oz. pint.

Appearance: Copper-penny body with a fine, crisp-looking, slightly off-white head. The head retention is pretty good actually, and the carbonation level is medium to high. Lacing is wispy and light.

Aroma: Sweet, biscuity malt, very pale, with light, earthy and citrus-zest hops floating over the surface. Way too weak.

Taste: Very balanced, almost a bitter. Pale, bready malt, with a few toasted overtones. Moderate hop bitterness, and some vegetal, earthy hop notes round things off. It's solid and, as I said, very well-balanced, but everything seems sort of muted.

Mouthfeel: Very crisp, due to the carbonation. The body is pretty thin, but the big, even bubble-profile and assertive effervescence makes up for it. Good for the style.

Drinkability: Very easy-going. No off-flavors. Low alcohol. But it does get somewhat boring after a while - everything just seems sorta dampened. Makes it easy to down though.

A west coast homage, and although they hit all the key points, there's not much else that they hit. There's pale malt, and there's west-coast hops, sure, but this isn't the best application of that combo I've seen. Not a bad beer, just very average.

CrellMoset, Jun 17, 2008
Photo of IntriqKen
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's really a pretty medium golden orange in the glass...crystal clear with a slightly off-white head of dense foam that slowly melts to very sticky lacing.

Aroma is subdued fruits and pale malt sweetness. No hops to speak of in the aroma for me.

Taste is slightly sweet pale malt with a bit of breadyness and some fruity notes. Very light hop finish....orange in nature...too sweet still for any significant bitterness.

Aftertaste is fairly clean considering how much sugar I can taste...still leaves the mouth dry but with a reminder of the sweet orange and fruit characters.

IntriqKen, Jun 14, 2008
Photo of Shiloh
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew arrived a dark deep yellow with a very short head.
The carbonation is very light.
The aroma is mildly floral and grainy.
Interesting taste, starting bitterness that follows through to end with a caramel back.

The body is full.
A nice beer, give it a try.

Shiloh, Jun 14, 2008
Photo of Matty1918
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to deepsouth for this sample.

Pours a honey colored amber with a nice white head that diminishes rather quickly.

Aroma is of citrus and honey with a linger of grain.

First taste is slight bitterness...mild hops. Not in your face hops like an IPA but subtle. You can taste some grains in there also...well balanced.

Some carbonation in the mouthfeel but not much else.

I could drink these again if I found them but I wouldn't go out of my way.

Matty1918, Jun 13, 2008
Photo of Goliath
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with a one inch slightly yellowed head. Good retention and a little lace.

The aroma is nice but very subtle. A very mellow hoppiness and a slightly sweet pale malt.

Taste is very weak. A lightly toasted pale malt dominates with a simple hop essence in the background.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a crisp carbonation.

Drinkability is moderately high. Low alcohol makes beer sessionable, but flavor is uninspiring.

Goliath, Jun 12, 2008
Photo of MMAJYK
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I finally decided to review Sweetwater's flagship brew.

A- Light golden color with slighty orange hues. Head is 3/4" and has nice retention. Lacing is quite present on the sides of the glass.

S- Caramel malts and a slight diacytl aroma. The hops are not too strong in the smell as this beer (to my knowledge) is not dry hopped.

T- Easy and smooth malt backbone with middle of the road bitterness. Nothing going crazy on the tongue, but well rounded and easy drinking.

M- Medium thickness. Carbonation is medium to high.

D- Very high. Definitely a good session beer. Smooth, balanced, and refreshing.

MMAJYK, Jun 09, 2008
Photo of DIM
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a somewhat hazy orange/amber color. It poured with a smallish white head; decent lace.

s: Faint floral hops and some sweet caramel.

t: Pretty well balanced. Some mild pine hops and sweet caramel malts.

m: Decent body and well carbonated.

d: Thanks to cashew70 for this tasty extra.

DIM, Jun 02, 2008
Photo of joshwlt
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Limited review I typed into my cell phone while at Tim and Terry's in Gainesville, FL. I think the only place other than salty dog that they have it on tap here. Copper color with an off white tan head. A Good slighty toasted/bready malt flavor matched the bitterness of the hops. The hop flavor in this on tap brew was much better than the bottled version I remember trying because the hops were more floral, citrusy, and complex. From the bottle the hops seemed to provide only bitterness and lacked any floral or exotic flavor. Has the level of bitterness you would expect from an american pale ale. Decent.

joshwlt, May 30, 2008
Photo of Bobdope
4.38/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is nice light refreshing extra pale ale. I had this in Atlanta , GA, at a bar in the Lowes' Hotel off of the airport, "Martini's". I had the first pour out of the draft. This beer had good look, but great drinkability. Smooth and tasty. They kept me coming back for the duration on my trip..

Bobdope, May 27, 2008
Photo of Redwood21
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: it has a nice amber color with a sticky white head that has enough retention to be fun. what more could you want?

S: initially somewhat bready but it dies off fast

T: surprisingly malty with a faint taste of hops more floral and herbal than bitter and spicy this balances well with the malty back bone. it is somewhat sweet with a nice level of carbonation. there is a slight twang im not sure about but its not bad and might ave more to do with mouthfeel. pleasant residual taste in mouth.

very solid apa, i think at times ppl assume apa's are supposed to be ipas, ever increasing in crazy hops and what not. i think this is a very solid beer especially in its category, very easily could see myself drinking a bunch during a long session

Thank you everetends for the bottle

Redwood21, May 21, 2008
Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a orange-amber color with a thick two-finger head that settles slowly and leaves behind some nice patterns of lace on the glass. The best appearance I've seen on a Sweetwater beer yet.

S: Light grapefruit-citrus hop aromas with some underlying bready malts. Though the hop aromas are present, if they were stronger this could be a much better smelling beer.

T&M: The hops aren't strong enough to stand up on their own (and they shouldn't be in an APA), but the pale malt backbone doesn't really do the job quite well enough. Citrusy, bitter hop flavors dominate early, and the malts appear later and mitigate the drying finish of the beer. Biscuity. grainy malt flavors with a hint of hop citrus make up the mildly drying finish of this one. It's medium bodied with appropriate carbonation for an APA.

D: Though the flavor isn't as robust or special as one would like, 420 is quite drinkable. It sits well in the stomach, goes down smooth, and has a dry enough finish to keep you coming back for more. Though I've had better (and more quaffable) APAs, this one is still solid and will make it into my rotation occasionally. The best Sweetwater offering I've had.

BamaBeerBuff, May 19, 2008
Photo of stumac
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

love the name!

pours a pale orange with a little white head. aroma is so faint. not impressed. light citrus hops. taste is citrus hops, mellow floral hops, light malt. light leaning a little medium bodied, low, crispy carbo. dry finish. great session pale. i dig it

stumac, May 14, 2008
Photo of Lupe
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber golden color. Decent sized white head settles to a thin sheet and leaves little lace behind.

Sweet and citrusy aroma. Loads of grapefruit and orange with a hint of bready and biscuity malt.

Flavor is similar to the aroma - citrus peel-like hops kick things off with a bite of bitterness. Herbal and spicy hops are present as well. Bready malt keeps things balanced and adds sweetness. Orange and grapefruit come in with a whip of juicy bitterness towards the end. Finishes dry and falls off the palate - no much of a lingering aftertaste.

Medium in body, crisp and smooth. Would have like a little less carbonation. Goes down easy with a nice hop bite. Stands up well to powerfully seasoned food. A solid APA - not spectacular but a good beer nonetheless.

Lupe, May 13, 2008
Photo of JEdmund
3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big 16 oz. glass, on tap at the SweetWater bar/restaurant in Atlanta airport; light burnt orange (lighter in color than their IPA); small head, disappearing quickly; no carbonation bubbles to be seen

Minimal, much like the IPA, and no where near as good as that; pretty weak

Taste & Mouthfeel
I should have drank this before the SweetWater IPA because it absolutely paled in comparison; it just didn't stand up to it and either my taste buds were expecting more or this brew was bland; there's a bit of a hop nip (not a bite); the body is thin; and the aftertaste leaves me confused, finding something off in it; I detect some vegetal flavors that aren't necessarily off-putting, just different, and a bit of an earthiness in the back palate

This beer definitely improves after it warms, but overall I find it to be fairly generic. Again, my taste buds may have been overworked by drinking the IPA beforehand, but I'm fairly confident I would have felt the same way if I had drank this first.

JEdmund, May 05, 2008
Photo of Tilley4
3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Good little session brew from Sweetwater here... My first Sweetwater brew and I like it.

Golden in color with good lacing throughout, this brew has a slightly malty aroma with a bit of underlying hoppiness.

Bready taste with a slight hop finish. Nothing too extreme.. Very drinkable!! This would be a regular in the fridge if I didn't have to drive a couple hours one way to get it. Very good..

Tilley4, May 02, 2008
Photo of Avryle
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drink by date: 6.29.08

A- Pours a pale copper out of the bottle with a thin white head

S- Sweet, crisp malts with a slight spicy hop background

T- Very similar to the nose- Sweet sugary malts with a spicy hop finish. Lingering sugary sweetness

M- Crisp & light bodied even with the sweet finish

D- Excellent. Especially when its the only micro available at an NASCAR-themed airport bar. Would make an great summer session.

Avryle, Apr 27, 2008
Photo of everetends
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I also get this one at the Vault Pub in Jacksonville, AL. On tap, poured into a pint tumbler.

A: Golden brown with a nice white head. Decent lacing on glass.

S: Hoppy. If you don't like hops, not for you. No hint of malt in the aroma.

T: *edit* Once again, hoppy, but doesn't have a crazy bitterness to it. I have been building myself up on these pale ales and this has a decent taste. Has a bit of an after taste, but nothing too bad just a bit metallic. Get more of a floral and herbal feel here, malt does come across in the taste giving it a nice balance.

M: clean, with a little aftertaste mentioned above. Flavors don't linger long.

D: Definitely drinkable. We usually go through a couple pitchers between the three of us and no problems. Love this beer, but it has been a love of labor to open myself up to it.

everetends, Apr 25, 2008
Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 2,362 ratings.