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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.

2,343 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,343
Reviews: 631
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 63
Gots: 268 | 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: 2,343 | Reviews: 631 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - pours a deep honey gold color into the Sammy glass. Lots of etching-induced bead feeding a solid head of white creamy foam. Excellent lacing all around the glass, leaving a baby-swiss-like pattern.

Aroma - fresh grapefruit juice immediately. Fades a little but still has a great fresh smell. No malt presence but I don't mind.

Taste - good biscuity grain underneath, slightly sweet. The hops are in ideal balance, taking over on a sweet juicy angle, then segueing into a more intense grapfruit rind on the swallow. Dries out on the finish, bitterness is still slightly fruity.

Mouthfeel - crisp, points of smoothness and maybe more body than you'd expect in an 'extra pale' ale.

Drinkability - super stuff, a great session brew.

brewdlyhooked13, Apr 20, 2008
Photo of jdubjacket
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is hit or miss. I've had this on numerous occasions, and more often than not, it tastes like it's gone skunk even though it hasn't expired, according to the best by date. Pours a light amber color. Smell is pretty sweet with citrus overtones. Oddly, this is the Sweetwater flagship brew. Taste is pretty damn average. It's pretty watered down without alot of personality. Pretty drinkable though, due to the relatively low ABV.

jdubjacket, Apr 13, 2008
Photo of argock
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. Freshness date present.

A: Pleasant orange-amber hue with 1-2 fingers of off-white head and lots of sticky lace mainly at the top og the glass.

S: A bit fleeting but mainly sweet pale malts and spicy hops aromas.

T: Quick hit of sweet maltiness followed by equally quick tangy, herbal hops flavor. I think the malts are a little more dominant, but this changes over to hops domination with a bit of warming.

M: Dry and crisp with a short tangy aftertaste. Body is light-to-medium with a bit too much but not terrible carbonation.

D: Nothing wrong with this beer and would be a great session beer due to its solid but not overwhelming flavor.

argock, Apr 09, 2008
Photo of timbro81
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to paulthebeerguru for the opportunity. Pours a light copper color with a good little head that settles to a nice layer, great carbonation. Smells of bready/biscuity malts mingled with a nice citrus/pine hoppiness. Light in the mouth. Hops on the tongue that tingles throughout, still very citrusy and piney. Discernable malt backbone. Finishes clean. A really good sessionable, hoppy APA.

timbro81, Apr 08, 2008
Photo of dhd1491
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was my everyday drinkin' beer ('til I tried Sweetwater's IPA). A little cheaper than most other microbrews and I'm supportin' my local brewery (we don't have that many in Georgia...can't afford to lose any).

Pale amber-copper-yellow color. Just a touch of cloudiness. Average head, with medium bubbles, dies down quickly. Llight floral hoppiness in both aroma and initial taste. Some lemon and orange citrus. A touch of woodenness on the palate for just a moment, but really no disagreeable aftertastes. More malty-yeasty sweetness evident as beer warms. Medium body. Goes down easy cold. Good beer for those that like a touch of bitter floral hops flavor without the heavy punch of an IPA.

Better on tap than from the bottle (but what isn't?).

Is it five o'clock yet?

dhd1491, Apr 01, 2008
Photo of Jayli
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After experiencing the boldness of the Sweetwater's IPA, I expected this beer to be much more bold. I was refreshingly surprised by the smooth mellow taste to this beer. There wasn't too much of an after taste. It poured well with a copperish color. Since it was on-tap, by the time it was served there wasn't much head to be able to distinguish.

Jayli, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of SIRIUS2
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a crystal clear amber gold color with a very thin white head. Head dissipates quickly to just a ring of bubbles and skim of white.

S: Light grain malt smells mix and mingle with a great balance of hops and light yeast. Smells like really fresh beer...Mmm.

T: Tastes much like it smells; the malts are mated just about perfectly with light bittering hops. The flavors are solid and smooth, rolling over the tongue with a slight malty sweetness and finishing clean with a bit of a dry hop linger. There is a clean 'fresh' taste that makes this very enjoyable.

M&D: Light carbonations contribute to a light smooth mouthfeel that is really easy to drink. Very enjoyable; would be great on a hot sunny day.

Thanks to Maria for picking this up for me during her travels.

SIRIUS2, Mar 26, 2008
Photo of ckeegan04
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into mug.

A- Golden color. Thin head with good lacing.
S- Spicy hops with a light citrus undertone.
T- Strong hop bitterness initially that smoothly fades to a nice biscuity malt.
M- Strong feel with good carbonation. The hops get your attention.
D- Very easy beer that will not overwhem you.

ckeegan04, Mar 05, 2008
Photo of Jason
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The clarity is fine, brassy golden color. Good foaming with a stick lacing. Citrusy hop aroma with a hint of bready biscuity malt. Just as smooth as it is crisp, medium body. Citric peel hop flavor, solid bite of bitterness. Just enough malt to stay balanced, a bit bready. Semi-dry finish with a long lingering American hop flavor.

They aimed for west coast style and they did a good job at it.

Jason, Feb 28, 2008
Photo of Kendo
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured into a tall glass, not quite as wide as a pint glass (it's all I had available at the time). Body is bright and clear golden-amber with a small head. No bubbles visible. Some lacing left behind.

S: Not terribly strong -- floral or spicy hops over basic cereal malt.

T: Gives me the impression of being slightly stale -- wet cardboard is there, I think. Basic flavor is a spicy hop bite over grainy malt. A lingering metallic flavor definitely detracts from the overall taste.

M: Low carbonation, light-to-medium in weight.

D: OK. That metallic flavor slowed me down, kept it from being quaffable.

Kendo, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of Boto
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle: This one pours a fairly clear , amber color. There was some white head and lacing to it. The aroma is quite good. Mainly citrus hops, with a few floral notes tossed in there also. The taste is quite good. Just enough bitterness with a good malt body. Very smooth drinking. A very well balanced Pale Ale, and a fine example of the style.

Boto, Feb 20, 2008
Photo of BlackBearForge
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear light golden copper with a thin head which subsides rapidly with a small curtain of oily lacing.

Smell is fresh and hoppy with a touch of caramel and citrus.

Biscuity malt with the touch of caramel hits the tongue first and finishes with a decent hop bitterness. Citrus profile is orange peel.

Light mouthfeel seems a bit on the watery side though carbonation sems fine.

All in all an easy drinking ale, blanced and a good standby but lacks something to me. I will however drink it when available and it's also on tap at a number of local restaurants so I'd like to try it again as a draft. I feel it would pair well with food.

BlackBearForge, Feb 19, 2008
Photo of dedrinker
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Light amber, white head. Light toast aroma and similar flavor with a hint of added biscuit. Light to medium body with a faint hop balance. Drinkability is pretty high, and I do declare it must have been their intention. This here's a session beer, which is exactly what this devil did when he went down to Georgia.

dedrinker, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the brewpub in Atlanta. Creamy soapy head on a light grapefruit colour. Hoppy and cramy maltiness, and good lace. Freshness.Suitable carbonation. I probably had it at the right place, and on-tap. Well malted bitterness makes it decent drinkable.

Sammy, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of AshevilleSippin
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Short Version:
Decent ale with great hop smell but lacking in hop flavor/bitterness. One dimensional malty taste and finish.

After some palate cleansing and a break, my second beer of the Super Bowl evening was this Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale.

Expiration date is 2/13/08 so I'm catching it in it's 'golden' years but still technically fresh.

Pours a clear medium golden straw color. Adequeate sudsy white head that was short lived.

First nose was strong on hops. A bit brown sugary too. Hops were light grassy herbal, with almost sour hints (not sour as in spoiled. sour as it tart).

Body is on the light side of medium. Despite the hop nose, this beer does not taste hoppy at all. Is this really a Pale Ale? Not bitter at all. The flavor decidedly is malty and unremarkable. Not picking up any particular flavors I can identify other than 'malt'. Feeling the frustration of an unrefined palate right now. Need more training to pick out the particulars.

No lace to speak of. Card carrying member of the clean glass club it seems. Perhaps because of it's age?

Finish is quiet. Slightly sweet. Simple and short-lived aftertaste.

Decent beer you could put down six of. Drinkable for sure. Probably wouldn't buy it again unless I was selection limited.

Ingredients: Label calls out Pacific NW hops. Must have all gone in as dry-hopping.

AshevilleSippin, Feb 05, 2008
Photo of saintwarrick
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This Georgia brew is a bit of a cult classic in the South, for what that is worth. This brew is gold with a nice, fluffy sticky white head. Restrained aroma has floral hops, grains and honey-baked bread. Taste is not as hoppy as a lot of APAs, a bit thin, but some hop bitterness at the end to offset the earthy malt taste, a little sweet with some citrus in it.

A very easy drinking brew that's careful not to offend, but is very drinkable. One of the more sessionable pale ales in this age of DIPAs.

saintwarrick, Feb 05, 2008
Photo of Pointman
2.8/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - nice copper color - light head

S - not too much. Cannot pick up much hops or malt

T - Average for and Extra Pale Ale. Like the smell, light in the hops and light in the malt.

M - ok - metallic finish

D - well when you are stuck in the Delta Crown Room and you have a choice of Bud, Molson, Coors, Miller Lite and Sweetwater 420, it is VERY drinkable...lol. But to be completely frank, it is average.

Pointman, Jan 29, 2008
Photo of slatetupelo
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice copper with an amber hue. Medium head with little lacing.

S - Aromas or pine, hops, and malts are all there but nothing special.

T - Malts and slight hops, kind of bland really. There's a odd aftertaste, almost metallic.

D - I could drink a few of these and they're usually available for under $12 a 12 pack.

slatetupelo, Jan 21, 2008
Photo of MarkSCCOT
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle gotten from Green's in Atlanta into a pint glass.

A. Pours a golden color with a thin wispy head. Bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass aggressively. No Lacing.

S. Very mild. Mild flower-like hops and some malt. This is a very mild unaggressive beer.

T. The hops are mild. I like a more aggressive bite. The malt backbone is also mild. This is a thin tasting beer.

M. Very light tasting brew. Decent carbonation and clean finish.

D. This is a very good starter craft beer to introduce to the general beer crowd. I could drink them all day if it were a choice between this and Bud (They sell both at Wal-Mart in Atlanta). However if you are more than ankle deep into craft beer, try a Sweetwater IPA instead.

MarkSCCOT, Jan 12, 2008
Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 2,343 ratings.