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Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale - SweetWater Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale AleSweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,668 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,668
Reviews: 664
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 74
Gots: 416 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-29-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,668 | Reviews: 664 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ColdPoncho
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - nice light coppery color with some floaties and a decent white head.

S - vegetable bitterness and pale malts. Earthy notes.

T - light crisp malts. Bitter and drying hops. Decent balance.

M - full but light. Too light.

D - ehh...it's ok. Tastes ok and not too heavy. But it's not something I really truly enjoy.

Photo of Urbancaver
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear light yellow. Lots of white head. Smells... hoppy and hempy?? A very unusual smell.. Reminds me of weed. Tastes very mellow and hoppy. Not really anything impressive. Good mouthfeel and solid drinkability but overall not an impressive beer just a solid IPA

Photo of titosupertramp
3.31/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Orangish copper with two fingers of foamy, white head. Nice lacing.

S: Not a lot to say here. Malty, herbal and earthy.

T: Herbal and floral tasting hops, pale malts. Some bitterness. Not bad.

M: Full and rich for a low ABV beer.

D: Could drink several of these.

Good beer.

Photo of boudreaux
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a bright golden orange; 1 inch bubbly white head that leaves trails of lacing on the surface and glass;

S - crisp, slightly toasty, slightly bready malts upfront; caramel also strong here; citrus and floral hops make presence known, bringing everything together for a pleasant smell

T - crisp pale malts upfront with a toasted note of malt, along with some sweet caramel nuances; floral, herbal and citrus hop accents make presence known midway through the taste; bitterness bites through at the end, producing an overall balanced taste

M - light and easy to drink while still having enough oomph to make you know it's there

D - goes down easy and is quite enjoyable and refreshing; sessionable for sure

Overall, a solid APA here that I would drink again.

Photo of steve8robin
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a recent trade. Let's give it a go. 12oz bottle, enjoy by 02/02/11, looks like I followed the rules...

A: A super clear, light honey color with a 1/2 inch white head that fades at a decent pace. Decent.

S: I get some bready rye upfront with some malt in the middle and hints of earthiness on the backend. Ok.

T: I get some bready honey upfront with some watery hints of bitter hop hidden in the middle. Kind of a light apple taste on the back. Ok.

M: Medium body with a great carbonation feel. A creamy cleansing finish. Good.

D: Due to the high water content and lack of flavors, this goes down super easy.

All in all, don't worry about this one. It's decent, but not much above that at all. I need an Alpha King now.

Photo of NODAK
4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is mildly hoppy, with a decent grapefruit profile on it. There isn't much else there....it isn't all that pungent.

The body of the beer definitely has a decent hop backbone to it with grapefruit bitterness....but this is paired quite nicely with a pretty good, creamy, biscuity malt undercurrent that's quite noticeable. This beer isn't that hoppy for an APA, but it's certainly certainly formidable enough. Also has a pretty tasty, creamy malt aftertaste to it.

I have to say that I am a fan of this particular rendition of an APA. I can appreciate good balance and not going all out with the hop bitterness....so this is one I'd recommend, especially to those who aren't extreme hopheads.

Photo of mattsdenney
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Twelve ounce Bottle, best by 3/9/2011.

A: Pours clear, gold with a 3 finger head that leaves good lacing as it recedes.

S: Fresh hops, pine needles, grapefruit.

T: Good citrus flavor and hop bite for a pale ale. Nice malt balance. Leaves a great grassy, lemony aftertaste.

M: Great body, not too light, perfect amount of carbonation. Rolls around and coats the mouth nicely.

D: I can put a sixer of this back in no time, particularly on a hot summer afternoon. This is the beer that really got me started in the craft beer direction so I admit I'm slightly biased. However, if you're looking for a great tasting pale ale, this is your beer.

Photo of beerdown77
4.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This poured light orange and had one finger of head that didn't last. This was very refreshing and easy to drink. Hops and floral come out in the smell and taste. I noticed that it was a little more malty than other pale ales that I've testy, which is nice for a change. It relatively light bodied, making it easy to have several of these in a sitting without making yourself feel like a sausage.

Photo of airheadmtrcycle
3.69/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle to a Sierra Nevada pint glass. Had a huge rocky head that faded fairly quickly and left gobs of lacing. The beer is lighter in color than the Dale's Pale Ale I just drank: a light orange with bubbles rising.

The smell is faint malts and hops. The flavor is similar with sweet, pale malts and a slightly bitter finish. Sweetwater 420 is extra PALE, not an extra PALE ALE if that makes sense. It's lighter on all the ingredients than a normal pale ale. Still the flavor and smell that's there is really good. Locally this is a really popular beer. A great stepping stone up to more full and bitter beer. My 21 year old daughter likes this one quite a bit along with their Blue. It has a great niche in the local market and it's a really well made ale, just a little lighter than I personally prefer.

The mouth feel is light and has slightly higher carbonation which makes it a very refreshing beer. I could drink these all day; I can't think of a more sessionable ale.

Photo of BeerMark
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale from Sweetwater Brewing Company pours light golden in my pint glass. Perfect carbonation is present. The smell is of citrus and malts. The taste is of hops, malt, and citrus. This beer won't slap you in the face with harshness. It's a pale ale and it does it's job well. Very high drinkability makes me come back for more. Leaves lacing in my glass. I like to think of this pale ale as a Sweetwater IPA Light.

Photo of TheKingofWichita
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty light clear golden yellow color with a thick white head and a fair amount of lacing. Smells of piney hops, caramel malts, and a little citrus. Tastes of mild hop bitterness, caramel, yeast bread, and maybe some hints of orange. Mouthfeel is medium with a mild carbonation. Drinkability is high. I really like this one.

Photo of metter98
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear yellowish amber in color and poured with a thin white head that quickly dissipated and left lacy patterns of bubbles on the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of citrusy hops and hints of biscuit malts in the nose.
T: The overall taste is very well balanced between the malts and hops; there are notes of caramel and citrus flavors. It has a mild amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light-bodied and somewhat crisp on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is easy to drink and is also quite refreshing. I could easily have a few of these in a sitting.

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

A: Pours a perfectly translucent deep golden, capped by a finger and a half of frothy white head. Retention is moderate as it slowly recedes to a thin layer of foam, leaving moderate lacing down the glass.

S: Moderate citrus and pine hops up front with some light floral character as well. Biscuity malt backbone, but aroma is pretty subdued as a whole.

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 ztaylor1
3.31/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance- a slightly hazy gold with a nice one finger head.

Smell- pale malt with a slight floral and the faintest citrus in the back. Rather weak overall.

Taste- sweet, buttery malt up front with a nice crunchy floral hop finish. Some noted of citrus and grapefruit in the finish.

Mouthfeel- a little thin but still nice.

Drinkability- fairly refreshing.

Photo of cjgator3
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A- Pours a clear golden amber color with an off-white head with some lacing around the glass.

S- The aroma is a little underwhelming for the style. Malt, a hint of caramel and some citusy hops make up the nose. Not bad, just a little faint.

T- The taste is malt and caramel up front with a good dose of citrusy hops in the finish. A very nice balanced APA.

M- The mouthfeel is between light and medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, Sweetwater 420 is a solid pale ale that is worth a try.

Photo of JayS2629
3.27/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is what I call a good grilling beer, or one to drink after mowing the lawn. Its pretty average but has a piney hop bite that makes it refreshing for a summer beer in the sun.

A- Hazy straw yellow with a creamy off white head. Nothing I haven't seen before in this style.

S- Pine, citrus, lemon, hops, grass and grapefruit. Toasted malts in the back.

T- Sweet straw with lemon grass, honey, grapefruit and toasted malts. Hops is in the front.

M- Light body...slightly oily feel. Over-carbonated.

D- Refreshing summer beer. Easy to drink. Watery and average. Slightly over-carbonated.

Photo of jsdunlop
3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice bright golden color with decent head and retention throughout. Smells of pine, citrus, stale, grass, lemons. Tastes mainly of citrusy, bitter hops with a very light malt presence and a hint of alcohol with a slight sweetness after each sip. Carbonation is a bit extreme on this bottle, could be toned down a notch, slick, oily and fairly light mouthfeel as well. Overall, drinkability is about average, nothing really stood out to me in this beer.

Photo of Reaper16
2.56/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served on-tap @ The Downtown Pub, Tuscaloosa, AL, into a pint glass

I'll be quick with this review, because a beer this average doesn't need that many words to describe it because the word "average" describes it in full.

Pours a light, golden yellow color. Not far off from the glass full of Bud Light sitting on the counter nearby. Very bland looking. A creamy, somewhat dense looking off-white foam bumps the score up to at least 3.0.

This beer is below average in terms of flavor and aroma. Yeah, you get grassy, uncomplex hop aromas. Yeah, you get some doughy, cracker grain aromas. Yeah, these combine on your tongue as a sort of lawn clippings-flavored doughnut sort of taste. This is a pale ale, alright. You can't get any more safe than this flavor profile.

I can't even bring myself to write words about its mouthfeel. The carbonation is alright, the size of the body is alright. Nothing stands out, nothing takes charge. This is a boring beer, frankly, and boredom keeps it from being a viable session candidate for me.

How is it that Sierra Nevada and Boulevard have 20+ year old pale ale recipes that completely outclass this offering from Sweetwater? 420 is not terrible beer, but it is boring. At least with some bad beers, you can say "Well, they tried for something big and they happened to fail." With 420, all one can say is "they tried to play it as safe as possible and still failed." Slightly below average beer, but still an embarrassment.

Photo of portia99
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Portsmouth tulip.

A - Pours a hazed golden kissed amber color with a finger of white head that dies quickly to a rocky collar.

S - Malty and citrusy. Smells a bit sweet overall with a sugary base aroma. Citrus - oranges and lemons on the sides with grapefruit in the center. Hops don't quite overcome the malt character. Fairly well balanced although definitely tending towards the malty side.

T - Malty sweet, crisp with mild fruity aspects from the hops with some lemony and grapefruity persence...also some grassy flavors from the hops. Bitterness is a bit subdued and doesn't make much of an impression other than to simply add balance.

M - On the light side of medium bodied with a lowish medium carbonation level. Prickly and alive but not in a dominating sorta way. Sweet malt flavors linger into the aftertaste.

D - Solid beer. Good everyday, sessionable pale ale. Perhaps a bit too much malty sweetness for the long haul (at least to my tastes), but definitely a beer that you can settle in with for an afternoon and have a few.

Photo of silver0rlead
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before 1/11/10: pours a nice golden color with a thick and frothy white head that leaves impressive lacing. The aroma has grassy and citrusy hops upfront, along with biscuit, caramel, fruity esters, candied orange and some alcohol. The flavor has a piney and citrusy blast initially, along with some biscuit and caramel malt notes, orange peel, fruity esters and some alcohol. The mouthfeel is appropriately light, and drinkability is very good. This one is a pretty tasty (yet simple) APA when fresh, but thoroughly mediocre when the hops fade.

Photo of StoneTSR
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

APPEARANCE: 12 oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Transparent with just a hint of haziness and a half-inch, thick, white head. Very little lacing.

SMELL: Floral hops with a very subtle hint of smokiness. A medium strength and pleasant nose.

TASTE: Sweet, fairly piney hoppy flavor with notes of honey. The sweetness remains throughout the sip, but there is a sneaky undertone of sour flavor, which is not a bad thing at all. The sour undertone becomes more apparent throughout the glass, it is almost as if they snuck a tiny bit of wild yeast in there. Interesting.

MOUTHFEEL: Rich and smooth. The 420 sits a little heavy and the sweetness would prevent this beer from being a session beer for me, but one or two at a time would certainly be a treat.

OVERALL: No born on date, but it did have an expiration date of 12/26/10. Very unusual flavor that sets it apart and makes it unique. A great beer to enjoy if you're ever forced to be in the state of Georgia.

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

Had this on tap with dinner at Vic's on the River in Savannah. Pours a hazy bright gold color with a medium size head, average retention and some lacing. Aroma was mild citrus hops.

Taste is primarily citrus hops with balancing bready malt. The hops are the stronger flavor but this beer is pretty well balanced. A good tasting Pale Ale.

Mouthfeel is crisp and rich enough for the style. Drinkability is good. I had it with dinner and could have had a few more.

I'm sure this beer would have been even better without the ice cold beer mug. Why do restaurants serve everything like it is Coors light?

Photo of mdfb79
3.46/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Got this as part of my beer of the month club.

a - Pours a nice golden amber color with one inch of white head and light carbonation evident. Tiny bit of lacing and no retention in the head.

s - Smells of citrus hops mostly up front, but also some pine hops, bready malts, and wheat. Light fruity malts as well. Ok, but nothing really stands out in the smell.

t - Tastes of bready malts, caramel malts, pale malts, and light fruit and citrus hops. A step up from the smell, and more malt forward than the smell.

m - Light body and pretty crisp. Moderate to high carbonation.

d - A decent APA that goes down pretty easy. Not a lot stands out in the smell or taste, but not bad at all. Would try again and have no problem drinking the 3 that came to me, but wouldn't seek it out.

Photo of jsanford
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

A - Clear gold with a chunky white head. Nice retention, leaves thick, sticky lacing.
S - Grapefruit and pine resin hops with a toast and caramel malt profile.
T - Very subdued grassy hops with more sweet toasted malt.
M - Light-bodied with medium carbonation. Quite crisp and refreshing.
D - Nice and drinkable, but not too complex and flavorful. A good grilling/lawnmower beer.

Photo of errantnight
2.91/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Best by date of 12/29/10, from Beer of the Month club.

Pours a crystal clear pale, pale gold. Light retention, some moderate but attractive organic lacing.

Aroma is cracker and very lightly toasted bread backed by slightly fruity, citrus-forward hops that are a touch too mild.

On the palate this is nicely medium bodied with a crisp finish and a sharp carbonation... unfortunately, the palate is dominated by a tangy pale malt presence that never shines. Which would seem to leave plenty of room for an assertive, hoppy character, but it never arrives.

On the whole, this is decidedly bland, but generally inoffensive.

Compared to, say, Mission St. Pale Ale, available locally for 5.99 (and sometimes less) a six pack at Trader Joe's... this pales (pun intended) by comparison.

Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 2,668 ratings.