Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale - SweetWater Brewing Company

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

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2,983 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,983
Reviews: 725
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 13.22%
Wants: 98
Gots: 669 | 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: 2,983 | Reviews: 725
Photo of Goliath
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Photo of MMAJYK
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of DIM
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Photo of joshwlt
3.63/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of Bobdope
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
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..

Photo of Redwood21
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
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

Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of stumac
3.63/5  rDev 0%
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

Photo of Lupe
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of JEdmund
2.98/5  rDev -17.9%
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.

Photo of Tilley4
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
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..

Photo of Avryle
3.92/5  rDev +8%
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.

Photo of everetends
4.02/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.43/5  rDev +22%
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.

Photo of jdubjacket
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Photo of argock
3.36/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Photo of timbro81
3.72/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of dhd1491
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
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?

Photo of Jayli
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.87/5  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.

Photo of ckeegan04
3.86/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Photo of Jason
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Photo of Kendo
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of Boto
4/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Photo of BlackBearForge
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 2,983 ratings.