Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale - SweetWater Brewing Company

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

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682 Reviews

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Reviews: 682
Hads: 3,028
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 98
Gots: 696 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 682 | Hads: 3,028
Photo of wedge
4.07/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden, slightly hazed with a solid, stick looking, small white head. Smells hoppy - floral, creamy orange, and peach balanced with biscuit-like malts and a dose of butterscotch. Light hoppy flavor and sweet grains to balance...very mellow all around. 420 you say? Easy drinking, medium-light mouthfeel and a dry, almost puckering bitterness in the end. A slight caramel-like slickness adheres to the tongue.

Very nice...a great session beer. Too bad its not available in the Triangle (yet). (493 characters)

Photo of Vancer
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to unclejedi for the nice brew sent in the CEO BIF.

Hazy pour of amber, well carbonated brew, topped with a foamy cap of white. Sticky in the glass, too.

Juicy aroma of citrus, orange and woody resins. They’re all there in the quaff, and even a sprig of pine pops in there. This critter slides down smoothly and effortlessly. Thins a bit toward mid-bottle, but that’s nit-picking a bit.

Tasty GA brew, I’d have more in a heartbeat. (444 characters)

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

Had this on draft at Emerald Coast Brew Fest in Pensacola, FL and also in bottle prior to the event. Poured a nice orange-gold with decent head that didnt last very long. Aroma and flavor is hoppy. Has a bit of citrusy taste with a crisp finish. Mouthfeel is good as is the drinkability. Good beer. (298 characters)

Photo of shivtim
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A decent pale ale. Pours out clear orange/gold with lots of bubbles and an OK fluffy head. Nose is nice hops with spice and a bit of malts. Taste is mild, but hoppy and yeasty with a bit of alcohol. Lingering sticky west coast hops on the end. Hint of biscuit. Mouthfeel is average, drinkability is slightly above that. (319 characters)

Photo of Nesued
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the CNN Center in Atlanta Georgia. There is a food court associated with the CNN Center/Omni Hotel and I went wandering one evening during my stay. It was about 9:15pm and a few vendors were still open.

Appearance - Clear amber/peach color with a bit of a residual head remaining after the pour. A very fine carbonation fed the ring that remained present.

Smell - Very mild aroma and not much to speak of. Perhaps a hint of yeasty/bread aroma and a bit of a bright hop presence as well. A light grapefruit/citrus aroma as well but not overpowering at all.

Taste - The crisp grapefruit hop presence very much takes center stage. I tasted a bit of a malt, but it was very much overshadowed by the hop/citrus. A bit of a spicy bite towards the end of the sip, but it quickly vanished.

Mouthfeel - Thin and biting on the tongue as you let it wander. For an American Pale Ale, this is what I have come to expect with most offerings, but this one appeared a bit more fresh/crisp than usual. Perhaps that was a product of the tap pour rather than the bottle.

Drinkability - I really hadn't intended to review this beer, but I was caught off-guard by having beer available in what amounted to a food court! That being said, I think with would be an excellent thirst-quenching beer for a post-lawnmower weekend event. (1,336 characters)

Photo of meechum
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at PF Chang's at the mall of Ga. The bartender did a decent job of pouring this in a tall pils glass and put a decent head on it, kind of wasted beer trying not to put too much head on it though but I didn't say anything. Ok..on to the brew

A - A golden/ruby color not a total blonde...I'm thinking more like Auburn color..it looked good..decent finger and half head that settled quickly with a little lace but not much. The glass helped carbonation rise and kept the beer looking active which was a nice presentation

S - I could smell a good size hop nose up front with citrus smells..overall it was inviting

T/M - The taste was big with hops up front then moving to citrus and biscuits and a slight taste of the grains. Mouth was medium on carbonation, a good crisp taste

D - This was a very good beer and I could see sitting down and having several on an evening out. This went well with the appetizers we had selected and complitmented the food. The beer was surely fresh and tasted wonderful (1,025 characters)

Photo of HopDerek
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a fairly clear orange color with a good 1/2 inch of eggshell head, spotty lacing. Smells of citrus, floral hops, oranges, and some malt. Taste is floral and grassy hops, oranges, and a biscuity finish, not bitter at all. Medium/light in body with good carbonation and a sweet finish. Easy to drink and enjoyable. (318 characters)

Photo of whiplash3825
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A. - Clear orange with about a 1" head that sticks around for awhile.

S. - Very floral / citrusy hops.

T. - This one's all hops! My usual beer is low-hopped hefeweizen, so I think I'm just ultra-sensitive to the hops... with just about all pale ales, I can't taste anything but. Kinda like cold Earl Grey tea. It DID taste very fresh, probably due to the short shipping distance.

M. - Average mouthfeel with a clean astringent finish.

D. - If you're a fan of the style I'm sure you could drink quite a few of these in one sitting.

Overall, seems like a good representation of the style. I was impressed by the freshness, so I'm leaning towards buying an average brew that hasn't had to take a long trip over a great one that has had to come halfway around the world! Support your local breweries! (811 characters)

Photo of safetyal
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First thing I noticed was a citrus like taste, which is a perfect taste in the heat. It is crisp and has a good feel. You can taste the hops and it does have a good flavor for an American ale. If you prefer a heavy taste you may want to choose another option. I would say that considering it is a southern brewed beer, it is perfect for the lazy summers in the heat. (366 characters)

Photo of Beerbuddha
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Poured a clear orange color. Had inch of white head.

Smell- Very fruity smell, citrusy with strong smell of hops.

Taste- Srong hop taste with hint of oranges.

Mouthfeel- Very crisp beer with a medium body.

Drinkability- This was a nice beer. I enjoyed it. Too bad we can't get this brand in Louisiana. I picked this one up on a trip to Florida. (369 characters)

Photo of Duster72
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden with a one finger head. Aroma is citrusy with orange and floral hops. Taste is surprisingly boring, with a very bland citrus/malt flavor that falls flat from inadequate hops. It's certainly not offensive, it's actually somewhat tasty, but the beer is just boring. I have left a glass of it sitting around where I forgot I was drinking it.

If you're in Asheville, NC, this beer is everywhere, and it's not a bad choice, but there are too many more interesting choices out there for me. (509 characters)

Photo of shererjt
3.59/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very citrusy hop nose with a fair amount of underlying crystal. Medium body, with a flavor that leans to the hops. Could use a bit more malt for balance. Pleasant-tasting. Fairly typical mouthfeel for a pale ale. Drinkability was good.

A standard a fairly high-quality APA. Hops-a-plenty. (291 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap it pours a beautiful honey-golden color with a thin but persistent head. Aroma is not strong but is malty and inviting, with a hint of citrus. Flavor is nice and malty, with fruity tones and no bitterness. This is not a complex ale, but a pleasing and laid-back one good for sipping on a hot summer day, or as an accompaniment to lunch. (343 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this on a trip to Chattanooga and it was dated best before august, 2007. It had a very clean golden yellow color with a flimsy white head. The head was seriously pathetic and makes me wonder if it wasn’t the glass that was the problem. The smell was lemony and reminded me of iced tea. It is uncanny how much this smells like iced tea, different than most pale ales. The taste is a little herbal hops up front with a macro lager-like finish. There are some bready malts hanging around but the lemony, herbal hops are front and center. The mouthfeel is sort of thick and full. Carbonation seems just right. This would be a very good barbeque/picnic/keg party beer and I would probably purchase this if it were available in Denver. (739 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: clear orange in color with a one finger head that lingers around a while. Some mild lacing develops on the side of the glass.

Smell: orange slices and floral hops are bold and easy to detect.

Taste: the malt profile is nicely balanced with orange citrus, pears, and a floral hop bitterness. This keg was recently tapped and the freshness of the flavors really shined.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp from start to finish. Brief citrus burst sticks to the tongue during the aftertaste. Medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: as usual a fresh beer makes a happy customer. This was easy to quaff and a few can be had in a session especially with the lower alcohol content. (681 characters)

Photo of Bamabrew22
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My wife surprised me with a 12-pack of this for Father's Day.

12oz bottle with amusing label.

Appearance: pours a smooth, amber hue, with a 2-finger head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: hoppy and citrusy, spicy.

Taste: Really good; pronounced hop bite, accompanied with a light, malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel: coated the palate, but quickly disappeared.

Drinkability: Great tasting beer. Proud to have this in the Southern micro-brew arena. Easy-drinking that makes for a great session beer. And, I'll get to recycle the bottles for my homebrew. Cheers, (569 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
3.19/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a sixer of this from a grocer in Monteagle, TN.

Unremarkable pour. A lager-esque golden blonde body with no depth to its color is produced beneath a thin, off-white head. Aroma is better: fruity pear, apple, and grapefruit notes sit alongside a markedly resinous, piney hop fragrance. Definitely the high point of the beer.

Taste is underwhelming. Some hops pull through, but weakly so. All fruit from the aroma is lost, whilst a metallic tinge underlies the flavor. A decent carbonation level and a light body fill out the mouthfeel, as a detectable bitterness finishes on the back of the palate. Overall, this beer is too simple and just not tasty. It drinks easily, but is definately undeserving of the "420" label or the $8.99 per six pack price tag. I definitely will not buy this again. (804 characters)

Photo of Budro
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 6-pack on the way home from work. Label says it's best enjoyed by 7/15/07. Opened a bottle and poured it into a room-temp pint glass.

A: A vigorous pour results in only a quarter- or half-inch head. Said head tops a pale orange brew with vague copper hues. Not a lot of bubbles. Lacing is minimal, limited to a thin ring at the top of the glass, a vestige of the disappointing head.

S: Weak nose, says my wife. She's right. Hints of canned fruit cocktail? My wife thinks Gerber Apricot.

T: A gesture toward the characteristic hop attack, but no distinctive citrus or pine notes emerge. Instead, the flavor fades, quickly. Pleasingly bitter from front to back, but the body is shallow. No malt presence to speak of. It develops depth and complexity as it warms, but everything about this beer's flavor is muted.

M: The carbonation's muted, too. Nothing lingers after you swallow.

D: Regardless, I can see myself drinking a few of these over the course of a hot summer afternoon. I won't seek this one out again, but I'll never complain if it's on hand. (1,078 characters)

Photo of sleazo
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sweetwater pale ale. Also on tap at atl airport hilton. Asked for room tempature glass.

Poured a slightly darker shade of pale. Decent head but with the same wierd bubbles. This must be their taps. Maybe they are nitro? Wispy head but strong lace

S-first thing that hits you is caramel. Followed by a light hop presence.

T-sweet caramel malt hits the tongue then hints of green pepper. Wierd. The hops are slightly raw tasting. Run of the mill pale ale which could use more of a hop backbone

M-medium bodied with a tongue tickling carbonation on the follow through

D-this one is alright. When faced with other options I would not choose this. However this is better than macro swill. A typical american take on the pale ale and not as good as the seminal pale ale Sierra Nevada. (795 characters)

Photo of GPHarris
3.84/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a -poured a two-fingers thick off-white, bubbly and creamy head into my sweetwater 420 weizen glass. left some really nice sheeting and a long-lasting ring of lace. every swirl brought back a frothy head. the body was bubbly and dark gold.
s - very light in the nose but i am picking up some faint citrusy hops.
t - biscuity with some caramel sweetness and ripe fruits come through in the finish.
m - crisp bite.
d - very refreshing and a nice summer sipper. (462 characters)

Photo of kirok1999
2.96/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got a sampler pack and this one was the first to go. Pours a coppery gold, clear with a nice lasting white head and persistent lacing.
Smell is not much of anything, slight malts and slight hops.
Taste is very disappointing, kind of a funky malt with very little caramel, citrus, wet paper.
Feels thin and slick. I guess it's drinkable after a hot lawn mowing expedition. (376 characters)

Photo of ZAP
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-Tap at Zorbaz in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota

A nice little pale ale....at first it seemed a little unbalanced..citrus hops are in the front and the malt load seems low and the mouthfeel seems off...but as it warms the maltiness emerges and and the body seems adequate.

Relatively tasty but not as good as Summit or the best Pale Ale in Minnesota...Itasca Pale Ale at Rock Bottom (384 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from unclejedi through the Little Guy BIF, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light amber color with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malt, hops & fruity citrus and is very well-blended.

T: The taste is quite nicely balanced with flavors of hops, citrus & caramel all hitting at once and all complimenting each other. There’s a decent malt character and the hops presence strengthens a bit as the beer warms. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down easily, not very filling, good representation of style, I could drink quite a few of these over the course of an evening. (846 characters)

Photo of stevecee2003
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

More drinkable than good. That's not to say is wasn't good. Just not enough of the hoppy goodness you might expect from extra pale ale. But the watered down flavour did make it very drinkable. A good session beer.

APP- Hazy copper colour, yet with a watered down look. As if it were made by Augustus Busch. Dare I say the Budweiser of Pale Ales.

SMELL- very little. But there is the slight hop aroma. And for me a touch of spicyness.

TASTE- Not a lot of taste, but enough to be very drinkable over an evening. As mentioned earlier, could be a good session beer. I can see a lot of these going down.

MOUTH- Watery and easy on the palate. Not much going on, but maybe thats the point.

DRINKABILITY- Very. You might even use this beer to try others of the same style, as this one will not scorch your palate. (824 characters)

Photo of hunteraw
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at an Irish pub in Atlanta...

Appearance: Surprisingly light in color, more golden than the amber/orange I expect in an APA. I guess that explains why it's called an "Extra" pale ale on the label.

Smell: Hoppy aroma. Not a whole lot else, but who can complain about too much hop aroma?

Taste: Solid APA, plenty of flavor despite the light color. Hops take the lead, but there's enough malt and yeast "fruitiness" playing backup.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, good carbonation.

Drinkability: A good session beer, I wish this was distributed in Florida, I'd make it a regular. (591 characters)

Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 682 ratings.