Sweetwater IPA | SweetWater Brewing Company

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901 Reviews
Sweetwater IPASweetwater IPA

Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company
Georgia, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-05-2002

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Reviews: 901 | Ratings: 3,385
Photo of DownSouthGeorgiaBrew
5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: 1inch of white pillow-like layer of head, and a body color of hazy orange, and this beer left a beautiful spider web of lacing around my glass. Smell: Wonderful citrus, grassy and hoppy aroma. Taste: A great complexity of a earthy hoppy flavor up-front, with a very clean finish at the end. M. Feel: Very carbonated, which helped pronounced the flavors even more; This beer, lets you know that it's a beer. Great American IPA, right now it's my favorite

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Photo of thebrood1987
5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Smells of intense lemons, nice citrus and some deep resinous flavors. Smells awesome. The very juicy citrus comes in following with a hint of some lemons and ending with the herbal floral resinous bitterness. Its not too bitter though the flowing citrus flavors from the hops washes away the bitterness which is pretty awesome.. The malt mixes in with the deep resinous taste real well with a dark bready flavor.

I wish this beer came around in New Jersey because it'd be a regular for sure. The citrus and lemon quality to this beer is unreal. Its almost as juicy as juice and thats all from the hops. Very impressive beer. This beer is a perfect IPA in my opinion.

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Photo of JohnRioux
5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my favorite beer, hands down! I haven't yet tasted anything better. I may be partial because I'm from Atlanta, but I can't find anything better!
This was the beer that opened my eyes to IPAs. Bell's Hopslam and Intuition Ale Works' Rail Spur are about the only beers that can compare.

Just had another Sweetwater IPA! Incredibly smooth. Reminds me of home.

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Photo of chrisale
5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This American-style IPA should be a go-to beer for IPA enthusiasts, especially those from the Southeast.

Served from a bottle at room temperature or refrigerated, you can't go wrong with this flavorful brew. Poured into a 25th Anniversary Samuel Adams Boston Lager Glass, the thick, lacey head develops along the inside of the glass as poured and sits about 2 fingers thick on top. The deep, copper hue contrasts wonderfully with the off-white head.

The initial smell is grapefruit, lots of grapefruit. If you are a citrus fan, you will enjoy the beer. Also, floral aromas come through balancing the citrus qualities.

The best part is this beer is produced year-round and makes a great warming brew in the winter while also offering true refreshment in the heat of the summer months. The taste is healthily hoppy with a true grapefruit character.

Mouthfeel is where this beer wins my go-to status. If you want a beer that enters the mouth mildly and offers a great warming aftertaste without being overly dry, this is a winner.

I can drink these all day and all night and at any occasion. You never get that sick feeling that comes from most macros when you indulge, and that is one of the best qualities of quality brews. Sweetwater IPA is great session beer for sure.


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Photo of unclejimbay
5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Golden honey/copper in color with short head and mediocre lacing.
Aromas of sweet malts and citrus hops.
Tastes as it smells with notable citrus dominant flavors, followed by a dash of pine and sweet malt support.
Light body, semi slick and high carbo.

I really dig this one! My new easily accessible IPA after homebrew and Bells Two Hearted..
New to our area and I am excited about this arrival! Available most places in Jacksonville FL!

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Photo of kdawg105
4.97/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WoW!! I love it!! When I poured the brew into a 150z mug it poured into a merky amber color not much head that sticks very well to the glass. The smell is great with a smell of pure hops. The taste is wounderful with a balance but with a wonderful citrus flavor that is through and through which include a great taste of grapefruit. The mouthfeel is great considering which makes for the best drinkability. I would highly sugest that you try this brew!! You will not go wrong I promise!!!

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.95/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This one pours a deep, hazy, almost opaque coppery amber with a thick, orangy-tan head that sticks around for a bit. Aroma is strong and very evergreenish. Flavor is seriously hoppy, like drinking a pine tree, with just a whisper of sweetness, and mildly bitter. Texture is smooth and jazzy, very pleasing, leaving an evergreen aftertaste. I have had this in a bottle, and it is better on-tap! Strongly recommended to all hops fans.

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Photo of PASTOR_at_DAChurch_of_IPA
4.94/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The pinnacle of southern India Pale Ale. The SweetWater IPA is highly crisp, carbonated, refreshing, and classy. In cans or in bottles, this brew is perfect for summer shenanigans. No other IPA comes close to this. SweetWater IPA is the standard for which all other IPAs aspire to meet.

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Photo of pacothrash
4.92/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is in my top 5 and I was fortunate to have the wife travel to Atlanta. She picked me up a case. The first bottle was just as I remember, if not better. Very nice citrus, grapefruit smell from the hops. Nice balance. Definately my favorite session beer.

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Photo of genog
4.92/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a gorgeous dark orange with a light brown two inch head that builds then falls leaving a creamy white head that has lacing sticking to the side. Smell is like a christmas tree, with a lot of strong pine, and a little earthy character too. Some citrus type smells left in the background. The taste is one of the best beers I've ever had. Citrus, mostly grapefruit taste, some pine followed by bitter hops. Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated for a refreshing taste in an IPA.

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Photo of yesferro
4.92/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got a bottle of this at Letters in Tuscaloosa AL. Bought it 2 weeks past its good date though

Pours a medium orangy brown, about 1/2" head that didn't last too long.
The smell o the smell! Sweet fruity smell, very inviting! And it delivers great taste, very rarely does a sweet beer rub me the right way, and this one is nr 1 on that list. I little bitterness at the end, kinda leaves a dry feeling. Not all too carbonated, just right. This beer goes down easily, almost too easily I'd almost say a non beer drinker could get fooled into having a few off these without protesting too much.

I like this, and I am very glad AL upped its ancient beerlaws so us Mississippians can cross the border and get acces to this beer goodness, one more please!

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Photo of drgonzo3705
4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Beautiful copperish orange with a small head that manages to keep its head around the edges of the glass.

S: Mmm Piney, earthy/woodsy sort of green smell reminds me of my days following The Dead...

T: Just like it smells. Nice fresh pine flavor with a nice hop oiliness that coats your mouth. Definitely tasting some Simcoe hops in here and its magnificent!

M: Nice medium body with the hop oiliness to go with it.

D: At 6.7% this is soooo drinkable. If only this was distributed up my way I would probably always have some of this in the fridge! Thanks to Ben (bhalter8) for hooking me up with this one, I'm definitely going to need to get some more of this!

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Photo of moocey
4.84/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I don't know if it's because I haven't had a great IPA in a while or if it's because the beer might have been fresh from the brewery in Atlanta, but I had a Sweetwater IPA at Taco Mac in Decatur and it was delicious.

It smelled like a handfull of fresh pacific northwest hops and tasted the same. Loaded with bursts of hoppy goodness, and a good malt backbone. Damn fine beer.

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Photo of Pat_Hines
4.83/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Sweet water IPA is my standard brew. I almost always have it in my kegerator here at home, and in bottles when traveling. It's a great beer brewed in the south.


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Photo of blittle
4.8/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Crisp, clear light orange hue with minimal head.
S - Great aromatics, mostly picked up surpising floral notes balanced with citrus and pine. I kept wanting to take it in all the way through the drink. Very appealing.
T - Ranks among my top three IPA experiences. The IBUs don't overtake the essence of the hops like so many American IPAs tend to do.
M - Carbonation is right on.
D - So refreshing its impossible to drink just one. I rarely buy multiples of any beer, but this will become a repeating stock in my fridge.

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Photo of raverjames
4.8/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Here is a beer that I wanted to dislike. The hype surrounding it in the South East just makes you want to score it poorly. The first time I had this beer, I definitely had an older bottle. It was bland and bitter. However, recently I have been paying attention the the date on the label. The Best By date is set for 3 months after bottling. The batch I am drinking right now is best by 9/10/09, so it was brewed on 6/10/09. Under a month old, not bad for the craptastic SC distributor.

Sadly, for the haters, I cannot rank this beer poorly. This IPA is wonderful. It is pale/copper in color with a decent white head. There is a bit of haze and a small bit of hop dust at the bottom. It smells like an overly ripened ruby red grapefruit. The taste is all grapefruit and orange peel. The mix of citrus flavors and light body makes this so easy to consume. It is now my go-to beer for a relaxing evening in the summer. My suggestion to anyone that loves IPAs and ranked this beer below A, is to go out and look for a fresh bottle and try it again. Sweetwater IPA is a baby Sculpin. Similar hop character without the degree of intensity. Absolutely wonderful.

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Photo of PanicUnited
4.78/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First off, let me tell you how great the sweetwater brewery tour is. $8 gets you 6 half pints and a glass to take home. Definitely a must-see for anyone in or visiting the Atlanta Area.

Sweetwater IPA is a great American IPA. Simply put, its not expensive and the taste is wonderful.

Dont pass this one up.

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Photo of philmont
4.77/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite beers from Sweerwater, it pours with a two finger creamy white head. It laces the glass like rings of a tree trunk. You can literally count every sip. The color is a nice amber, maybe a little haze. The aroma is like fresh cut grass, you just know that first sip is going to have a nice hop flavor. The taste is very reminiscent of grapefruit, it coats the tongue and lingers, giving you a chance to savor it. The mouthfeel is moderate, a little resiny, but very drinkable. This is a beer worth seeking out.

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Photo of jimixr
4.77/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Golden with a nice foamy head. Beautiful carbonation

S: Pine and citrus hops. Very nice

T: Very hoppy. The first sip is like a grapefruit punch in the mouth. Pretty dry finish.

M: Medium bodied and just enough carbonation.

D: Very good. This is my go to beer. One of my all time favorites.

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Photo of FreshEsh
4.77/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Deserves higher ratings, this IPA is very well balanced. Nice sweet malty notes with some assertive hops. For the money, I'd make this a regular session beer for my fridge. You know how IIPAs usually have that stronger malt backbone, kind of reminds me of that, just in a lower ABV brew. Cheers!

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Photo of planetscott
4.74/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

FINALLY...Simcoe hopped beer in Atlanta. This a a very well balanced IPA using Simcoe hops. Think citrus, apricot and a distant, but distinct grassy taste. If you nver had this beer, and never experienced Simcoe hops, try this one. This beer deswerves more recognition now that they started using Simcoe hops.

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Photo of mklinger
4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into an imperial pint. This beer is a beautiful bronze/copper with a nice off white head forming. Slightly hazy, but that's because it's unpasteurized & unfiltered -- bit of yeast in the bottle -- I've cultured it for homebrew before. Nice looking beer.

Aroma is so grapefruity, it's just incredible. A large whiff of it comes out as soon as the cap was opened. It's really robust once poured into a glass. There's no other standard IPA that I've had that is so intensely grapefruity. There's a bit of slight sweetness that makes it different from sniffing a freshly cut grapefruit, but that's all I get. I do love grapefruit & that makes me love the aroma of this beer.

Taste is also great & more complex than the aroma. A bit of carbonation bit at first, followed by some biscuity/toasty malt, strong citrus, and nice potent but not overwhelming bitterness. Nice bit of sweetness that is just a slight background note to tie things together. Really a nice IPA. When fresh it is exceptional.

Mouthfeel is good. Light bodied as an IPA should be though I found it slightly overcarbonated. But good nonetheless. This is a great beer. It's been 6 months since I've had one and I find it easily as good or better than the big IPAs that everyone (including me) love like Two-Hearted & Stone IPA. Really great stuff.

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Photo of JDaV
4.69/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I love this beer. Sweet Water literally never disappoints me. Anything you might want to try by them is guaranteed delicious. Poured from bottle to pint glass. loved every minute of it always.
Look: a bit of a dull hazy dark appearance. Almost clear with bits of yeast so small that you barely notice. Smell is key. I don't think this is one of those beers that is known for its smell but the aroma is notable. Very fruity and sweet. Citrusy but not in a way that makes it taste like a grapefruit. The taste is similar, fruity, citrusy, not quite too much though. Very juicy and tasty with a moist mouthfeel that leaves the pallet wet and refreshed, and stings the tongue pleasantly. Overall I highly recommend, but thats how I feel about anything by these guys.

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Photo of houstoncarl
4.69/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

OK, I LOVE THIS BEER, really love it. I've been drinking and brewing IPA for 25 years and this is now my all time favorite IPA, just bumping out the IPA made by the Kona Brew Pub, Kona Hi.

It almost brought tears to my eyes when I tried my first one. later that day,I had another and I liked it even better the 2nd time around.

Solid, solid dry hopping & fantastic nose. well balanced and a good buzz.

Unfortunately, Sweetwater Brewery (Atlanta, GA) has limited distributorship and it's only available in 4-5 states. If you are in the south or as far west as North Carolina....you gotta try this IPA

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Photo of rfisher159
4.66/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Medium amber, fast dissipating head.

S: This beer has the most distinctive smell of any beer, in my opinion. It has a massive fruity/zesty/hoppy scent that's unmistakable.

T: Not as hoppy as it smells. The zest is there with lemon and grapefruit coming through most. It finished clean and slightly bitter. Great balance and ton of flavor.

M: Light to medium with relatively high carbonation.

O: The taste is nearly perfect to me, a very interesting beer overall. This is my #2 everyday favorite behind Centennial Ipa. If it had a nicer looking bottle (and cost more $$) it would probably be rated even higher on this site... j/k

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Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 3,385 ratings.
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