Sweetwater IPA | SweetWater Brewing Company

913 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 913 | Ratings: 3,443
Photo of Mardukk
4.58/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark orange haze, darker than most in this style. Extensive lacing and slightly off white head.

Smell is subdued for the style, some citrus and sweetness.

The taste is remarkably well balanced for an American IPA. Citrus hops with a solid malt backbone. No residual bitterness in the finish. With the low carbonation medium body and almost perfect hop to malt balance...this is the most drinkable 6%+ IPA I've had. The best of the Sweetwater bunch.

 463 characters

Photo of Gatorjoe5150
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice lacing. Unfiltered and home brew like haze and taste since its unfiltered. Nice light ambor color. Taste is nicely balanced. Grassy citrusy taste from dry hops. As close to home brew as you could expect from a comercial brewer. Pleasantly surprised with thier beers.

 275 characters

Photo of holtonwes
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look: poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. fairly clear, burnt orange copper, 2-finger eggshell head with excellent lacing
Smell: pine, grapefruit, toasted malt, bread, citrus peel
Taste: sweet ruby red grapefruit up front, a little touch of malt, a little wheat, pine,
Feel: medium body, pleasant carbonation, just a hint of resin
Overall: a great tasting reliable IPA with a great balance strong citrusy, piney hops and toasted malt

 441 characters

Photo of Wiffler27
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours a cloudy amber with a solid head.

smell is sweet, nothing very noticeable going on here. not bad but not great either.

for a 6.3% beer this has a nice hop bite. i'm pleasantly surprised by this. crisp bitterness and finishes with some lingering bitterness. this is actually pretty good.

my first SweetWater Beer as they just came to NJ recently. low-ish in abv but a full IPA flavor.

 392 characters

Photo of SlappyMcGee
3.44/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I could smell almost no difference at all between it and the Goin' Coastal seasonal, which has pineapple in it. The hops hit your senses immediately when you drink it, with a nice, malty finish. Slightly more bitter than I like, but otherwise a fine beer. This is an occasional beer for me, not one I'd go for regularly.

 320 characters

Photo of frykid
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had this served from tap in a pint glass. Nice looking, amber color. Citrus aromas. The taste a little stronger/more bitter than i usually like, however, it tasted very good.

Overall, very good and one that I would drink again.

 236 characters

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.

 291 characters

Photo of dsa7783
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle copped from Total Wine and More. A surprisingly decent IPA. Faint notes of grapefruit and pine linger in the nose and on the tongue. Medium-bodied mouthfeel. Smooth and easily drinkable. Not bad.

 209 characters

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.


 176 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-Spiegelau ipa glass. best before 04.18.16. consumed 07.15.16. Cheers to sweetwater for transparency for a big noticeable BB dating, jeers for me for failing to notice at purchase.

A: Rustic orange pour is unfiltered in nature, dense, with a bready texture, light tan head of one inch. Very good rate of retention, strong show of carbonation, but weak window dressing.

S: Grapefruit and tangerine, some backdoor lime and wet herbaceous notes, dank, with sweet toasted malt and a bit of some lemon-grassy hopping. Aromatic strength is rather light but forgivable due to age factor.

T: Sweet lemony toasted grains and hops of nice bittering levels provides a citrusy bite with a hint of lime on the close. Moderately strong hopping, age appears not to be a factor,with some wet lemon-orange and grapefruit hops. Light tropical and breakfast fruit, melon hints softly interject. Dry toasted malt and light flowery warmth.

M: Nice sharp bite, aggressively carbonated, lush malting, dry toast and citric twang off tongue.

O: Nice balance, nice strong lemony-citric hop twang, deep toasted malting backs things up. Nice rate of drinkability, very good and outstanding overall ipa.

 1,183 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap. Poured an orange color. I have been waiting to try this beer for a while. My initial thoughts were of this beer being a solid IPA with a wider southern distribution. I was not surprised or disappointed. It had a very nice balance to it. Hop forward but also complemented by malt. Citrusy, grassy, fairly potent. Well brewed. Had it very close to the source and it was super fresh. Happy to have had it.

 410 characters

Photo of TheRossness
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I just drank this beer in the shower. It was very smooth and seemed sessionable. It was more like a sweet pale ale than traditional IPA. Very east drinking.

 156 characters

Photo of SABERG
3.64/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed on draft in Uniontown PA,
A - Deep copper color, wonderful carbonation, pillowy cap.
S - Hints of citrus, nice malt base, very nice floral element.
T - Followsmthe nose perfectly, nothing out of wack.
M - Medium in body, soft on the palate. Well rounded.
O - A very nice Hybrid English IPA, the draft version was treated well, at this location.

 359 characters

Photo of jasadewi
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copperish golden orange, decent head.
S: Strong smell of grass, hops, and maybe some fruit like grapefruit.
T: Decent amount of hop bitterness strikes at first, but mellows into a citrus-like aftertaste. Very strong, robust flavor, but not too bitter.
M: Light bodied and moderately carbonated.
O: Very good IPA. I'd recommend everyone to try this one. Delicious flavor and smell on this session IPA.

 406 characters

Photo of IronLover
3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark, weathered, copper orange in color with a heavy haze due to canned conditioning. Poured with a thick, soapy, off white foam with excellent retention. Medium high hop aromas of over ripe pineapple, orange rind, light spice and a hint of mint. Medium malt aromas with light caramel notes. Medium bodied with a light creamy feel and medium light carbonattion. Light warm feel through the middle. Medium light spicy, resinous and earthy hop flavors followed by medium high hop bitterness through the middle. Medium malt and light caramel flavors. Hop bitterness transitions to a light, fresh, minty hop flavor near the end before the dry, bitter finish. Although the balance leans to the hoppy side this was maltier than most IPAs with the showcase being the hop bitterness. Very drinkable, although it lacked complexity.

 822 characters

Photo of JDaniel502
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Outstanding brew. I was immediately pleased by the orange/yellow color which was very inviting. Medium head and but not too frothy. I love the taste of this beer, somewhat light with distinct notes of citrus, and it leaves a delightful sizzle on the back of your tongue many moments after consumption. If I had to complain about anything it would be the body which I would prefer to be a little more robust. Overall, f*cking outstanding beer! This is now my go-to favorite, and it will take a hell of a contender to knock it off the throne.

 541 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like the color on it, that medium between orange and yellow. Nice dry hopping here, some mild citrus and floral notes, like springtime in the South. Good 1/2" white head.

Light pale malt body, big dry hop notes, good bitterness, soft on the palate relatively, carbonation dialed in for style. These are good but they aren't long for this world. Probably Amarillo, Simcoe and C hops in this one, and its a good blend and totally works.

 443 characters

Photo of GStone899
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lovely IPA with a nice sticky citrus taste. Smell is pine and citrus. Nice sweetness to the finish as well. Very enjoyable beer and the second Sweet Water I've had.

 165 characters

Photo of Antc2382
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice surprise. Saw much of their stuff for about over a year now, but first time I am trying the beer. Drank right out of a bottle. Crisp, light for an IPA and not too much bitterness. Some sweetness in the finish. A nice balance. I would definitely get this again. My buddy urged me into it and I am glad to have gone down the road.

 335 characters

Photo of MarkQ617
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this poured into a pint glass. Really good looking beer, nice translucent copper color with a bit of orange, nice sticky head with good lacing. Flavor was a crisp citrus hop with clean finish...although a bit weak for my liking...little concerned that I may now only like really hoppy ipas. Mouthfeel was a touch harsh but not too bad. Pretty good

 351 characters

Photo of OldSwampy
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Orangish copper beer with off-white head. Leaves decent lacing. Nose is first mildly resinous hops, secondarily a bit floral, with malt behind. Taste is balanced but the slightest bit watered down. Mouthfeel clean. Good beer but not the most outstanding in its class. Best by date 07/21/16.

 291 characters

Photo of Squire123
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Light gold, beautiful white cap and lacing.

Aroma: Clear, clean, piney, floral sparkling hops with sweet malt following. A slight grassiness as well, the hops are boldly present without shouting at you.

Taste: Complex melding of piney, citrusy, floral hops with mildly nutty sweet malt. With this hop profile the malt could be lost in less capable hands. Here both stand out while maintaining the hop forward flavor one expects from current IPAs. Hard to pull off such a high wire act but Sweetwater does it with panache.

Creamy medium texture with a round full feel.

Overall: Scores high on my main test which is the flavor improves after the beer warms a bit. High class IPA for the masses. Mouthwatering flavor combined with ready availability.

 773 characters

Photo of Matthewjordan
4.58/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Beautiful unfiltered (Sweetwater is always unfiltered) IPA with bold hoppy notes and a strong, memorable finish. Easy to drink too, which is deceiving given its 6.3% abv. Be careful with it on school nights ;)

 209 characters

Photo of Prager62
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Crystelle Creek restaurant in Gatlinburg Tennessee served in a pint glass.

Look- A transparent gold color with a minimal amount of white foam.

Smell- Malt and yeast with a hint of pine. Pretty boring for the style.

Taste- Grapefruit, floral hops, with a rye-like spice. A healthy dose of malt backbone complement the spicy hops.

Feel- Thin and slick with a slight spicy hop bite.

Overall- A very drinkable IPA that is brewed more to style versus today's hop bombs. While it's not something I seek out, I like it and will pair well with the BBQ ribs.

 569 characters

Photo of Act25
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I rank this lower than most talented BA's. as mine was too sweet and soapy.

A - Pours hazed amber w 1 finger white head that settles and leaves some sticky lace.

S - Sweet and piney w/ grapefruit hop odors, tho not a bomb. Suitable fresh herbal hop smell.

T - The hops are sweet and juicy and lightly acidic. There's a pleasant malt backing and in the finish a green apple flavor. But I found a tinny, soapiness that marred it for me.

M - Juicy, resinous, sweet + bitter together, but a soapy, tinny, clingy feel mars.

D - East coast, almost English take with more bitey hops, and I may just have a soapy can. $5 at the ferry bodega. Will try again.

 660 characters

Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 3,443 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.