Sweetwater IPA | SweetWater Brewing Company

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Sweetwater IPASweetwater IPA
Very Good
3,634 Ratings
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:
This mammoth IPA is dry-hopped to the gills, delivering a kick-you-in-the-teeth hop chop. This beer is unfiltered, as with all SweetWater's brews, to leave all the natural flavors intact.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-05-2002

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Ratings: 3,634 |  Reviews: 950
Photo of elgiacomo
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


12oz bottled Mar 1, 2010. Picked up a very fresh sixer of Sweetwater IPA after not having it in quite a while and man did I forget how great this IPA is, especially when ridiculously fresh.

Pours amber with a two finger off white head that leaves some nice rings and trails of lacing and maintains a nice cap.

Aroma is big on the grapefruit and citrus, simcoe hops, a little bit of pine, grass, and bread.

Flavor is more serious grapefruit, but there is that pine and resinous hops. Decent caramel malt to balance things out a bit. I love citrus-forward IPAs and this one delivers in a big way.

Mouthfeel is great, medium bodied, medium carbonation, finishes great, very drinkable.

Overall this is one of my favorite regular IPAs. Gets a bump for being a helluva bargain since it is a local brew. I think a lot of folks in the South take this one for granted, but it's a top-tier IPA and one I won't go so long without drinking again.


12oz. bottle, best by 10/15/07. Pours a pretty amber/orange with a small head that diminishes to a nice swirl that lasts quite a while. Aroma is a big 'ol grapefruit to the face, whole lotta hops goin' on here. Flavor is equally as strong. More grapefruit, tons of hops, some pine. Mouthfeel is excellent, medium carbonation, quite smooth. Finishes nice and dry. Very refreshing IPA that doesn't hold anything back. Tone it down a little? Hell no! This stuff is great and a relative bargain! Makes me glad to live in Georgia! :)
Aroma 4/5, Appearance 3/5, Taste 4/5, Palate 4/5, Drinkability 4/5: 3.8/5

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Photo of jettjon
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the tap into a pint glass, this one looks like an IPA should: a hazy orange with a bit of brown beneath a pale quite cap. The head fades quickly, leaving a solid cap and sheet-like lacing; very attractive. Nose is quite pungent, with strong notes of citrus and floral hops, kind of like piney grapefruit. Tastes follows right along with the nose, coming across almost like grapefruit juice, steeped in middle-to-bitter citrus and piney hops. Perfumy. Finishes on a crisp and bitter note. Mouth is wet, thinnish, and clean. Sharp carbonation keeps it crisp. Drinkability is very good; it’s tasty and thirst-quenching without crossing over into uber-bitterness.

Overall: A great citrusy domestic IPA, definitely worth a try. Certainly the best of the Sweetwater line that I’ve tried so far.

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Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle courtesy of Phatz.

A: The ale is best described as orange. I suppose a better way to word it would be amber with brilliant highlights but it still looks orange. The head has, thus far, laced nicely around the mouth of the glass.

S: First time I had this, I was underwhelmed by the nose. Luckily I've given it a second look. The hop aroma wafting off of this beer is quite pleasing. It is thick and resiny, full of pine and citrus notes that invite a sip.

T: The ale opens with an ill-defined hop bitterness, intense but formless before it transitions into a pine needle sweetness. The flavor is quite strong and keeps the ale's caramel malt body at bay while it lays waste to the tastebuds. The pine flavor is strong throughout, leaving a great finish that mixes nicely with some exotic citrus hop flavors.

M: The IPA is defined by its hops, piney and delicious with an unusual sweetness.. This could easily (if not for the availability issues) become my go-to IPA.

D: That bottle was my only one, looks like I need to add this to my 'Wants' list.

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Photo of HopDerek
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear coppery orange color with 1" of off-white foamy head that reduces to a nice thin layer with heavy lacing. Smells are rich with grapefruit and piney hops with hints of honey and fruit sweetness. Taste is sweet up front before a bumrush of grapefruit followed by some balance from caramel and a good pine finish. Medium in body with nice carbonation. Very drinkable and different from other IPAs. Glad I have friends in Atlanta to hook me up with more of this, my 6-pack won't last very long!

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Photo of Phatz
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It pours a very attractive light brown orange color with and ivory head and light spotty lacing.

Smell: Pig citrus and pink grapefruit and pine right from the start. There is a match sweetness with caramel and rich fruity sugars.

Taste: rich and malty sweet with a bit fruit in the front, grapefruit sweetness and pine hop caramelized malt and an overall balance through out with the finish tipping towards the fresh hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and soft as silk with light hops tickling the tongue until the beer done.

Drinkability: Damn. I wish I had cases. This is a beer built for drinking. It is not the biggest hop monster ever or the highest gravity this or that but it is a damn drinkable beer. I need to learn more about Sweetwater Brewing Company.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.44/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - a translucent copper pour, plenty of eggshell colored foam on top. Soapy and creamy, it leaves a carpet of lace behind. What initially looks like a chill haze is actually scads of tiny bubbles meandering around in the glass.

Aroma - grapefruit, heavy pine. A syrupy honeysuckle sweetness develops after a minute.

Taste - good malty base, an enjoyable but restrained hop influence. Not sure if I would call it restrained or diluted, but it doesn't quite hit the palate with the force I was expecting. Great citrus and pine flavors as in the nose. The aftertaste and finish are similar, the great balance is worth noting.

Mouthfeel - creamy and smooth, sturdy carbonation and body. Right where it should be.

Drinkability - a most drinkable IPA, very sessionable.

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Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served cold in "Boston Lager" glass from amber 12 oz bottle.

Fabulous looking pour--plenty of body, rich color, forming a dense, fine off-white inch-high head. Crystal clarity is a big plus--getting tired of hazy IPAs.

Sweet, sweet, tropical fruit aroma. What kind of hops smell like mangoes? It's so different and un-beer like that it's hard to synchronize my brain to it.

Tastes great, but the slight maltiness and balanced bitterness is overshadowed by the big tropical nose.

Drinkability is good. This is an enjoyable beer--but very strange with the intense tropical fruit aroma dominating the experience.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer was a beautiful golden orange with a two inch solid white head which subsided slowly. The head left lacing on my glass and lasted until the last drop, nice and sticky. The smell was slightly piney with fruit aromas and was pretty strong. The taste followed the smell with some citrus, some bitterness ,and a little pine. The mouthfeel was the best part, it felt like a cask beer. This is the best IPA i have had that is under 6%. They really have a winner with this one. Yum!

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

$1.79 single at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Fourth of July. The one day in July you absolutely have to go out and let loose in an uncontained expression of American freedom, fun, and perhaps even a little licentiousness.

Yes sir.


Appearance: Pours a hazy amber-colored body with a small, white head.

Smell: The aroma is showing of juicy, ripe grapefruits, with only a trace amount of dough in the background.

Taste: Faint toasty caramel malt sweetness before the grapefruit plunge and piney hop character that creeps into the long finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Definitely one of Sweetwater's better beers!

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Photo of shirfan
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange-red with a slight haze, and thin but sticky foam.

Aroma is big, piney, citric hops.

Taste puts hops at the forefront, with pine resin notes taking the lead. Milder ruby red grapefruit mingles with a touch of pepper. Malt provides a soft toastbread flavor, but is definitely second fiddle. Soft mouthfeel, with fine carbonation and a little drying astringency in the finish. Moderate bitterness.

Almost seems like a cross between American and Brit styles... a very nice IPA.

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Photo of clemtig76
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown 12 oz bottle with best by 8/28/07 printed on the label. Pours a cloudy pale orange with a nice white creamy head. Aroma is very hoppy. Citrus and piney aromas dominate. The taste is a big citrus and pine hit up front with a clean malt finish. This could be a regular in my fridge if they only sold it in SC. Solid offering from the folks in Hotlanta.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark amber with some orange highlights. Decent initial head fades to a ring pretty quickly but leaves some okay lacing. The smell is of faintly bitter hops, apricots, and just a touch of that meatiness you find sometimes with Simcoe hops. Nice. More apricot up front in the taste, but this fades to a more conventional hop bitterness with some citrus and pine. There is a nice malty backbone, but the hops are definitely have the upper hand. Deep bitter aftertaste, and I don't get any of the meatiness I caught in the aroma. Really nice session ipa. This one makes it easy to support the local brewery. Crisp mouthfeel and medium body. refreshing and drinkable. It's 93 degrees and sunny right now- this one quenches my thirst and gives me a nice hop hit at the same time. My favorite beer from this brewery.

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Photo of barronkr
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice deep golden/amber color. Pretty good American hop aroma. Hop flavoring is, again, classic American profile, well balanced (almost too balanced for its style) by a fair amount of pale malt. This beer is VERY drinkable, however. I could drink one of these every day, especially considering the relatively low price tag. Nice job Sweetwater, much better than the 420 pale ale.

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Photo of Graebner
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I should preface this by saying that so far I have not been overly impressed with any Sweetwater offering, excepting the Happy Ending, which even then was not spectacular compared to other Imperial Stouts. And so:

Pours a very pretty orange brown with little head that quickly disappears completely. Light bubble activity and appears to be a fine sediment suspended throughout. Also appeared quite viscous during the pour.

Nose is impressive; nectarine and peach, heavy mango, definitely some medicinal hoppiness. Hints of pine on the end. Smells fantastic and entirely unique.

Taste relegates the mangoes to the back, but they are still present, even the aftertaste of mangoes is present in the aftertaste of this beer. Tastes briefly of bready malts, then into fruity mango malts, then into a massive hoppy bitterness that finishes things up and cleans off your tongue. Delicious.

Mouthfeel is excellent as well, though I thought it could be a tad dryer over the middle of the mouth, but it's good like it is too. Alcohol noticable in the body, but not really there tastewise. Carbonation overall is spot on, and crisp finish. Hops to the max.

Certainly a session beer, and a top-notch IPA; this one can stand tall among any IPA collection. Wish we could get it regularly up here; it would quickly supplant my Sierra Nevada Pale Ale as my stand-by. This is, in my opinion and of the ones I've had, the best Sweetwater brew so far.

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Photo of planetscott
4.74/5  rDev +19.7%
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 phishgator
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Nice dense white head. Copper color, unfiltered, but not cloudy. The hops are huge in the aroma; I'm not sure what type/s are used, but the smell of Amarillo hops come to mind (I could be completely wrong). The taste is bitter dominanted with a slight malt backbone. The mouthfeel is a lingering bitterness throughout. So much so that is drys out your tongue. I sat down with two no problem. A hopheads IPA!

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Photo of ohmybock
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This IPA is very-well brewed. It has a strong hop aroma and flavor which I look for. The malt is very clean and balanced by a pleasant bitterness. Unfortunately, I'm not much of a fan of Simcoe hops. With that being said, I'm sure I taste Simcoe in it so it loses some points with me because of that. However, I'm in the minority when it comes to Simcoe, and most other beer lovers really appreciate that variety. I feel most American-style IPA drinkers will think this is a very good example of the style...especially for a state like GA which has very limited options when it comes to brewpubs/breweries.

I heard this brew was overhauled a while back. I don't know if that's true, but it certainly tastes different than I remember. I also think the alcohol content might have been raised a bit from the 5.90% listed in the description on BA. (The Sweetwater website was showing a content above 6%.)

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Photo of kirok1999
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy gold with a nice lingering head. Smells of citrus hops and sweet malts.
Taste is very nice, citrus aromatic hops, very definite IPA style. Very hoppy but the hops are almost all aromatic, not bittering. This is a fine example of an IPA, hoppy as hell but not bitter, malty enough to stand up to the hops and very drinkable. I almost can't wait to mow the lawn so I can have one after.

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Photo of russpowell
4.36/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This one comes courtesy of Ddarden with a BBD of 05/17/07

Pours peach tea colored with 2 fingers of sand colored head. Good lacing & head retention

S: citric hops

T: Grapefruitty & lemony hops up front. As this warms; breadyness, alng with crisp hops, & some fruittyness &a little apple skin. Finishes crisp,a little dry & oodles of citric hops

MF: Medium bodied, with low carbonation & great balance

Super sessionable IPA, a simple, straight-forward IPA. Not supper aggresive IPA, just a very quaffable one!

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Photo of drseamus
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A disclaimer to start; this bottle lists a best by date of 3/2/07 and was consumed on 3/21/07, so it was slightly past peak. It has a very clear amber body with very little head. The aroma is not powerful but is all hops. I can't quite place the aroma but it is primarily grapefruit, but a much more bitter grapefruit than normal. The flavor is primarily grapefruit as well with a slight bitterness at the end, but it isn't as bitter as the aroma is. The mouthfeel and drinkability are both good.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to OutlawJoseyWales for sending me this, my first beer from GA I believe.

Pours a fairly hazy orange/copper with thin, tan foam that lingers while. Nice bouquet of grassy, grapefruity hops in the nose. Very fruity.

Grassy hops dominate the taste whie the dank, nutty malt only peeks though in the background. The finish is partially bitter, and comes off a bit tangy/sour in fact. The mouthfeel runs a bit thin, as the carbonation is too fine and can't yield any fullness on the palate.

I found this IPA to be decently drinkable, as I think I could drink a few of them. The flavor took a moment to catch on, but I realize it is pretty solid and worth trying...

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Photo of hunteraw
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Fairly light, orange/amber in color, not very clear despite sitting in my refrigerator for a few days. Nice head, good retention and some lacing.

Smell: Citrusy, juicy hops aroma. Can't really name any discernible malt characters in the nose.

Taste: Ridiculously juicy hops. Some grapefruit, but "juicy" is the best word I can think of to describe the hop character here.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body, good carbonation.

Drinkability: Very high! This is a very good beer!

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Photo of flexabull
3.89/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy orange color, with a decent head.

Beer has a very nice hoppy citrus nose. This is a very nice smelling beer.

Flavor is mostly sweet and citrus like. There is a bit of tartness and bitterness on the finish. All in all though... the flavors are a bit muted for an American IPA.

Mouthfeel is a bit lean and watered down to me. It's not bad, but it is a little lacking when compared to other's in the style.

Drinkability is excellent. This is a very easy drinking IPA. It's a bit lacking in flavor, but it's still good, and certainly worth a try.

Bottle courtesy of blitz134. Thanks!

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to pugman for sending this one my way. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a shaker glass. BB: 3-2-07. Appears a very clear golden amber color with two fingers of egg shell colored foam . Minimal lacing left on the glass with each sip. Smells of pineapple, sweet malts, and white grapefruit juice. Tastes of lemon, grapefruit, mildly bitter hops that are nicely balanced by the malt presence. Finish is dry and bitter. A very drinkable IPA. Well done Sweetwater.

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Photo of joe1510
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. Bottle
Courtesy of Mikesgroove

My first beer from Sweetwater. Finally getting around to it. Sweetwater's IPA poured a crystal clear golden with an orange tinge into my pint glass. Very few tiny carbonation bubbles rise through the body. Poured with a 1+ finger creamy white head that fades to a half finger but then stays put. Leaves spotted sticky lacing.This is an attractive beer.

The smell is what I encounter with a lot ofthe better IPAs. Solid aromas of sweetened grapefruit and orange rind. There's even a touch of pine but it comes in very faintly. Surprisingly there's a strong caramel maltiness and lightly toasted white bread. I like the smell of this one quite a bit.

The gulp starts off with the caramel bakbone which is quickly pushed back by sweet lemon hoppiness up front. The caramel stays in the background throughout but sweetened grapefruit takes the place of the lemon mid-palate. on the finish the grapefruit turns tart with a nice moderate lingering bitterness. Nicely balanced IPA with a nice hop kick on the finish. Enjoyable.

The body is on the lighter side of medium. Crisp and refreshing. Coats the mouth nicely to let the hops linger. Gives the tongue a jumpstart with the hoppy bitterness. Very nice.

This beer is very easy to drink. It's crisp and refreshing with a nice hop kick to it. The abv. is right to enjoy a few in a sitting.

Thanks for the sample Mike. I'm glad I have the chance to try Sweetwater's IPA. To tell you the truth I was expecting a middle of the road IPA but this one really surprised. Many familiar IPA flavors but very polished and done just right.


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Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 3,634 ratings