Sweetwater IPA | SweetWater Brewing Company

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Sweetwater IPASweetwater IPA
Very Good
3,620 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,620 |  Reviews: 948
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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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank You dano213, and gford217

Pours a nice clean/clear golden copper color, with some nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, nice sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is sweet, hoppy, citrusy, and slight caramel. The taste is hoppy, and citrusy, very tasty. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a very nice IPA, glad to have gotten a chance to try it.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy pale orange with a nice white creamy head that lced up well. Smell was strong and very hoppy. Citrus flavors abounded this. The taste was wonderful. Big citrus and pine pop up front with a dry hopped back. All hops, no real balance on this, and non needed. Could easily drink this all night! Goin to get more ASAP!

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Photo of ikats
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Light orange in color. Hazy which is a bit of a minus for appearance since I prefer my IPAs filtered and clear. Slightly off-white head disappears into an even sticky cover.

Wonderful hoppy aroma. Full of citrus fruits, and more into bittersweetness of grapefruits and oranges then pure bitterness of lemons.

Surprisingly mild taste. There's hoppy bitterness, but it is balanced by malty sweetness. "Mellow" comes to mind in trying to describe the taste. And all this makes this beer a lot more drinkable for me.

Mouthfeel's great too. This beer feels mild in your mouth, but as it goes down, it has enough of an after-bite to remind the drinker that it's an IPA.

Nice bottle out of Atlanta!

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

12oz. bottle.

Hazy orange-yellow, with a medium off-white head.

Aroma was grapefruit, grapefruit, did I mention grapefruit? A faint bit of honey in the middle of all the .... grapefruit.

Taste was ... grapefruit - wow, go figure. As the beer warmed up a bit, some sweetness came into play. Honey wheat in character. Some biscuity taste as well. Malt was absolutely second fiddle in this beer.

Relatively light, with medium carbonation. Not very drying, but enough to keep you sipping steadily.

A very sessionable IPA. Nice hop flavor, but not a palate crusher. Purchased this on my last trip to Alabama back in October, and decided to roll with it again over Thanksgiving. My only complaint is that it seems to be a bit one dimensional. I like the flavor, but if the grapefruit was complemented/contrasted a bit more, I think this would be a better beer.

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Photo of jwc215
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted a few days before best before date.

Pours a hazy (from being unfiltered) orangeish golden with a thin head. Minimal lacing is left.

The smell is of floral, citrusy hops - orange peel, some grapefruit.

The taste is of citrusy, bitter hops - orange and grapefruit dominate. Some grainy malt is in background, but just enough to cut a bit of the bitterness. The hops are pretty powerful. Tasty, but not complex at all.

A bit of an expected tang. Thins slightly, but has some body to it. The citrus lingers in the mouth.

A nice IPA. The citrus hops really stand out. It has a refreshing quality to it.

Thanks to SilentSabre for including a few of these.

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Photo of jackorain
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It is really a shame that this bartender thinks that she needs to fill the pint glass to the tippy top and detract from my experience. This is in stark contrast to the bartender (Jessica) yesterday at this same Tacomac in Alpharetta GA, who poured a perfect beer.

A- No head (bartender) copper color no lace as there was not on top of this beer when placed in front of me. After a few sips and subsequent swirl, I was able to coax some head out of it which produced a little lace.

S-really nice oervtly citrus hop, smells like concentrated white grapefruit juice. some malt comes through if really think about it.

T- Immediate citrus hop bite, grapefruit there is also a malty carmel sweetness in the middle, though it is not balanced as it beaten back again by the bitter citrus hop finish. Still really good though

M-Fizzy carbonation, oily on the tongue, meduim body

D-I could have 2 then the long lingering bitterness would force me to move on. But I would come back

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to TheManiacalOne for this opportunity.
Pours an orangish yellow with a nie half finger head that melts to a pretty lacing.
As soon as you pop the top on the bottle you are hit with fresh piney hops...LOTS of piney hops. As it warms they melt into an orange peel citrus scent.
Taste is immediately citrus hops...orange to orange peel to grapefruit peel with a moderate malt sweetness for balance. Piney resins on the finish.
As it warms the malt makes more of it's presence known which only makes it more balance.
This is a wonderfully hoppy thirst quencher.

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Photo of GPHarris
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a one finger thick creamy off-white head into a tumbler. very hazy golden-blond color.
s - the hops really hit you with a hint of yeast and lots of citrus.
t - citrus taste is overwhelming with the main flavor being grapefruits. slight piney taste as it warms.
m - very crisp and medium mouthfeel.
d - incredibly refreshing beer that really smooths out as it warms. top notch beer and one of the few in alabama (for now).

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Photo of acrawf6
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a nice orangish amber with a one-fingure white head.

Smell. Lots of citrus, with a touch of pine. Slightly sweet of caramel.

Taste. A burst of citrus hops- lemony and slightly piney, but mostly grapefruits. The grapefruit taste really takes over this beer, in a good way though. Malts have a small, but nice undertone.

Mouthfeel. Body is meduim-full with a slightly chewy texture. Balance is pretty good. Carbonation is good.

Overall, a very enjoyable beer. Not one i would want everyday, but when i want hops, and grapefruits- this is one i would go for (if it was readily available down here).

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Photo of HerrBob
4.59/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sm and Tst- I have heard pine/citrus to describe hoppy beer. I think Christmas Tree better describes this brew. Most smells & tastes are related to memories attached to them and this one deffinitely gives a warm comfortable feel to the smell & taste - like a Christmas tree in the night.

Drinkability & Mouthfeel- excellent whether a small sip or more it satisfies with excellent slightly bitter aftertaste. Just right on carbonation - fresh but no tingle.

In AL a good beer is hard to find & this one is on the top of my list.

Appearance - nice warm tan with slight cloudiness. I put little on this as I don't watch beer but drink it.

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

Acquired via trade from SilentSabre, so big “Thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright orange/amber color with a thin white head that fades at a decent rate and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: Strong floral hops aroma when you crack open the bottle, but once the beer is poured the hops smell fades and you smell a heavy fruity citrus & malt sweetness.

T: The taste starts with a decent burst of hops, but not very heavy. What follows is the same fruity sweetness that you get in the smell. I picked up lemon, grapefruit and some dark fruits (which is slightly different for the style) and the hops keep trying to break through as you drink it. The after-taste is a combination of hops bitterness and citrus sweetness.

M: Very crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: I drank this one down fairly quickly for a review. Even though it may be a little sweeter than most IPA’s, it’s very tasty, not-too-filling and is the type of beer I could stick with for a long, long time. This was a very pleasant surprise for a beer that was added in to round out the trade. I think I’m now intrigued by this brewer and I’m going to have to deal for some more stuff from them.

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Photo of llitsua
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer I probably buy more than any other. Despite Alabama’s awful beer laws, we are very lucky to have this available here.

Poured from 12 oz. bottle w/ Best Before 10/22/06 stamped on it,

A- Pours a nice gold color, with a hint of orange. Two- finger head that quickly dissipates into cm thick ring. Generous lacing left in glass.

S- Notable citrusy and piney hops, very pleasant smell.

T- malt with citrusy and piney hops up front, quite delightful. Fades in to some more hop bitterness, with a very easy, smooth finish. Hops dominate the taste overall.

M- Carbonation is felt, but not overwhelming, fairly light mouthfeel overall- makes you want more.

D- Very drinkable, I usually drink a few of these when I have them. Great session IPA.

One of my favorite beers overall, the best you can get in AL, IMO.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- A pretty bright honey amber with a very steady and strong column of bubbles ascending to the heaven that is my palate. Leaving behind almost a finger worth of foam and lacing. Great beer to look at in wonder.

Smell- A mild hop aroma for an American IPA. Plenty oof bittersweet bread crust aromas. Lots o biscuit dough.

Taste- Some orange peel mixes with the toasty malts to give it a burnt orange peel hopp flavor. Clean hop presence. Not resiny or syrupy. Almost like a lager with IPA flavors.

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Photo of supascape
4.54/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One word to describe this brew...wow! I must say that this is one of my favorite beers. The SweetWater Brewing Company just keeps getting it right. On to the review:

The beer pours a really nice hazy-orange, golden-brown color. Poured down the middle of the glass, it starts with a pretty large, white head which quickly disappears and leaves a nice lace behind.

As the beer pours, the scent of grapefruit just explodes from the glass. The grapefruit is complimented by a hint of cloves in the background. The scent is so large that it grabs the attention immediately. The scent is very plesant. It does not slap you in the face, but you definitely know it is there.

WOW! Taste is borderline exceptional. This beer starts with a citrus blast and is quickly joined by a light, malty presence. Somehow the malt presence does not disturb the citrus (grapefruit in particular) flavor. It complements it nicely. Hops are at the forefront here. At first taste, a hint of grapefruit rushes to the front, quickly followed by malt and grass. Grapefruit stays at the front throughout the drink but the malty, grassy taste stays along for the journey. Ends with a pretty damn bitter flavor that is bold but non-intrusive.

Brew has a medium-bold mouthfeel. Very juicy but not overly-dry. Does not feel as good as Exodus Porter but what does?

This beer is very drinkable and versatile. Drink this beer anytime and anyplace.

This beer is excellent.

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Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 3,620 ratings