Sweetwater IPA | SweetWater Brewing Company

918 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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 918 | Ratings: 3,451
Photo of corey0212
4.65/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got a few of these in a trade a while back, and plain forgot to review it....big thanks to ckeegan04 for sending one my way in Secret Santa!!

Pours a mostly clear honey/orange color, foamy off-white head fades pretty quickly and leaves a few splotches of lace on the glass. A metric shit-ton of grapefruit on the nose, some tangerine fighting for attention, and a nice caramel backbone. Taste is just an all-out citrus riot....grapefruit, tangerine, clementine, slightly bitter grassy element here...you could argue that the taste is a little one-dimensional, with the huge grapefruit/citrus presence, but it's just plain tasty. Something about the flavor profile on this beer just dazzles me, and this is kind of "it" for me when it comes to IPAs. Refreshing, nice lingering bitterness. I could drink this all day, all year. So good.

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Photo of hopsleeroy
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice extra sent from Everetends-Thanks Gilly.

A-Honey, Iced tead color with 1 inch head white head that quickly dissipated
S-Grapefruit and sweet melon like flavor
T-Strong grapefruit and lemon lime citrus and pine, very strong flavor, as you drink there is a little more malt forward flavors(honey?) but they are hard to pick out because of the strong hops,
M-Not the creamiest or smoothest mouth feel, decent carbonation, drying finish that isn't the greatest
O-Pretty decent IPA but very rought about the edges, Could use a little time to mellow

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Photo of rabsten
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this last year at the Sweetwater bar in Atlanta-Hartsfield Airport while I waited for the plane that would take me to my Grandmother's funeral. I remembered it was good but had other things on my mind. I'm glad I had a chance to reacquaint myself with this. It's good. Very good.

I snagged a case of bottles at the 2008 Bramwell, WV Oktoberfest and have enjoyed this beer for two months. Time to review as the last ones disappear.

In a straight-up pint glass. Thick, bubbly head, slightly tan, over an orange, carbonated body. Icky lacing. All over the place. 4.5.

Cotton candy and Ocean Spray Grapefruit Cocktail. Wheneve I way "citrus-y" aroma from now on, this is my standard. I mean, if bubble yum made a grapefruit bubble gum, this is what it'd smell like.

Taste: Big old hop hit in the mouth. Very citrusy, mostly grapefruit but some lemon and lime. As this beer gets older (best buy date about 3 weeks ago) a bread-like aftertaste has appeared. But when fresh, no connection to grain whatsoever.

Mouthfeel isn't great. Kinda like drinking steel wool, but in a good way? It bites. I'll leave it at that.

Drinkability: well, I can, and have, drunk this all day. Despite the harsh at times mouthfeel gos down well and makes you want another. Or two.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Coppery red in color with a thin off-white head. Head quickly fades and leaves almost no lacing.

S - Very unique IPA aroma. Lots of honey in the nose with hints of earthy pine. Some candied fruit as well with pineapple and tangerine coming to mind.

T - Faint sweetness initially with an interesting honey taste. A spicy hoppiness wuickly comes in. Very earthy with floral and piney notes. A candied sugar sweetness lingers after the drink. A very unique IPA taste. Not my favorite, but a very interetsing brew.

M/D - Medium bodied and it coats the mouth as you drink. Very drinkable IPA but not quite the taste I am looking for.

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Photo of Buebie
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to gford for this bottle.
I put this a little deep in the cellar and forgot about it. Best if enjoyed by date of 7/22/08. oops

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a snifter. Poured a hazy copper orange with 1 finger off white fluffy head.

Sweet clover honey aroma, grape nuts like aroma from the grains, mild grassy hops and a hint of pine and grapefruit.

Sweet and honey like up front with a touch of syrupy mouthfeel. Pleasent amount of carbonation. Bitter grapefruity hops with bits of pine.

Delicious brew!

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Photo of jushoppy2beer
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I really liked this beer! I've had a lot of Sweetwater's 420 Pale Ale over the years, but this was my first run at this one. It is a lovely IPA that hits you head on with a rare and delectable fruity nose that foreshadows the wonderful hops that you'll relish on the tastebuds. The color is golden amber, with a nice whitish head and good lacing. On the palate, this is a superb beer. It nicely blends a complex malt with a sophisticated multilayered hop across the tongue and a perfectly bittered finish. Very good mouthfeel with perfect texture and a refreshing carbonation. This will become one of my favorites.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another quality ass brew from the folks at Sweetwater...

Pours out a hazy golden color with a big fluffy head...

Aromas of big flowery citrusy hops all the way... Not much in the way of malts but that's alright with me...

Big hop bitterness up front which fades into a slight malty finish but this one is all about some citrusy hops...and I'm lovin it... Delicious!

I like this brew a lot. Why isn't this more highly rated? It kicks ass..

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Photo of GJ40
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at Sweetwater in the Atlanta airport.

A - Golden color with good clarity and a moderate beige head. Decent lacing.

S - Lots of floral, fruity and piney aroma leaping from the glass. Very nice.

T - A very citrusy hop flavor with just enough malt, a nice mild bitterness and a good alcohol bite.

M - Low carbonation that lets the hops run wild. Decent body.

D - Very smooth and easy to drink. A great session beer. This is my favorite IPA made in the southeast.

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Photo of jraycee
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful justl barely hazy amber with a nice inch head. Shows nice lacing and rings.

Smells are lemon rind, pine, smiling little flowers on a spring day.

Taste is sweet doughy citrus balancing a piney bitterness. Nice lingering hops on dry toast bitterness aftertaste.

Mouthfeel seems a little slick with low carbonation feeling.

Drinkabilty is good. Its amazing I haven't tried this before. I'll probably pick it up again soon.

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Photo of phattysbox
3.19/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got as an extra from a trade with tjbartjr, thanks Tom!

Poured into Duvel tulip glass with a nice orange/amber shading. Nice one inch head that retreats very slowly into long-lasting lace. Nice looking brew.

The nose went downhill for me unfortunately. It has a muted hop profile that is there but much subdued. Some pine notes but a bit raw and damp in the smell - does not smell fresh. Taste brings the brew down for me even further. Same as the nose, the hop profile is quite muted but there may be a bit of oxidizing in the brew (wet paper). Not terribly oxidizied, just not that fresh. There was also a bit of metallic taste as well, though very small. Mouthfeel was OK and as expected for an IPA.

In my impression, an average IPA. Good to try, but thats about it. I might have had an old bottle so will try again.

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4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A rocky light tan head sits full and fluffy leaving some lace as it slowly fades. Body is a pure amber sap in color. Nose has some citrus rind, soapy alchol and prickley pine but all relatively soft. A nice mix of crisp approachable hops and fruity citrus based sweet sour feel enter the mouth on first sip. Hops turn creamy on the back of the tongue as you continue to drink. Malt balance is really there also. Bitter does develop on the mouthfeel but it is pleasant. Super easy to drink, very well made IPA. Would have been close to a 4.5 if the nose was a little more developed.

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Photo of AgingWarrior
4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Samuel Adams beer glass a dark gold/amber color. The pour produced approximately a half inch of light tan head. The head dissipated pretty quickly, but did provide some lacing.

The smell is great! Flowery hops with citrus undertones. After the first whiff I couldn't wait to take a taste.

Taste hits the tongue with a blast of hops. The finish is nice and crisp with some malt tastes to balance out the hops.

Mouth feel is medium body with light carbonation.

I think this is an extremely drinkable IPA. I could drink this brew all evening.

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Photo of merlin48
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Twelve ounce bottle with "enjoy before" date. Although unfiltered, it pours a mostly clear, amber orange body with a tall offwhite head. Lacing is lavish and of the patchy variety.

Aroma is citrusy hops, with distinct notes of apricot and ruby red grapefruit. Caramel malt underneath.

Mouthfeel is medium in body and carbonation with a fresh hop oil character.

Taste has a prominent hop bitterness that, thankfully, is not overdone. Very citrusy with red grapefruit but not at all sweet as the aroma suggests. Caramel malt adds an ideal balance. There is a noticeable earthy/leafy note that has a cannabis/cat urine character that I've noticed before only in Bells Hop Slam.

Wow! Very nicely done. This one will become a staple in my fridge since I can find it at a nearby grocery.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Taco Macs in Douglasville. The beer is copper color, clear, with a thin white foam that left a solid sheet of lace on the glass. The aroma is intensely good, loads of hops with a caramel malt background. The hops are citrusy, mostly I get grapefruit. The taste is just as good, not too bitingly bitter, just deliciously hoppy with a sweet malty balance (but leaning uncompromisingly towards hops, like a fat guy on a seesaw with a child). A very good beer that would be welcomed in Ohio if distribution ever goes that far.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another wonderful BIF beer from Everetends. Very fresh BTW.

A- A nice sexy golden copper color that has excellent lacing on the sides. The kind of lacing you want to see on a womens long sexy legs, then attached with a garter belt. Hot and sexy.

S- The smell is seductive. The hops draw you in like a womens perfume draws you close. Not too close, you don't want to be creepy or anything. It almost smells like a lemon lolly pop.

T- The taste is wonderful. The hop taste is sweet, lemony, with a dry taste of hops. There is a nice malt to it, but the star of the show, the one at center pole has got to be the hops. I'd throw dollars its way for sure.

M- Feels great in the mouth, leaving your taste buds dripping and wanting more.

D- Yes please!

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Photo of number1bum
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is another from the mixed 6er myrnngjckt owed me after I beat him in fantasy baseball. Thanks Kevin.

Pours a hazy amber color with a creamy inch and a half of beige head. Keeps a pretty solid lace and leaves some stick on the sides.

Smells of very resiny hops, citrusy and piney, and earthy too. Also some sweet caramel malt.

Taste is also juicy and resiny, lots of hop flavor with moderate hop bitterness. Citrus and some pine hops with some earthiness, as well, with a juicy sweetness and some caramel malt. It's not quite as smooth as maybe it could be, but it's quite tasty.

This baby drinks quite a bit thicker than the alcohol would suggest; it's a hefty medium body that's chewy and thick with oily hop resins.

Very solid IPA here. I'd be glad to drink this with regularity if it were available around here.

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Photo of tastybeer
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color is clear orange with a red glow. Head is large + poofy with very nice lace forming above the fluffy 1/4" retention. Aroma is loaded with sweet happy hops. Crisp citrus, tropical fruits, flowers, and clean, fresh bread-like malt. Mmm. This is delightfully fresh. Taste is surprisingly malty. Not surprising compared to other IPAs but surprising based on my expectations from the aroma. I like the balance however. Feel is slick with soft carbonation. Medium body, brisk bitterness, and very easy to drink. Very pleasant.

I could enjoy several of these.

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Photo of TheodorHerzl
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a very deep copper/amber hue with a small head that left spotty lacing on my glass. The smell on this beer is really surprising for a regular IPA, and the notes are very clear while pouring this beer. I get loads of fresh citrus fruit with grapefruit, oranges, passion fruit, and peaches dominating with just a touch of spice and pine in the background. The flavor profile is a bit more subdued with the caramel malt coming in upfront before making way to all those citrus flavors, but along with the other citrus fruits I noted in the nose I am also picking up some lemon zest on the palate. The mouthfeel is very crisp with medium carbonation, and I do not really detect much alcohol on the mouthfeel. This is one of the best balanced IPAs I've had in a long time. I would gladly put this beer into my favorites rotation if it were available to me locally.

Really delicious example of the style.

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Photo of Reino
4.46/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks everetends for the chance to try this brew. My first Southeastern IPA.

Appearance- Pours an orange tinted gold with a small, one finger head. The white, bubbly head goes down rather quickly and leaves a bit of lacing. The color of the beer is good, but the head and lacing could be better.

Smell- Delicious tropical bubble gum. It smells exactly like a certain type of Bubblicious, but I can't pin down which kind (it has been awhile). Once I get over my craving for sugary gum, I smell pineapple, tangerine, and grapefruit juice. This beer smells amazing.

Taste- Bitter pineapple, orange and a bit of lemon peel. The bubblegum makes a bit of an appearance, but not nearly as much as there was in the nose. As it warms up, more of the malt backing shows itself, along with some lemon and slight astringency. The flavors are really good, but don't quite live up to the smell. There is some flavor hiding in this beer that keeps it from being really great.

Mouthfeel- Crisp carbonation that is toeing the high-level line. The beer is thick enough to handle the higher carbonation, and the feel is almost perfect for the style and flavors.

Drinkability- If I would have known how tasty these suckers were and how easily they go down, I would have traded for a case instead of one bottle. In a blind tasting, I would guess this beer was brewed by Bell's. It is like the Southeastern cousin of Two Hearted, which is a high compliment in my book. I hope the other SE IPA's and DIPA's in my fridge are this good.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the brewery, which is a cool place to go, btw. Copper color with ample, but thin off-white head.

Sweet floral hoppy nose with a strong malty backbone. Smells fresh and appealing...citrusy grapefruit.

Tastes well balanced. 3 headed monster - Bright tangy hops up front (cascade?), malty middle and a crisp, dry finish. This is a damn good brew. Best sweetwater beer I have had, although I have not had Happy Ending or Donkey Punch.

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Photo of wedge
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazed amber color under a big, clumpy head. The aroma is all sugary grapefruit, peaches, and pine. Very zesty and bright. The flavor is sticky with hoppy deliciousness...fresh candied citrus of all kinds and finishing crisp and snappy. Resinous and oily with a solid bitterness. Medium bodied with a nice, moderate level of carbonation making it smooth and drinkable.

Another Sweetwater beer I wouldn't mind finding in my fridge more often. Happy and hoppy.

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Photo of BeerMark
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sweetwater IPA pours a nice deep copper color with a two finger head on top. It smells fantastic. I can smell the aroma even before putting my nose to the top of the glass. I can detect malt, hops, and citrus. The taste is delicious. This beer is the perfect combination of flavors. I have found in my beer tastings that I prefer beers with a balance of flavors. This beer from Sweetwater is the perfect example. There is plenty of malt sweetness balanced with a hoppy bitterness all sitting on top of a great citrus flavor. This beer is proof that the South can produce a fine IPA. I am proud of Sweetwater and wish them much success. Sweetwater IPA will be in my heavy rotation from now on.

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Photo of ectomorph
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Can't believe I've never had this one before...

A - Cloudy/hazy copper in color (think old penny) with a small head but the ring and film lasts on the sides.

S - Lots of hops and hop oils in the nose. Pine trees!

T - Very robust pine/hop slap in the face. There is a spice I can't place, maybe lemon zest?

M - Unfiltered and Unpasteurized makes for a big body IPA, and I like it.

D - On the edge of high ABV @ 6.7%, this one can make a great session brew.

A new fave for the Sweetwater brews.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled this American style IPA on tap at the airport in Atlanta, GA. Finally, a nice head on a Sweetwater beer! Tan with medium sized bubbles capping a deep, deep orange color like pumpkin paste. The nose was full of hops, bitter and poignant. Pineapple and pine! The flavors were equally bold as though the beer has been dry-hopped during brewing. Sharp and tart, hops, citrus, honey and malt to balance. Well thought out and quite drinkable. Medium/high carbonation, has some gumption and a smooth mouthfeel. A fine drink, to be sure.

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Photo of lightindarkness
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to stopbarking for sending this one!

Pours a very nice rich light hazy copper color with a finger of slowly fading ivory bubbles on top.

Smell is notable even from a distance, big and juicy with a sugary pinecone winter holiday likeness over full sweet pineapple and mandarin orange. Very enticing, with some more hidden caramelly malt and resin that really grows as it warms.

A very well constructed taste to this one, with tons of juicy grapefruit all over it. Some piny resin and a nicely malted full background create a very juicy IPA. Some resinous bitterness dries out at the finish and really starts to swell after a few sips.

Mouthfeel is good, with a pretty firm body, though not heavy. The carbonation tingle is nice, expectedly controlled by the viscosity of the beer. Leaves some coating at the finish, with a touch of dryness.

Overall this one seems to go down very smoothly with a strong hop display and some stand-out quality from among other IPAs, though not as balanced or nuanced as some others. It's still a pretty great beer.

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Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 3,451 ratings.
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