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Sweetwater IPA | SweetWater Brewing Company

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903 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:
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Reviews: 903 | Ratings: 3,390
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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Photo of avalon07
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a very cloudy consistency. Not a whole lot of head, but some OK lacing.

S: This beer had a strong yet pleasing aroma. Hops, citrus and some spices.

T: Very powerful taste - like an IPA should have. Hops, lemon, some other citrus elements. Very complex and flavorful.

M: A highly carbonated beer to be sure. Finishes smoothly. A full-bodied beer.

D: This is definitely a drinkable beer. It has a big personality, but this is never off-putting in any way.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle > Samuel Smith glass best by 8/27/08

Light, clover honey-amber color. a full two-finger's deep frothy, bubbly milk shake-style head. slow peak retention.

Big time Pineapple aroma, no, sugar coated pineapple. Light caramel scented malt...smells very much like Orange-Pineapple juice.

MMmmm, It's a honey-sweet flavored malt, glazed pineapple, citric oranges, sweet at first, then becoming dry and leafy with a big bitter, tongue busting hop flavor. Complexity is high in the hop profile and the malt does a great job with balance. Very crisp and light feeling...jazzy even.

I really like fruity IPA's.

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Photo of glid02
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this on tap at Sweetwater Brewery.

Pours a good light copper color with a cloudy one finger head. Head dissipates, but still maintains a layer of bubbles on top. Good lacing.

This smells great. A hop explosion. Floral scents are slightly bigger than any other, but there's also citrus and bitter smells. Very nice.

Tastes the same way it smells. Lots of hops. A good robust taste that ends with a bitter kick. Very close to a DIPA.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. A good thickness, with good carbonation. The carbonation could be just a little less to help it go down smoother.

This is a very drinkable beer. I've had this in a bottle before and didn't remember it being this good. This time the hops were more pronounced and it wasn't as overpowering.

Very good beer. It's a very good example of an IPA, if you haven't tried it at some point already check it out.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into nonic.

Honey colored, slightly hazy, with a one finger eggshell white head that slowly settles to a thick cap. Stringy lacing along the glass.

Sharp and piney hops make up most of the aroma. A little bit of bready malts are in the background, giving a light, sweet, honey aroma.

The grains taste light and sweet, mostly providing a base. The hops are sharp, citrusy, and a little spicy. Full bodied with good carbonation. The finish is the lingering hops, which provide bitterness that lasts for a while.

This was actually the first IPA I ever had, way back when I started drinking craft beer. Back then I liked it, but I don't think I had the same appreciation as I do now. This one is well crafted with great flavor, and has good balance. Recommended.

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Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A dark coppery-amber with a thick, creamy, and sticky head that clings to the glass nicely as it settles. Nice webs and rings of lacing, too.

S: Grapefruits, orange, a faint pine aroma, and a hint of pineapple-like fruit. This one also has a pleasantly sweet bready and caramel malt aroma.

T&M: Like the aroma, pleasant citrus flavors predominate with some nice pine and tropical fruit, as well. The finish is dry, oily/juicy, and delicious. One of the most interesting things about this beer is its rather strong caramel-like malt flavor. The body is fuller with a very juicy feel--thanks in part I'm sure to the big-time malt. Sweetwater could amp up the malt on this just a tad, double the hops, and come out with a damn fine DIPA.

D: Goes down smooth because of its (relatively) balanced flavor and great mouthfeel. I'll definitely be picking up some more of this next time I'm in Georgia.

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Photo of AmishT
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pretty gorgeous copper amber in color. Lucid. About a two-finger off-white head that retains pretty well. My glass has no lacing; however, my counterpart's glass is enviable in this regard.

S - It's been awhile, and this beer reminds me that I'm very much a hophead: bold citrus hops in the nose. This ipa has a greater leafy hop character than others I've had. An inviting nose, for sure.

T&M - A very flavorful ipa to say the least: Potent citrus, piney hop character that blends with a solid biscuity malt backbone. A very pleasant bitterness develops about midway through for me. Finishes fairly clean. In comparison to other ipas, it has a lighter, crisper, and cleaner flavor for me. Great mouthfeel on this: medium bodied, chock-full of flavor, and still light enough to enhance the drinkability.

D - This is a beer that I'm fairly certain that I would -not- want to quaff: it has a dynamic flavor when held in the mouth, and I'm content to just sip on this one. The crispness and cleanliness of this ipa really enhance the drinkability for me. My favorite ipa to date - yay for local beer!

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

Pours dark copper with a chil haze, and a quarter inch head of off-white that settled quickly. A ring of lacework remained.

Aromatics are filled with lush tropical fruit..Oh, yea.. I'm diggin this one.
Apricots, mango, tangerine, peaches, sugared grapefruit. Some mild malt follows through, but its all about the fruit, baby.

Medium bodied and slightly chewy. Slightly creamy carbonation while retaining some tackiness.

The pallet starts off with more grapefruit and spruce juice than the tropicals. Mildly bitter with malt to balance. The apricots, peaches, and mangoes follow through along with plenty of firm bitterness and a hint of alcohol.

Finishes with lingering ripe fruit, juicy malt, and a minerally crispness.

This was a great one to follow up the Hoptical Illusion with.

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Photo of Damian
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Drank on-tap at the Brick Store Pub, Decatur, GA
Served in an imperial pint glass

Poured a beautiful deep, dark, crystal clear, orangey-amber with a tight, creamy, one-finger, light tan head that deposited thick rings of sticky lacing. Toward the drink's end, these rings transformed into an intricate spider web pattern that blanketed the entire glass.

The aroma was an amazing balance of pungent, citrusy hops and sweet, caramel malts. Fruity (tropical fruits) with notes of mango and brown sugar.

The taste was not nearly as impressive as the aroma. Lots of hop bitterness in this one, without much actual hop flavor. A touch of caramel malt sweetness teased my palate before the hop assault began. The hops were very spicy and aggressive. Grapefruit rind was most noticeable. The harsh, resonating finish was ultra piney and bitter. Super pithy and dry. As the beer warmed, the overall bitterness of this brew intensified even more.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with a greater than average amount of carbonation. Smooth, creamy and lively on the palate.

Drinkability was rather poor. While the aroma was punchy yet inviting, the taste was harsh, bitter and unbalanced. Toward the end of the glass, the beer became rather difficult to put down.

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

12oz bottle received from SaintNathaniel. Thanks!

A: Mildly hazy copper with a thin tan head with decent retention. The head recedes to a thin film halfway through, leaving some nice lace

S: Piney and fruity hops with pineapple with a mild malty sweetness

T: Starts off pretty darned hoppy with some pine and lime bitterness with a very faint malt presence in the back. The finish is long, dry and bitter

M: Well carbonated, great hop flavor, bitterness and pleasing dryness on the finish

D: I'd drink another!

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Photo of PhillyStyle
3.18/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass (sign on the wall stated the beer was 6.9% ABV). The beer poured a nice orange-red with a thin cream colored head that was not retained at all. I think that the lack of head had more to do with the pour than the beer, but not the fact that it did not last. The aroma was a heavy floral but the hops squarely in the background and not as pronounced as I would have thought. The taste was OK, but it really followed the aroma, heavy on the floral with a hint of hops. The beer had good carbonation and it left you with a nice bitter aftertaste. Overall the drinkability was slightly better than average as it was smooth and creamy. I would probably drink again.

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Photo of Garzan72
3.38/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I thought the appearance and smell was pretty decent. It smelled really hoppy and strong. But compared to some of the other IPAs I have tried it was not my favorite at all. I believe the balance was a little off. The mouthfeel was good and I could probably drink this again. But I probably wont.

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

Received in a trade with gford217. Thanks Grant!

Pours a clear reddish orange with a small amount of visible carbonation and a 1/4" off-white head that fades quickly to a sticky ring. No lacing.

Smell is mostly a blend of citrus and piny hops, with a hint of caramel and toasted grains.

Taste starts off with bitter piny hops before some sweet malt and toasted grain flavors. Bitter citrus fruit lead into a dry finish.

Medium-bodied, dry mouthfeel.

A great bitter (but not over the top) IPA that is very easily drinkable and quite enjoyable. I could easily enjoy several of these in one session.

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Photo of israel
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into my ommegang tulip; thanks RustyDiamond

A- pours a beautiful golden amber that reminds me of prehistoric petrified amber when held up to the light. Upon initial pour there was a two finger head that held out for a little while but diminished to just a thin layer along with some nice lacing.

S - I smell fruit in this kinda like a mango fragrance coming from the hops.

T - this is a pretty fruity IPA and not very heavy on the bitter side; which is a nice change from the everyday overly hopped IPA's.

M- light to medium body with decent carbonation and a bit of residual sugar in the aftertaste.

D- this tasted great on the fourth of july which was sunny and warm, and I would have liked to have a few more of these. very easy drinking.

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Photo of JDV
3.06/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from robbmotiwalla. Thanks!
Pours an attractive medium to rich amber with an offwhite head that hangs around for a bit. Smell is fruity and earthy hops. Perhaps some light citrusy quality. Flavor is thin and mildly bittered up front, while the body is average. Light malt backing and it needed more hops for my taste. Kind of hop tea like, I thought. Not bad, but not one of my preferred IPAs.

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Photo of gabeerfan
3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish amber with a nice head that fell to to a thin cap.
First aroma was of fresh cut grass and pine. Some citrus notes. More malts than the Sierra Nevada Torpedo I had right before this. Caramely sweet aroma.
Taste was similar to the aroma. Fresh cut grass and pine, grapefruit/tangerine rind, and caramel malts. The hops seemed to calm down as the beer warmed a bit. It was served at the correct temp, but seemed to improve as it warmed anyway.
Medium-full mouthfeel. I know, a bit of a contradiction, but the malts really helped smooth out the hops. Finished dry. Good carbonation.
Fairly drinkable. Too high in ABV to be truly sessionable and the sharp hop flavors can tire the palate after a couple.
Good West Coast-style IPA from the South. Not my favorite offering from Sweetwater, but woudn't turn it down if offered.

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Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 3,390 ratings.
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