Sweetwater Road Trip | SweetWater Brewing Company

161 Reviews
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Sweetwater Road TripSweetwater Road Trip

Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company
Georgia, United States

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bikini Season – a fiery Pilsner fermented at ale temperatures for a fuller flavor, capped by and intense spicy-hop finish. Nobody Rides for Free
Specs – 5.7% alcohol available in six packs, Liter bottles, 15.5 Gallon ½ bbl kegs (US Sankey) and 5 gallon torpedo kegs.
Grain – Pilsner and Vienna Malt
Hops – Sterling and US Golding
Available – March through May

Added by CNeilP09 on 05-09-2007

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Reviews: 161 | Ratings: 526
Photo of CampusCrew
4.53/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

update: one of their best beers old world pilsner flavors meets the big bad hops.

appearance: Deep pale yellow

smell: high hoppness

taste: loaded with hops and right on target with a double pilsner

mouthfeel: light and full of flavor

drinkability: If you like strong hops beers than you like this. It's a lighter alternative to a Pale ale.

I was really impressed and I liked the story on how it was made on the bottle, clever....

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Photo of generalnotsew
4.49/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a decent head however is was pretty weak and died quickly. Coloring is light yellow that I didn't expect at first but now I see this is a pilsner thinking it was a pale ale. Smell is sweet and slightly citrusy. I always have trouble picking up what to describe the sweentess as in lagers and pilsners. I guess corn? Anyways has quite a nice pilsner smell. Taste is sharp and pleasantly bitter. Has a nice underlined sweetness in the aftertaste. Is this beer a hybrid? The label kind of suggested it was. But it really does have a pale ale quality to it. One of the more flavorful Pilsners I have encountered. Carbonation is cranked up pretty high but I actually like it in this style. This beer is solid! Hats off to Sweetwater for making such a tasty pilsner for the summer.

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Photo of Bonhoeffer
4.43/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer doesn't just use any old ale yeast. I am convinced it is a Belgian yeast. It has that Belgian spicy twang to it. IMO, it's brilliant. Take a pilsner grain and hop bill and throw in a Belgian pale ale yeast? Excellent twist, and thank God for something different available in Alabama right now. If it weren't for the occasional interesting beer coming out of Sweetwater or Terrapin, i'd be in the funny farm.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.33/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out mostly like a Pilsner for sure, with a pale clear body and lots of carbonation. However, unlike the lagers from Bohemia, this one seemed to have no trouble forming and holding a pillowy, and foamy head. The aroma was spicy which I presume was due to use of Saaz hops. There was very slight hint of DMS in the form of cooked corn, but it did not smell out of place for a fresh Pilsner. The taste was softer than a Pilsner, with lingering sweetness that was very pleasing. The hops were present the form of a mineralized backbone. The mouthfeel was creamy and soft. It was hard to shoehorn this into a style, but I'd put it somewhere between a Strong Ale, Cream Ale, and Pilsner. No ABV listed on the label, but the alcohol was not a big factor, so I would venture a guess at this being in the neighborhood of 5-6%. Very easy to drink, with no flaws found in any department, which I'd say is a pretty damn good piece of work considering the major departure from the original recipe.

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Photo of ruckzuck
4.27/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok this review isn't really going to be representative of people's experiences, but I'm putting it in anyway.

There was a firkin of this for the BSP 11th anniversary. I think very few people liked it, but I loved it. It was dryhopped with centennial and simcoe hops, but instead of using the little bags they just tossed them in there. That's right, little hop leaves were floating in the beer. Delicious!

A - looks like thick, soupy orange juice with pulp. Nearly no head to speak of. Little green leaves floating in it. Certainly looks different

S - OMG what a hop blast up the nose. Massive piney and floral hop aroma. So fresh smelling

T - again, OMG. HOP BLAST. All I can taste is delicious hoppiness here with the centennial and simcoe really showing up. It almost burned my lips going across. Woo! A hophead's (yes, I have the shirt) dream

M - very smooth and a great aftertaste. No carbonation to speak of really

D - dear Lord! I could've drank the hell out of this all evening, but unfortunately I had to leave after one glass. I certainly enjoyed swallowing all those hops

As I said, this isn't representative of anyone's experiences, and I believe the Sweetwater dudes thought it should've laid down for a bit longer before serving it, but whatever. I totally liked it!

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.27/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Road Trip pours crystal clear with a bright golden hue. The head is snow-white and dense and the aroma is dominated by noble hops. The hops (Saaz?) dominate the tongue as you sip this beer but do not completely overwhelm the malt. The mouth is not crisp like a pilsner but softer and creamier (I'm guessing from the ale yeast...). To call this a double pilsner is incorrect; it's what may be the world's first Imperial Cream Ale! (The extreme beer movement's next logical step...) I have a soft spot for a good cream ale so this beer is right up my alley.

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Photo of DrinkinBoy
4.17/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Road Trip poured a light gold, with a bright white head with good retention.

The smell was extremely strong with the scent of hops.

Its taste was very crisp with a great kick the moment it hits the mouth. The taste is nicely hoppy.

The carbonation mixes good with the hops to give it a good pilsner bite.

Road Trip is an interesting tasting beer, but it although it taste is unique it is easy to drink.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.11/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. Label says Best if Enjoyed by 07/22/13.

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that doesn't retain long before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a sheer sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing.

S- Refreshing aroma of light hops and bready malt.

T- Surprisingly firm hop bite of the earthy variety and a decent amount of malt backbone. Very drinkable and enjoyable.

M- Very crisp and semi-sharp. Medium carbonation and a lightish body.

O- A very straightforward and simple, yet impressive pils.

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Photo of tdm168
4.08/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pure golden yellow with a quarter of an inch of dense, soft, foamy, white head that has great retention. The nose is grassy, straw-like, and has a faint lemony aroma. The flavor is straw-like, grassy, lemony, earthy, and mildly bitter. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, smooth, and lightly carbonated.

This is a nice, easy drinking pilsner; perfect for the southern spring weather. It's flavorful enough to keep you interested but also light enough to be sessionable.

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Photo of bort11
4.07/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to meechum for this extra!

12 oz bottle poured into my Sweetwater 420 hefe glass. Nice pilsner-y white head that stands a fingers width and leaves a spotty lacing on the glass. Color is a golden yellow with very active carbonation.
Smell is very grassy and green. Taste still has a grassy hops melded with a mild biscuity malts. Finish has a spicy back bite. A slight apple-like after taste.
Mouthfeel is very crisp and clean. ABV is not listed, but I'm guessing about a 6-7%. Very good!

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Photo of Jadjunk
4.06/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

"Road trips are carefree adventures that usually take unexpected twists, like when we crafted this beer. It started out as a pilsner recipe, but halfway through it blew a tire and ale yeast was put on as the spare. The result was so good, it never could have been planned!" Brewed in the style of a German Pilsner/Ale. Released as SweetWater's Spring/Summer Ale release.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass served north of º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a thick creamy white head with good retention over a slightly hazy golden yellow body. Lacing is thin and streaked. Carbonation is plentiful. Appearance is solid for the style. 4

(Smell) A clean pale malt base with a mild grassy hop character. No offensive adjunct aromas here. Mild aroma overall; the beer is not very potent but approachable and smells enjoyable. 3.5

(Taste) Tasty pilsener malt flavor is a key element to this beer. It's simple and enjoyable overall- clean, a touch tart, but with a sufficient body of flavor. Crisp, grassy hop bitterness on the end accents a mild dry finish. Highly quaffable, very enjoyable. 4.25

(Mouthfeel) Light carbonation, really ideal for the style. Texture is very mildly chewy with a touch of biscuit malt and a very mild dry finish. Body is a well-balanced with a subtle sweetness and moderate bitterness to pair, alcohol is well concealed. Ideal pairing, no notable texture or body flaws that I can find. 4.75

(Overall) Local pilsner beers are somewhat of a rarity these days and SweetWater proves that these deserve much more recognition than they receive. Amongst German Pilsners, this one has a lot of flavor and character and is one of my go-to beer choices for a light option during the spring months. 4

SweetWater Brewing Company's
Road Trip Ale


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Photo of beer2day
4.05/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Light gold, very light gold, with decent 1-finger white fluffy head. Moderate retention. Thin lace. For the style, very attractive. Still can't get used to the color though.

Lemongrass, wheat, straw, and a light spiciness round out the nose. Again, very presentable for the style.

A bit of lemon greets you as you take the first sip. Light bready malt fills the middle and a bit of pepper finishes things out. Nice crisp feel, not too light bodied for the style.

Well done. Pretty good hot weather drinker.

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Photo of CNeilP09
4.05/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

road trip ale is a seasonal ale by sweetwater brewery. it tastes like a typical german pilsener, but it's different. has it's own personality. the bottle says they added some ale yeast to it. very good beer. it's going to be great for those hot summer days ahead.
the beer looks like budweiser or any other pale gold beer out there. not much for a head, i couldn't really pick up much of a nose on it. drank great though. nice session beer.

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Photo of BitterPachyderm
4.04/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from Gilly (drink before 8/10/09) poured into a pilsner glass...

Two finger white head...sticky lacing with some good head retention. Hazy pale yellow body...very blah.

Lemon zest up front with loads of sweet grass...slight grain in the back...very clean in the nose...much better than the appearance!

Sweet grass dominates the forefront with a clean lemon finish. Biscuity throughout...crisp.

Solid carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. A bit thick and oily at times, which could be the cause for some concern...

Alcohol is hidden very well and it is quite refreshing...

This didn't really seem all that imperial in my book. A decent brew, but not exactly one that seems to fit the bill for this style...kind of a one and done for me (but if someone offered it, I would most certainly not turn it down!).

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Photo of 0tt0
4.04/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, best by 08/06/07, poured into one of the new Sam Adams glasses (no pils glasses on hand, unfortunately).

Enjoyed this one on my back porch. Beer pours a golden straw color that's somewhat hazy at the top of the glass. I soon discover this has more to due with the 80 degree heat than the characteristics of the beer. Lots of carbonations bubbles float to the top, where sits a very loose one-inch head of very large bubbles. Looks like a run-of-the-mill pilsner. The nose, however, is something different all together. Had I not read the label to discover this a pilsner hybrid brewed with ale yeast, I still would've known something was up from the nose. It smells like a pilsner, but there is something unique about the aroma that I can't quite put my finer on. There is a big biscuity malt smell present. Whatever it is, its appetizing to say the least. The taste is a quick snap of hop bitterness, not overwhelming, but perhaps a bit more than, say, a Pilsner Urquell. This gives way to a long, biscuity middle before fading into a dry, crisp, clean finish. The aftertaste is pretty long and dominated by a citrus note. Pretty tasty. Mouthfeel is thin, but that seems to be the aim. All things considered, this is a pretty exceptional summertime beer. Great for a ball game or hanging out by the pool. Its clean, extremely easy drinking, and flavorful. I'm sure some hopheads might find it to weak or dull, but this is indeed a session beer and a refreshing one at that. I will be hitting this one up again very soon.

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Photo of beveritt
4.03/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Shaker pint glass. Label is typical of Sweetwater. Label describes the beer as a pilsner recipe using ale yeast. Best by 07/19/10.

Appearance: Pours with 2 fingers of nearly white head. This settles slowly to a quarter inch coating with lacing extended part-way up the sides. The beer itself is bright yellow and crystal clear with plenty of activity. No sediment remains in the bottle.

Smell: Slight nose of medium bitterness hops with vegetal undertones and hints of lemon.

Taste: Mild citrus upfront, lemon-lime, reminiscent of a Sprite. Honey-lemon mid palate, finishing with a medium and long lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level with plenty of "spritz." Body is good.

Drinkability: Flavorful yet easy drinking. A good example of what this beer could beer instead of what you often see it becoming in the world of macros.

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Photo of daliandragon
4.01/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I hope to be taking a road trip in a few weeks time so this seemed like a good choice, even if american made pilsners are usually not special. This looks different and fresh to me, with a bright yellow color and oodles of white head that quickly transitions to impressive lace. Nose is citrus and noble hops.

I am noticing the yeast discrepancy and the overall feel is thicker than a typical pilsner. Plenty of hop flavor, with a controlled bitterness clear through to the aftertaste. Some mellow sweetness, but this is all about the old world hops, which are really loaded on.

This is flavorful and a bit off kilter for the style, and I like it a lot. I could see banging these back on a hot summer afternoon.

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Photo of John1985
4.01/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ale pours a cloudy yellow with a white two finger head. Pleasant herbal hop aroma. Brisk hop forward taste balanced nicely with bready malts and a crisp aftertaste. Very refreshing, quenching summer ale. Not sure if it is a true pilsner but I enjoyed this very much.

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

(Poured in a nonic)
Thanks to gunnerman for this beer best before 8/10/09 (and opened before that)
A- This beer pours a clear but very dense tangerine body with a snow white head that is bubble and is supported by a sea of micro-bubbles.
S- This beer has a soft musty but more fruity note to the raw barley and pale malt aroma. There is a field corn note that comes through as the beer warms. There is a green lemon hop hint that is slightly sulfury in the finish.
T- This beer has a soft mellow sulfury note with a light lemon hop quality. There is a pale honey malt note that turns a bit dryer as it warms.
D- This beer has some nice lager qualities that keep this beer mellow and smooth with some nice fruity ale hints as well. There is a nice flavor as the beer is cool but when it warms there is a bit of the bitey sulfur and field corn that comes through.

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

Poured from 12oz bottle. Thanks for the beer betsona!

A- Pours a semi-hazed golden straw yellow color. Two finger white head shows medium retention. Nice streaks of lace all over the walls of the glass.

S- The aroma was quite simple which I expected it to be. Pretty much from the get go there was a nice pils malt base with hints of grain to it. Light earthy grassy hops come in the ending and add a little extra to the aroma. Everything was light but not muted. Alcohol was also crisp and I liked it.

T- Pils malt right off the bat with hints of pepper in the mix. Middle shows a little grain bill to it but nothing that is screaming adjuncts to it. Ending is more of the clean pils malt with a fresh grassy hop that is light but balanced out the beer nice. Alcohol is crisp, clean, and light in the ending.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Pils malt, light pepper, and grassy hops are left on the palate. Aftertaste is light alcohol, pils malt, and grassy hops. Well balanced for the style. No off flavors at all in the beer. Light alcohol drying on the palate.

O- This beer was a very nice simple pilsner. I enjoyed the fact that they didn't overdo the hopping this which lead it to be a very clean and easy drinking beer. Sweetwater I think has a balance on making both easy drinking beers along with huge over the top beers.

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Photo of STKPICR0720
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great brew. Not as bitter as I expected. Clean finish easily could finish a 6-pack on any given day. This brew has just enough bite to keep you on your toes. Sweetwater has yet to come out with a brew IMO where you say well it is sorta like... they are all different from each other. Another great brew from the best brewery in the south. Keep them coming guys

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a golden yellow color and a totally clear consistency. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head and good lacing.

S: A decent, earthy aroma of hops, malt and a little citrus.

T: Tasted of hops, a good maltiness, and some lemon. Pretty well done and flavorful.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Light-bodied.

D: As far as standard pilsners go, this one is definitely drinkable.

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

Finally got around to this last bottle from my sixer I purchased about 6 months ago. Age has not hurt this beer at all. While I've not tried "cellaring" any beer, I find this bottle to have benefited from some time in my bedroom. This beer has the typical straw yellow color associated with the pilsner style. The taste is very nice with that unique grassy flavor. In my opinion, this beer is as good as Victory Prima Pilsner. Try it.

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Photo of MSchae1017
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from the 12oz bottle.

The beer pours a hazy gold with a frothy bone white head that leaves a nice film and a bit of lace. The aroma is full of bready malts along with spicy and floral hops. The flavor has a subtle malty sweetness but is dominated by spicy and floral hops normally found in a German Pils. The mouthfeel sports a light-medium body with effervescent carbonation. Overall, its kind of an American Pale Ale/Blonde ale with German hops. I find it to be an enjoyable and refreshing summer seasonal with enough hop bitterness to please.

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Photo of israel
3.98/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to cashew70 for this beer
poured into a ommegang tulip

A - pours a nice golden yellow with a decent white head.Lots of tiny bubbles coming to the surface. Color seems a bit dark, looks more like a pale ale, but it is an american double so there is no real standard.

S - aroma is faint noble hops in my estimation and really dosn't give to much away.

T - flavor is what you might expect from an imperial pilsner but perhaps a bit reserved. Slight malt flavor but not much with a nice clean hop profie.

M- clean crisp and effervescing...

D - the drinkability is very high for the hot summer months and if anything this beer seems like a good representation of what beer may have tasted like before prohibition and before the big boys took over with their mass produced rice beers.

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Sweetwater Road Trip from SweetWater Brewing Company
3.55 out of 5 based on 526 ratings.
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