Sweetwater Road Trip | SweetWater Brewing Company

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Sweetwater Road TripSweetwater Road Trip
526 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 526 |  Reviews: 161
Photo of Sammy
3.56/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A blonde with saaz hops. Starts neutral creamy, bitterness is understated, grassy and there's a little cutrus. Mouthfeel is above average and creamy. Its sessionable, its smooth drinking beverage, and it should appeal to lots of people. Creamy cloudy yellow.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Single finger, frothy, rapidly dissipating head with hazy golden color.

S: Very earthy. some malty and grainy aromas. Not getting the sweet smells others describe.

T: Taste follows the flavor with a very earthy hop taste. Mild bitterness in the aftertaste. Pepper notes.

M: Libght bodied with moderate carbonation. Thicker than a typical pilsner

Overall: This beer blurs the outer boundaries of what I am familiar with for a pilsner. I like that it is different, especially since I am not as much of a pilsner fan, it mixes things up.

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Photo of Texasfan549
3.32/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of spycow
3.42/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.75/5  rDev +9%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

its time for the megalithic brewers to take notice. There's some really great German-style beers being made in American and none of those come from mega-marketing brands. Sweetwater is one of those doing it right with full German lager maltiness, ale-like completeness, spicy hops and a rich body to pull it all together.

Sweetwater's Road Trip takes the taste buds and olfactory sense on quite a journey of Northern German taste, starting with a deep and juicy pilsner malt character- bready, cookie-dough sweetness and peps of grain and husk give the early impressions a sense of rustic and refinement.

What follows is a spicy display that hovers over the middle. Floral hops trend spicy with elements of lemongrass, honeysuckle, straw and the aroma of a freshly mown lawn. Even as the common lager fruit of apple, lemon and pear play out in nearly estery tones, the bulk of taste is still commanded by those bready-sweet malts.

Closing with growing hop spice, the hybrid beer's stemmy and leafy character is greeted with mild sulfurs that highlight those apple tones late. A flinty mineral character ensures crispness and snappy texture as the lager finishes, just in case the hops didn't dry the taste adequately.

And with that full golden haze, one thing's for sure- Sweetwater isn't about to over filter the beer for eye appeal when the removal of its cloudiness would also remove flavor. After all, taste appeal wins in the end!

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Photo of brentk56
3.66/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a thick white head that leaves sheets of lace

Smell: Slightly floral, with bready undertones; some grassiness as well

Taste: Opens with bready malt flavors supporting a slight lemongrass hop flavor that develops in intensity by mid-palate; the finish is slightly sweet and fruity rather than crisp

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Refreshing, but lacks the noble hop intensity of a true pilsener

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Photo of mothman
3.75/5  rDev +9%

Photo of dbrauneis
3.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy golden yellow in color with some fine particulates in suspension, a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation, and some faint slightly apricot colored highlights. The beer has a half finger tall fizzy off-white head that quickly reduces to a small patch of extremely thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of bready malts with some lighter hints of earthy hops.

T: Similar to the smell, the beer starts out with a moderately strong malt body with bready flavors which is followed by some light flavors of earthy hops. Light amounts of bitterness which fades almost instantly.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly crisp.

O: It did not look like what I expected for the style (I expected it to be clear, practically crystal clear) but it was easy to drink and would be a nice beer to enjoy at a cook out during the summer.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I once had a discussion with Michael Jackson (the bearded one, not the gloved one) about tasting beers stylistically vs. hedonistically. Basically the conclusion that we came to is who cares about the style? What really matters is simply how the beer tastes. Well I looked at the label for Road Trip and didn't see anything about style. I didn't bother to actually read the writing to the side that explained it, I just poured it and figured I'd figure it out. It was golden. OK. Slightly hazy. OK. Smelled a touch spicy. OK. I figured it was a witbier. But it wasn't. It was very dry. Not brashly bitter, but assertive for sure. There was a bit of fruitiness to it... kind of like grapefruit. And a subtle tartness in the background. I teetered. I kind of liked it, kind of didn't. I supposed I could take it or leave it, which basically means I'd leave it. Then I read the label, noting that it was intended as a pilsner and changed my opinion of the beer completely. I just didn't see it as a pilsner with an ale yeast. It seemed like American hops were used. Or maybe it was a bad bottle or off batch (it was within code). Hmmmm. How easily we're influenced. So, taking a step back, I can say that hedonistically I didn't really dig it. It was OK. I think it would go great at a back-yard barbeque. I might have one at a bar. But otherwise I wouldn't go for it. Just my opinion.

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Photo of jlindros
3.31/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to JonnyGalt (Reddit) for this interesting beer. Best by 7/23/12... oops, looks like it's been in the fridge a bit too long, although I don't think I've had it THAT long, so it may have arrived a bit past its prime as well, so I'll have to take that into consideration.

Pours a light fizzy pasty white almost 1 finger head that fades at a med pace, with some soapy looking lacing, over clear slight chill hazed golden straw honey colored beer.

Nose has a light toasted malt, light straw and pilsner toasty malt with a touch of sweet malt, overall fairly light on the nose, light ale aroma, fairly clean with a touch of what could possibly be described as a hop aroma.

Taste starts with a big malt wallop, some pilsner, almost overly malted, vegetative, earthy raw malt straw and a bit of wheat, almost imperial pilsner like flavor that gets too much for the beer. There are some flavors that almost make it want to seem like unhappy yeast, light esters and a slight phenol like flavor. Then hops, that's where the herbal vegetative flavor is coming from, herbal earthy hops, a light sticky sweetness through all that, and a light fruity flavor probably from the yeast esters. Finish is fairly bitter with more earthy like hops, little grassy as well, with some light over done pilsner flavor again.

Mouth is med to lighter bodied, decent carb.

overall not quite my cup of tea. It's more like Americanized pilsner halfway between regular ale version of a pilsner and imperial pilsner, overdone in most of the things it tried to do. Not sure how much of that is age as it seems overdone and not attenuated too much on anything, maybe hops. I'll take most of the flavors with a grain of salt as it is a bit older, but still not a great beer IMO.

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Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pilsner style beer with an ale yeast,hmm now thats different.Poured lighter lemony yellow with a fluffy egg shell colored one finger white head that left broken lace as it settled into a creamy mass.A mix of toasted bread dough with a bit of sweetness and iron/mineral,very pilsner-like.Flavors are crisp with that doughy character,a nice shot of herbal hop gives a nice spicy smack in the finish.A different kind of hybrid thats pretty good,I would buy again.

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Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of jgunther71
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of smcolw
3.87/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Small and short-lasting head, slightly cloudy. Golden color.

Sweet and malty aroma. Some floral hop in the nose as well. Overall, pretty well balanced.

Nowhere on the bottle was the style indicated...I was surprised to see Double Pilsner listed here as this beer reminded me of a traditional American Pale Ale with excellent hop bite and good malt balance. What it doesn't have is the crisp body I associate with lagers.

If this truly a double pilsner, it misses the mark. But frankly, I think it is very flavorful and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Thanks go to Barscream for this bottle.

Pours a hazy pale gold, with a finger of brite-white froth. Retains with a thin layer of wispy foam, which leaves some decent looking spotty lacing back. The aroma has a heavier stickiness to it, of bready Pils malt and just a touch of citrus. Grass and spice add some hop presence to the nose.

The taste is grainy malt sweetness, with some zippy feeling spicy bitterness that firms the profile up nicely, leaving some steady lingering dryness in the finish. I also need to mention that as this warms, I'm detecting a smokey toastiness emerging from the malts, that adds an extra pleasant layer of complexity to this. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a certain amount of cripsness to it, that sits on top of a much mellower and creamy feel underneath. I'm not picking up any alcohol at all. Quite drinkable overall.

All around solid little offering here from Sweetwater, with a surprising bit of depth in the taste (for a Pilsner anyway). Tasty and quaffable. Perfect for summer imbibing.

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Photo of atrocity
3/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of nathanmiller
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.83/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, effervescent-looking gold body with a thinnish, though creamy white head.

Smell: A funky, musky yeastinss quickly hurried behind a curtain of soapy, grassy hop notes and hints of biscuits.

Taste: A real mishmash of flavors here. Sweet bready malts, a splash of watered down grapefruit juice, grass, and a squirt or two of industrial-strength handsoap. Quick finish with a touch of slickness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Slightly slick mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: This beer didn't come together for me at all. So far, these Sweetwater "Catch & Release" beers are 0 for 2 with me. Release! Release!!

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Photo of Jason
3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle w/ a freshness date on the label.

Quick head rises to the top, bright golden yellow lays on the lighter side of color. Hint of fresh herbs, wild flowers and faint apple mixes with dusty graininess in the nose. Crisp and clean palate, moderate sized body. Grainy and biscuity with a snap with intensifies for a second as the hop bitterness chimes in. Flavor soon fade into the finish, a dry lightly grainy finish at that.

A tasty hybrid brew of sorts, good substitute of there are no authentic pilsners available.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.6/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this one with dinner the other night. To be honest I had no idea it was a double, as I threw it down in a matter of minutes! Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 06/26/2009.

The pour was decent. Very clear golden straw in color with lots of carbonation bubbling up to the surface. A big head of white quickly faded but was replaced by a broken crown that clung to the sides of the glass. Aroma is light grain and hay, a touch of light piney hops as it warms, but nothing really bowling me over here. As you take a sip, it is very clean, very crisp, but does not have a terribly great depth of flavor. Light grain note, light bittering hops in the finish, but the flavor is fleeting and leaves the mouth dry and looking for a sip of something else very quickly. Most likely the reason this one went by soo quickly.

Overall not bad, and again for a double it went down like candy, but I am not sure I would pick one up again, not really intresting enough.

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Photo of tdm168
4.08/5  rDev +18.6%
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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Sweetwater Road Trip from SweetWater Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.44 out of 5 with 526 ratings