Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale | SweetWater Brewing Company

762 Reviews
Read the review
Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale AleSweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale

Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company
Georgia, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-29-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 762 | Ratings: 3,561
Photo of Bigskyjim
4.04/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For an IPA guy, this tastes good but is not Sweetwater IPA; it might be a better choice for an afternoon cookout where more than 1 or 2 beers will be enjoyed; as your beer or 2 for the evening, I would pick the IPA; Sweetwater is a great craft beer choice

 255 characters

Photo of snaotheus
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

16oz can served in a can-shaped glass. "Best If Enjoyed By 2017-04-18". Given to me by the generous @mr-jj.

Pours clear palish yellow with a moderately large pale coarse head that fades 3/4 pretty quickly, and then is sustained by pretty hefty quantities of carbonation. Smell is bright and fresh, lemony, a little pine.

Taste is moderately sweet, lots of pine and a little honey. Still a little lemon, but more of the bitter rind than the sour flesh.

Mouthfeel is very crisp and dry. Overall, it's a pretty good pale ale.

 536 characters

Photo of Act25
3.49/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

APA is my favorite style. (Dales). This one is mostly good but has a slightly "off" flavor.

A) A finger of white head on a clear yellow body with low retention but good, dotty lace.

S) Spicy and herbal hops atop a light malt aroma. Herb garden.

T) Spicy and herbal hops, caramel malt, toast, nuts, and a slightly herbal/sour note that's a bit "off".

M) Light to medium body, medium carbonation, and a dryer finish. Slightly sluggish on tongue.

O) Not as clean and mineral as I like them (it's the water). Average APA.

 526 characters

Photo of maddogruss
3.54/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: pours hazy golden body with small white head with nice retention and lacing
S: sweet floral smell with some biscuits notes
T: earthy and floral notes with a subtle biscuity aftertaste
M: smooth and pretty crisp
D: nice mouthfeel and taste combination; nice session pale ale

 277 characters

Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
3.84/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle (Exp. date 05/09/17) ,into a Cigar City pint glass.Second beer sampled from a Spring Variety Pack.

Thick fluffy soapy white colored head with moderate retention and sticky lacing,that stands 2 fingers tall.Hazy gold colored body with distorted light showing through the glass,and moderate sediment.Light carbonation.

On the nose I get sweet breaded malt notes,with light citrusy hops to back it up.Small hints of piney hops,and earthy malts as well.Not a very big nose,but a pleasant aroma nonetheless.

On the palate I get bright citrus notes,orange peel,and grapefruit up front,sweet breaded malts in the middle,and some mild piney hops,and spices on the back end.Getting some lemongrass in there too.Definitely has an earthy flavor all the way through the sip.

The mouth feel is light,with a slightly dry finish,and a chalky texture.Mild oxidation on the tongue.

This is a pretty decent Pale Ale.Nothing out of this world,but a good solid brew.Would recommend at least a one time try,and would drink again.

 1,040 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Champagne blonde with lively streamer and puffy white head. 4
Hints of herb + lemon but mostly crackery lager grain. 3.75
Saltines, then overripe grapefruit, pine needle, lime, and coriander. 4
Long salty, tart linger.
Light, crisp, slightly oily. 3.75

I understand now why this is both so popular + so low-rated: it’s an IPL. Though more honest to call it an English blonde: light body + aroma forward, juicy but insubstantial compared to a fully hopped APA. There’s something that reminds me of margaritas about the finish. Never going to step to St Lupulin (or, at 5.7%, Jarl either) but it must kill in 90 degree weather. 4.25

 636 characters

Photo of Thomas_Wikman
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is an inexpensive but still good pale ale I’ve enjoyed many time

Look: cloudy amber or apple juice color with a thin white head.

Aroma: Some pine and citrus

Taste: Fruity, citrus, piney hops. It is pretty good.

Feel: light body with some carbonation

 260 characters

Photo of joekoz007
3.79/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On draft at the Atlanta airport Gordon Biersch into a pint glass.
Appearance is clear and gold with 1 finger of off white head and some lacing.
Aroma was slight with some light citrus and pine notes.
Tastes better than I thought it would. Nice hop bite at the start and finish with some cracker malt in th middle.
Well carbonated with a somewhat prickly mouthfeel.
Overall, the best beer that I have had from Sweetwater. Will drink again.

 442 characters

Photo of hopflyer
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had in Disney Epcot. Poured light orange with one finger head. nose was fruity. Taste was sweet cream blended with orange and tangerine. A touch of pine and sweetness backs off some to a deeper maltiness as it warms a bit Feel was a bit creamy but finished pretty clean. Had a sort of hoppy cream ale character. Pretty nice.

 331 characters

Photo of stakem
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle into a snifter appears clear copper with a white cap.

Aroma is citrus hops, slightly fruity with alcohol and neutral maltiness.

Taste is decent balance between fruity hops/alcohol and cereal grain sweetness. There is almost a pink bubblegum flavor to this before grassy bitterness fills out the finish.

Light in body with modest carbonation. Not bad.

 361 characters

Photo of puck1225
3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Cloudy golden yellow with a good but short lived head, decent lacing. Subdued bready smell. The taste is ok but not remarkable, a bit of bitterness.

 185 characters

Photo of txmilligan
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New addition at the store, so why not? Good pour, nice head, a bit dull in color. Still, cloudy gold looks appetizing. Strong, inviting aroma, fruity overtones. Tasty bitterness but a less than robust flavor. a bit of spice comes through. No noticeable aftertaste. A good beer.

 277 characters

Photo of mattroc000
1.43/5  rDev -60.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.5

This is the worst beer I've had to date (09-25-16). It worked well in using it for cooking pancakes, but besides cooking, I would never get it again. It has a strong, bitter kick of many conflicting flavours from the beginning. While drinking, as well as the aftertaste, it is very acidic!

 289 characters

Photo of MacMalt
3.69/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

About 2 months old when consumed. Poured into pint glass. It pours a clear, golden-straw color with two fingers of bright white head and lacing with excellent retention. Not much of a smell: bready malt and faint hops. The taste features grass, lemon peel, and some sweet malt. It's medium-bodied and, in fact, fairly creamy for an APA, nicely carbonated, and with an ABV of 5.4% it is super-drinkable. Overall, it's a solid APA. I'd like to try it on draught.

 463 characters

Photo of singletary
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

It pours a nice Cooper color with a nice head. Smell is of hops and the taste is of hops but not overloaded with a hoppy taste. The feel is good a solid drink.

 160 characters

Photo of jasadewi
3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Dark yellow color with nice white lacing down the glass.
S: Very faint hop smell.
T: Mildly hoppy, with little supporting tastes.
M: Light bodied.
O: Another decently good Sweetwater product.

 194 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Best before date of 11/23/16

Appearance - Pours slightly hazy and dull gold in color with a quarter finger, off-white head that quickly fades to a thin, broken layer of surface suds.

Smell - Kinda smells like lemon cake. Hint of soapiness too.

Taste - Fairly bland flavor. Mild lemon. Mild breadiness. Faint grain. Favors fade quickly and don't leave much of a finish, much less an aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with fair carbonation. Slick, slightly silky texture gives this a smooth

Overall - Fair drinker, but mostly this is a pretty weak flavored pale. I know they can do better than this. It may be time to retire it and come out with an APA that has actual something that'll actually excite the taste buds, because this doesn't do it.

 754 characters

Photo of grawp57
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Had it at Chili's, no idea what it was. Clear and light in the glass with a nice head. Aroma is pleasant, but nondescript. Smooth on the tongue and easy on the palate. Very tasty, one of the better pale ales I have had in a long time.

 234 characters

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

Had this once or twice before when it was something out of the way to get, but now that I see it's in TX I'll try it again.
I recall it being a light pale ale with subtle flavor, and that's what it still is. Golden copper beer is on the thin-bodied side, light to moderately carbonated with a faint hop/ fruit aroma. Barely there.
Taste is basic pale ale, and not bad at all considering. It's just a hint of lemon/ citrus peel, and very light/ somewhat sweet malts. It is somewhat crisp.
Really it's like having a rough sketch-pad of a good APA before it's finalized. A good start, but lacking edits and necessary filling-in the blanks.
It's something I'd drink again after mowing the lawn, if it were in the fridge.
But aside from that, I'm not seeking it out for its flavor, which is lacking.

 803 characters

Photo of PASTOR_at_DAChurch_of_IPA
4.64/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Sweetwater 420, brewed in the batcave, is the headiest of southern brews. The 420 has the feel of an IPA with a mildly extra sweet character and subtle headiness.

 163 characters

Photo of ajm5108
2.75/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

What you'd expect from a shelf pale ale, it has a good balance between the hops & the malt but none of the flavors really stand-out beyond a little bit of grapefruit peel / citrus.

 180 characters

Photo of dsa7783
3.39/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Single bottle copped at Total Wine and More. Basically, your average, run-of-the-mill pale ale. Nothing special. Pours a copper hue with minimal head. Faint notes of grapefruit linger here and there. Smooth, refreshing taste. Decent.

 233 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap. I enjoyed this beer. It is a West Coast Pale Ale. Plenty hoppy but not as aggressive as it's bigger brothers. Smells and tastes grassy and citrusy. It never overwhelms. Drinkable. I had several if these in Georgia. My preferred beer.

 241 characters

Photo of Beerwithoutallthehops
1.22/5  rDev -66.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

I continue my tastings of hops-overloaded "beers".

This beer has all hops and no malts. Another reviewer wrote that the malt was noticeable.

No they are not. All I smelled and tasted was hops. Typical USA hopfest. Craft? Nope, just hops 24/7.

Another reviewer wrote that it tasted astringent. Excellent word choice. I could not determine the best description for the aftertaste, but astringent is more than close enough.

The aftertaste reminds me of how hospitals smell.

The hops batter your mouth until it is unconscious, then the astringent aftertaste kicks it into the gutter.

Typical USA "craft" - hops, hops, hops, hops, hops, hops and some hops. Hmmm, repetitive?


How did Germany ever learn to maker beer without all these USA hops geniuses???????????

Because they stayed with what works, not what is popular and the fad of the hour/month/year.

Germany also gives us BMW and Benz. Gosh, we better tell them that those "old" ideas will never sell today.

Really? MB just had their 10 or 12 th straight record year. I think they know what works.

Please, insert your WWII insult at this point. Great, thanks.

I will not be buying this hopsfest ever again. Thanks for the attempt Sweetwater, but it aint working for me.

All those who like this? Enjoy a few more. My hat is off to ya. This aint for me.

 1,339 characters

Photo of omahawk
4.01/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A really enjoyable American Pale Ale. Crisp, yet subtle hop bitterness. Nothing but drinkable. A perfect sessionable pale ale reminiscent of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

 164 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
3.64 out of 5 based on 3,561 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.