Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale | SweetWater Brewing Company

768 Reviews
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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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 768 | Ratings: 3,576
Reviews by joefuzz:
Photo of joefuzz
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Gift from BA grizzlyadam

Pours hazy gold with a small white head. Smell faintly of hops and some biscuit malt. Tastes is fairly hoppy for a session pale ale and a crisp finish. Mouthfeel and carbonation are just about perfect for a session beer. Overall amazing session beer, if this were avaliable in my area I would drink it non stop from april until october.

 362 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Bru-ster
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the can because it is fresher that way (no light damage and no oxygen head space) This is a beer I can enjoy. A cross between a pale ale and one of those hop frenzied IPA. Nice colr, nose and mouth feel. Dry flavor hints of malt and slight citrus hops flavor. One of my favorite ales since the 80's (the others Sierra Nevada Pale, Harpoon IPA, SA Rebel Ale)

 363 characters

Photo of santoslhalper
2/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearence: Pours a dull clear amber-yellow with no head. Perfect clairty, sparse carbonation.

Smell: Smells very malty, with almost no hop presence. Light smelling, with only hints of bread and yeast.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is weak. Very little hops, and all I can taste is a bread/corn flavor the doesn't do it for me. Nothing else. No complexity, not even tasty or flavorful. Light and boring tasting. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied.

Drinkability and Overall: I don't like it. I'm a fan of any Pale Ale, but an Extra Pale? What does that mean? Extra hops? Extra flavor? Nope. Extra weak.

Thanks, anyways, to rajendra82 for the bottle

 656 characters

Photo of Jayzilla513
1.88/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Dank. Almost smells as dank as Newcastle. It's pretty bitter (apa). Nothing special. Light color, light head, bitter smell. Glad I tried it, won't go out of my way to drink it.

 176 characters

Photo of ER527
2.82/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Where's the hops? Damn. Disappointing

37 characters

Photo of TheHeadyStandard
4.88/5  rDev +34.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sweetwater 420 is bitter and beautiful. One of the best beers Georgia has to offer, have drank way too many of these, if there is such a thing. Get this beer! No, like seriously, go get this beer if you haven't already.

 219 characters

Photo of Pantalones
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Re-reviewing since it's been a while; my previous scores were 3.5/4/4/3.75/4. The bottle I'm drinking and reviewing now has a best-by date of June 5th, 2016, which just happens to be my birthday. XD

Looks-wise, this is nicer than I remember -- a decent layer of white foam formed when pouring, and the color is a nice shiny dark-golden sort of thing. Not entirely clear, there's a bit of haziness to it (flashlight reveals that this is due to suspended particles floating about), and there's a good number of rising bubbles from the bottom. Foam shrinks to a thin layer on top within a couple minutes, leaving a few thicker spots and a thicker ring around the edges (with some trails on the side of the glass marking where it was when I first poured.) Leaves a whole lot of lacing behind on the inside of the glass as I drink more of the beer.

Smell is fairly mild, but what's there is pretty nice; piney-ish hops and a bit of a bread and bread-crustish malt background. Hops stand out much more than the malt, though (sometimes I can actually get a whiff of them before even moving my nose in to take a sniff), which is to be expected for an American-style pale ale.

Taste is similar to the smell, but with the malt having a bit more of a presence. Actually, everything seems to be more present in the flavor than the smell now that I think about it. Hops come through right away, but rather than just piney they're a nice pine/citrus blend. The hops blend into the malt after that, and it's a bit bready like the smell but also has a grainy, almost nutty-ish sort of quality to it along with the bread-crust thing, which definitely seems to add some depth to the malt. There is a slightly odd flavor in there too, not really noticeable until the aftertaste, but that isn't always present. There's some hop bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste as well, at least after the halfway mark, and it seems to overpower the slightly odd flavor that I can't quite identify. Overall this tastes pretty good, though it definitely comes across as a bit of a milder beer than when I first tried it -- fresher that time, or just my taste buds getting more used to hoppy beer over time?

The feel is pretty nice here -- it's very drinkable but doesn't feel too thin or watery, just light enough to drink through quickly while substantial enough to let you know that it's definitely a beer (and not a "lite/light" beer, either.) There's an interesting crispness to this that I don't get in every beer, almost makes it seem like it's very cold even when it's had some time out of the fridge and isn't actually that cold temperature-wise anymore.

Overall, while not as much of a "wow, this is really good!" beer as it was when I first tried it, this is still a nice beer that I'm glad I picked up again. Having it bottled rather than draft, it actually reminds me a good bit of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale -- maybe not *quite* as good, but it has some of its own unique little things that make it worth having every now and then. I'll have to have it on tap again at some point and see how draft/bottle versions compare with my current taste buds.

 3,148 characters

Photo of danielwoodrum
3.47/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I think 420 is a great session beer. It's readily available so that makes it easily to pair with a quick BBQ or pizza dinner, etc... That said its an awesome beer to join with such and not to bad to just go out and have one with the buddies. Why does beer have to meet a requirement of standards compared to the most hoppy or malty. It's a good and tasty beer, enjoy it for what it is, not what it isn't. Fuck the mentality that all beers and styles should taste like this or they suck.

 486 characters

Photo of oberon
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light hazy amber with a thin wispy head,aromas of biscuity malt and somewhat floral.Taste is well balanced some lightly sweet bicuit malt and a touch of grassy hop in the finish.A pretty easy quaffer nothing spectacular but a solid well rounded ale,nice toasted malt and a decent hop bittering.

 302 characters

Photo of mojohawk21
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This one poured a terrific-looking bright orange in color with a beautiful off-white head that came up brilliantly and left tons of film on the inside of my Snoqualmie Falls pint glass.

Smell – The hops are laid back. They seem to be a mix of light fruits and spices with a little bit of herbs thrown in. The grain is a fairly good size. It is extremely mellow and matches well with the hop profile.

Taste – The spritzy hops are a bit bigger at the taste. They are fruity with some herbal notes. The grain is in the background now but does a good job as the supporting cast.

Mouthfeel – This is a bit shy of medium-bodied but very smooth and fluffy in the cheeks. I especially enjoyed the carbonation to this one. It is live but at ease in the mouth.

Drinkability – Boy, talk about a session ale! This went down like silk.

Comments – I liked this better in the bottle than I did when I had it on-tap in Atlanta last year. A big heartfelt thanks to UncleFlip for including this in the WTF BIF.

 1,026 characters

Photo of Hoppin_mad
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of ExtraStout
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a golden amber color with a moderate light head which left a nice lacing along the glass.

The smell was high on the hops with the aroma consisting of citris fruits, as well as a slight caramel undertone.

The taste is fairly well balanced with hops and malts and is fairly sweet overall. The sweet taste holds throughout the tasting as there is amazingly little to no bitterness at all.

The mouthfeel is a little thin but the drinkability is very high as this beer goes down incredibly smooth.

Overall, this is a very drinkable APA and I could easily lose track of how many I've had.

 607 characters

Photo of chapsone
3.37/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Tiernan
3.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tbryan5
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of GameOfBeers
3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of woodchipper
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Andnkuhn
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a crystal clear amber gold color with a very thin white head. Head dissipates quickly to just a ring of bubbles and skim of white.

S: Light grain malt smells mix and mingle with a great balance of hops and light yeast. Smells like really fresh beer...Mmm.

T: Tastes much like it smells; the malts are mated just about perfectly with light bittering hops. The flavors are solid and smooth, rolling over the tongue with a slight malty sweetness and finishing clean with a bit of a dry hop linger. There is a clean 'fresh' taste that makes this very enjoyable.

M&D: Light carbonations contribute to a light smooth mouthfeel that is really easy to drink. Very enjoyable; would be great on a hot sunny day.

Thanks to Maria for picking this up for me during her travels.

 825 characters

Photo of steelerguy
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Is it possible for a beer to be too clear? This was an amazingly bright beer, great gold color, nice white head, with moderate to high carbonation.

S - Nice citrus hop aroma that is complemented by some sweet smelling malt.

T - Much like the smell with a nice amount of citrus hops, but nothing that someone who is not used to hops would find offensive. Clean malt taste, not a lot going on but nothing bad. Had a little metallic twinge at the end, might be from carbonation.

M - A little over carbonated for the style, I think this made it finish a little bitter. Feels pretty thin also, but not really out of style, just very attenuated.

D - This is a beer I think would appeal to a lot of people and can be refreshing and quaffed with ease. Good session beer for sure.

 779 characters

Photo of Bitzer
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Dhanch
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Photo of orbitalr0x
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz'er pours into my glass a bright golden orange with an inch of bubbly white head on top that leaves trails of lacing in its wake. Aromas of crisp, slightly toasty / slightly bready malts upfront with a caramelized backbone. Citric and floral hops dance their way into the aroma and bring things together nicely.

First sip brings crisp pale malts upfront with a toasted accent along with some sweet caramel nuances. Floral, herbal and citrus hop accents work there way in halfway through. Bitterness on the way down while remaining well balanced.

Mouthfeel is light and easy to drink while still having enough oomph to make you know it's there. Goes down easy and is quite enjoyable and refreshing. Overall, a solid APA here that I would drink again. Wish it was distributed out here.

 790 characters

Photo of blitz134
3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Its about time I reviewed this one, its basically my old standby for times when I am just picking up beer which I know I'm probably going to drink out of the bottle...I don't want anything too special if this is the case...

Pours a light orange, apricot color. Crystal clear body. Initially had a one finger off-white head that is now only a thin layer of bubbles. Lots of carbonation rising to the surface. Nothing impressive...

Smell is sweet. Caramel malt mostly. A bit of citrus and grassy hops works with the sweet malts to make a bit of a bubble gum aroma. Taste is initially light but I think the carbonation helps bring out some flavors as it sits on the tongue. Lots of bread malt in this. Has the bitterness of a pale ale, but not really the hop flavor. Only a little bit of resin hops come through.

Mouthfeel is really a bit thin for a good pale ale, but works for what I generally pick this beer up for. As noted in the appearance, lots of carbonation. It finishes fairly clean, but has some lingering bitterness. Overall a really drinkable beer, not so much due to the flavor, but because of how light it is, while still being a decent beer.

 1,163 characters

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Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
3.64 out of 5 based on 3,576 ratings.
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