Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale | SweetWater Brewing Company

762 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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Reviews: 762 | Ratings: 3,561
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the brewpub in Atlanta. Creamy soapy head on a light grapefruit colour. Hoppy and cramy maltiness, and good lace. Freshness.Suitable carbonation. I probably had it at the right place, and on-tap. Well malted bitterness makes it decent drinkable.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: clear, light amber/straw hued color, with a small head.

Smell: Mild hops and citrus.

T: Hops are mild. Citrus flavoring provides a tart texture as appose to sweet. The hops provide more of a bitter taste and the tart citrus clash.

M: medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

Overall: I feel that the 420 and the Blue though the flagship beers are overall mediocre. This is a nice halfway between an IPA and APA but the flavor is a bit off.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.91/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am really surprised to see this one rated as low as it is. I mean, a nice crisp citrusy low alcohol American pale that's balanced without being heavy, distinct on the hops, and about as refreshing as one could imagine. Deliciously fresh, bursting with lemony hop aromatics and a hint of orange zest to the taste, great hot weather session beer, and I think easily my favorite beer I have had from these guys. No caramel malts getting in the way, it stays nice and light. Pale, like a pale ale should be but so few really are anymore, not trying to do too much, while simultaneously doing it all. Love it!

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Photo of metter98
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear yellowish amber in color and poured with a thin white head that quickly dissipated and left lacy patterns of bubbles on the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of citrusy hops and hints of biscuit malts in the nose.
T: The overall taste is very well balanced between the malts and hops; there are notes of caramel and citrus flavors. It has a mild amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light-bodied and somewhat crisp on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is easy to drink and is also quite refreshing. I could easily have a few of these in a sitting.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another pretty good beer from Sweetwater. Enjoyed durring a recent visit to Nashville. Begins with a promising display of pale straw and modest copper coloring, withstanding head retention and adequate co2 with lacing later. Smells typical of pale ales with distinguishable citrus crispness and lightened malt character. Tastes similar to most good pale ales, but with lighter malt additions without becomming thin or grainy. Citrus dominant in the nose and flavors with an efforvescent livelyness. Nicely bittered with American hops and beefed up with a light biscuity flavor and texture. Feels light and airy with a co2 prickle. Finishes very clean and crisp with a light lemony zest in the end.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.22/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Mr_Kimchee: Poured a deep amber color ale with a medium slightly off-white foamy head with average retention. Aroma of hops is well balance with some caramel malt. Taste of caramel malt with a slightly bitter and citrus finish. Well done for the style but nothing extraordinary either.

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Photo of oline73
3.03/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with just under a finger of off white head that fades away quite quickly.

Smell: A bit sweet with some fruity notes, reminds me of honey a little bit. The hops are a bit herbal.

Taste: A bit too sweet if you ask me. As in the smell, I'm picking up a mild honey taste from the malt and the fruity notes. The hops are mildly herbal, but they're overpowered by the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a really slick finish.

Overall: I would have liked this beer to be a little more balanced and the finish was way too slick. Don't really feel the need to have another.

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Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden/orange color with a good deal of carbonation. It had a two-finger, off-white head of big bubbles. It left some nice rings of lace.

S - It smelled of pine, citrus and burnt toast malt.

T - This is a good APA with piney/resiny hop bitterness, a touch of orange peel and sweet burnt toast maltiness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale that finished very dry.

D - This is a good beer. I'm glad I finally found a 420 Extra Pale Ale.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a fairly clear golden color with a white head and a touch of lacing. The nose brings some pretty strong pine, floral, and citrus hops that work well together in tandem. The taste lays off a bit with some mild hop flavors and a bit of pale malt below. Light feel with good carbonation. This is an extremely drinkable pale ale with some nice characteristics all around.

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Photo of nickfl
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - One finger of white head on a honey-yellow body with nice clarity. Low retention but good lace.

S - Spicy hops and a light malt aroma with a hint of mint.

T - Spicy hops, weak caramel malt and a bit of burnt/ toasted malt and nuttiness.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - A nice, drinkable beer. Nothing extraordinary, the malt character is kind of muddy, but the hop character is nice, even if it is somewhat subdued.

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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.

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Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 3/6/2016. Pours a lightly hazy/cloudy deep golden amber color with a 2 finger dense and rocky off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Great appearance. Aromas of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, light pine, honey, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/floral hops and moderate bready malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, honey, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Moderate pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon/orange peel, pine, honey, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/pine hops and moderate bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from bitterness. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately sticky, and lightly creamy/bready balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice standard American pale ale. All around good robustness, complexity, and balance of citrus/pine hops and moderate bready malt flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a fresh bottle, 2 weeks old. Gotta love their dating system!

Sweetwater's 420 Extra Pale Ale pours a hazy orange-amber body with golden highlights beneath a frothy 3/4" head of off-white foam. The head holds well and eventually drops but leaves a complete surface covering and some nice lace about the glass. Very nice.The aroma offers bright, fresh, floral & citrusy hops over a sweet, doughy maltiness. The body is medium with a delicate, fine, natural carbonation. The flavor delivers a combination of lightly tangy, citrusy and floral hop flavors and a bready, caramel & biscuit maltiness backed by a firm bitterness. It finishes dry with a short lingering hoppy bitterness and a residual bready/biscuity maltiness. Very well balanced. Nicely malty and hoppy. Highly drinkable.

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Photo of chinchill
3.66/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

served in pint glass then revisited in Sept. 2019 on tap in SC.

A - clear amber with ample off-white head

Aroma of mild piney hops. Tastes a bit better than it smells. Some malt sweetness hits the tongue initially, but there's plenty of hop bitterness right after and in aftertaste.

M: very crisp; medium body and medium-high carbonation. Dry finish.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear golden yellow with a minimal whittish head that dissipated into a smallish ring. Average lacing on the glass. Aroma is sweet malt with some light hoppy citrus notes.

Taste is sweet, bready, malt surrounded by a decently hoppy citrus shell. Finishes with a abrupt hop bite that lingers. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with maybe a tad too much carbonation.

Nothing offensive to report here but it's just not very exciting either. Still a pretty quaffable, if simple, take on an APA.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from unclejedi through the Little Guy BIF, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light amber color with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malt, hops & fruity citrus and is very well-blended.

T: The taste is quite nicely balanced with flavors of hops, citrus & caramel all hitting at once and all complimenting each other. There’s a decent malt character and the hops presence strengthens a bit as the beer warms. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down easily, not very filling, good representation of style, I could drink quite a few of these over the course of an evening.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear medium yellow in color with a couple of hints of orange and light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a two finger tall creamy off-white head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of citrus hops (just a touch of orange and lemon) along with some light biscuit malts.

T: The overall flavor is quite similar to the smell, it starts out with light amounts of biscuit malts with a touch of caramel which are quickly overtaken by the citrus hops, which are still somewhat light in flavor of orange and lemon.

M: Slightly heavier than light bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Somewhat crisp.

O: Very easy to drink and enjoyable with the lighter body, lower ABV, and well balanced flavors (between the

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's always a bummer to get local beers as part of a Beer of the Month Club shipment. =(

Appearance: Copper-orange in color, with tiny white sudsy bubbles comprising a thin head.

Smell: The scent is fairly tender, even after giving it some time to warm up and awaken. Still, though, there's a delicate aroma of light fruits (orange zest), bread, and honey.

Taste: Citrus hop flavor is low and nicely balanced with a modest amount of sweet malt flavor. A gentle grassy hop bitterness provides for a nice finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation (almost spritzy at times). Though it's a simple, mild beer, it is still crisp and pleasantly refreshing.

Drinkability: A good choice for a local session beer, and quite pleasant on a rather warm late-Winter day.

So, that's it. Another beer from Georgia.

And now, time to go back to... work.


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

Bright orangish amber crowned by a light beige head that started out at three fingers due to an enthusiastic pour. The cap is moderately firm, hangs around for a bit and leaves a below average amount of lace in the end. I've seen better.

While the nose is pleasant enough, it could be more forceful. It consist of grapefruit zest tempered by sweet orange. Cascade would be my guess for at least a portion of the hop bill. Although it's a little on the one-dimensional side, it is in line with the style and gets the job done.

The beer is teasingly tasty at first, but the flavor profile and the body break down a tad too quickly for it to be a standout. The pale malt backbone could be a bit firmer and the top notes are simple, straightforward, cleanly bitter citrus zest. While the body/mouthfeel is relatively light, it manages to keep its composure throughout the entirety of each mouthful.

Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale is an okay version that fails to impress in any one area, but still manages to be drinkable. A heavier hand with the ingredients would have resulted in a better beer. If I lived in Georgia, I'd probably stick with Sweetwater IPA. Bottle courtesy of au1sec.

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Photo of russpowell
4.23/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap when was back home in NC at a bar on Lake Lure, nice suprise!

Poured amber with a 1" white head. Great lacing & good head retention

S: Fruitty & floral hops

T: Snappy floral hops & fruittyness up front. Finishes fruitty with a a good dose of peppery hops

M: Medium bodied, perfect balance & carbonation

Middle of the road take on the style with some nice flavor enhancements, this went down like mothers milk on a warm summers day! Liked this better than the bottled version

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a crystal clear pale amber with a white head that cleared quickly leaving just a tad of lace. Smell was slight earthy, grass malts, with a hop hint. The taste was light and highly carbonated, but this is to be expected from an Extra Pale. This would make a good summer beer as it essentially goes down like water. No realy over bearing flavor profile anywhere, overall will give it another shot when its warm out.

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Photo of billab914
3.51/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Southern Tier tulip glass. Pours a pale amber color with a one finger white head. The head settled out to a thin covering but left pretty good lacing on the glass.

Aroma is sweet with some citrus and pale malts. Taste is sweet and citrusy without much bitterness. There is a slight peppery spice to it as well.

mouthfeel is on the lighter side and carbonation is moderate. Drinkability is good, pretty easy drinking beer. It's light, not overpowering in any flavor and low on bitterness.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to carlos for sharing this! enjoyed chilled in a 1/2 pint glass.

The color is lightly hazed golden with amber hues and substantial white cap with small bead. The lace collects well and retention is good. The smell is mostly floral but there is a nice citrus and herbal compliment with mild sweet malt esters. The feel is decent with light body and mild sweetness moderate carbonation maybe on the low side, very clean and finish is smooth.

The taste is tangy, slightly lemony with subtle malt tinge which is slightly toasted with some floral hop tastes which verge on tea-like with light astringency and nice creamy element from the yeast in the background. I was happy to try this as it is a drinkable pale, I would not be opposed to having this again.

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

Honey gold in color, clear. Moderate head. The aroma is mild--slight hop, fairly neutral.

The flavor is more encouraging, a touch of sweet malt. The hop bite is dominant but certainly not overpowering. The body is similar to skim milk while the carbonation is lower than expected.

This is a pleasant, easy-to-drink beer. Non-descript but satisfying.

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Photo of Jason
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The clarity is fine, brassy golden color. Good foaming with a stick lacing. Citrusy hop aroma with a hint of bready biscuity malt. Just as smooth as it is crisp, medium body. Citric peel hop flavor, solid bite of bitterness. Just enough malt to stay balanced, a bit bready. Semi-dry finish with a long lingering American hop flavor.

They aimed for west coast style and they did a good job at it.

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Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
3.64 out of 5 based on 3,561 ratings.
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