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Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale | SweetWater Brewing Company

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752 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: 752 | Ratings: 3,503
Photo of Billydoughnuts
3.54/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Perfectly fine when at Disney and the other choices are Bud Light and Angry Orchard. Thoroughly enjoyable when pitted against these foes but not one I'd choose over some better offerings. A decent beer

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Photo of Irbycp
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm from Atlanta and this is our "Budweiser": 420 is a staple. This has been around a long time and it's a solid hoppy pale ale. And these guys have brewing this beer since the mid 90s and they've been incredibly consistent. Highly recommend if you've never had as long as the date's good.

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Photo of kevINSIGHT
3.81/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a pale copper with very slight haze and a foamy white head that dissipates fairly quickly with vary few bubble trails. Hoppy aroma for a Pale Ale. Good balance of flavor to the taste. Subtle citrus hops, some bready malt, very drinkable. The aroma is better than the taste, but the taste is not bad. I like it for a drinkable beer lighter than an IPA and still having that hearty beer flavor.

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

Bottle label info: BEST IF ENJOYED BY 11/01/15 - I'm a little late on this one...

Golden hued body, somewhat cloudy, with a thick, sticky, white head. Sweet, funky, grassy aroma; a twinge of citrus. Sweet and juicy flavors; orange; balanced bitterness. Medium-heavy body; wet and juicy with an edge of dryness at the finish.

For being enjoyed almost 4 1/2 months past the brewer's best-by date, this is still a highly enjoyable, hoppy ale. It delivers a mouthwatering juiciness with touches of orange flavoring with a deft touch of hop bitterness to round things out. I'll definitely re-evaluate this one if I come across a fresher sample.

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Photo of oldn00b
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In this category I always compare to SN PA. This is nice and is a fine substitute but I still prefer SNPA. Had this again last night and that served to verify.

It falls off a bit faster than SNPA as well. That hop character lasts but a few months in and the malt that comes forward isn't as okay as SN does.

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Photo of DJChaseTheBase
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Good session beer to enjoy every once in awhile. Very crisp initial taste w/ a lingering aftertaste (not to bitter to me). The darker color of this APA gets me every time its poured. Definitely prefer this as a draft over bottle.

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

Light copper with minimal head, minimal retention, and very light lacing. Smells nice , if a bit understated. Flavor has a beautiful balance with an assertive light caramel malt quality but nice citrusy hop balance. Finishes with very pleasing light bitterness. Had this in Atlanta. If it was more available where I live, it would be in the summer rotation

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Photo of Grizwaldio
4.46/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 16oz can into a true pint glass. Nice dark golden look with a good head, piney rich smell. Very flavorful, great hop taste. It hits the right balance of hop and flavor - delicious!

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Photo of Beginner2
3.16/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Way too much hops for my tastes.
The lingering bitterness just would not leave me alone.
And I even was eating spicy chili when I drank this.
Or is it just me ?

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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)

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Photo of MACrist
3.94/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Very slightly hazy, amber-gold. 1 finger of off white foamy head that sticks around for a few minutes and leaves a nice 1/4" ring on top of the glass. Carbonation is plentiful and small bubbles. Mild lacing down the glass.
AROMA: I've let this warm up a few minutes, and am getting a nice dose of orange, sugar topped grapefruit, and a touch of pine. Sweet caramel malt as well. The aroma, in general, isn't overpowering, but everything is there.
TASTE: Super balanced. Nice caramel malt sweetness, then citrus, minor pine, and the bitterness hits on the finish.
FEEL: Nice full carbonation on the tongue, but an easy drinking, smooth beer. Dries up a little on the finish, but has a nice slick feel, especially up front.
OVERALL: Very pleasant, balanced PA. Nice lasting bitterness on finish that lingers. Recommended.

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Photo of rdilauro
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a very little orange, deeper than most Pale Ales, but not like a High Hopped IPA.
The aroma was pleasant, a touch of pine, a little grapefruit, not a big amount of nose for this one.
The initial taste was very good. It was smooth like silk, filling my mouth with a clean dry enjoyable pale ale.
The finish was just like the start, to me that makes all the difference.

This would be my summer pale ale probably along the lines of the sessions I like, but not up there like some of the bigger IPAs....

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Photo of schoolboy
3.69/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This baby looks like an ipa but tastes like a pale with a touch of peel.

It's yellow and somewhat cloudy, with nice little bubbles. The aroma is crisp clean hops smell with not much else coming through. The taste is dry with a citrusy finish.

Overall, this is a clean, easy drinking, but not particularly compelling ale. Not recommended.

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Photo of dbl_delta
3.54/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated Enjoy BY 03/08/16. Pours a clear, pale gold with an eggshell-white head. Initial impression is a little citrus, a little resin, a little malt sweetness, but not much memorable stuff going on. Kind of thin mouthfeel; carbonation is on the high side of moderate. Almost tastes like an IPA lite, if there were such a thing. Very neutral finish - slight hops bitterness, but all in all a quite unremarkable beer.

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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.

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Photo of Beric
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Serving: Bottle, from the bottle
Served: 8 Jan 2016

Appearance: Had this one from the can, so I can't truthfully comment on the appearance. I liked the can art though.

Smell: Muted from the can, doubtlessly, but the beer has a sweet underlying maltiness and lots of citrus and pine hops- just the combo that I enjoy.

Taste: Hoppier than other APAs, but not on the verge of an IPA in my mind. The beer has a lighter malt body than SNPA to be sure, which lends a subtle sweetness. Hop notes are primarily citrus and pine, and dominate the overall flavor profile of the beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body with high carbonation. Quaffable.

Overall: A good beer and one I find underrated here. Very drinkable.

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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 hophead723
4.14/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I first tried this beer at a movie theater with reclining chairs and alcohol for sale. It was stored in a brightly lit cooler that must have skunked the beer a tiny bit in such a way that it tasted very similar to cannabis with a pungent and desirable dankness. After this encounter I have had it fresh many times and have come to recognize it as a great drinking and well-made Pale Ale.

Look: Semi-hazed orange gold with an off-white head that seemed to have a slightly orange hue of it's own. When held to the light there are flashes of light gold reminiscent of a winter sunset.

Smell: Dank. Very dank and moist hop aroma with lots of citrus fruits present in the aroma, quite spicy as well and pleasantly hop dominant. If this beer is stored in a brightly lit cooler it will take on a strong cannabis flavor and aroma, which suits this beer's 420 theme.

Taste: Upfront rush of hops, full on citrus. Sweet grapefruit peel, mandarin orange, and fresh lemon are followed by a honey rich malt character. A touch of biscuit dough and grains come through as well which help balance this Pale Ale out.

Feel: Medium body, spot on carbonation, slick on the tongue and oily hops but it manages to finish clean.

Overall: This is a unique beer in many ways, and it is no secret that the owners of the brewery are from Boulder Colorado. They have made a beer that references their roots in Colorado and therefore cannabis. Its nice to see a cannabis themed beer on the shelves of the local supermarket, and it drinks very well to boot.

 1,534 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
3.74/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Light gold in color with a fingernail of off white resting on top. Heavy lacing is present. Aroma is of gentle floral hops and light malt. The floral hop character is very prevalent in the taste and carries throughout the palate. The mouth is very soft, delicate, and thirst quenching. It might be a just a bit watery for my taste.

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

12 oz bottle, with "Best if enjoyed by" dating on the label.

The pour is typical lighter amber, hazed, with a moderate light khaki head/film/moderate lower fine lacing.

The sniff reveals notes of citric hops and some caramel.

Decent APA, citric hops with more caramel bringing some balance. Nothing special, just a decent drinking moderatly hopped up ale. Worth a try but nothing to drive out of your way for.

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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.

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

Had on tap at E McHenry's in Branford. We just started getting this brewery in the past few weeks. Comes out a golden color with a fluffy head that fades pretty fast. Smell is light, kiss of citrus hops and some malts. Very light flavor, quick hops on the tongue are a bit citrusy. Finishes with a grainy aftertaste, very fleeting flavor. Light, bubbly, a bit too thin and watery on the body. Overall no bad flavors but not enough flavor at all, felt like a light beer.

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Photo of NateDyk47
4.04/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer on tap with some meat lovers pizza. It was a little bitter, but not too bitter. It had an earthy citrus note to it. Overall I thought it was pretty good.

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

This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a hazy copper to amber color with a slight transparency about it. Carbonation could be seen rising at a gentle pace to fill a one finger white foamy head that dissipated at a nice pace. Lacing was there in some frothy gracefulness but that slid into the beer.
The smell started off with some nice sweet bready malts sliding into a light citrusy to earthy hop presence. Some floral notes open up as it warms.
The taste was basically the same adding some citrus zest quality with some light cracker-like qualities in it.
The mouthfeel involved a light body with a crisp cracker-like feel running into a decent sessionably sweet feel.
Overall, not a bad APA, but probably not really something to chase again. Thanks Sara.

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Photo of philbe311
3.71/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Happy to welcome Sweetwater to Central PA... Here's my first experience...

A - A very slight half fingers worth of crisp off-white colored froth... Surprisingly decent retention gives way to a full creamy lush lacing... The color is a slightly hazed copper... Loaded with medium to quick paced carbonation...

S - Text book American Pale Ale aroma... A solid mix of malt and hops... Rich bready malts... A present but not overpowering hop presence... Lots of orange zest... Some slightly floral undertones... Rich and rewarding with good depth and complexity...

T - The palate doesn't present quite the depth or complexity alluded to by the aroma... Not bad, but quite average for the style... A mix of cereal grains along with rich biscuit notes... The hop presence takes on much more in the way of earthy tones... A slightly metallic finish...

M - On the fuller side of light bodied... Sturdy and crisp... A bit of chalkiness throughout... Perhaps a wee bit thin...

D - Excellent appearance and aroma got my hopes up a bit, but the flavor profile and mouthfeel are merely average... Not a bad brew, but not a must try... Still looking forward to more from the folks at Sweetwater...

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Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
3.64 out of 5 based on 3,503 ratings.
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