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: 3,564
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.

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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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Photo of hopsputin
3.74/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a: hazy burnt bright orange color. 3 finger white head. its a nice pour

s: pineapple, strawberry, mango. theres a nice sweet caramel malt presence in here as well, with some freshly baked dough

t: follows the nose pretty well. pineapple and mango at the front of the tongue. there is a mild grapefruit bitterness behind that which fades to a bit of that caramel malt. finishes a bit watery and bitter

m: light mouthfeel with a very large carbonation level

o: a bit watery in the flavor. but, behind that is that mellow hop flavors which have the potential to be nice, but are a bit muted. its a tad overcarbonated as well. still, could see myself drinking a bunch of these

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Picked this up a few weeks back in Totowa, having never had this before. Sweetwater is new to this area and they had a tap takeover at the Cloverleaf recently as well, so I was hoping that this would be worthy of the recent buzz. While not a bad American Pale Ale, this went down way too easily without any memorable traits or flavors to it. With so many examples of this style to choose from, this would not be my first one the next time around!

The pour was decent, as this beer had a straw-colored hue, fluffy head that quickly settled into a thin web, with only a few splotches of lacing along the back side of my pint glass once I started to enjoy this. As light as this looked, it was that light in taste as well - some tangerine straw, English bitterness, and a macro-llike grain filler were what I picked up here. Thin with just enough carbonation, the aftertaste was slightly metallic with a bit of hop oils left behind. Everything didn't really mesh well together here and as much as I liked the "420" in the name, that's not what I was really picking up here.

While not a true session beer, I could see why people would down more than one of these in a sitting. This wasn't terrible as much it was underwhelming and both the malt and hops needed to be turned up a few notches in order for this to better measure up. I wouldn't reach for this again unless it was hot out and had nothing else available but mass-market beers. As basic a take on this style as one could find!

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Photo of Biggiekrock627
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Pours a golden orange with amber hues and a thin bubbly head. Lots of bubbles from this bottle conditioned pale ale.

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

Sweet Water 420 reminded me of Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale in a couple of ways, namely in that they're both solid beers that a lot of people don't like to love so much. 420 pours golden and has just enough of a hop profile to remind you you're drinking a pale ale, but it's smooth on the finish and smells faintly of citrus. A good beer!

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Photo of aProtagonist
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Living in Atlanta for four-plus years, I found that this was the Official Beer (tm) of locals who considered themselves above the macrobrews but were too restrained to ever try something new at the bar. As for the beer itself, it's the world's most generic pale ale - straw gold, faintly hopped, and easy going down. I would never say no to it, but I'm proud to say I never actually bought one for myself.

A boring-ass beer for boring-ass people. It's not bad, but you can do a lot better, especially in Atlanta.

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

This is an absurdly drinkable pale ale. Doesn't have a huge nose or super complex elements, but it has decent balance with a very pleasant flavor profile. Not a "wow" beer, but definitely solid.

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Photo of kevinlater
3.08/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

sample at the sweetwater draft house and grill, hartsfield-jackson atlanta airport, terminal B. oct 17 2015

a: clear blond with white head

s: lightly hoppy nose with grainy malt

t: follows the nose -- mild orangey citrus notes with grainy, cheap, almost rice-like malt. easy bitterness

m: light-bodied with moderate carbonation

o: an okay pale

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

This is a easy drinking and tasty beer. Clear, pale gold with a white head that stayed around the edges throughout the time the beer was in the glass. It has a nice pine and citrus aromas with a nice sweet smell. It tastes just like it smells but is a little lighter on flavor than the smell leads you to believe but that is too be expected in a lower ABV beer. Really nice and easily drinkable.

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Photo of egrapplesberg
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle best if enjoyed by 11/29/15. Poured into a Monday Night Brewing pint glass. Hazy golden orange with a one inch bubbly white head. Sporadic carb bubbles that eventually die down. Frothy bubbles cling and slide down the glass while drinking. Smell is dank pine, citrus, and a little bready in the backend. Taste is not as hoppy as expected from the nose but still dominate for a pale ale. Citrus, lemon and slight grapefruit sweetness upfront with a great balance of malt. Carbonation is spot on. Great refreshing beer after a nice 15 mile bike ride. Cheers!

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Photo of leroybrown10
3.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a golden-amber color with good clarity. 1+ finger head is off-white in color. Head leaves a decent amount of lacing left behind.

Aroma is a tropical hop and caramel-y malt mix. A bit floral with lemon and orange as well.

Biscuit-y, caramel-y malt. Hops are fairly mild. A bit citrusy. Orange, and pineapple. Some floral notes as well.

Medium bodied with a slight bitter feel on the tongue. Medium carbonation.

A decent pale ale. Easy drinking. Not quite a full blown APA but hoppier than an English Pale Ale.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.64/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Pale gold with 2 fingers of explosive creamy white head. Good clarity with lively carbonation.

Dank greens, pine, bright florals, pineapple, and honey.

Pine and bright florals, Honey sweet malt backbone. Lightly dank with touches of pineapple. Finishes with grapefruit zest and pine sap.

Medium-light bodied, smooth, creamy, and semi-dry with a low bitterness.

A very smooth APA worthy of session-ing.

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Photo of Futbol15
3.36/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

So the pint came out pretty flat. The smell was pretty decent and the taste was smooth. I was hoping to get the Hop Hash but the brewery was out...

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Photo of hopphead31415
4.07/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I first tried this one at a movie theater. It was poured from a cold bottle into a plastic cup (meh). I was instantly impressed with this brew for one key reason: cannabis. This one has 5.4% ABV and is classified as an extra pale ale.

Look-It pours a mildly hazy golden orange amber color with some thick white foamy head. The lacing is sticky and full.

Smell-It smells of glorious cannabinoids, which is to be expected in a way, because all hops are closely related to cannabis. However, this brew does not simply manifest the hops through means of bitters and alpha acids. Instead, you get a plethora of pungent turpines and oils. The malt aroma is fresh pale ale sweetness.

Taste-An herbal-like zing and some citrus zestiness from the hops dominate the palate. The malts nicely balance everything out and the carbonation pairs well with the mild alcohol content.

Mouthfeel-It is medium-bodied and moist. It has a delicious resin coating on the tongue from the hops that are a close relative to cannabis. The coating lingers for a while and makes the next gulp that much more delicious.

Overall-This beer really surprised me and I haven’t tired one with such noticeable cannabis compounds save for Castaway IPA by Kona Brewing Co. It is delicious and refreshing and goes down so easy. Cheers!

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Photo of BamaPete15
4.34/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I really like this, very similar to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I like Sierra Nevada okay, but like Sweet Water even better. The bottle said extra pale ale, so I was expecting the bitterness to be stronger than Sierra Nevada. I was wrong, the bitterness in Sweet Water is just right. Tasted superb start to finish. This will be my go to Pale Ale until I find something better.

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Photo of Soulshiner7
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice white head forms thick over the amber-yellow body. Smells sweet, but not overly so. Easy to drink. Nice, simple flavor, with a taste that is strong but far from overwhelming.

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Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
3.64 out of 5 based on 3,564 ratings.
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