Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale | SweetWater Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
745 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
Reviews: 745 | Ratings: 3,478
Photo of theghost3
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this at Manuel's Tavern in ATL. Appearance is bright copper with a light beige head. Some lacing. Smell is OK, some bitter malts, yeast. The taste is good, citrusy & bitter with prevalent malts and very little on the hops. Mouthfeel is crisp. Overall a very drinkable beer. Easy to drink several on a hot day.

 317 characters

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

I picked a sixer up at the local Winn-Dixie. I went in to pick up some Sierra Nevada Pale Ale but I guess they're not gonna carry it any more. I saw this one for the first time and decided to give it a try.

This had a nice mix of flavor with the sweetness being the most prominent. I could go for some more hop flavor but overall a quality beer that I would drink again.

 372 characters

Photo of jushoppy2beer
3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer looks nice, even in the plastic cup from which I last drank it for this review. It pours a nice orangish golden color, with a rather slight head that manages to have a good retention and lacing (again, even in a plastic cup). The slightly hoppy floral aroma is pleasant, and the flavor is a classic pale ale with a lovely hop-bitter finish. Nicely carbonated; overall very drinkable and refreshing.

 408 characters

Photo of ABHatter
3.82/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in trade from jtrockchalk. Thanks Again!
Aggressively Poured from 12 oz btl into 16oz tumbler produces a good one inch head which leaves some quality lacing on the glass at first but somehow manages to disappear towards the end of the pint. Hazy orange appearance with a fair carbonation. Nose starts out with a slight cream corn smell, followed up by mostly bready malts, orange peels, grapefruit with a faint hop smell. Taste is pretty damm good, Loads of sweetness upfront nice citrus fruits, good malty sweetness with a very mild bitterness to finish which leaves a very nice mouthfeel. Drinkibility is superb. This beer is well balanced, so it also appears to be a great quencher on a hot day.
Overall a very nice beer from Sweetwater, I look forward to trying some of their other offerings in the future.

 819 characters

Photo of BeerSox
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into nonic.

Clear honey amber hue with a one finger light tan head that settles to an even razor thin cap.

Light sweet malts filled with a little bit of caramel and brown sugar. The hops provide a citrusy aroma.

Very light malts, with a touch of sweetness. The grassy, slightly citrusy, hops provide a delicate bitterness. Medium bodied with good carbonation. The finish is somewhat clean, with a bit of the hops lingering.

Generally this is what's available in most places that serve beer other than the usual. Although you're generally locked into this choice, you're still making a good choice. Refreshing and recommended.

 641 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle received from SaintNathaniel, into my Stone pint glass.

A:mildly hazy orange with a thin white head with decent retention. A little visible lacing

S: Citrus hops with orange, floral notes and caramel malt sweetness in the back.

T: Starts off mildly hoppy with citrus notes (orange and orange peel) before a malty sweetness quickly takes over with caramel and bready sweetness. The finish is dry but disappointingly lacks in flavor

M: Well carbonated, nice finish but with no real taste

D: Drinks easy but i doubt i'd want another anytime soon

 559 characters

Photo of ectomorph
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into the pint glass I got for free when buying a 6 pack this weekend.

A - Nice golden copper with light tan head that fades but leave light lacing.

S - Citrusy hop smell with a medium malty background.

T - A hoppy pale ale with a slight bitter aftertaste, but good.

M - Nothing bad or outstanding about this one.

D - Pretty high, great with burgers and fries.

 371 characters

Photo of dmamiano
3.06/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured from a tap in Savannah and the big negative was it was in a plastic cup!oh well, I will ignore that I guess.
Poured heady, medium amber with ample lacing and the head lasted long time.
Very sweet in the nose with hint of hops, not as pronounced as i expected.
Taste was very, very sweet...a bit cloying with an intermingling of hops with a very sweet finish

 364 characters

Photo of jdoncbus
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into wine glass. Golden color, small head, moderate lacing, and not much carbonation.

Smell is toffee, butterscotch, mild pine resin, and lightly toasted malt. Notes of lemon and apricot appear as well.

Crisp on the palate yet rounds out well with a slick finish. Taste is granny smith apples, peach, and a woody finish with lemon grass. Not too much in the way of malt; very faint. Mouth is left a bit dry and tart but nothing over the top.

A light bodied Pale Ale with a nice crispness. A good summer beer and a pleasure to drink down here on vacation (Hilton Head).

 578 characters

Photo of Domingo
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color with rosey highlights. Nothing "extra pale" here, but then again in the South they don't want to scare away macro drinkers with something potentially dark.
Smells of floral hops. Reminds me European pale ales with their use of a more floral hop rather than a citrus/fruity one.
Taste is a solid balance of floral bitterness and a solid malt base. Tea's definitely there. I'm also picking up some mild honey and pit fruit flavors.
Goes down easy and would make a great pale ale to keep around all of the time.
Reminds me of a mix between a US and UK version of a pale ale.

 592 characters

Photo of aubuc1
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle in to an imperial pint glass.

Pours clear orange with a nice white head.

Nice hoppy arrangement of smells. Orangey, piney with some biscuit.

Taste is somewhat sweet bitter. Kind of resiny sweetness with some malt in the background.

Nice regional beer that smells good, but is a little light feeling and not too special.

 336 characters

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

My first Sweetwater sample! A friend of mine has raved about these brews since attending college in Asheville. Sweetwater products aren't available in the Triangle, and I've just never been inspired to pick up some when encountered in other areas. My aforementioned friend brought two bottles from Asheville for my enjoyment. One of them is the 420 Extra Pale Ale.

It pours a light-bending caramel with bright gold highlights. No substantial head formed, but there was a decent lacing of white bubbles around the perimeter. Aromas of a floral character dominate the nose, while piney hops and a touch of sweet malt lurk in the background. The flavor is quite refreshing; the tongue first notices a mild sweet flavor of lightly roasted malts, which is soon followed by that familiar, bitter aftertaste of hops. It's medium-bodied with about the right amount of carbonation. It's a solid pale ale, but not extraordinary by any means.

 932 characters

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

this beer poured a clear golden into my glass. some good head and decent retention. lots of bubbles.

the smell is hops and spice with a touch of sweetness. not a robust aroma, but it's there.

this is a pretty tasty pale ale. tastes like it smells with a little more presence in the mouth than in the nose, but not overwhelming.

the mouthfeel is light and bubbly.

this was an easy to drink APA. i've been enjoying them this summer. too bad i'm about to run out for a coupe months until i can get more.

 505 characters

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass the liquid is gold with ok carbonation. The head is small white and leaves little lace.

The smell is nice good and hoppy with a bit of malt, the hops are pine and citrus.

The taste follows pretty much the same, good pine and citrus, orange and grapefruit, with a light bready malt.

The mouthfeel is good medium body with ok carbonation.

The drinkability is good, not a brew I will seek out but nice clean good drinking. Prosit, MK

 477 characters

Photo of JDV
3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of robbmotiwalla. Thanks!
Pours a clear orangish amber with a light whitish head. Smell is more whole grain unmalted barley than anything, along with some mild hops. Interesting. Taste is unusual again with raw barley flavor and somewhat faint hop flavor and mild bitterness. Slightly fruity flavor, but very raw grain like. Not bad, just very unusual and unexpected. Somewhat full mouthfeel and slightly rich. Interesting beer.

 445 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
3.31/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clean, well-filtered copper/bronze, while a thin head leaves wispy oblong dots of lace on the glass.

Aroma of damp hay, biscuit, and insanely faint fruit and hops. A pale ale doesn't need to explode the nostrils, but this is way too mild for the style. Let's hope the flavor fares better...

Flavor exhibits good balance between malt and hop...toasty, with just a bit of fruity zing. Tamed cinnamon-ish spiciness comes in with just a little warming. Incredibly light texture, just borders on watery but it's clean and the finish leaves mildly minty hops dancing on the tongue.

Extremely easy-drinking, but the flavor doesn't really stick, sip to sip. A pale ale ought to beckon you to drink it with gusto; this doesn't. But other than the weak aroma, there's nothing glaringly wrong with it--it's enjoyable enough, and I'll have no problem sitting with the other bottles in this 6-pack over time. Will I buy it again? Probably not, considering the much better offerings in this field.

 995 characters

Photo of CrellMoset
3.26/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Sweetewater Tavern in Concourse B of Hartsfield International. Mega 22 oz. pint.

Appearance: Copper-penny body with a fine, crisp-looking, slightly off-white head. The head retention is pretty good actually, and the carbonation level is medium to high. Lacing is wispy and light.

Aroma: Sweet, biscuity malt, very pale, with light, earthy and citrus-zest hops floating over the surface. Way too weak.

Taste: Very balanced, almost a bitter. Pale, bready malt, with a few toasted overtones. Moderate hop bitterness, and some vegetal, earthy hop notes round things off. It's solid and, as I said, very well-balanced, but everything seems sort of muted.

Mouthfeel: Very crisp, due to the carbonation. The body is pretty thin, but the big, even bubble-profile and assertive effervescence makes up for it. Good for the style.

Drinkability: Very easy-going. No off-flavors. Low alcohol. But it does get somewhat boring after a while - everything just seems sorta dampened. Makes it easy to down though.

A west coast homage, and although they hit all the key points, there's not much else that they hit. There's pale malt, and there's west-coast hops, sure, but this isn't the best application of that combo I've seen. Not a bad beer, just very average.

 1,262 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
3.59/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's really a pretty medium golden orange in the glass...crystal clear with a slightly off-white head of dense foam that slowly melts to very sticky lacing.

Aroma is subdued fruits and pale malt sweetness. No hops to speak of in the aroma for me.

Taste is slightly sweet pale malt with a bit of breadyness and some fruity notes. Very light hop finish....orange in nature...too sweet still for any significant bitterness.

Aftertaste is fairly clean considering how much sugar I can taste...still leaves the mouth dry but with a reminder of the sweet orange and fruit characters.

 580 characters

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

This brew arrived a dark deep yellow with a very short head.
The carbonation is very light.
The aroma is mildly floral and grainy.
Interesting taste, starting bitterness that follows through to end with a caramel back.

The body is full.
A nice beer, give it a try.

 265 characters

Photo of Matty1918
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to deepsouth for this sample.

Pours a honey colored amber with a nice white head that diminishes rather quickly.

Aroma is of citrus and honey with a linger of grain.

First taste is slight bitterness...mild hops. Not in your face hops like an IPA but subtle. You can taste some grains in there also...well balanced.

Some carbonation in the mouthfeel but not much else.

I could drink these again if I found them but I wouldn't go out of my way.

 454 characters

Photo of Goliath
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with a one inch slightly yellowed head. Good retention and a little lace.

The aroma is nice but very subtle. A very mellow hoppiness and a slightly sweet pale malt.

Taste is very weak. A lightly toasted pale malt dominates with a simple hop essence in the background.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a crisp carbonation.

Drinkability is moderately high. Low alcohol makes beer sessionable, but flavor is uninspiring.

 446 characters

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

I finally decided to review Sweetwater's flagship brew.

A- Light golden color with slighty orange hues. Head is 3/4" and has nice retention. Lacing is quite present on the sides of the glass.

S- Caramel malts and a slight diacytl aroma. The hops are not too strong in the smell as this beer (to my knowledge) is not dry hopped.

T- Easy and smooth malt backbone with middle of the road bitterness. Nothing going crazy on the tongue, but well rounded and easy drinking.

M- Medium thickness. Carbonation is medium to high.

D- Very high. Definitely a good session beer. Smooth, balanced, and refreshing.

 604 characters

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

a: This was a somewhat hazy orange/amber color. It poured with a smallish white head; decent lace.

s: Faint floral hops and some sweet caramel.

t: Pretty well balanced. Some mild pine hops and sweet caramel malts.

m: Decent body and well carbonated.

d: Thanks to cashew70 for this tasty extra.

 297 characters

Photo of joshwlt
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Limited review I typed into my cell phone while at Tim and Terry's in Gainesville, FL. I think the only place other than salty dog that they have it on tap here. Copper color with an off white tan head. A Good slighty toasted/bready malt flavor matched the bitterness of the hops. The hop flavor in this on tap brew was much better than the bottled version I remember trying because the hops were more floral, citrusy, and complex. From the bottle the hops seemed to provide only bitterness and lacked any floral or exotic flavor. Has the level of bitterness you would expect from an american pale ale. Decent.

 610 characters

Photo of Bobdope
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is nice light refreshing extra pale ale. I had this in Atlanta , GA, at a bar in the Lowes' Hotel off of the airport, "Martini's". I had the first pour out of the draft. This beer had good look, but great drinkability. Smooth and tasty. They kept me coming back for the duration on my trip..

 296 characters

Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
3.64 out of 5 based on 3,478 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.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!