Sweetgrass American Pale Ale (APA) | Grand Teton Brewing Co.

288 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Sweetgrass American Pale Ale (APA)Sweetgrass American Pale Ale (APA)

Brewed by:
Grand Teton Brewing Co.
Idaho, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Sweetgrass APA is a Pale Ale of distinction! 2009 Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal winner in the American Pale Ale category, this crisp and fragrant beer is hopped and dry-hopped with plenty of Amarillos and Cascades. Try it with any bold, flavorful food to complement its citrusy, resinous spiciness.

60 IBU

Added by beernut7 on 08-27-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 288 | Ratings: 724
Photo of yemenmocha
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy straw color with a hint of amber. Enormous head , rocky and meringue-like. Passes my jiggle test. Nose is herbal and citrusy. Lemon zip on the palate, tangy malt, and a refreshing drinkability that is very welcome in my book. Review is with sediment left in the bottle.

 280 characters

Photo of ebrauser
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Bottle into a pint glass

App: Golden-red with an ample and thick off white head.

Aroma: Citrusy and hoppy with almost no malt sweetness. Grapefruit and honey notes in the nose.

Flavor: Surprisingly not as hoppy as the nose suggests, though the hop bitterness becomes apparent at the finish. THe beginning and middle are dominated by a mild malt sweetness that almost seems too plain for an IPA. Diacetyl flavors tasted during the transition from malt to hop.

Mouthfeel: Not too astringent, though the large amount of carbonation make this one feel a little heavy.

Overall a decent beer, though its beginning lacks some complexity that I would hope to see in an IPA

 670 characters

Photo of outdoor7or24
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass, had at Apple Annie\'s in Florence, SC.
A:pours a rich copper color, 2 finger off white foam head with some large bubbles, stringy lacing, some yeast chunks from bottle conditioning
S: hops, pine, some citrus, biscuit, some spice, might be hard to pick up all the aroma here due to food smell (good) from kitchen.
M: medium body, slight creaminess, hop resin sticking to tongue
T: orange, citrus, grapefruit rind, pine resin, hops are very pronounced
O:great brew and a sesionable choice, +4 stars

 535 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.01/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A deep orange amber almost copper colored and fairly opaque with a bit of a glow, but also pretty solid appearance. Some nice hints of orange and lemon yellow to the edges with some nice small carbonation. Head is fluffy in appearance and retention but manages only about two fingers, but settles to a thick puck and a soapy thick ring.

Mellow hop aroma and nice small airy grains seem to come through the bouquet. Floral and slightly fruity, almost a bit herbal green smelling as well with a little bit of mild caramel sweetness. There's a fun sort of pickle briney smell to this as well, almost salty but makes an interesting contrast and quite surprising too.

Palate delivers nicely. Hop angle seems in taste to accent on the mid palate a tropical note, slightly mango and pineapple. Nice juiced body if a little bit light on depth but delivers nicely. Excellent finish and aftertaste with more of that juicy fruit quality coming out nicely. Slightly playful carbonation and prickly on the tongue at first but, washes with a nice malty backbone and honey light and caramel sweetness to match.

A real nice solid pale ale, very inviting and delicious.

 1,213 characters

Photo of seanbhudson
4.01/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle with 3/12/09 bottle date. Pours a slightly hazy orange/amber color with a medium off-white head. Moderate lacing.
Light aroma of citrus (orange / grapefruit) and sweet malt. Flavors of mango come out as the beer warms.
Orange / grapefruit citrus and grainy malt. Also a bit of pine and grass. Tropical flavors come out as the beer warms.
Medium body with smooth texture and crisp finish. Moderate fizzy carbonation.
A very drinkable IPA. Gets better and more complex as it warms. I think they skimped on the aroma hops but a good every day American IPA.

 649 characters

Photo of jeffjeff1
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a very nice IPA. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will be drinking it again.

Appearance- reddish amber, transparent

Smell- hoppy

Taste- very hoppy, bitter aftertaste

Mouthfeel- medium body

Drinkability- very drinkable, thoroughly enjoyed it, will be drinking it again

 276 characters

Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: nonic pint, golden in color, clear, with a moderate off-white head, good retention and some light lace

s: pungent citrusy hops on a pale malt body, a little crackery with a slight sweetness, grapefruit hop aromas dominant, juicy and highly aromatic, definitely hopped-up for an apa

m: carbonation light-moderate, body lingering somewhere below medium

t: a body of pale malt provides a lightly sugary base for a big dosing of grapefruit hops, juicy and resinous, with a nicely bitter finish, drying citrus peel and clean malt flavors linger

d: a very solid pale, nicely hoppy with a good malt foundation, tasty and well balanced

 634 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Bottled 3/16/12.

4.0 A: Well hazed light orange color. Two fingers of frothy white head. Retention is a tad above average and a good sized ring of lacing is left. There's some small yeast particles throughout, but I'll let that go since this is a good three months old.

4.0 S: Big citrusy hops with emphasis on orange, pineapple, and mango. Moderate caramel with the right amount of neutral malt sweetness. Light yeastiness to round things out.

4.0 T: Tastes like the nose. Citrusy hops: orange, pineapple, and mango. Moderate amounts of caramel and neutral malt sweetness. Lightly yeasty. Mild bitterness.

4.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Lightly creamy with some chewiness from the yeast.

4.0 D: Solid all around.

 761 characters

Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from russpowell via trade. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" eggshell head above the slightly cloudy golden amber brew. Head lasts okay, with ample slow-falling lace. Aroma is citrusy and moderately sweet. Taste finds the same, sweet to start, with lemon in the middle, and a balanced close. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is easy. Enjoyable brew.

 412 characters

Photo of AleWatcher
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass.

A glowing burnt orange with a huge fluffy eggshell colored head. Awesome retention and legs. The lacing is very respectable-- nice mountainscape of jagged sticky froth.

Some sweet malts hold notes of caramel and Hawaiin bread. The hops are citrusy, grassy, and piney. The taste follows the nose exactly-- sweet malts with plenty of hops. The hops hit with a grassy herbal quality, then a grapefruit bitterness, followed by a lingering dry piney note. Decent bitterness. A little alcohol comes across on the finish, which turns out to be this beer's biggest downfall.

The body is good-- medium with adequate carbonation and a prickly feel to it. An oiliness coats my teeth on the finish.

Overall, this is a solid APA. I am happy to have it again, and I look forward to drinking it again!

 817 characters

Photo of jmvecchio1
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L - Golden, mostly clear, white head.

S - Not at all overpower, but crisp and hoppy.

T - Burst of grapefruit on the tongue with more of a resin pine on the swallow. The malts are there to balance, but the brewers showcase the 5 hop varieties really nicely.

M - Medium body and carbonation level

D - When I think APAs I want sessionable. I don't feel like the category should one that abuses your tongue. To this standard, Sweetgrass is very sessionable and enjoyable. It's a sturdy APA that I've gone back to again and again after being introduced to it.

 558 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As every brewery in America is trying to re-define the American pale ale they try more hops, greater dryness, higher alcohol, cleaner taste, crisper texture and all sorts of things to pull the style more in line with the IPA to appease the hop-heads. Or you could do what Grand Teton does and just make a great traditional pale ale.

A bright and beautiful copper-amber pour ensues while releasing a creamy white cap. Its aromas spill onto the nose with a balanced display of toasted nuttiness, caramel, citrus and pine. Tasting juicy with malt sweetness early, its toasted graham cracker, nutty and caramelized taste sing a malty tone.

And as the ale latches onto the middle of the tongue, a more balanced taste takes hold; one of drying malt and perplexing hops. The rise of bitterness is preceded by ripe fruitiness of pink grapefruit, tangerine, faint lemon, tea and apple. Trailing with the grassy, piney resinous character of hops, the final frame carries a hop tilt but never forgets about its malty foundation.

Medium through and through, the beer's malty sweetness and body contends confidently with the hop's bitterness and dryness. Its balanced taste and texture takes a hoppy balance late but the ale remains harmonious to become a fan favorite whether with common American cuisine or as a stand alone taste.

 1,322 characters

Photo of harrymel
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes on 07/07/10.
$2 for 12oz @ Huck's in Spokane, WA.
Poured from bottle to Sam Adams glass.

A: Pours a brilliant amber with two finger persistent white whipping atop the ale. This is consistently complimented from bubbles arising from the ale.

S: Hops! Hooray! Pine, citrus, skunk, earth, grain all accentuate this pales nose. On the sharp side, this is nose candy.

T: The hops carry over into the taste as well. Strong citrus and pine with a resin bitterness marry the generous malt packed into this one. Finishes with a wonderful, short lived, balanced flavor of hops and malt.

M: Moderate carbonation allows you to enjoy the flavors on this pale. Medium bodied for a pale, this is not a child's PA.

D: This screams American Pale Ale. For those who enjoy Dale's Pale Ale, get your hands on this one! Malty, hoppy, and clocking in at 60 IBU, this beer stands far from the children in it's category as a man's beer!

 937 characters

Photo of beernut7
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This powerful hoppy IPA pours into a dark gold color with an off-white lacy head. The ale has a dominant Cascade hop aroma with a gentle hint of sweet malt. A nice medium body and modest malt profile back up a biting spicy/bitterr hop flavor. The bitterness of the beer lingers through the balanced finish. Very good.

 321 characters

Photo of soze47
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Taken from notes, consumed late 12/10 or 01/11.

Appearance: Honey hued. Body looks a little thick. Carbonation bubbles dance, but slowly. Is there sediment in this? Almost an optical illusion.

Aroma: Very nice. Grassy and almost minty. The sweet malt complements the hops in a perfect way.

Taste: Flavor accumulates on this one, both on each tastes and as the glass progresses. A sweetgrass (duh!) hop flavor is what hits first, but a bitterness builds and lays down on the linger. This one gets progressively more bitter and complex as you drink it.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Light bodied as you drink it and it goes down easy. However, it coats the palette harshly by the end of the glass.

Overall: A perplexing brew. I loved it when I started drinking it, but by the end of the glass, it just wasn't as wonderful as when I started. In order to judge this one, I'm going to deduct from drinkability to reflect that. However, if you are looking to have a solid single brew, definitely go for this guy. It lives up to its name.

 1,030 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer served in a DFH signature glass. Beer is amber with a mild haze, white head, small bubbles, low lacing, low retention, low carbonation.

Aroma is piney and earthy in hops, mild malt. Smells good.

Beer is medium in body, malty sweet up front but the midpalate is this nice sulfury, pine hop presence that is nice followed by a moderate / mild bitterness. Overall a decent little pale ale, I'd have it again.

 412 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I noticed that this beer won the Gold at GABf for American Pale Ale and when I noticed the bottled date was only a month old I didn't hesitate to pay the $8 for the sixer. Orange-yellow color with a good rocky head. Smells hoppy, a little bit of grass and "greenness". Taste is a solid hoppy pale ale that almost borders on IPA but not quite there. I'd easily buy this again given the value for the price.

 405 characters

Photo of ChugginOil
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazed yellow/orange color with a fingers worth of white head. There are some small bubbles for lacing.

The nose has some fruits to it and is earthy with some grassy notes that encompass the hoppy scent. There is some sweet malt balance in there as well.

The taste is quite bitter and has a nice amount of pineapple and mango with some grassiness and sweet malt. Pretty well rounded for the most part.

The mouthfeel is bitter and has a semi-dry finish to it. It is light-medium bodied with ample carbonation.

Overall, solid APA that has great qualities that I seek in an American Pale Ale. Also, kudos to Grand Teton for making a nice brew in six-pack format.

 680 characters

Photo of JizackFH
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this review in an old notebook I used to use. My cousin gave me it out of a mix pack he brought home from Minnesota a few years ago. I had this one quite a while ago, at the time it was called Sweetgrass IPA.

This beer pours a nice golden amber color. it has a 2-finger white head on it. The head leaves behind some nice lace on the glass. It has a nice sweet malty smell and good piney hop character to it. The taste has a sweet malty backbone and a piney hop bitterness. There is some fruitiness as a lingering bitter hoppiness. This has a medium body and good carbonation. It has a smooth feel to it, and there is some lingering bitterness. There is good drinkability here. I could definitely drink a few of these in a night. This is a solid beer. I recommend trying it.

 780 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle - Grand Teton sure has some interesting names for their brews!

This beer pours a hazy, medium bronzed amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and mildly bubbly ecru head, which leaves some stellar rock staircase lace around the glass as it gently fades away.

It smells of doughy caramel malt, biscuity toffee, spicy pine resin, sedate orange and white grapefruit bitters, and further leafy, weedy, and grassy hops. The taste is bready, doughy caramel malt, sodden wheat crackers, still understated mixed citrus pith, a tame hard water stoniness, and a zippy 'n spicy leafy, herbal, and grassy hoppiness.

The bubbles are adequate in their supportive and occasional frothy endeavours, the body a solid middleweight, and mostly smooth, the zesty hops not really interested in making a scene here, it would seem. It finishes off-dry, the sturdy malt keeping tabs on the lingering frivolity of the piney, floral, and grassy hops, still zingy, all.

Overall, a fairly tasty and engaging pale ale, the focus more on the spicy (as opposed to the sweet) grassy and friends hoppiness. Easy enough to drink, and with no sign of the upticked alcohol, so too bad that I forgot to cue up a bit of old school Black Sabbath (close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, eh?).

 1,296 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle purchased from Berkeley Bowl West in Berkeley, CA.

Pours a pleasant, mildly hazed golden-orange colour, with a fine, soft head of white that sticks around in a film. Lacing is erratic, but forms pleasantly intricate patterns when it does form. Body is quite hefty, and holds fine carbonation when tilted. Overall, it looks good.

Crumbly lemon tart characters on the nose, some sweet-savoury malt characters and a clean but not pungent or sharp citrus hop aroma. It mellows after a while, maintaining a custardy lemon character, but gaining a slightly more yeasty tone. It's still decent.

Taste is light and clean, with a sharpness through the centre that provides a nice counterpoint to the base, which is broad and again sweet-savoury. Some prickly lemon characters and a metallic bite towards the back. Finish is long with hops, but pleasantly clean otherwise. Overall, it's pretty tasty.

Feel is good. Smooth and pleasant to balance the sharper characters.

Overall, this is a very solid and very tasty APA. It's less aggressive than an IPA, but with the genesis in crisp, biting hop flavours. This drives it forward and provides a very neat and very drinkable package.

 1,188 characters

Photo of Pipmeister
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden/orange color with dome haziness to it. The head is off white and is huge. The head sits on top of the beer like vanilla ice cream in a float. Tons of lacing and I still can't believe the head. I'm down to my last few sips and there's been a 2-3 finger head just floating on the brew.
The smell is good with some slight hop bitterness and a good amount of malt breadiness/sweetness.
The taste is that of a typical good local microbrewery, averagely good. Nothing crazy to write home about but solid. There's a decent amount of bitterness on the tongue followed by sweetness to balance it out but the sweetness is a little too much.
Overall a decent brew that I like drinking with a couple friends but it's a little forgettable.

 742 characters

Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweetgrass American Pale Ale pours an amber to copper color with a modest cap of foam. The aroma is alive with orange citrus and pine. The mouthfeel is nice, not too heavy, but enough weight to know your drinking a pale ale. The caramel malt provides just a touch of balance before the citrus, pine and grassy hops takes over. A solid beer, certainly drinkable.

 361 characters

Photo of woemad
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes:

Pitcher consumed at The Viking in Spokane a number of weeks ago. First time I'd seen any Grand Teton beers in a bar around here. I think I had a bottle of this a long time ago, but I'm not certain.

This was lighter colored than I had expected it to be, a gold, almost straw color.Pretty clear, and with a fizzy head that dropped somewhat fast. As it didn't look too far removed from some macro beers I've had, I didn't think this one's looks boded well. Fortunately, that's where my dissatisfaction ended.

The nose on this was pretty hoppy, as one would expect. Bitter, citrusy-like-grapefruit notes hit my schnozz, along with some barely less prominent spicy, peppery scents. Malts were there just to draw a very slight contrast to the hops, and were otherwise hiding out. As a fan of hoppy beers, I had no prpblem with this.

The taste was much like the smell of this beer. This is an assertively hoppy, west coast style IPA. Like in the nose, the citrusy aspects won out over the spiciness, but it was a pretty close race. Very dry finish.

Medium bodied, mouthfeel was oily with hop resin and was about right for the style.

After getting off work, this was a fine beer to close out the evening on. Should I encounter it on-tap again, I would show no fear of it.

 1,283 characters

Photo of Haybeerman
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy caramel color. Poured a 1 finger white head that dissipated to a ring around the edge of the glass. Decanted lightly. Laced in wavy rings.

S: Bready caramel malt. Sweet fruit and citrus along with dry grass an pine.

T: Caramel and wet grain transition quickly to sweet fruit, orange peel and grapefruit. Pine comes in on the back end. Bitter and dry in the finish with a little of the fruit flavors lingering.

M: Medium in body. Moderate carbonation. Sweet then dry without being resiny. Overall, nice balance.

D: Solid APA - flavorful and balanced.

 561 characters

Sweetgrass American Pale Ale (APA) from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
3.7 out of 5 based on 724 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.