All notes on beers brewed by

SweetWater Brewing Company

Sweetwater 420 Imperial IPA

So, I wonder if this is some re-incarnation of an earlier Dank Tank or some other special release. It feels like it may be. I know there’s this, but internally I wonder … 60 IBUs screams the can. 12 oz, part of a six-pack. Pour is a clouded, burnt-orange body with the type of head, sticky lace and half-decent retention that one would associate with the style. In short, the appearance is stylistically sound. Nose is strong. It travels a good distance from the pour even when relatively cold....

Sweetwater Dank Tank Mean Joe Bean

22 oz bottle in the usual Dank Tank presentation this time with a brown and yellow motif. The pour is basically black with a few brownish highlights at the extreme edges. Head is quite small and lacks any retention or lace, a little disappointing. Nose has a surprisingly lack of coffee element and is mainly dominated by a malty, alcohol note. The mouthfeel is very light which I suppose could be taken one of two ways. Either the beer is very drinkable and easy, or it lacks presence for a beer...

Sweetwater Dank Tank Border Hopper

22 oz bottle, usual Dank Tank presentation. The usual nonsense written on the bottle (pointless) and this one comes with a similar (if not identical) green color as Wet Dream. Very attractive clarity on the mid-orange body. Good lace, nice retention and some sticky lace. Nose and taste are pretty restrained for a beer of this style. there is a lot of sweetness amongst a few typical resinous, west coast notes. The sweetness remains the dominating factor amid the clean cleans. The beer is...

Sweetwater Crank Tank Rye’d Ale

Had this a few times in the last few weeks, this review is for the final 22 oz bottle that I will drink. Pour is a rich looking, clear orange with some good carbonation and head and lace to match. The lace is pretty sticky. Looks solid in the glass and almost has the look of a fine Belgian Tripel. The nose delivers the typical spicy rye notes but it is pretty restrained and much less intense than many others that use the grain. The tastes reflect the nose and its light touch as well. The beer...

Sweetwater Dank Tank Magnum IP

22 oz bottle in the usual Dank Tank presentation. I've had this a few times before now, this is the bottled review. Poured into the DFH glass, the beer is truly a deep golden color with (considering the ABV) a decent head and some retention. The nose gives plenty of fusel alcohol notes but it's not overpowering. A little spice in the aroma too. The tastes give up the usual (and expected) malty, alcoholic bitterness. There is some white pepper (especially in the finish), and a little dryness in...

Sweetwater Sch’Wheat

12 oz single from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. After a few seconds of settling down, the pour gives a very suspiciously clear, macro-esque body and a head that fades badly. Despite the description on the label, the beer looks as though it has been filtered and in that respect it's horribly disappointing. It's difficult to see how this beer creates much of a "wheat" effect at ALL. From the clarity of the look, to the lack of head and the largely watery body, the beer looks and drinks much more...

Sweetwater Dank Tank Wet Dream

22oz bottle, $5.99 from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. Same Dank Tank presentation, this time with a green and white color scheme (DP Red/White, BOBBB Blue/White). This beer has been described to me in many ways, the most frequent being an "Imperial Wet Hopped Amber/Red". Whilst the beer does have the hue of an Amber, AND it does have a nice, wet-hopped presence, when it comes down to it there is little malt/amber presence and the beer falls into a freshly hopped mid-range brew. I say...

Sweetwater Dank Tank Big Ol’ Belgian Blue Balls

22 oz bottle with the same basic artwork as the bottled DP but with a blue & white theme rather than the red & white. $5.79 from Green's on Ponce, Atlanta, GA, USA. I agree that the associated text on the bottle in relation to the name has simply gone too far and is in purely bad taste. I'm not offended, but to call it juvenile would be an understatement. It does craft beer no favors. Back to the contents... ....decent gunsmoke on releasing the cap and good hiss. Beer is well carbonated that...

Sweetwater Dank Tank DP Barleywine Ale

22 oz bottle, Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. $5.99. OK, not really sure what's going on here, but I guess I will try to unravel it. The pour offers a reddish, hazed body with little or no head except for a small collar. The head has poor retention (probably due in large part to the ABV) and the collar leaves a little lace. Carbonation seems low to me, but in line with a beer with this kind of alcohol. What we have here is the proverbial "kitchen sink" beer. It comes across as a kind of American...

Sweetwater Double IPA

Dank Tank #3 sampled at The Porter, Little Five, Atlanta, GA, USA yesterday afternoon. Small, Wellington style glass pour, perhaps eight ounce. Golden hazed body, on the lighter side of things in terms of the shade. Small head, but it produces plenty of sticky lace with some decent retention. Great light floral, hoppy nose with a sweetness in the nostrils. Exactly the same in the taste. Super hoppy burps, but a real light touch (for a change) from an American DIPA. NO huge...

Sweetwater Ron Burgundy Scotch Ale

DELIBERATELY added as a different beer to the cask, Johnnie Walker chip-soaked version, this beer was drunk on tap at Taco Mac, Douglasville, GA, USA. #2 in the Dank Tank series (The Creeper was #1). Regular keg version NOT the cask, flavored one. This is NOT just another serving type of the other beer currently listed in the BA db, this is a separate brew. Pour produces a very nice, mid-brown color with plenty of carbonation. The head is very nice and the retention is first-class. Lace is...

Sweetwater Creeper

On-tap at The Brick Store, Decatur, GA, USA. #1 in the Dank Tank series. Golden pour with an impressive head and some nice lace. Nice carbonation. Would definitely categorize this as a hoppy tripel rather than a Belgian IPA. The sweetness is certainly a big factor with some distinct Belgian type candy notes. It also has the Tripel alcohol, but it lacks much (if any) of the white pepper notes that we might expect. The hop bitterness is very much in the back for me. A tasty beer and perhaps a...

Sweetwater Motor Boat

12oz bottle from a sixer from Green's on Ponce, Atlanta, GA, USA. $7.49 for the sixer I think. First beer that I have drunk in nearly six weeks! Pour is a somewhat thin looking amber/reddish orange that looks surprisingly carbonated with lots of small bubbles rising. Head is thin and fades very quickly. Aroma seems very strongly hop based. Hops are upfront but fade quickly. There is a lack of malt backbone which makes this feel very one dimensional. It's particularly dry as well and...

Sweetwater Donkey Punch

Followed up my bottle review of last week with a sampling of this on draft at Taco Mac on the East West Connector in Austell, Atlanta, GA, USA. Small (10oz??) serving for $4.00 - good value. ($4.50 for a 16oz pour at Taco Mac, Douglasville, GA, USA but as usual the lines seems less than 100% clean to me). Seems to be much sweeter on tap (perhaps my imagination) and it moves more toward the Barleywine side of things rather than the Double IPA style of the bottle from last week. Despite the...

Sweetwater Donkey Punch

$8.49 from Green's, Buford, Atlanta, GA, USA. MIGHTY impressive looking bottle - the old flip-top 1 L bottles used for Festive Ale. Homebrewers LOVE these bottles. Gold Foil tops off the package impressively. Pour is a slightly cloudy mid-brown with a superb head and good retention. Looks OK, but the color is a little drab and lacks a certain "sparkle"! Nose is hoppy, but not really over-agressive. OK, I'm not the style Police, but in no way is this drinking like a BW, American OR English! One...

Sweetwater Road Trip Ale

$4.00, 16 oz serving on tap, Taco Mac, Marietta, GA, USA. The new release from Sweetwater. Pump clip is an attractive sky blue color. Nice looking golden yellow pour with a medium head that unfortunately fades quickly. Nose and taste have the Pils feel, but the finish lacks that typical hop bite. This is especially disappointing since this is advertised as a DOUBLE Pilsner. A bit lightweight all around. Goes down easy and it is a refreshing summer drink, but for me this was a disappointment -...

Sweetwater Happy Ending Imperial Stout

Following up on last years on-tap offering, the newly bottled version at $8.99 a sixer from Green's, Ponce, Atlanta, GA, USA. (2014 vintage, in 12oz bottles pictured). Excellent black color and plenty of (if somewhat thinnish lacing), but this is where the really good quality ends. Weird, herbal notes in the aroma, somewhat floral and soapy. Hops way TOO prominent for the style. This is an odd beer to me, at least in terms of the style. A thin body, very high hop bitterness for the style, edgy...

Sweetwater Festive Ale

2009 Vintage - on tap, Taco Mac, Douglasville, GA, USA. Again less spice than some of the first vintages and this year more licorice flavors. Still drinking well though. === 2006 Vintage - on tap. Taco Mac Linbergh City Center, $4.50. Still the same attractive pour and nice head and lacing - in fact perhaps even better than in the recent past. This year the vintage is drinking very nicely but VERY differently. MUCH less spice, and flows like a malty brown ale. Color is pretty much the same as...

Sweetwater Festive Ale

2008 Vintage === 2008 vintage from a 12oz bottle. Thought that it was time to re-review a fresh vintage so here we go with the 2008 version. The usual dark, dark brown almost black pour with the promise of a creamy experience in the head and lace. Large, creamy and coffee-milky bubbles form at the edge of the head. Some lace. Nose and tastes this year seems a little less spicy to me, but there is a VERY distinct harsher, solvent alcohol edge to this beer. Some acidic, orangey licorice notes....

Sweetwater Exodus Porter

Taco Mac, East West Connector, Austell, GA, USA. On-tap in October 2006 as part of Sweetwater's re-introduction of Exodus as an ocassional guest (not a seasonal, but an infrequent re-visit) - maybe ESB will do the same soon. A bit flat. Lack of life makes this look like a coke. This beer is much better than this sample suggests (see my bottle review) and this is a bit of a worry if they are going to re-release this from time to time at this lower quality. A little more bitter than usual too....

Sweetwater IPA

Living in Atlanta it's sometimes easy to forget what a nice beer this is, especially when fresh and on tap. I had one of these at Mellow Mushroom in Douglasville, GA, USA for $3.50 for 16 oz. Color is more orange than one would necessarily expect and the aroma releases the hops. Initial tastes are hop based with a mild sugared grapefruit metallic twang. It finishes way sweeter than the initial palate would suggest, but it makes this a really quaffable brew. Served way too cold, but after 20...

Sweetwater Dubbel D’s

On-tap, Taco Mac, Decatur, GA. Small tulip serving. If this truly is a Dubbel it's the best looking one that I have seen ever! It was a mid-brown, with a small head and most delightfully, it was crystal clear. It lacked the nasty, murky dishwater appearance of so many Dubbel's. Now, I guess that may be negative points in some purists eyes when we consider the style, but I was delighted with the look - it's DEFINITELY exceptional FOR THE STYLE, hence the 5.0. Aroma and tastes are all there in...

Sweetwater Happy Ending Imperial Stout

Updated Review 01/08 === $4.50 16oz Taco Mac, East West Connector, Austell, GA, USA - AGAIN! MUCH, MUCH more mild than a couple of years ago in terms of bitterness. In fact, almost relegated to a Porter! Still has that mild green tinge on the head. MUCH less bitter than a couple of years ago, BUT really lacks the punch of an American RIS. RIS lite. Original Review 02/06 === $4.50 16oz Taco Mac, East West Connector, Austell, GA, USA. Jet black pour with a tan/mocha head and a faint green tinge...

Sweetwater Hummer (on-tap)

Firstly much of what can be said about the draft serving has been said on the bottle review here. But the distinct differences are; Not such an impressive head on draft. The serving temperature seems to dampen the carbonation. Also, in terms of the color, on draft it appears to take on the look of the Sweetwater Blue, with that very noticeable, light green tinge to the yellow body - very unusual. Still massively drinkable though. This should be HUGE in Atlanta through the hot summer of...

Sweetwater Hummer (bottle)

Very, very nice, 100% drinkable and a perfect complement to the Atlanta heat that is slowly, but steadily, rising here in mid-May. From the bottle a large frothy, rocky head adorns the orange haze below it. Definite relationship between the orange looking body, the taste and the label, all of which pull together a distinct citrus feel and an amazingly refreshing drink. Large amount of unfiltered sediment, but not dark. This is a beer that I am going to drink exclusively in the daylight! Sounds...

Sweetwater Blue

For the life of me I can't really work out why a small brewery would attempt to brew a non-mainstream beer like this. It pours with a standard smallish head that disappears quickly, and has a distinct pale green/yellow appearance. Although this sounds somewhat unattractive it really does look pretty good. There is a very noticable blueberry aroma and taste, but both seem extremely articificial. I would like the appearance of some real deep dark, blueish colors in the beer that the addition of...

Sweetwater ESB

Potentially exciting, ultimately very disappointing. This beer is way too lightweight all around. Color is suspisciously golden (macro lager) rather than a darker, bitter color, aroma and taste are way too short and undemanding and the taste is promising for a few seconds and then disappears to absolutely nothing. There are some hops up front and some malt in the background, but as it passes the lips, by the time it gets to the throat, I've forgotten about it. Very weak and watery mouthfeel...

Sweetwater Georgia Brown

Very clear, red-copper brown colored pour with a nice head that disappears quickly. I didn't get much of the nuttiness or the honey malt that is mentioned on the bottle. Aroma is malty with what seems to be a real alcoholic tinge. The alcohol is not carried through to the taste in any significant way though. It certainly seems to me to be a very light example of a Brown Ale, perhaps I'm used to thicker "English" Brown Ales. Quite watery in the mouth, but this makes it refreshing and drinkable....

Sweetwater IPA

$7.19, Publix Supermarket, Villa Rica, GA, USA. Took me a long time to get around to reviewing this. I've been treating this as a good staple to pick up around Atlanta for some time. Pours a slightly hazy, orange color with a frothy head. The aroma is one of the few that I feel I can really easily recognize - it's peaches! The hops here are not as pronounced as the style usually demands, but in my book that's a good thing. For others that will be a negative mark. For me, much more well...

Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale

Drank this at Houlihan's at Atlanta Airport for this review (as well as hundreds of other times too) and as a result was overcharged - but hey, they had about 20 bottled beers and this was the only one of any quality that wasn't a macro. Great looking pour (had to ask for a glass) with a nice frothy head that lasted the entire drink. I seldom review beers twice but in the bottle this always seems more bitter to me, might be just my imagination but there appears to be a much harsher edge that I...

Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale

$2.75, 16oz serving, Buffalo Wild Wings Cafe, Douglasville, GA, USA. This is Sweetwater's flagship offering and it is simply put, steady and reliable. Very nice offering, a drinkable beer that strikes a very good balance between hop bitterness and malty sweetness. The pour from draught is attractive with an orangey cloudy hue to the beer and a thin head that disappears fairly quickly. I detected very little aroma, but I often think that this is due to tthe excessive chilling that so much beer...

Sweetwater Exodus Porter

Pours a very deep, dark brown with a very slight smoky aroma. This is a light Porter in my book that has a nice mouthfeel, but lacks the real creaminess I love in my Porter's. The head was creamy and thick but faded very quickly with little or no lacing. I enjoyed this brew but it lacked a certainly depth and complexity compared to some others of the same style. Nevertheless, I would buy it again. Nice multi-colored label on the six pack that I bought in early 2004.