I have had the pleasure of meeting the founder of Sweetwater, Freddy Bensch a couple of times and I am a firm believer that a company is as only good as the person leading the operation, and Freddy is one hell of a guy who has made Sweetwater a big success. So tonight after a long day in the office I wanted a pale ale. So I had to run to the store and get a six pack of Sweetwater’s 420 Extra Pale Ale. Their beer is both brewed and bottled here in Atlanta. According to the label, this is “a crisp refreshing pale ale accentuated by a stimulating hop character.”
So I went for my trusty frozen pint glass to pour this into. It poured with a medium head that lasted an average length of time. The head was thick and cushiony, with very minimal lacing. Looking at the beer in the glass, it was a nice copper color, and you could see the carbonation was not overpowering.
Hints of citrus appeared, but flowery hops were the star of this show. The first taste confirmed what the label said: it was a crisp refreshing ale, and the hops did accentuate the flavor. In some beers the brewer takes the hops as far as they can and you’re left with a bitter, hoppy brew that comes across very dry. Not my thing.
This brew, however, comes across well hopped but without the lingering bitterness or dryness. The flavor is mild and smooth….nice hoppiness without the bite. There are hints of other flavors as well, such as the citrus I barely noticed in the nose, but it is a subtle brew.
All in all, I would say this is a excellent brew, very smooth and drinkable. This would be great on a summer Saturday standing at the grill as the sun sets, the steak sizzles, and the smell of fresh cut grass lingers in the air from your day spent behind the mower. Ok now I know what I am doing this Saturday!
If you are in the Atlanta area and haven’t visited Sweetwater do so you will enjoy it! Or if you are in the southeast, ask for Sweetwater. If you ever fly into Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and you have a lay-over, you must check out The Sweetwater Draft House.
Check out their site: http://www.sweetwaterbrew.com