SweetWater Brewing Company - IPA
- ABV: 6.3%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 50
- Serving Temperature: 45-50°F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: 2-Row Pale, Munich, Wheat, 70/80
- Hops: Columbus, Chinook, Cascade, Simcoe, US Golding
Sweetwater’s IPA presents a clear, light copper color with a big cap of off-white foam that drops plenty of lacing down the side of the glass. We fell in love immediately with the nose on this brew. The hop profile is sweet and complex, with a lush, juicy citric cocktail of orange and grapefruit, a touch of pine resin, and a floral undertone. Lightly doughy and mild caramel malt aromas underpin the expressive hops. On the palate the hop flavors are complex; citric, piney, herbal, floral – it’s all here, and integrates impressively well with the caramel malt and residual sweetness that provide the backbone for this extensively dry-hopped brew. Hop bitterness is right on par for the modern American IPA style (it’s decisively firm, although not as harshly bombastic as some other IPAs), allowing for an exuberant but still highly drinkable and sessionable IPA. Finishes with an herbal note of citric bitterness that coats the palate and lingers. We like to pair IPAs with spicy food to amplify the punch of each component; we found this beer an excellent match for some spicy blackened chicken tacos. Cheers!
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SweetWater founders Freddy Bensch and Kevin McNerney met as roommates at the University of Colorado, Boulder. They quickly realized that they had more of an affinity for beer than books, and began dreaming of starting a microbrewery. After graduating, they headed off to California to attend brewing school at UC Davis, after which the two friends honed their craft by working for a number of breweries on the West Coast. In 1996, Freddy visited Atlanta and decided that the town was in dire need of a quality microbrewery. With the help of family and friends, Freddy and Kevin amassed enough capital to get their dream off the ground.
SweetWater Brewing Company (named after a local creek on which Freddy liked to kayak) opened for business in 1997, and after driving all over the city in an old van, Freddy and Kevin managed to line up a few bars interested in their new West Coast style beers. Their beers were a hit, and in the 1998 World Beer Cup, SweetWater walked away with the second highest number of medals. Then in 2002, they were named Small Brewery of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival. After several years of strong growth the brewery was relocated in 2004 from its original location on Atlanta’s west side to a larger facility near Ansley Park in mid town Atlanta. But, within just a few short years demand increased to the point that the brewhouse was in near continuous operation - 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year - necessitating a major expansion that just finished earlier this year. The expanded brewery has grown from 26,000 sq.ft. to 114,000 sq.ft. and is equipped with Atlanta’s largest privately owned solar array, capable of generating 157 KwH of clean electricity, as well as top-of-the-line computerized brewing equipment that allows SweetWater to slow down the human side of the brewing process to increase quality control, while simultaneously quadrupling their overall output.
For more information about the brewery and scheduled tours, call (404) 691-ALES or check out their web site at www.sweetwaterbrew.com.
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