Things happen when you have two kids under two, and I was unable to do any beer tasting until last night just after the Colts beat the Bears. I had been wanting to try one of Sweetwater’s brews for a while, and I was wanting to add a pale ale or something like it to my reviews here. Plus the label has a rainbow trout on it, so I was hooked. (Pun intended)
I wasn’t sure I was in the mood for a pale ale. With all this cold weather, a porter or stout may have been more appropriate. But I sacrifice for you, so I went with Sweetwater’s 420 Extra Pale Ale. Sweetwater Brewing Co. operates out of Atlanta. Their beer is both brewed and bottled there. According to the label, this is “a crisp refreshing pale ale accentuated by a stimulating hop character.”
I went looking for a pint glass to pour this into and once again they were dirty. My wife insists on using them for ice tea! I washed one out, dried it well and went for the pour. 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 by far.
On the nose, the hops were definitely front and center. 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. This is not a bad thing, when that’s what you’re in the mood for.
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 fine 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.
Recommended: Yes, a good solid pale ale that goes down smooth
Price: I paid $7.99 for a six-pack