Wednesday, August 10, 2011

SweetWater Brewing Company 420 Extra Pale Ale

Which one of the following was the band from Almost Famous? Stillwater or SweetWater? I bet half of you got it right and half of you got it wrong. Stillwater was the band. What is SweetWater then? Well it happens to be a brewery located in Atlanta, GA, the town that was recently stripped of its hockey team. They didn’t deserve the Thrashers anyways, Winnipeg needed a hockey team back o-so-badly. SweetWater Brewing Company was founded in 1997 by a former Colorado college student. They have a thing for fishing too, as you can download a SweetWater fishing calendar. It’s a pretty outrageous thing to do, because fishing and beer TOTALLY don’t go together. That’s just as absurd as drinking beer while camping? Weirdoes. Anyways, Sweetwater makes a ton of beers (well, like 14 to be exact), with only 5 of them available year round.

The 420 Extra Pale Ale is named “420” because the brewers like to smoke pot. Like A LOT of pot. That may or may not be true, but the label says that this beer was first conceived in their brewery on April 20 of some unknown year, so they gave it the really original name of “420 Extra Pale Ale.” I’m not knocking the name at all, it’s cute, and it probably gets some stoners pretty excited when they hear about it. It probably at least gets some laughs from some immature college kids. The 420 Extra Pale Ale tastes like a typical pale ale, it has a nice strong hoppy flavor at the front and the back of the palate, but it doesn’t linger too long. It’s unpasteurized too (there are little buggies floating around the bottom) and this gives it a slight hefeweizen taste, which is interesting and enjoyable. This beer isn’t too heavy, so drinking a six-pack during the course of a softball game is quite possible and is encouraged. At 5.4% ABV its pretty average, but does its job. I picked up a six-pack for $9 at the local Harris Teeter. I like the label too – it looks like Starsky and Hutch are fishing for a GIANT rainbow trout. Because nothing sells beer better than a 70s TV show (not the movie reboot) or enormous fish. Score!!!

Next time you are out fishing, or just sitting around with your thumb up your ass, give the Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale a try. The worst thing that happens is that you get a little drunk and don't catch any fish.

Drinkability: 6/10
Taste: 6/10
Value: 6/10
Curb Appeal: 7/10

Overall: 6.25/10

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