Georgia Brown Ale is a year-round English-style brown ale from Atlanta brewer SweetWater. The nose is toasty with a little bit of chocolate and fig. The middle is creamy smooth with chocolate and bread sweetening it, but it isn’t overly sweet, as there’s some roasted grain notes that balance it nicely. There is a bit of caramel in the finish along with a hint of orange. The body is medium and the alcohol is reasonable at 5.1% ABV. This is a solid English brown ale with nice full flavor that isn’t overstated or overpowering in any way. For a brown ale, I really like it a lot.
A few weeks ago I reviewed SweetWater’s seasonal Whiplash White IPA, and today I’m having their year-round American IPA. It’s unfiltered, so in the glass it’s a beautiful cloudy copper with a nice tight dense foam head. The nose is bursting with grapefruit and pine and promises of hops to come. The middle is packed with flavor, hoppy, but the bitterness balanced with sweetness. To that effect, all the grapefruit notes are here, sugary sweet grapefruit juice balanced by bitter rind. The malt is mellowed by the use of some wheat, so this is really definitely a hop-forward beer. In the finish the are orange, a little pine, some distant spice and brown sugar, drying out right at the very end.The body is prototypically medium and the alcohol level is moderate at 6.3% ABV. Overall, a really nice IPA.
Whiplash is a spring winter* seasonal from SweetWater Brewing Company in Georgia that starts with a Belgian White Ale using Belgian yeast and wheat, then adds oats to further smooth out the malt flavor and loads of American hops to create a unique twist on an IPA. The nose is grassy, with a little bit of lemon. The middle has a generic citrus flavor that leans toward grapefruit and some sweetness from the oats. The finish has a good bit of orange, some pine, and is slightly metallic right at the end. The body is medium, with a nice weight added by the oats, and the alcohol is moderate at 6.2% ABV. This is a fun combination of a couple of really tasty styles, and I’m enjoying it quite a bit.
I give it a 4.4 out of 5.
* I was informed via Twitter by the fine folks from SweetWater that this is actually a winter, not spring seasonal. I thought I was done with the winter seasonals. I was wrong. Again.
Sweetwater Blue is a fairly typical craft wheat ale, but with the addition of blueberries which give a subtle twist. They did a really nice job of adding a fun and different flavor, but without overpowering the beer. The nose is very light, with a bit of grass and yeast. The middle is where the blue berries add some tang to the mild wheat base that turns slightly sweet, and then finishes dry and dusty. There’s a little bit of slate in there as well. This is a nice summer beer, and would be a good alternative for introducing Blue Moon fans to craft beer.