SweetWater Hash Session IPA

Session IPAs are still a huge thing. I like the style (if you can even call it that) as long as it has a decent amount of flavor to back it up. SweetWater is a relatively new brewery to the New Jersey market, so Val picked this one up for me to try.

hash session

ABV: 4.2%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “It might’ve taken us 17 years to get around to it, but we’re finally putting cans in your hands. We’re slingin 12-packs of 420, IPA and Take Two Pils in 12 oz. cans, plus 420 and IPA in 16 oz big boys.”

Random: The reason I posted this trivia is because I think this beer would have been better in a can. I always picture session IPAs in cans.

This beer poured with a one finger, thick and pillowy white head. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw yellow with moderate carbonation visible. On the nose, I got some pine needles and a pine cleaner with grass and lemon verbena. One thing that I didn’t pick up was malt. The taste did have caramel malt, although it still let the hops shine through. It was grassy and had a touch of sweetness from orange zest. But again, the citrus in the taste reminded me of a cleaner as opposed to pleasant hoppy flavors. The body was also a bit too thick for a session beer and needed some more carbonation. The finish was quick and malty with orange wood cleaner. I picked this up for $1.90, which broke down to $.16 per ounce. I had high hopes for this beer, but it just wasn’t for me.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

SweetWater The Pit & The Pendulum

When Val picked this up for me, we didn’t get SweetWater distribution. That has since changed, but I’ve only had a few beers from them. When I saw that this was a Brett beer with peaches, I knew I had to try it.


ABV: 8.3%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The perfect balance of three distinct divergences. Allowed to initially flower with Belgian ale yeast, The Pit & The Pendulum was then incarcerated with Brett and freshly pureed peaches to intensify the trifecta of its persona. Enjoy fresh, but also a good one for the cellar, as the Brett continues to contemplate its environment.”

Random: My one cat (Citra) keeps jumping on the couch to the window and back down. And no, he hasn’t had any catnip.

This beer poured with a huge, fluffy, four finger head. It was cream-colored and dissipated quickly, leaving behind no lacing on the glass. The body was bright-yellow and moderate carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of citrus up front with sweet orange flesh and peach flesh. I didn’t pick up any brett on the nose. There was slight amounts of hay. The taste was also not very tart. The brett just dried out the beer. There was a lot of fresh peach flesh and then a yeasty note, but it quickly goes into orange segments. It had an oak characteristic, but I don’t believe it was oak aged. The booze was really hidden. It had a medium thick body with lots of carbonation. The finish was lengthy and dry with peach. A corked and caged bottle of this was $14.99, which broke down to $.60 per ounce, which was on the more expensive side, but absolutely worth it. This was just a wonderful beer for a warm day.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale

Since it’s April 20th, I figured this would be an appropriate beer to review. I’ve read a lot of positive reviews about SweetWater and they’ve expanded their distribution to Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Although I’ve seen them on draft at bars, this is the first time I tried it and thought it would pair well with Mexican food (and indeed, it did).


ABV: 5.7%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “5.7% alcohol, 16 oz can singles, 6-packs, 12-packs (12 oz bottles and cans), 15.5 Gallon kegs 1/2Bbl (US Sankey), 5 gallon 1/6th bbl torpedo kegs.”

Random: This uses Munich, 40L, 2-Row malt and Centennial and Cascade hops.

This beer poured with a loose, one finger, ecru colored head. The head took a long time to dissipate and left spiderweb lacing on the can glass. The body was a clear orange with a lot of carbonation. The nose was quite fragrant. I picked up notes of grass, lemon flesh and lime peel with subtle pine sap. The taste was bright and the grassy hops came through first. Next, I picked up grapefruit and pine sap. At the end of the sip, a grainy note came through that was reminiscent of barley or oats. The body was thick for the style with lots of carbonation. It had a long finish with grassy hops and the remnants of the malt coming through. This beer was easy to put back and had a lot of flavor that came with it. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the style.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0