SweetWater Brewery Celebrates 19 Years in the Business With New Session IPA

SweetWater Brewery Celebrates 19 Years in the Business with new Session IPA
By: Coren E. McLeod 





In 2016, it seems as though many are jumping onto the whole “craft beer” band wagon. I am on that band wagon. However, I have been drinking beer for a while. I have been drinking craft beer since 2005. It was a fateful night down in Schaumburg, Illinois at the wonderful establishment known as The RAM. I was completely new to the craft beer scene at that time. So, I decided to try something new besides the typical Rolling Rock that I was drinking. I took a chance and tried my lips on the Total Disorder Porter. Ever since that first sip, I was addicted to porters and stouts.

In the past 11 years, my palette has grown and I have actually dabbled in the craft beer industry. I have volunteered for Schlafly Brewery in St. Louis and Scorched Earth Brewing Company in Algonquin, Illinois. Plus, I had the great opportunity to work as one of the 1st brew crew members at Chain O’Lakes Brewing Company in McHenry.

SweetWater Brewery is a phenomenal brewery in the great state of Georgia that was founded in 1997 by Freddy Bensch and Kevin McNerny (Brew Master). A little known fact about this brewery is Bensch named the brewery after a kayaking trip down Sweetwater Creek. Here is what Nick Nock, head brewer, had to say about their newest release Hash Session IPA: “We’ve wanted to brew a session IPA for a long time, and access to hop hash finally allowed us to deliver one in true SweetWater style,” says Nick Nock.

According to SweetWater Brewery, The star of the show here is the Amarillo hop hash – the brewers kept the malt bill light to allow the concentrated hop flavor to shine through, differentiating it from other session IPAs. Pungent with floral, tropical citrus fruit flavors; the hop hash gives it that one of a kind chewy, gooey, resiny mouthfeel. As the chaser, SweetWater gave it a hefty dry hop to enhance the potent aromas. Ahtanum gives it orange and grapefruit tones, Crystal for a little kick of spiciness, and El Dorado bringing some pear and watermelon characteristics.

The ABV at 4.2% makes it a highly drinkable, refreshing brew, perfect for springtime.
Malts: Maris Otter, Pilsner, Wheat, Midnight Wheat Hops: Bravo, Amarillo Hash ABV: 4.2% IBUs: 55

Available in 6-pack bottles, plus bottles and cans in the spring SweetWater Tackle Box; distribution begins on February 8 to all 18 states (and DC) where SweetWater is sold.


I had a great chance to get my hands on this special release beer thanks to Tucker Sarkisian. I got to try it with two of my craft beer buddies during one of our craft beer meetings. (Yes, I am a part of a craft beer club. LOL. I am that much of a beer dork.) While trying this beer, the first thing that came to my mind is how the hops have a slight fruity taste to it along with a bready finish. The smell of the hops were wonderful: floral with a slight lingering scent of blossoms. The appearance is golden with a light head that is clear as day. The mouthfeel of this Session IPA is perfect for spring and summer: thinner with slight medium carbonation.

Overall, this beer from SweetWater is perfect for the warmer seasons coming up. I like the fact that the beer was not overly hopped up and I could enjoy a few while at a family BBQ. I would have to give this beer a 4/5 mugs (lol.) I truly enjoyed it and I believe others will be looking to enjoying this refreshing beer.

Thanks again to SweetWater Brewery for letting me try their newest release. And if there are any other breweries out there that would like me to rate their beer, you can email me coren.mcleod@unratedmagazine.com. And for anyone else out there, you can find me on the app UnTappd to follow me and see what beers/breweries I try and go to. My username is cocoamc20. #Cheers


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