Tuesday, November 1, 2011

SweetWater IPA & Blue

To close out the last night of our trip to Tennessee, I threw some porkchops on the grill and had a couple of brews left to sample before hitting the road early the next morning.

The duo I had remaining were from Atlanta, Georgia, and a brewery I had only tried once before. My experience with SweetWater Brewing Co. has been limited to a rather poor, tall mug of their 420 Extra Pale Ale in the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport at a Samuel Adams Brewpub...I wasn't very impressed then, but the environment paired with the fact I had just sampled TONS of wonderful beer while in Salt Lake City could have had something to do with it!

This time around I had chosen a couple of brews with a little more potential: their IPA and "Blue" - a blueberry infused wheat beer.

SweetWater IPA is a bit light on the palate for an IPA, but still tremendously better than their 420! The beer pours a bright amber color with a two-finger head of off-white lacy foam. From the first sip there is a nice bitter presence, both in aroma and flavor. It is also very easy to drink and could have handled several of these in a sitting.

SweetWater Blue is a much brighter, clear pilsner yellow brew with a large, three-finger head of white fizz. The beer weighs in at 4.6% ABV and won a World Beer Cup Silver Medal back in '98. This wheat ale has a light blueberry aroma, and actually is a bit tangy at first taste. Its fruity overtones provide a mouth-watering reaction that surprised me, but I ended up really enjoying this refreshing beer - the best of the three I have tried so far in my opinion!

They were both a great way to close out the weekend away, and I am looking forward to journeying back to the Smokies in the future. Maybe next time it won't take me a full week-and-a-half to write up the trip!

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