Apr 17, 2015

Sweetwater Brewing 420 Fest Double IPA

There’s no denying that Atlanta’s Sweetwater Brewing now how to handle some hops (whole cone, pelleted or hash). Hell, one search for the company on this site will find a plethora of reviews on their pale ales and IPAs. The latest brew in their Dank Tank series, 420 Fest Double IPA, certainly follows suit in their hopped-up tradition.

This big IPA (8% ABV, 85 IBU) isn’t just another addition to the line-up or a complimentary release to their annual beer and music event. 420 Fest Double IPA has been crafted with nearly two pounds of experimental hops per barrel — roughly 460 total pounds. Working with the Hopsteiner Breeding Program, Sweetwater has employed Eureka™ and Lemondrop™ experimental varietis. The result is a beer that is dank (living up to the name of the limited release series) and chock full of tropical fruits and piney goodness.


A large column of tawny foam rests atop the rich amber brew. It certainly looks good in the glass.

Sweetwater Brewing 420 Fest Double IPA photo


The smell of fruity, piney hops starts to fill the room immediately upon cracking the bottle open. Resinous pine, grapefruit, tropical notes, herbal notes and a touch of caramel gently waft from the mouth of the glass.


The flavors of 420 Fest Double IPA are just about as dank as the aroma. Pine, resin, tropical fruits, a bit of cattiness and a solid about of bitterness wash over the palate fully with each swallow. The herbal notes, lemon, grapefruit and other tropical traits shine a good deal more as the beer warms in the glass. The alcohol is pretty well masked and the brew ends with a wonderfully long lasting finish.


First off, it’s always exciting to sample experimental hops in use, especially when showcased in a DIPA like 420 Fest. Secondly, for 85 IBU, this beer is anything but a hop bomb — it’s not exactly balanced, but it certainly doesn’t wreck the palate with over-the-top bitterness. Sweet water have themselves a treat of a beer with this latest addition to their Dank Tank series. I suppose the only thing they can do next is to combine the hash from these experimental along with the same as fresh, whole cones. Hint, hint.

Rating: 4.25/5

This is a review of a promotional sample.

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