Dec 2, 2014

Sweetwater Brewing Spinnerbait

Spinnerbait was just recently announced by Atlanta’s Sweetwater Brewing last week. These samples of the brew arrived shortly after. But they sat for a couple of days before I finally decided to crack one open. Was I too busy for them? Nope, not really. I was just nervous about a red ale (not my favorite style) brewed with Belgian yeast.

This 6% ABV (25 IBU) is brewed with a blend of Aromatic malt, 2-row, Pilsner, wheat and black wheat malts, as well as a combination of Columbus, Willamette and U.S. Goldings hop varieties. An Ardennes yeast strain and Belgian rock candi are the final ingredients in Spinnerbait. The result is an aromatic brew that entices the senses initially, but comes across a little muddled in the end.


Spinnerbait pours a dark, attractive reddish amber in color with a cap of dense, beige foam that lasted a good long while.

Sweetwater Brewing Spinnerbait photo


Peppery/spicy yeast, caramel, grass, dark fruits and bread tingle the nose with a playful aroma.


The malt bill is all red ale while a peppery yeast presence arrives quickly, though not as strong as the aroma let on. Grassy hops and a light bight of bitterness balance out caramel and bready notes. I don’t pick up any residual sweetness from the candi sugar and the finish is slightly drying. The flavors as described in the press release are all there, but they don’t quite gel smoothly.


I love a large number of Sweetwater Brewing product line, but Spinnerbait just isn’t one of them. Obviously, my personal preferences and general dislike of red ales is a huge factor here. The brew certainly has an interesting array of flavor and I like the peppery tingle it brings, but in the end, it’s still a red ale. I’m sure some folks will dig the brew. For me, however, I’d happily pickup a bottle or three of their Hop Hash.

Rating: 3.25/5

This is a review of a promotional sample.

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