In the early 90’s, Freddy Bensch and Kevin McNerney, roomies at the University of Colorado in Boulder, found they had more of a hankering for beer than books, as they washed kegs on the loading docks of a local brewery in exchange for free beer. With all the free beer, their grades went up, their cars got fixed, friends were plentiful, and the sun shined a little brighter. Upon graduation they had to either find real jobs or get serious about brewing. So they headed to California’s American Brewers Guild.

In the summer of 1996, the energy and action of the Olympics brought Freddy to Atlanta, a town in need of a West Coast style brewery. He knew Atlanta needed their hoppy, aggressive ales. Freddy and Kevin picked up stakes and had just enough money to move to Atlanta and start the first brewery for SweetWater. The name comes from a kayaking experience down SweetWater Creek, as does their motto: “Don’t Float the Mainstream.”

Offering a new style of brewing and salesmanship, they sold their beer out of an old van, with Freddy’s dog Badger riding shotgun. Finally finding their way to Virginia-Highlands, they found a few bars who gave them the break they needed. The rest is history, including the 25,000 sq. ft. brewing facility purchased in 2004, and thousands of carefully brewed barrels.

Your favorite Beer of the Month Club joins SweetWater in bringing you SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale, their most popular (and multiple award winning) brew. It’s a tasty West Coast style PA with great hop character and a crisp finish.

SweetWater IPA is a mammoth India Pale Ale loaded with intense hop character and subjected to extensive dry-hopping. Unfiltered and unpasteurized, all the natural flavors remain intact. This is the beer you’ve been training for!

Featured Beer from SweetWater Brewery:
SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale and SweetWater IPA

EXTRA PALE ALE – SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale: You will find this EPA to be a hoppy, extra crisp version of the standard pale ale. Pop the top and serve this top-fermented EPA with hearty cheese, bread and raw vegetable dishes that accentuate the flavor and personality of this brew.

INDIA PALE ALE – SweetWater’s IPA: Made bitter and strong to survive long boat trips, it was originally brewed for British soldiers serving in India. Generous malts and hops lend strong hop flavor and aroma. Enjoy this refreshing, top-fermented brew with seafood and all things spicy or grilled. This one’s unfiltered, so you’ll notice a small cloud of “yeast dust” in the bottom of each bottle.

About the Author
Amy Heydt
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