Brewing All Stars #12: SweetWater 420 Strain G13, Atlanta, Ga.
Date: July 31 , 2019 —
The Story— Part 2 of SweetWater: Their flagship ale is a Dry pale ale called 420. 420 is a no longer secret code involving marijuana. Thousands of pot heads light up at 4:20 on April 20th every year. A good many myths surround the the origin of the term, but the truth is that a few pot smoking athletes in San Rafael, California rendezvoused at 4:20 PM — after practice– to hunt a supposed pot field abandoned by a member of the Coast Guard who had been transferred. They never found the field, but somehow their term for pot hunting got to the Grateful Dead and from there to most of the globe.
The G13 refers to the way this IPA mimics the G13 strain of marijuana. Frankly we wouldn’t know from personal experience–yet– but pot smoking friends have identified a range of hops for us that mimic the aromas of marijuana pretty closely.
Ellie and I agree more often than not on what makes a good beer. I’m more tolerant of sours, if they’re really good, and she’s more fond of dark chewy beers than I am, but even in those groups, our ratings are usually close. no so with the really dank IPAs of late, however. I love ’em. Ellie tolerates them. This beer is one of those — OK by her, great by me. So there we are — you try it and decide. It’s not all that hard to find in the SweetWater distribution region.
The Beer– Chewy, slightly creamy rich malt, but then WHAM– the dank hits early and never lets go. Herbal and oily and manky in really nice way. Some stone fruit and pils malts show before along bitter with a manky back of the closet dankness that leaves Ellie looking for the door and me looking for the couch.
Value — Good to very good. Five and a quarter for a 13 ounce “pint” at the Carolina Ale House in Greenville, North Carolina.
Values: “fair” is a good beer at an above market price, “good” is worth the money, “very good” is a bargain, and “excellent” is a steal.
It’s All-Star season. MLB has finished theirs, but it seems like a new sport is showcasing exceptional talent almost every day. So we’ll be presenting our own all-star brewing line up. We don’t claim to present– or even know– what the best beers in America are, but out of the hundred or so that we taste every month, some are indeed special. For the second couple of weeks in July, we’ll share some recent standouts in a very crowded craft beer field. .
We’re often asked to share our tasting notes on over 33,000 beers; this blog is in answer to those requests. Not all our notes, though. The great beer writer Michael Jackson admirably followed the Thumper Rule, and we’ll try to do the same. (“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nuthin’ at all.”) All the beers we post are from the top half of our ratings and most are from the top quarter. Of greater value, we think, are the stories behind the beers, and we try to give you enough about the brewery, the style and the places to find great beer to help you on your own beer journeys. At CulturAle Press we try to write books and publish posts that will help you “Drink Well and Travel Safely.”