Some traditions take a while to get going. In the case of SweetWater Brewing Co. creating anniversary beers, the practice did not begin until 2012, its 15th year in business.

For the 20th anniversary and beer number six, SweetWater has created an Imperial IPA. The predecessors are:

  • 15th Anniversary – 2012 – Extra Special Bitter – 10 percent ABV
  • 16th Anniversary – 2013 – So Fine Red Wheat Ale – 11 percent ABV
  • 17th Anniversary – 2014 – Saison – 9 percent ABV
  • 18th Anniversary – 2015 – Belgian Triple Ale – 10 percent ABV
  • 19th Anniversary – 2016 – Golden Belgian Ale – 7 percent ABV

Hash hops are used in SweetWater’s 20th anniversary beer. It is concentrated hop powder collected after the hops are processed into pellets. Since hash hops have reduced vegetal mass, the ingredient has higher acid and oil concentration creating a more pungent effect for beers that utilize it. After the initial fermentation, the beer is fermented a second time on brettanomyces.


The Imperial IPA will come in 750ml bottles and feature 9 percent ABV, according to a label submitted to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).

On Sunday Feb. 19, 2017, SweetWater is hosting “the headiest 20th Anniversary party. Ever.” Tickets are $30 in advance, with festivities scheduled to commence at 2pm.

An email seeking further information from SweetWater was not immediately returned.