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Firewater India Pale Ale - Catawba Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Firewater India Pale AleFirewater India Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

190 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 190
Reviews: 73
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 12.93%
Wants: 5
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Catawba Brewing Co. visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: oberon on 03-15-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 190 | Reviews: 73
Reviews by kemoarps:
Photo of kemoarps
3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to brentk56 for sending this one along

Pretty little pour: hazy light amber with a massive pillowy head

I'm not getting too much on the nose. Maybe some musty hay, Some lightly spicy hops maybe?

The haybale continues on into the taste, with a musty grainy backbone. Soon enough the hops pop in and take a sharply bitter turn. Not much else. The bitterness isn't particularly flavourful, just kind of... bitter.

Sharp bitterness with not much... shape, or much balancing it, somewhat thin. Decent, certainly drinkable, but nothing to write home about. Of the package I recently received, this was the one for which I had the lowest expectations. If it turns out to be the least enjoyable, then I'll be happy (let's be honest, even if it's not, I'm still gonna be pretty happy). It's not a BAD beer, by any means, and I don't mean to present it as such, it's just not one that really brings anything special.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
2.93/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this at Barleys Tap Room in Asheville,I admit I was intruiged by the name,the beer was not anything great though.Kind of deep copper color with orange hue not much head,the aroma was mainley minty from what I got.Not real flavorful mainley hoppy not to much balance here,did go down pretty easy though.Wont try again.

Photo of blitz134
3.73/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at Barley's in Asheville...

Reviewed from notes...

Somewhat hazy golden color, 1-finger white head leading to good lacing all the way down. Smell was citrus dominated by grapefruit with a sweet strawlike malt presence. Light overall.

No citrus in the taste, mainly pine and resin hop flavors leading to a decent bitterness. Picked up some grassy harshness which didn't do well for the taste.

Mouthfeel was a bit thin. Heavily carbonated. The lighter flavor helps this to be a drinkable beer. Its a nice, light refreshing beer for this hot, humid summer day.

Photo of Billolick
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce can without freshness info being offered.
Pours clouded medium golden amber, under a large near white and lasting head. leaves nice thick webs of lacing.

Nose of pine, hop resin and a hint of ripe melon.

Tasty enough AIPA, with a respectable hop package, more resins and pine providing the bite.

Carbonation and mouthfeel are on point. I enjoyed several of these during a recent stay in NC. Nice everyday type of brew/IPA.

Photo of chinchill
3.73/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap and served in a pint glass in Black Mountain, NC.

Appearance: Lots of lace, not much head; Cloudy orange amber, visible yeast in this obviously unfiltered IPA

Aroma: rather mild and malty for style; tangy hops, baked bread

Flavor 4: somewhat mild hop start with a lasting and moderately bitter hop & grapefruit finish and aftertaste. Hops bring both citrus and piney components to the rather earthy flavor mix.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, slightly low but acceptable carbonation (this pushed the rating down from 4 t0 3.5).

Overall: a fairly typical Western NC IPA in that it is rather malty and somewhat earthy. This one has a more generous (too generous, some will think, no doubt) malt background.

Photo of glid02
3.81/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this at Barley's in Asheville.

Pours a hazy copper color with a rocky one-finger off-white head. The head eventually dissipates into a patchy layer on top and a thick ring around the glass. Lacing is good.

Smells of light sweet malt with even lighter citrus aromas.

Tastes good. Sweet malt up front with a hint of citrus flavors. The bitterness is front and center in this beer, it hits midway through and lingers through the aftertaste. Crisp finish.

Mouthfeel is good. Good carbonation and good thickness make this a smooth beer.

Drinkability is good. There's not a whole lot of hop character, but I'm a fan of the bitterness. I could definitely have a few of these without getting tired of any flavors.

Overall I liked this beer a lot. It's not an amazing IPA, but it's very crisp and easy to drink. Worth a shot.

Photo of tdm168
3.96/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - orangish copper with a big, thick, white head that has great retention

S - spicy, earthy, faint citrus

T - bread, citrus, grapefruit, spicy, mint, bitter finish

M - medium bodied, smooth, great carbonation

This is a smooth, highly drinkable beer. It has good flavor and balance. It's worth checking out.

Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Barley's Taproom & Pizzeria (Asheville, NC) on 4/17/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper with a thin head of off-white foam. Retains with a thin creamy layer, that leaves a massive coating of sticky lacing back. The aroma is floral and spicy smelling, with a solid tangy backing of citrus and caramel malts.

The taste has a moderate hop bite to it, with bitterness, spices, and a splash of citrus lasting the whole way through. Solid balance to this as well, bringing a silky malt backbone of caramel and toasted malts to the table. The hops still nicely shine in this though, bringing the bitterness but not overdoing it. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with an overall easy flowing carbonation but there is a bit of a crisp prickle to the proceedings that nicely compliments the bitterness.

A solid IPA for sure, this seemed a bit unbalanced towards the hops side at first but then opened up nicely with some good balance the more I worked on it. The 5.2% feels right here as well, giving up enough taste but staying low enough to give this some decent drinkibility to.

Photo of Backer2004
3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this IPA at my favorite hangout in Black Mountain, NC -- the Town Pump. Great to drink but does not have the best IPA qualities, a bit bland for the style. Little head or lacing and very little sting to the tongue. Great name but nothing to special with its taste. Would be interested in trying some others from this brewery.

Photo of thagr81us
3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a sampler shaker. Poured yellow-orange with a one finger bone white head that remained throughout. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, earthy, and bitter hops. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, earthy, slight citrus hop, and slight bitter hop. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. All of the aspects on this one seemed to be very weak in intensity to me. I really wanted to be kicked in the face on this one (I mean, it is an IPA afterall), but it just didn't do it. Don't think I would try this again as I don't like weakness.

Photo of tone77
3.43/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a cloudy dark golden color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of hops and pine. Taste is the same, hops, pine, a bit of mint, bitterness and somewhat unbalanced. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall this is a decent beer.

Photo of smakawhat
3.09/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from the can into a Spiegelau IPA glass. No decipherable dating except some puzzle on the bottom.

Simple orange amber body, kind of light towards lemon and fairly clear with nice light carbonation. Head is fluffy and off white, with about three fingers tall and settling to a small clumped up top of about a finger with no lacing. Pretty solid.

Aroma is really closed. Really. Nothing. Practically zero, not even a whiff of malt caramel off this thing. Other than that it's clean and non faulty on the bouquet.

Palate unfortunately continue much of the noses flavors. Neutral palate in the middle. No malt presence, and not even any hops. Finish is light grainy, and a very mild bitterness that if stretching it, perhaps has a hint of pine. Palate in feel isn't a total loss but is a little weak in it's structure. Only flavors seem to come on the aftertaste and also come off thin and weak.

A real miss on the IPA realm, and one of the most uninteresting ones I've had in awhile. Not bad, just really boring with nothing going on.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.21/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Can shared by Curran tonight.

Pours a golden yellow, with a small quarter inch head, and not a whole lot of lacing.

Smells like, well, not a whole lot. I get some pine, and that's really it. It's not distinctive in any way.

The taste is similar. I guess it tastes a little bit better, but this a pedestrian IPA through and through. Some pine, a bit of caramel, and just a overriding watery character. Not much to this one.

It's light bodied, almost feels like a pale ale, or something even lighter than that. There's a moderate amount of carbonation.

This is a miss.

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Barleys in Greenville.

Came out a nice pale amber, a bit cloudy with a thin white head, that faded to leave a nice lace down the side. Smell was of citrus, grapefruit and pineapple, with a hint of sweetness. The taste was straight hops at first, but as it warmed some balance came to it and had a bit of a ever so light sweet maltiness. Nicely carbonated and goes down smooth. This was a good IPA and my first brew from Catawba. I will definatly have to try some more!

Photo of wcudwight
3.72/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Parkside in Morganton NC. Dark amber appearance with one finger head. Kind of a strange spicy smell. Not like other IPAs, but good. Taste was hoppy with hint of malt at the end. A little mild. Mouthfeel and Drinkability is where this beer excelled. Mouthfeel had great carbonation that made me want to savor it before swallowing. Drinkability is very smooth to the last drop. Makes you want another...and another. I've heard a rumor that Catawba Valley Brewing is going to move into the Morganton city limits and open a tap room. Man I hope that's true.

Photo of franksnbeans
4.02/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served to me a hazy burned orange with a ring of head and spotty lacing. Smells a little malty with a bitter hoppiness. Taste is pretty simple with a little malt that doesn't hang with or balance the bitter hops. Medium in the mouth with light carbonation. Took a little time to get through it.

Photo of blackie
4.03/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: The beer is a hazy amber in color with great retention and heavy lacing

smell/taste: Good pale and amber malt presence with a light to moderate sweetness. Citrus hops are a nice compliment to the grain flavors. Nice bitterness level. This is a good beer but I would like the hops to be a little more fresh and livelier.

m: The body is medium with low-medium carbonation

d: easy

Photo of metter98
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy yellow in color and has some hues of amber along with a light to moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that died down but consistently left a thin head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light aromas of grassy and herbal hops are present in the nose.
T: The taste has a mélange of flavors—including herbal hops as well as notes of caramel malts plus hints of citrusy, grassy and spicy hops. A light amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a very good balance between the malts and hops and tastes a little like a hybrid between an American and English IPA.

Photo of BeerDocT
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a six of these at a gas station last time I was in Western North Carolina. Cannot find this brand at the big stores in Asheville (yet!) and was impressed.

Appearance 4.0: Poured out a deep, semi-translucent golden color with a close to perfect 1/2" head. Lots of particulate matter floating around in this beer, which -to me-- is always a good thing.

Smell 4.0: Wonderful bouquet on this brew. Hop-forward, like an IPA should be, with predominately Columbus and Cascade hops dominating the nose. Also, there is a deep barley scent that is pleasing and promising.

Taste 4.0: Front is smooth and has a low-level alkaline feel and the pleasant taste of grapefruity hops. Middle is a big punch of biscuit malt and a deeper and tantalizing taste of a rich caramel malt. Finish features almost a perfect blend of peppery, piney hops and a smooth, pleasing malt overtone with a slight sweetness. Aftertaste is of medium length and brings out a very nice taste of a citrus-rind hop flavor missing in the earlier flavor palates.

Mouthfeel 4.0: Smooth, well-balanced and a complementary level of carbonation.

Overall 4.0: Excellent IPA. So smooth, balanced and refreshing. There is a full mouth-feel in this beer that almost makes me think that maltodextrin was used, but if so, who cares. The grain balance and the hop blend is all first-rate. Recommended if you can find it and I hope you will be able to soon.

Photo of MTNboy
3.18/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I might have said this was a decent Pale Ale but and don't get me wrong it was alright as a beer but it was not what I personally thought an IPA should be. It was very light in hop qualities in both the aroma and flavor. The smell was fruity and sweet. The taste matched that with some slight bitter tones and citrus. The mouthfeel was medium and the drinkability was also good. It just wasn't what I would call an IPA.

Photo of Cresant
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served this 12 oz. can in a Sam Adams glass. No date. The body was a nice golden amber with a light haze. The off white head was soapy looking and faded quickly. A thin cap remained and created light lacing in the glass.

The smell was lightly citrusy with a mild malty/syrupy character. It bloomed a little floral as it warmed further.

The taste was gentle. Gentle bitterness and gentle sweetness. However, a second wave of bitterness appears and lingers a long time. Not overly hoppy and maybe a little south of fresh. This one was fruity and clean. It grew on me and I liked it better as I drank it.

The mouthfeel was medium to light with plenty of carbonation.

Photo of patre_tim
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

A: Golden cloudy with particles floating within, almost no carbonation, 4 fingers of off white head, a little random lacing.


S: Light floral, caramel, ruby red grapefruit, red beets, earthy, children’s aspirin, aged red pepper i.e. mild and dull pepper.


T: White grapefruit, light caramel, little floral quality, malts, rum, medium biting bitterness at the finish. Children’s aspirin.


M: Medium body, little carbonation.


O: Found this at Greenlife in Asheville. An ok IPA, really not the best I’ve had. Feels somehow lacking in complexity, feels more like an APA to me. Drank Sept 7th 2014 in China.

Photo of mntlover
3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

beer is a nice cloudy amber with a one finger head that falls quick but leaves great lace down my glass. Aroma is light slightly grainy malt with hops floral pine mixture aroma little subdued but not bad. Taste is malt lightly sweet then the hops announce themselves grpaefruity with a dose of sugar poured on it best explain the flavor, lightly sweet citrus coming thru that leaves a light lingering bitterness on your tounge. Mouthfeel is a good medium goes down smooth. Drinkability is good a nice little IPA not the best but non the less a drinkable brew.

Photo of coasterfreak75
4.56/5  rDev +31%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer a Barley's Taproom and Pizzaria in Knoxville, TN. The pour was an IPA standard amber with a good three-quarter inch head that quickly dissapated and stuck to the sides of the glass throughout the drink.

That is the only place this beer was average! The smell was, to say the least, strange. It was a weird mix of malt and spice. I know you're thinking malt and spice, what's so strange? I can't really put my finger on what it was, just accept the fact that it's strange.

The taste was more like a good altbeir than an IPA. It started very clean and then you get a progressively stronger hop bite. All followed by a clean finish. Absolutely no lingering hops in your mouth after swallowing.

All and all a very refreshing, no forget that, it's just a damn good beer!

Photo of Enola
3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pint at Parkside

This beer has sweet notes to it. The color is a nice orange. The smell is citrusy. The taste is pretty bold for an IPA. Not overpowering bold, but a nice well rounded brew. The mouthfeel had a lingering bitterness that is a little different than other IPA's. I could drink these again. And will often once the brewery opens in downtown and growler sales begin.

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Firewater India Pale Ale from Catawba Brewing Co.
79 out of 100 based on 190 ratings.