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Firewater IPA - Catawba Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Firewater IPAFirewater IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

155 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 155
Reviews: 67
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 13.51%
Wants: 3
Gots: 9 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: oberon on 03-15-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 155 | Reviews: 67 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of metter98

New York

3.53/5  rDev +1.4%

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.

08-21-2013 01:22:03 | More by metter98
Photo of BEERchitect


3.83/5  rDev +10.1%

Second visit (9/8/07) Much better balalnced beer that I remember. Hops stand out with a pine character. Very clean and refresthing.

From a name like Firewater, I'd expect much more. Aromas are hoppy, but not overly dominant. Lots of bready and caramelly malts come through in the nose. The hops are strong bittering, but not the floral, spicy, earthy kind that usually accompanies and IPA. The color is a lightly murky orange-straw color. The head retention is nice and lace-ey. Flavors are well balanced between the sweet malts and assertive hops. The problem is that I don't want balance in an IPA! I want hops out of balance! This one didn't scream HOOOOPs! I would have said that it makes for a good English IPA, but the American hop varietly wouldn't let me. The body is better than moderate. It softens a bit into the finish, making for an easy drinking beer. It's not bad, just not what I expected.

10-17-2005 15:21:58 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +14.9%

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!

02-04-2007 03:49:48 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of ygtbsm94


3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

02-10-2014 21:26:52 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of kylehay2004


3.03/5  rDev -12.9%

Half finger head with no real retention but nice lacing on a hazy golden with slight amber hue body. Herbal, musty and fruity hops intermingle to form an aroma which is not very inviting. Flavor is very metallic and herbal with pale malts in the background remaining tart and bitter late into the aftertaste although the bitterness isnt all that overwhelming, it just doesnt want to go away. Medium body and moderate carbonation. This one is basically bitter and has lamost no flavor to it being very bland.

10-25-2012 03:16:49 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

2.9/5  rDev -16.7%

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.

03-15-2003 06:09:20 | More by oberon
Photo of zeff80


3.68/5  rDev +5.7%

On Tap at the Mellow Mushroom - Asheville

A - Poured a clear, orange gold color with a one-finger, white head of foam. It sticky patches of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of citrus, pineapple and caramel.

T - A citrus hop presence with grapefruit flavors. It had a sweet caramel taste wild a mild spice and bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This was recommended by the bartender after I told him I liked hops. It was not a bitter/hoppy brew like I had expected.

07-12-2010 02:03:11 | More by zeff80
Photo of nickfl


2.73/5  rDev -21.6%

A - Pours with one finger of white foam on top of a slightly hazy, golden body. The foam settles fairly quickly and leaves decent lace.

S - Some spicy to slightly sweaty hops and light malt.

T - A bit of pine and acidic malt up front. Some grain and burnt toast in the middle with a finish of pine and somewhat harsh bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, a dry finish and a touch of astringency.

D - Not very good. The hop character is almost all in the bitterness with a unfortunate lack of aroma and flavor. Couple that with anemic malt and harsh bitterness and you have a poor showing.

10-25-2012 03:16:12 | More by nickfl
Photo of Kegatron


3.9/5  rDev +12.1%

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.

04-22-2009 12:18:03 | More by Kegatron
Photo of DrunkinYogi


3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

06-02-2014 02:47:42 | More by DrunkinYogi
Photo of woodychandler


4.13/5  rDev +18.7%

I dance with excitement and anticipation each and every time local, in-person trader tone77 mentions that he has beer for me. He was recently in North Carolina and came back with a significant CANtribution to The CANQuest (TM). I have thoroughly enjoyed each one and wish that I could get some more for review.

From the CAN: "'Professionally Brewed Beer for Professional Beer Drinkers.'"; "Fine, Hand-Crafted Ales"; "Since 1999"; "This golden straw colored IPA is made with 5 varieties of malts and 6 massive hops. It is a stand-alone great in flavor and aromatics. Any fan of a classic India Pale Ale will be pleased to taste this intricately crafted beer."

First white lightning, now Firewater. I CAN see where this day is headed. Holy carbonation, Batman! The Crack revealed a beer eager to come out and greet me, much like a puppy on its master's return. This was notable as the beer had been unmoved, cooling in my reefer until just a moment ago. Full? No wonder it popped. It was so full that there was no room for the tab to move into the CAN! The inverted Glug was the work of a master, forming two fingers of dense, tawny head with good retention. Color was a slightly hazy deep-amber. Nose had a mintiness reserved for chewing gum and/or mouthwash. Minty fresh! Mouthfeel was medium and I simply allowed the beer to roll around on my tongue, letting the hops linger like a kiss. Schlitz used to advertize as "Just a kiss of the hops" and that being the case, this was a French Kiss of the hops. Gimme, baby. Dense sticky lacing began to form in the glass with each successive sip. It was not fiery, but neither was it mellow. It was striking a nice balance between too many hops and not enough. Finish was dry, but not so dry that I was gasping for water, either. More, I want more.

05-25-2013 19:00:15 | More by woodychandler
Photo of Billolick

New York

4/5  rDev +14.9%

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.

07-25-2012 02:55:14 | More by Billolick
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.71/5  rDev +6.6%

A: Pours a crystal clear medium golden orange in color with some light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some copper highlights. The beer has a finger tall creamy light beige head that reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of citrus/grapefruit pith hops with lighter notes of caramel malts.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of slightly sweet caramel malts with strong flavors of hops - citrus/grapefruit pith and citrus/orange rind along with a lighter amount of pine/resin. There is a moderate to strong amount of bitterness which lingers for quite a while.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of creamy carbonation. Moderately dry in the finish.

O: Pretty strongly bitter but an enjoyable brew that went pretty well with BBQ pork - not the easiest to drink because the bitterness is aggressive.

07-14-2013 22:50:34 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of John_M


3.53/5  rDev +1.4%

On tap at Barley's last night.

The beer pours an orange amber color with good head retention and lacing. Unfortunately, this was to be as good as it gets for this beer. The nose was just flat out weird, and smelled as if it had been lightly infected with brett. There was some sour funk, which blended in an unusual way with the dank earth and very light citrus. Interestingly, I didn't get any sour component on the palate, with the beer simply coming across as a fairly dry, lightweight IPA with modest bitterness on the finish. Mouthfeel was light to the point I thought the beer a bit watery. Drinkability would normally be pretty good (it was obvious that the abv. was pretty low in this one), but there was so little flavor, with so little hoppy bitterness, I can't imagine ever having more then one of these.

Mehhhh... I've had worse, but this was not very impressive.

05-30-2010 13:17:19 | More by John_M
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +14.4%

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.

05-28-2012 23:10:18 | More by tdm168
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

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.

09-05-2011 15:46:38 | More by chinchill
Photo of glid02


3.8/5  rDev +9.2%

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.

11-24-2008 23:01:24 | More by glid02
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.51/5  rDev +0.9%

Poured from a can into a shaker pint, the beer is a slightly hazy, amber0copper coloring, with a filmy, sparse, white surface coating of head. Nose of tangy and heavily roasted caramel, melon fruit, and subtle hops bitterness. Flavors are tangy and roasted caramel forward, with hints of char and wood, and a subtle peppery, dry hops character. Smooth, mid-bodied, with a tangy and roasted aftertaste. The finish is smooth, with a sweet linger, and the roasted notes provide an edge to all the sweetness. This one seems to miss the style a bit, though.

07-27-2014 01:46:54 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

3.3/5  rDev -5.2%

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.

04-01-2011 11:58:06 | More by thagr81us
Photo of tone77


3.41/5  rDev -2%

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.

03-16-2013 19:29:20 | More by tone77
Photo of RBorsato


3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

05-30-2014 19:37:15 | More by RBorsato
Photo of pathman


3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

07-22-2014 21:07:30 | More by pathman
Photo of blackie


4.03/5  rDev +15.8%

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

10-15-2007 04:23:56 | More by blackie
Photo of KevinGordon

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

08-20-2013 04:44:23 | More by KevinGordon
Photo of Reagan1984


4/5  rDev +14.9%

Enjoyed a couple of pints while in Asheville, NC. One of my favorite beer cities.

The pints came with Creamy head and lots of visible carbonation. Color is amber/orange in color with a slight unfiltered haze. Insane amounts of lacing leave behind a trail of your enjoyment.

The IPA's in the area all share a similar aroma and flavor component. Some brown sugar. You can smell a touch of sweetness amidst the hoppy aroma. Pretty interesting.

Nice flavor. Very fruity with a light cracker tone. As described, not overly sweet but definitely some brown sugar notes. Finish is real nice.

Mouth feel is that of a freshly drawn IPA with just enough carbonation to sparkle the flavor.

I had never heard of the brewer and tried this as it was suggested by the bartender.

Many thanks Bartender!

05-03-2011 01:05:13 | More by Reagan1984
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Firewater IPA from Catawba Brewing Co.
79 out of 100 based on 155 ratings.