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Firewater IPA - Catawba Valley Brewing Company

Firewater IPAFirewater IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

124 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 124
Reviews: 63
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 13.11%

Brewed by:
Catawba Valley Brewing Company 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: 124 | Reviews: 63 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-05-2011 15:46:38 | More by chinchill
Photo of Reagan1984


4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

Serving type: on-tap

05-03-2011 01:05:13 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

3.3/5  rDev -6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

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


3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap in Asheville. A hazy orange with thin white head and spotty lace left behind. Smell: light caramel, spicy, earthy, a whiff of orange. Taste: pretty toasty, caramel, spicy, earthy, citrus peel - orange and grapefruit. Creamy carbonation with dry citrus finish. Nice bitterness but not one sided. Pretty good and more citrus focused than the usual NC IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2011 04:59:29 | More by babaracas
Photo of trecker


3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at a little sports bar that starts with an S and has $2.50 drafts on Sunday in Asheville.

This was very average. Not bad. Not notable though.

1 inch white foam head. Light copper color. Faint hop aroma. Very faint fruit aroma. Kinda hoppy taste.

Decent basic IPA. Maybe my review is unfair because I've been throwing back west coast IPAs lately.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2011 02:29:56 | More by trecker
Photo of mattsdenney


2.63/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On-Tap @ SunSpot on the strip in Knoxville.

A: Golden orange in color, bubbly, thin head and lacing.

S: Citrus, sweet.

T: Hmmm, definitely bitter but not as much of a hop bite as I would expect in an IPA. Honestly reminds me of a SN Pale Ale knockoff.

M: Light, oily and a little slick.

D: Catawba must have amazing sales reps b/c I can't believe that any bar/restaurant would keep this on draught as their primary IPA, especially with the variety of options available within the style.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2010 15:17:15 | More by mattsdenney
Photo of MTNboy


3.2/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-26-2010 14:16:00 | More by MTNboy
Photo of zeff80


3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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


3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-30-2010 13:17:19 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of shivtim


3.28/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap while visiting Charlotte.
Nice name... although it sets up unrealistic expectations.
Served up in a pint glass.

It's light yellow brown, with little orange tints. Small head. Looks fine. Nose is basic simple hop profile... maybe cascade? Taste is more of the same. Very one-noted, with perhaps a few bits of citrus flavor. Not much in the way of malts.

The mouthfeel is fine. Overall I guess this is a pretty drinkable beer, a sessionable IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

04-28-2010 18:14:28 | More by shivtim
Photo of Deuane


3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Slightly hazed copper with a thin off-white head that reduced to a thin veil and left spotty lace.

S-Light sweet caramel malt and a zing of spicy citrus hops.

T-Sweet malt up front with quick hitting zing of spicy citrus hops. Somewhat one dimensional and not very deep. Drying finish.

M-Medium bodied sharp and crisp with good lingering hop bitterness.

D-Not my ideal IPA but it is very crisp and easy to drink. he hop profile is not very deep or interesting and leaves me feeling flat. Put together well but....I want something more interesting.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2010 15:57:10 | More by Deuane
Photo of Briarscratch


3.28/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this one on tap at Barley's in Knoxville...not Ashville as it seems most other reviews came from. Orange copper color. The smell was overwhelmed with hop. The taste had a strong and spicy bite to it followed by a fair amount of hoppy bitter goodness. Firewater is a great name describing the fiery zing this brew has. The mouthfeel was a medium body with a resiny oil feel plus the peppery burn. Fairly easy to drink, didn't go well with the pizza I was eating though. Overall I enjoyed.

Serving type: on-tap

06-02-2009 21:22:57 | More by Briarscratch
Photo of Kegatron


3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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


2.13/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Draught. Pours a fairly nondescript gold, small offwhite head. Towards the end of the night - lots of astringent, medicinal quality where the hops should be. Finish is lots of aspirin. I did not end up finishing this - part of it could be a lack of freshness, but I cant be sure.

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2009 14:58:04 | More by JohnQVegas
Photo of tmoneyba


4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Barley's Tap in Knoxville.

Poured a hazy copper color with an average frothy white head that lasted and produced good lacing. Good hoppy citrus aroma. Medium body with a slick texture. Moderate bitter hoppy citrus flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of average duration.

Good drinkable beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-30-2009 00:34:55 | More by tmoneyba
Photo of nick76


3.1/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The aroma is quite hoppy with citrus and grassy hops as well as malt. The appearance is golden with a nice head. The flavor is like the aroma but astringently bitter. The palate is average for the style. Overall not a great IPA but very drinkable. Still it's worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

01-09-2009 09:11:48 | More by nick76
Photo of glid02


3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

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


4.13/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Barley's, Asheville.

This one was a nicely clear, yet dark amber color. Solid head of khaki bubbles left some nice lacing down the glass. The head really lasted on this one. I like my IPA's to have this darker color for some reason and this one looked really good to me.

The aroma was of citrus hops with a hint of pine in the background. Nice caramel malt smell lingered in the back, as well.

The taste was of those hops...nice and bitter. Pine came through more in the flavor, but the citrus still made an appearance. Slightly sweet malt backbone tried to balance it out, but wasn't very successful. I'm glad it wasn't.

Medium bodied with good carbonation. Slightly drying with a nice bitter aftertaste. With the abv barely above 5% I could easily see this being the beer of choice for a long afternoon. I'll have to find a place to get a growler of this one next time I am in the area.

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2008 17:37:45 | More by Imstillthegman
Photo of aubuc1


3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured from a growler

pours orangish amber with a thin head (prbably a semi flat growler)

smells like grapefruit and some sweet malt

very hoppy, bitter taste without much else

crisp mouthfeel that is classic for the style

the bitterness make it a little tough to drink

Serving type: growler

07-26-2008 17:24:43 | More by aubuc1
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served a nice slightly hazy orange with a decent head that diminished and left spotty lacing. Aroma was some citrus hops and sweet malts. The taste was slightly more on the piny hop side. The beer was light and refreshing. This was an enjoyable IPA to say the least.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2008 03:22:51 | More by atsprings
Photo of doubleipa


3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Barley's in Asheville. Medium hops aroma with some dominant pine. I initially didn't care for the pine, the hops comes through more after a couple of sips. In addition, the maltiness, though slight, came through. Pretty good, but not great. Not much of a head and clear color.

Serving type: on-tap

10-26-2007 14:49:25 | More by doubleipa
Photo of blackie


4.03/5  rDev +14.8%
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

Serving type: on-tap

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


4.03/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-09-2007 18:30:31 | More by franksnbeans
Photo of Hollenbeck2


3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer at a bar named Preservation Pub in Knoxville, TN it was on tap and the bar was too dark to even see what it was called I asked for any IPA they had on tap and they gave me this, it was great. highly recommend the beer and bar.

it was burntorange in color or at least it seemed that way it was so dark in the bar, good mouth feel and drinkable at at least three per sit.

Serving type: on-tap

07-18-2007 19:39:02 | More by Hollenbeck2
Photo of ncvbc

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A good, well-rounded IPA. I'm a fan of the brews from Catawba Valley but I suppose I enjoy their darker beers more. This beer is definitely making its rounds in the Asheville bar scene. I'm seeing it in more and more places that I go to. This was a nice amber color with a good head. Some citrus smells and a nice hoppy undertone. Good, smooth taste and a hint of hops as the smell suggested. This isn't quite as big compared to others I have in mind but the fact that it's so great in terms of taste and mouthfeel it's fine. Overall this one is drinkable and as I said before seems to be a choice IPA in the area lately. I can see how this might be true.

Serving type: on-tap

03-26-2007 02:52:50 | More by ncvbc
Firewater IPA from Catawba Valley Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 124 ratings.