Firewater India Pale Ale | Catawba Brewing Co.

77 Reviews
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Firewater India Pale AleFirewater India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Catawba Brewing Co.
North Carolina, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by oberon on 03-15-2003

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Reviews: 77 | Ratings: 240
Photo of Briarscratch
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
2.2/5  rDev -36.6%
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.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

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Photo of nick76
3.12/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

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Photo of glid02
3.81/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
4.13/5  rDev +19%
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.

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Photo of aubuc1
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
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

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Photo of atsprings
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

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Photo of doubleipa
3.54/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of blackie
4.03/5  rDev +16.1%
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

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Photo of franksnbeans
4.02/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

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Photo of Hollenbeck2
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Photo of ncvbc
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +15.3%
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!

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Photo of BrewnZ
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another regional brew I tried while at Barley's Tap House in Knoxville,TN.

Has that nice golden haze of a heavily hopped beer. High American and English hop aromas. . . Full bodied with medium malt flavor and high hop flavor. Finally, hops! This was my #2 beer of the evening. The one thing that I did not like was the disconnect between the malt & hops due to an odd hop bill, or maybe just a yougish beer.

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Photo of Enola
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
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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Photo of BEERchitect
3.82/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of AlexJ
2.88/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Light golden yellow pour with a quick white head that fades fast. Some light lacing left behind.

Aroma is grainey and flowery, not very IPAish. Only a trace of detectable hops in the nose.

Flavor is an unbalanced tug of war between biscuity and cereal malts and undiscernable hops. Bitter, but not structured or even remotely complex.

Average body for an IPA, grainy, almost chalky mouthfeel.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.72/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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Photo of goindownsouth
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very nice offering, which I consumed on 07.28.05 at Barley's Taproom in Greenville, South Carolina.

A nice finger's-worth of head presented on the hazy ale left before me. The nose was somewhat bitter and citrusy, but not the overpowering hops I had expected. The flavor followed suit, but was somewhat muted in its pungency. I had expected more hop punch, for sure. Still, it finished well, and was not difficult to get down. A fine IPA.


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Photo of blitz134
3.73/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of mntlover
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of coasterfreak75
4.56/5  rDev +31.4%
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!

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Firewater India Pale Ale from Catawba Brewing Co.
3.47 out of 5 based on 240 ratings.
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