Shiva IPA   

Review Date 2/19/2005   Last Updated 5/16/2015   By John Staradumsky

I first visited the Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company back in February of 2005, and that’s when I got my first taste of their delightful Shiva India Pale Ale, along with 7 other beers they had on tap at the time. Here’s what I thought of the place and of the Shiva IPA in particular:

Begin Fond reminiscence:

In all my days of beer hunting, I’ve come across some unique and interesting brewpubs. Perhaps none, however, are quite so idiosyncratic and unique as Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company. Located just a stone’s throw from downtown Asheville, North Carolina, this fine establishment offers up some great pizzas, fine beer and plenty of entertainment.

Entertainment, you say? Yes, entertainment. This isn’t just a pizzeria and brewery, no it’s far more. It’s also a movie theatre where you can catch second run flicks for just $2 a seat. Or, if you so desire, treat the kids to a film while you enjoy a meal and a brew with your spouse.

But wait. There’s more. If your kiddies are too young to sit still for an entire movie, there are coloring books and crayons, toys, and even video games in a special area reserved for the little ones. Indeed, Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company is one of the most kid-friendly places you’ll ever visit.

We dropped by on a Saturday night, and the place was jamming, packed with locals who know what a great value Asheville Pizza and Brewing really is. As soon as you enter, you’ll notice a bar to the right with a slew of taps, most of them house beers and a few guest brews. A sign directly overhead tells you what’s on.

There are several dining areas, including a few tables scattered haphazardly in the silo-shaped corners. The walls there are plastered with funky murals depicting stone walls and various characters enjoying a brew.

Hey, I love pizza, but it was the beer that brought me here. And I was pretty excited to see eight different house brews along with Brown Bear Ale from the Catawba Valley Brewing Company and a pilsner from Asheville’s French Broad Brewing Company. Which is named after a local river, by the way.

I wanted to try them all, but ten pints did not seem a good idea. So, I asked for a sampler. They don’t sell them as such, or so I was told, but my waitress promptly proceeded to fill eight sampler cups with a taste of each of the house brews at no charge. Yeah, she got a good tip.

I sampled the following:

Shiva IPA: This was my favorite, lots of crisp biscuity malt, intensely hoppy aroma and bitterness, long lingering hop bite in the finish. This was my favorite; I got a pint of it too. *****

Beer prices are very reasonable at $3 a pint or $9 a pitcher.

Did I mention they have pizza here? They do, plus wings, salads, quesadillas, sandwiches, pasta, fish and chips and more. There are plenty of vegetarian options (including burgers) if you are so inclined.

Specialty pizzas abound. They run $10 to $11 for a 12 inch, $13 to $14 for a 15 inch, and $16 to $17 for an 18 inch pie. The Moon Pie sounded interesting. It’s doused with olive oil and topped with portabellas, spinach, feta cheese, olives and artichokes.

But we went with a California Dreamin. The 12 inch ($9.99) was more than enough for two, and it was covered with oodles of rich and tangy sun-dried tomatoes and fresh mushrooms atop a bed of sauce and feta cheese. We liked it lots.

Our server was great. She was attentive, always had a smile, and hey, she gave me free beer. You can’t beat that.

If I lived in Asheville, I would be here a lot. The place has great beer, pizza, and fun atmosphere. Sure, I’ve had better beer in other brewpubs, but few are just as much plain fun as this one is.

If you’re in Asheville, don’t miss it. If you can find a parking spot.

End fond reminiscence.

Fast forward with me now 2015, and a bomber of Shiva India Pale I picked up for just $4.49. Did he say $4.49? What a breath of fresh air that price is these days. According to the bottle it was brewed by Asheville Brewing Company, 77 Cox Avenue in Asheville.

The brewery website says this about the beer:

Crisp, citrusy India Pale Ale with a light color, Shiva will destroy all your preconceptions of an I.P.A. A transcendentally simple malt bill accents a generous helping of Columbus hops, lending an intense floral aroma with hints of grapefruit and a pleasant bittering quality. Your palette will be lifted to higher planes of consciousness with a bittersweet finish.

Ingredients from the website:

Malts: Pale, Wheat & Munich

Hops: Columbus & Liberty

Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company Shiva India Pale Ale has an alcohol content of 6% by volume with 69 IBUs. It’s sold in cans as well as bomber bottles.

Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company Shiva India Pale Ale pours to a rich amber orange color with a grassy herbal and citric orange hop aroma. A very thick layer of Brussels Lace forms on my pour and s the liquid all the way to the bottom. Taking a sip, I get chewy caramel malt up front followed by some lightly citric orange hops and a long dry grassy hop finish. Indeed, a very, very bitter long dry grassy hop finish.

All in all, this is a no frills, easy drinking standard IPA that is balanced nicely with malt and hops. It’s refreshing indeed to find an IPA that to me gets it just right. And at a refreshing price to boot…….  

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.