While summer may be drawing to a close, there are still a million excuses to get on the water and crack a cold one. As we all know, there’s nothing that pairs better with the sport of fly-fishing than a cold frothy beverage, so we wanted to make sure no angler was left thirsty. That’s why we scoured the shelves of every beer shop and gas station in town to utilize our (self-certified) expertise to seek out the perfect ales for your time on the water. So go ahead, grab some ice, break out the Yeti, and load up with our picks for the 12 best beers to pack for your next fishing trip. (2020 edition)

Oh and please, leave the glass at home…

1. 20″ (20-inch) Brown – Cascade Lakes Brewing

2o inch brown beer

5.2% ABV, 17 IBU’s

Starting off our list is the beer with the title that matches the description of the catch your buddy (supposedly) brought in this weekend. Composed of 6 different strains of Northwestern malts, this beer from Cascade Lakes Brewing delivers a smooth, rich taste that is sure to kick your day of fishing off right. Brewed as dark as the depths the beasts of our dreams lurk in, 20″ brown will be the perfect beer to fill the hole in your heart left by an ornery trout.

Untappd Flavor profile: Smooth, malty, sweet, light, clean

2. Hopper Dropper IPA – Ike & Oak Brewing Co.

hopper dropper banner

6.5% ABV, N/A IBU’s

Hopper or dropper? Well, why not enjoy both? Like the rig that rules them all, this delicious India Pale Ale is a sure-fire catalyst to a great day spent in waders. This west coast style IPA delivers a gentle hop bite, making it the perfect brew for those tentatively venturing into the world of IPA’s. So, next time your traveling to your local trout waters, make sure to pack a few chubbies, a few pheasant tails, and a country-cool six-pack of liquid courage.

Untappd flavor profile: Hoppy, citrusy, tropical, carbonated

3. Guide Beer Lager – Sweetwater Brewery

best beer to take fishing guide beer lager

4% ABV, 21 IBU’s

If you fish at all, there’s a good chance you’ve seen someone enjoying this crisp refreshing brew, or most likely, had one or two yourself. SweetWater Brewing has outdone itself with this magnificently simple, yet revolutionary lager. Brewed with pilsner malt, and flaked corn, this lager delivers a traditional smooth taste while also providing a small hoppy kick with a mixture of Hallertau and Mt. Hood hops. Not only is this golden ale delicious, but by drinking it, you’re helping make the world a better place. 11% of all profits from Guide Beer is donated to help guides who can no longer pursue their life’s work. So, reach in the cooler, scoop out another 16 ouncer, and raise a can of Sweetwater Guide Beer to the men and women who show us the way!

Untappd flavor profile: Hoppy, Light, Clean, Smooth, Full

4. First Cast IPA – Elevation Beer Company

first cast underwater

6.5% ABV, 60 IBU’s

Just like the first cast of the day, there is unlimited potential behind this beer and Elevation Beer Co.’s ability to deliver a quality brew. This IPA is packed to the gills with hops (2 pounds per barrel!) and delivers delicious notes of grapefruit, citrus, and pine. Whether or not you’re landing any fish on your 1st (or 901st) cast, take our advice and keep your beer bitter, so you don’t have to be.

Untappd flavor profile: Hoppy, light, smooth, malty, sweet

5. Coors Banquet – Coors Brewing Company

coors banquet beer

5% ABV, 15 IBU’s


Untappd flavor profile: Light, smooth, sweet, full, heavy

6. Perfect Drift German Style Pilsner – 4 Noses Brewing Company

Image courtesy of 4 Noses Brewing Company

4.5% ABV, 25 IBU’s

You don’t need to wait until Oktoberfest begins to enjoy this delicious brew from across the pond. Here, 4 Noses Brewing Company has concocted a delicious German style Pilsner for anyone who enjoys a malty, wheaty alternative to the abundance of IPA’s in the fishing space. So, crack a can and net your hefty Hoffer, because this brew is one to make you say Heiliger Strohsack! (Yes, we had to google that…)

Untappd flavor profile: Light, clean, smooth, dry, malty

7. 3 Weight Session IPA – Sierra Nevada

best beer to take fishing 3 weight session ipa

4% ABV, 40 IBU’s

“Pairs well with a fly rod”. Well, you don’t need to tell us twice. Grab a sixer of 3 weight session IPA’s and head up to your favorite brookie stream, because this tasty beverage is one for the mountains. This golden easy drinking IPA is brewed with some of our favorite hops, including, but not limited to, Cascade, Citra, Magnum, and more. Mixed with CaraRed malts, this beer delights its patron to a light and smooth, yet still hoppy drinking experience. Just

Untappd flavor profile: Light, Hoppy, Citrus, Smooth, Thin

8. American Beauty Hazy Ripple IPA – Dog Fish Head

hazy ipa american dream box

7% ABV, 35 IBU’s

Calling all Haze Heads. Here we have the continuation of Dog Fish Head’s Grateful Dead beer colab: The American Beauty Hazy Ripple IPA. Inspired by the Grateful Dead’s beloved “American Beauty” album, this New England style IPA is an unfiltered brew made with spelt – an ancient heirloom grain that contributes earthy notes and a natural haze – that’s then dosed (no, not that kind of dosed) with a special yeast variety to accentuate hop aromatics. It’s flavorful, it’s delicious, and it will pair perfectly with your brand new Flylords Grateful Dead T-shirt! 

Untappd flavor profile: Citrusy, Crisp, Tropical, Sweet, Earthy

9. Redfish Red Ale – Telluride Brewing Co.

redfish beer wrap

5.4% ABV, N/A IBU’s

Red Fish, blue fish, one fish, two fish. No matter what you’re catching, this American style red ale is the perfect complement to a day spent fishing your local trout stream. This well-balanced beer is the perfect beverage for the average IPA lover looking to try a little something new. This beer delivers the rich mahogany flavor one would expect in a red ale, with a delightful twist of citrus, which results in some serious drinkability. So toss a cast and crack a can, because once you have one of these, you’re bound to want another.

Untappd flavor profile: Hoppy, malty, smooth, bitter, sweet

10. Hey Fishy Fishy Hazy IPA – Good River Beer 

beer with reel

6.5% ABV, 45 IBU’s

We’ve all caught ourselves saying it. Sitting there alone, whispering under our breath, “Hey Fishy…. Here fishy fishy fish”. Whether or not this tactic actually works (we don’t have any scientific evidence to dispute anything…), we know one thing: if you’re cracking open a cold can of Good River Beer’s “Hey Fishy Fish” you’re bound to get hooked in more ways than you think. With generous fruity and citrus notes, this easy-going IPA delivers a full mouthfeel with a perfectly balanced kick of hops that’s sure to have you singing with joy no matter the bite.

Untappd flavor profile: Juicy, Citrus, Hazy, Fruity, Sweet

11. Two Hearted Ale American IPA – Bell’s Brewery

dripping beer

7% ABV, 55 IBU

Whether you’re floating the Two Hearted River in Michigan, or having a lazy day on the creek in central PA; Bell’s Two hearted ale is the perfect frothy drink for a breezy summer day. With hoppy aromas ranging from pine to grapefruit, this American IPA packs a remarkably drinkable body along with a malty backbone. With heavy additions of hops in both the kettle and the fermenter, this power-packed ale will leave any hop lover satisfied.

Untappd flavor profile: Hoppy, smooth, floral, light, sweet

12. (Editor’s Choice) Fat Tire Amber Ale – New Belgium Brewing Company

Fat tire beer

5.4% ABV, 22 IBU’s

Fat Tire, the poster child of New Belgium Brewery, is a finely crafted amber ale that has withstood the test of time by continuously offering a deliciously crisp and balanced taste. With profiles of toasty malt, this beer offers a sweet, yet perfectly hoppy kick that’ll have you reaching for your second helping before your done your firsts. With a 5.4 ABV this is the perfect drink to enjoy all day, while still keeping your focus on the fishing. Oh yeah, did we mention it’s America’s first carbon-neutral beer? Now, not only can you enjoy the taste of a great brew, but know you’re supporting the future of sustainable brewing. With that in mind, let’s raise a can and drink up.

Untappd flavor profile: Smooth, malty, light, sweet, hoppy

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drinking beer from the air
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