For those who love beer and ale, the eruption of craft breweries in this country has been like a prayer answered. It's brought forth a multitude of grain-based adult beverages, lovingly created by master brewers whose interest lies in flavor, texture and aroma—not in mass production.
Anglers might have also noticed that a number of the specialty brews carry a fishing theme. What better way to cap off a long, successful day on the water!
Two Hearted Ale
Bell's Brewing Co.
It carries the name of a beautiful river in Michigan's Upper Peninsula made famous by Ernest Hemingway and his war-torn, trout fishing hero, Nick Adams. Appropriate because of the hopping process that lends both grapefruit and northwoods pine resin aromas to the American-style IPA. Brewers built in a significant malt body to exquisitely balance the hops.
August Schell Brewing
Long ago, the story goes, freshwater mermaids swam from the ocean through the St. Lawrence Seaway and up the Mississippi River to the northcountry where they found cool, clear waters in which to live. As a reward to anglers who help keep their lakes pure, these Lakemaids offer this special brew. No one's actually seen a Lakemaid, but one thing's certain. It's darn good beer.
Fish Tale Organic Wild Salmon Pale Ale
Fish Brewing Co.
Wild Salmon Pale Ale is just one of seven brews under the Fish Tale label, all of which are USDA-certified organic. Four organic malts blend with Yakima Cascade hops to produce a mellow brew with a crisp hop finish.
This seasonal medium-bodied stout is dark in color and rich in flavor, promising to "hook you with flavors and aromas of roast coffee, raspberry and dark chocolate, before releasing you to a dry, chocolately finish." We're not sure how much the folks at DuClaw know about fishing, but it's evident they're masters when it comes to brewing.
Stump Knocker American Pale Ale
Swamp Head Brewery
It's rare that a panfish is celebrated outside the sportfishing world. Swamp Head Brewery, however, couldn't have chosen a more likely mascot for the beverage. The stumpknocker (a.k.a spotted sunfish) is known for its aggressiveness and tenacity, and due to a generous dry-hop addition, the brew for which it's named follows suit.
Heady Topper Double IPA
This one doesn't carry through with the fishing theme, but we think it's one of the best tasting brews around. It's made with a secret blend of six hops, yet the potent mixture doesn't overpower. Instead, waves of flavor wash over your taste buds. What we don't like so much is that you can get it only in Vermont where it's brewed and distributed. So, if you're fishing travels take you to The Green Mountain State, you should definitely seek out a store or eatery where Heady Topper is available.