Whether you’re a fisherman by trade or sport, fishing requires hours of patience, dedication, and perseverance.
Spending time at a lake dock or on a fishing boat in the open ocean can be high-energy, leisurely, or downright relaxing.
You can take advantage of those long hours to chat with friends and enjoy the scenery, but you should also consider bringing libations for the long day ahead.
Nothing is more rewarding and refreshing than an ice-cold beer to pair with a day of fishing.
Beer is nearly as old as the pastime of fishing itself and is not only hearty sustenance but also fuels socializing and relaxation.
Beer brewing is a revered art, and there are thousands of types to enjoy.
So whether you want to bulk up for winter with a heavy stout or cool off during the summer with a light and fizzy lager, the following list narrows down the selection to offer the best brands of beer for fishing.
Top 12 Fishing Beers
- Miller High Life
- Molson Canadian
- British Brown Ale
- Abita’s Amber Lager
- Natural Light
- Leinenkuegel’s Original
- Dos Equis Lager
- Berserker Imperial Stout
- Alaskan Amber
- Grain Belt
Miller High Life
Established in 1903, this long-standing brewing company proclaims Miller High Life to be the “champagne of beers.”
This light, bubbly lager was originally a luxury brew meant to imitate the subtle taste and high carbonation of champagne, becoming a favorite, affordable bottled beer after World War II.
Brewmasters developed a light-stable hop variety known as Galena hops to safeguard light-sensitive hop oil during the brewing process.
The result is a refreshing and mild beer that goes down as smoothly as water.
Miller High Life has a mere 4.5% alcohol by volume, so it won’t incapacitate you even if you have three or four to stave off the heat.
Furthermore, it’s one of the most budget-friendly beers on the market and as easy to find as a soft drink.
Their age-old commercial motto is “if you’ve got the time, we’ve got the beer,” an especially fitting adage for an hours-long fishing adventure.
From the iconic Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company, Budweiser is one of America’s oldest and most beloved lagers.
Founded by German immigrant Adolphus Busch in the mid-1800s, Budweiser was a novel beer that set itself apart from the standard European-style dark brews that were available at the time.
Budweiser is a lager with a medium body and a deeper, amber color with a more complex flavor profile and a crisp, refreshing finish. It has a slightly higher alcohol by volume content than Miller at 5%.
Budweiser uses high-quality barley malt, rice, and a proprietary hop blend that hasn’t changed in nearly 150 years.
As the culmination of an immigrant’s American dream, Budweiser is proudly and wholly domestic, sourcing all ingredients from American farmers.
Budweiser has come out with different varieties of their famous trademark lager, including a non-alcoholic Budweiser Zero, a Mexican flavored Budweiser Chelada, and a more complex Budweiser Nitro Gold.
Additionally, they have also come out with two low-calorie Budweiser varieties, Budweiser Select and Select 55.
Originating in Quebec in 1786, Molson Canadian Brewing company is the oldest brewery in North America and one of the oldest continuously operating companies in Canada.
Founded by British immigrant John Molson, Molson Canadian has bestowed far more than just a tasty brew to customers.
The company has revolutionized beer bottling and involved itself in every aspect of Canadian infrastructure and culture over its nearly two and a half-century tenure. Today, Molson Canadian offers six different ales and lagers.
Molson Canadian is their light, crisp, signature lager, comprised of Canadian-grown barley.
It has a 5% alcohol by volume content and a mild, light flavor with high carbonation. While it may not be as ubiquitous as American beers, it is just as cheap, if not cheaper, than the most popular budget brands.
Molson Canadian is the perfect summertime beer to enjoy on a hot day at the lake or sea.
British Brown Ale
British Brown Ale is not a brand but an entire category of beers that encompass two main varieties. As the name implies, both varieties come from England, one from the North and the other from the South.
Northern British brown ales use roasted barley and hops for a stronger flavor, while their Southern counterpart is milder and sweeter in flavor.
Both varieties offer a chocolaty and nutty flavor and a heavy and hearty body.
The term “meal in a cup” aptly describes the British Brown Ale, making it a luxurious and filling brew best enjoyed during colder weather. Ice fishing or outdoor fishing in crisp autumnal air would pair well with this full-bodied ale.
Similar to lagers, British Brown ales top out at around 5% alcohol by volume. Some popular and widely available British Brown ale brands include Samuel Smith, Newcastle, and Mann’s.
That said, there are hundreds of microbrewery brands out there to choose from.
Abita’s Amber Lager
A Louisiana-based independent brewery, Abita Brewing Company, offers Abita Amber as its signature lager.
Abita’s Amber uses its namesake Abita Springwater as the base, adding hops grown in Oregon, American malt, and German lager yeast. The result is a well-rounded, regional, and globally inspired flavor with a deep golden color.
Abita Amber has a subtly sweet and hoppy flavor that pairs well with spicy food, so you can bring some spicy potato chips along with your fishing gear.
As a light and crisp lager, Abita’s Amber Lageris an especially refreshing summer and spring beverage.
Abita Brewing Company is known for its festive and funky personality, offering a wide selection of different beers, artisanal sodas, lemonades, and Southern-style sweet teas.
They may be harder to find than the more commercial, long-standing lagers on the list, but their small-batch brewing makes for tastier, more sophisticated drinks.
Another popular product from the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company, Natural Light, is the lightest and mildest lager out there, with a fraction of the calories of most American lagers. Natural Light is, therefore, the most refreshing and thirst-quenching.
A longer brewing process nearly eliminates a yeasty or hoppy flavor associated with beer. Its taste is so subtle that one could easily mistake it for mineral water as it goes down just as easily.
Alas, it is an alcoholic beverage, with a 4.2% alcohol by volume per can. It may also be the most affordable six or twelve-pack out there, making it especially popular with the college crowd.
It’s the perfect summertime fishing beer because it’s equal parts thirst-quenching and inebriating, easing your fishing trip both physically and socially.
Plus, with such a low alcohol content, you can still drive the boat to dock even after you’re four beers in.
Named for German immigrant and founder Jacob Leinenkugel, Leinenkugel’s is a Wisconsin brewery that opened in 1867.
Combing Leinenkeugel’s German heritage and American ingenuity, Leinenkugel’s beers use American ingredients to brew a variety of European-style beers.
The Leinenkugel’s Original is the first beer the brewing company ever created and has been their prized, award-winning American pilsner for over 150 years.
This bright and flavorful lager uses pale malts and cluster hops. It’s got a distinct funkiness and a heavier body than other lagers.
Leinenkugel’s Original has a low 4.7% alcohol by volume, even though its strong flavor might have you believe otherwise.
It’s a versatile beer and fitting for a summer or winter fishing outing because it is both light and full-bodied. In addition, its high carbonation makes it go down easier.
Since the company suggests pairing this pilsner with a fish boil, it’s only fitting that you crack one open as you real in the day’s catch. You can bring the leftovers to the family fish boil.
Dos Equis Lager
Also known as Dos XX, Dos Equis earned its name from the roman numerals XX to signify the company’s origins at the turn of the 20th century.
Founded by German Mexican brewmaster Wilhelm Hasse in 1897, Dos XX was first the pride and joy of Mexico.
Once introduced to American palates in 1993, Dos Equis took only 15 years to become the most imported beer in the US.
Dos Equis produces an Ambar and a Lager, both of which are a cut above the budget beers in flavor but not in price.
Dos Equis Lager is made with malted barley, corn syrup, hops, water, and ascorbic acid. Since corn was first domesticated in Mexico, it’s a popular additive in Mexican beers.
It gives the beer a slightly sweeter taste that pairs perfectly with the ascorbic acid, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice further enhances it.
Whether you’re at the pool or fishing on the ocean, Dos Equis lager tastes like an endless summer where the surf is always up and the fish are biting.
Berserker Imperial Stout
This high-quality, incredibly alcoholic stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Company is the cream of the crop of high-end beers.
It may be pricey, but you only need one to do the trick with a whopping 13% alcohol by volume per bottle.
The Berserker Imperial Stout is a rich and decadent brew that is nearly black and tastes like dessert in a bottle.
The complex flavor of the Berserker Imperial Stout bestows hints of chocolate, caramel, dried fruit, and tobacco.
The creamy, frothy head is the icing on the cake of this immaculate stout that has received glowing reviews from customers and connoisseurs alike.
Its heavier and highly alcoholic nature makes Berserker Imperial Stout a great winter beer, but it’s so outstanding that it is more of a celebratory, special occasion beer.
It’ll certainly turn any fishing boat into an extravagant yacht.
The Alaskan Amber is a delectable European-style brew produced by Juneau-based, independently owned Alaskan Brewing Company.
Using water sourced from the immaculately pure glacial-fed springs of Alaska, the Amber uses a special blend of Northwest and European hops and a proprietary blend of specialty malts.
The Alaskan Amber is an alt amber characterized by a slower and colder fermentation process that results in a balanced flavor and a smooth finish.
Its gorgeous deep red color looks as appealing as its rich malty and hoppy flavor.
The Alaskan Amber has 5.3% alcohol by volume and is only available in the central and western United States.
Since the Alaskan Brewing Company states that their main inspiration for the Alaskan Amber is Alaskan fishermen, it is consequently the best beer for fishermen anywhere.
Another light and mild Mexican lager, Sol, was founded in 1899 in Central Mexico and has since become a favorite in over 70 countries worldwide.
Meaning “sun” in Spanish, Sol’s bright and cheerful flavor lives up to its name.
Made with malted barley, glucose syrup, and hop extract, Sol has a sweet, malty flavor with barely any bitterness from the hops.
It is fuller-bodied and has less carbonation than other American and Mexican lagers like Dos Equis or Natural Light.
Sol also makes a Clamato variation that infuses the lager with clam and tomato juice, simulating the famous beer cocktail from Mexico called a Michelada. It has 4.5% alcohol by volume and is a budget-friendly brand.
True to its name Sol is a great beer to take on a sunny summer fishing trip. Mexican fishing tours offer it as an accompaniment to the ceviche prepared from the excursion’s fresh catches.
Brewed by the August Schell Brewing Company, one of the nation’s oldest brewing companies, Grain Belt is thus one of the oldest lagers.
August and Otto Schell were German immigrants that wanted to bring the art of beermaking to their newfound Minnesota home.
They built a brewery that still stands today and has been partially converted into a historical landmark museum.
The Grain Belt is their premium lager, a pale, highly carbonated, and highly drinkable beer that tastes great year-round.
Grain Belt has a slightly sweet, corn flavor with a tart, crisp finish and no real bitterness. It’s a crowd-pleasing, mild and drinkable beer while still instilling an unmistakable beer flavor.
It has a moderate 4.7% alcohol by volume, and while it’s not as widely available as Anheuser Busch or Dos Equis, it’s just as well-liked.
If your fishing buddies aren’t beer aficionados, an introduction to this flavorful and smooth lager will get you in their good graces. It’ll soon be a regular libation to fuel future fishing trips.
No fishing trip is complete without a cooler full of tasty brews to keep your spirits up while waiting for the fish to bite and then celebrate the day’s catch.
However, beers encompass many types and flavors, so deciding which beer will best hit the spot for a fishing trip will depend on your preferences.
The above list of the best beers for fishing has a variety of beers, from refreshing lagers to high-end stouts.
So whether you want a thirst-quenching light beer for summer fishing or even just something to sip on while you flip through a fishing magazine, this list has you covered!