While walking the aisles at a beer and wine store, I saw quite a few fish and fishing themed beers and beer labels.
I was instantly struck with a great idea: purchase the fishy beers and give them a taste and review. I mean, someone had to do it!
While we typically stick to writing about fish science, we hope you enjoy this “scientific” effort. Let us know in the comments about any beers you have tried that have fish themed labels.
Buoy Czech-Style Pilsner
Buoy Czech-Style Pilsner 6.2% ABV; 35 IBU; Astoria, Oregon; “Reach for a buoy!”
When out on the boat on a warm day with the buoys, this beer Czechs all the boxes. The beer poured with a thicker/denser head than expected and provided that clean and crisp taste that we would expect from a Czech Pilsner.
Fun facts: Astoria, Oregon, where the beer is brewed, is located at the mouth of the mighty Columbia River. This strategic location served as the headquarters of many of the massive salmon canneries of years past. Today, Buoy 10 is a channel marker at the mouth of the Columbia River that marks one of the most sought after recreational salmon fishing sites.
10-Barrel Brewing Company Reel Good Summer Ale
10-Barrel Brewing Company Reel Good Summer Ale 5% ABV; Bend, Oregon; “Drink Beer Outside”
The head on this Kolsch style beer formed like that of a standard light beer (light and thin), but the liquid had an unexpected slightly clouded appearance. Ultimately, this beer was a very easy drinker…almost too easy…like catching a stocked trout instead of a wild trout. This beer is in a series of collaborations, and therefore, is most likely not something you will easily find on the shelf at your local shop in future years. If we can get our hands on some more, we can get it for the entire crew to enjoy after a day of fishing since it doesn’t have anything too distinctive or specific that might offend someone’s sensitive pallet.
Fun Facts: We can feel Reel Good drinking this beer because the collaboration with Simms means a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the beer benefit Trout Unlimited’s Home Rivers Initiative. The goal of this project is to help local governments develop and implement improved planning policies to protect rivers and to reconnect and restore local river systems by eliminating fish barriers and reduce sources of stormwater that are having a negative impact on watersheds.
Lost Coast Brewery Great White Beer
Lost Coast Brewery Great White Beer 4.8% ABV; IBU 15; Eureka, California; “Beer with natural flavors added”
This beer pours and looks a lot like the widely available Blue Moon Belgian White. There is an aroma of citrus and coriander, and you immediately desire a slice of orange when tasting the Great White. In fact, without a slice of orange in the beer, this beer doesn’t pack as much flavor as hoped, and therefore brings to mind a quote from Jaws: “You’re gonna need a bigger boat”….more like, you’re gonna need a bigger beer. We will keep an orange or two at hand when drinking this beer to empower some flavor.
Rogue Brewery Dreamland American Lager
Rogue Brewery Dreamland American Lager 4.8% ABV; 14 IBU; Newport, Oregon; “Dedicated to DIY”
This beer pours and smells like a standard American Lager…think Miller, Coors, Anheuser-Busch. To be fair, it does have a slightly bolder flavor than those commercial brands, but otherwise, provides a similar experience…besides the skateboarding, psychedelic label that includes some fish. Notably, Newport, Oregon, where this beer is brewed, is home to the base for research ships for NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and home to a massive commercial fishing fleet. The ships and facilities are adjacent to the brewery that sits right at the mouth of the inlet to the Pacific Ocean, giving any fisherman or fish scientist a comfortable place to enjoy a delicious and unique beer while taking it all in.
Fun facts: Dreamland American Lager is brewed in partnership with Dreamland Skateparks to benefit community skateparks across the United States. Proceeds from the beer go directly towards building skateparks in local communities.
This concludes our first session that toured the “easy drinkers”. Our next installment will focus on more colorful and perhaps hoppier choices.
Don’t forget to leave comments with beers that we need to try (with fish themed labels) and with comments/reviews of beers you have tried yourself.
Also, feel free to read about this awesome charity (Running Rivers: Flyathlon) that has the following motto: Run. Fish. Beer.
Note: No one received any endorsements or compensation for this article. As always, drink responsibly, and be sure to follow all rules, laws, and regulations.