The Fishing Beer Breakdown 2013 : A fisherman's review

The Inaugural Fishing Beer Breakdown 2013 is fully underway. Between sucking down delicious frothy beverages and helping each other climb off beer stools the staff here at Get Em Wet has finally been able to decide on their favorite fishing brews for 2013 which is actually inaccurate because we mostly drank our asses off on these in 2012, some more than others of course, we aren't all drunks and one of us isn't even a beer guy in truth, the devils elixir may suit him better.
But seriously, in what hopefully will become an annual event I asked each of the pro staff members to sample all of their favorite beer choices and get back to me with their top pick for the upcoming season. Here is what we decided after a great deal of deliberation.

Matt DeLorenzo
Choice: Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales

This Belgian-style brown just simply kicks ass all the way around. Ill give you the reason for trying this "designer beer" which is how some people refer to it although that is insulting and very far from the truth. Im a smoker, and when I fish I tend to smoke a little more unless I'm with clients. With this said I sometimes defer to dipping so I don't have to carry butts around with me and when I do chew the clear choice is Red Man. For those of you not familiar with Red Man it has a very pronounced raisin flavor. One day I was at the store to pick up my Ubu when I noticed this in the isle, so I grabbed it thinking it would compliment the Red Man in my pocket. It didn't really work that way but I was stunned by how good this beer is.
Raison D'Etre pours a dark amber color with a light frothy head and it has an enticing delicious smell that is hard to resist. You can definately taste the raisons up front and on the back end it has a grapey wine like flavor with a hint of caramelized sugar. The brew is sweet, there is no doubt about that and if you're not into that than this beer is not for you. It is served best with a meal such as steak or pork and has a dry texture to it which when combined with the grape like flavor and raisons gives it a wine like feel. This beer usually gets very mixed reviews with not much in the middle because you either really like a flavorful beer or you want something more like a bud. Not for everyone like I said but definitely top notch if the review peaks your interest.

David Heyman
Choice: New Glarus Spotted Cow

David is out of town visiting family while I put this together but I know a brew he is more than fond of and likes to start off Wisconson trout openers on this particular ale. Spotted Cow is brewed by New Glarus Brewing Company in New Glarus Wisconson which is southwest of Madison. This cream ale comes in at 4.8% and pours a gorgeous golden yellow color with a one to two finger head depending on the batch. It really seems to me like a light beer just because it tastes light, not on flavor, just on consistency. Its unfiltered so its supposed to pour cloudy but really does not. Having had this at a festival the taste is difficult to describe, its a light malty beer up front with a discernible cider like taste without the bite on the back end. This is a true summer beer and when its warm this stuff goes down with amazing ease, its truly refreshing and I imagine towing around a sixer behind me in the river during a hot summer day. The natives claim this beer goes great with the local fare of choice....cheese. This beer was voted as a top six draft pick by Chicago Magazine in 2008, and the brewery won the "midsize brewery of the year " award two years in a row from the Association of Brewers.

Todd Fuchigami
Choice: Ubu Ale

Todd chose Lake Placid Brewery Ubu as his beverage of choice for a relaxing fishing trip. Ubu is named after a patrons friendly pet. I also happen to be a raging big fan of the stuff but they fell off the top of my list when they made a deal with Matt Brewing Companies to begin producing the stuff in higher quantities. Matt Brewing is the name associated with Saranac. Ubu is an English-style strong ale with a deep red color to it that comes in at 7%. When poured into a glass you'll get a good single finger of head. The beer goes down smoother than expected and many reviewers report a malty taste with flavors of caramel, brown sugar and hints of citrus flavors. Ubu has won a great variety of awards including the gold medal in the US Open Beer Championship and the gold in the 2008 World Beer Championships so don't let any haters sway you. Ask a local in Placid what their beer of choice is and they will likely tell you its Ubu. The Pub that it call home is a great place to sit down for a meal and enjoy any one of their many brews on tap. Todd is spot on with this choice and I may be a little to hard on them for wanting to share their brew with a few more folks.

Frank DeGrazio
Choice: S.A. Octoberfest

Frank chose Samuel Adams Octoberfest as his choice of the year. The Boston Beer Company which brews Samuel Adams has been the subject of much debate over the years as to the status of their brews. Are they mainstream? Is it a microbrew? With that shenanigans aside they do make a good brewski. Ocotberfest is a marzen/octoberfest style beer born in 1989 and has been being produced without hitch each fall since than. Octoberfest comes in at a weak 5.3% but that does not take away from the flavor. Octoberfest pours a nice deep amber color with a nice two finger head and I think it fits a wonderful niche. Summer beers are known for their cool and light refreshingness and winter beers for their thick hearty flavor. Many of the fall brews fail to meet somewhere in the middle by aspiring only to achieve autumnal taste. Octoberfest not only tastes like a fall beer, it falls somewhere in between summer and winter with its consistency and palette pleasing bitterness. Not too much bite, not too little. All in all a good choice.

Ken Kalil
Choice: Saranac Root Beer

Ken Kalil who admittingly almost never drinks chose Saranac Root Beer! Its an odd choice for a beer review but we will allow it because he is such a nice guy and because it has the word beer in it. He says  "its a killer root beer, and made in my old stompin grounds in Utica."I have to agree with him because anyone who has ever had it will tell you the stuff really is delicious and there are some days where you may just not be feeling a beer. The following is a delicious excerpt from the Saranac website:

"Our Hand-crafted Saranac Root Beer is made in small batches in our own hometown Brewery. The flavor will take you to the fresh root beer taste from days-gone-by.
We make our Saranac Root Beer with the best of ingredients - look for the fresh vanilla and licorice notes. Saranac Root Beer has the trademark rich, creamy head that only a real Brewery Root Beer can achieve."

Honorable Mention

#1 Big Sky Brewing - Trout Slayer

Not mentioned just because of the name or the fact that it is brewed in big sky country in Missoula Montana. This beer gets incredible reviews and often very good rankings from beer junkies. If you do a little bit of research Big Sky Brewery is a big deal and rightly so

#2 Old Dominion Brewing Company - Oak Barrel Stout

Oak Barrel Stout is not your typical beer. This brew knocks the socks off of most people who enjoy a full body dark beer with a true oak barrel taste

#3 The Alchemist - Heady Topper

Rated #3 here because I'm not sure a beer this hoppy would make a good relaxing fishing beer but this beer is literally rated #1 on beer which is saying a lot. If you like a hoppy beer this Vermont brewed double IPS will certainly please you.

#4 Ithaca Beer Company - Brute

This American Wild Ale is a highly recommended and not that secret favorite. This is a sour beer that somehow maintains a nice fruity flavor. Well worth a try

#5 Pabts Blue Ribbon - Because no fishing beer mention should be down without it.

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