6 Whitewater-Inspired Beers for River Enthusiasts

Is there anything better than the sound a cold can of beer makes as you crack it open at the end of a long day on the river?

6 Whitewater-Inspired Beers for River Enthusiasts

Breweries across the country know kayaking and rafting go hand in hand with tasty brews, which is why each season more and more whitewater-inspired beers can be spotted on the river. Here are a few of our favorite beers and breweries celebrating whitewater sports:

1) Eddyline Brewery | Buena Vista, CO

Not only does the name of this brewery pay homage to one of the most prominent features of any river, Eddyline Brewery’s featured beers will appeal to paddlers—and drinkers—across the spectrum. From the 10% ABV Epic Day IPA, with a label that features several outdoor sports with a kayaker front and center, to the mellow 4.5% ABV Pilsner known simply as Boater Beer, there’s something for every kind of drinker and paddler out there. Their 5.6% ABV River Runners Pale Ale, which they describe as “just as satisfying as crushing a Class V line, yet easy as the eddy after” is also a favorite.

2) Whitewater Brewing | Ontario

This Canadian brewery has a couple of standouts for water folks. The Whistling Paddler, a 4.5% ABV English Style Ale, has a happy-go-lucky vibe that will appeal to all people who know that life is better on the river. Their other whitewater-inspired beer is the 5.5% ABV Class V IPA, which, as the name suggests, doesn’t mess around.

3) Payette Brewing Company | Boise, ID

There’s a lot to love about this Boise brewery and their river-inspired beers definitely don’t disappoint. The 4.4% ABV North Fork Lager is smooth but exciting, just like your favorite stretch of river that you come back to again and again. Paddlers should also get a kick out of Payette Brewing Company’s Highside American Wheat Ale, a seasonal brew available April through July. It’s refreshing crispness is complemented nicely by a floral and mildly malty finish.

6 Whitewater-Inspired Beers for River Enthusiasts

4) Mad River | Humboldt County, CA

One of the things about Mad River’s 4.8% River Days Session IPA is that it packs in a bunch of flavor that makes hop heads happy while staying mellow in terms of alcohol percentage. It’s a well-balanced, full-bodied beer you can drink without getting too tipsy too fast.

5) Whitetooth Brewing | Golden, British Columbia

One look at the 5.5% ABV Thread the Needle’s beautiful label of a kayak sending a serious waterfall should have any paddler sold, but luckily this Belgian-inspired witbier’s refreshing drinkability holds up to what is promised by the enticing graphics. Whitetooth Brewing is also heavily influenced by the hop-obsessed West Coast, giving their beers a modern take on traditional beers.

6) Odell Brewing Co. | Fort Collins, CO

Odell Brewing’s 6.5% ABV Runoff Red IPA is a nod to spring snowmelt, which all paddlers know is an amazing time to get stoked on early season runs. It features a complex maltiness with notes of citrus and pine for those who like a little heavier beer with plenty of hops.  


Photos: OARS Lower Salmon Craft Beer Tasting Trip – James Kaiser;  North Fork Lager – Payette Brewing Company

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