Some criteria for a float beer:
- Light. Thick, dark beer does not suffice on sun-drenched, August afternoons. Or sun-drenched April mornings. You might want a darker beer for that annual January float, but you might just prefer toddy then.
- Low-alcohol. You're gonna drink many to keep you cool, and you don't want to be too besotted before you take out and drive home. Or you're a passenger, in which case disregard this one. I have knocked people out of the boat while rowing after high-fiving Jim Beam and I'm still taking shit. Avoid this.
- Inexpensive. You're not going to be savoring flavors anyhow, why spend the money?
- Comes in cans. Cans are easier to dispose of (and recycle around here), they stack nicely in the cooler and are crushable when it's over.
- Drinkable. Many beers that would otherwise qualify, taste bad. Avoid this.
Bud Light Lime (4.2% abv): This has apparently become a favorite of the anglers at Simms Fishing Products, and twas they who introduced me. It fits all the criteria, and doesn't taste as terrible as you might've heard. Actually, it's kinda good.
Deschutes Brewing River Ale (4% abv, 28 IBUs): This one got me excited initially, but it comes in bottles, is micro-brew priced, and the taste isn't good enough to overcome that. But if you want to be fancy, give it a shot.
PBR (4.73% abv): Most people's favorite, but I stand by my claim that most people drink PBR cuz it's hip (though I bought a couple sixers earlier this year, because of other factors). After acquiring the taste it flavors decent enough, is cheap, light-enough and comes in cans. Hard to go too wrong, but for my money there are better options.
|PBR is common, though not my favorite.|
|Not ideal, but doable.|
|Though not widely available, GFS is a favorite of mine.|
And here's another list of "cheap" beer that might give you some guidance.
My list is incomplete and regional - tell me what I missed. When I float your rivers, what beer should I pack?