A Beer Drinker’s Guide to Minnesota Fishing

Mitch Petrie of Muddy Boots Productions Talks Fishing and Beer

by Mitch Petrie
Illustrations by Jake Keeler // 20acrecarcass.com

I’ve been a hardcore angler since the age of ten, filling most of my spare time these days fishing with friends and family. I’ve been a fan of beer for almost as long. A decade ago I married my passion with my profession and have been writing and doing television on the subject of hunting, fishing, and the great outdoors. When the opportunity presented itself to contribute an article to The Growler and the subject of beer to my repertoire, all I can say is, life is good.

Understanding that Growler readers might not share my passion for fishing, I thought it might be beneficial if my article drew parallels between the beer and fishing worlds. So here’s my best effort on correlating the popular Minnesota game fish with some familiar brews.

Walleyed Pike / Summit EPA – Classic Minnesotan

keeler.walleye
Is there anything more Minnesotan than the walleyed pike? It is, after all, our state fish. While other Minnesota beers have been proposed as our state beer (Schell’s Deer Brand and Cold Spring Beer in 1987), my opinion is Summit EPA represents the taste, quality, and experience that compares best to walleye. I could have gone Grain Belt here, which probably would have appeased Schell’s fans. But for me, Summit EPA and walleye are in a league of their own.

Crappie / Grain Belt Premium – A Local Legend

keeler.crappie
A logical progression in our exploration of fishing and beer leads us to crappies. For the past 44 years, an annual crappie contest on Lake Minnetonka has been the unofficial start of the open water fishing season. Like sunfish, crappie are fantastic to eat. Their filets are generally light, flakey and fry up nicely to make a fantastic meal. The beer that comes to mind that best represents the quality and consistency of crappie is Grain Belt Premium. There’s a time and a place that’s just right to partake in both. The words on the beer label apply to the fish as well – “Exceptional Quality.”

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