Boat Ramp Beers & Campfire Cocktails

Boat Ramp Beers & Campfire Cocktails and are a true reward for a day on the water, out on the trail, or just a treat to relax outdoors. Discussing the best cocktail recipe or brew is like debating the best college football team with your buddies.… some will die by their team, some pretend they care to fit in, and some think football is played with their feet. No matter where you fall in your passion for fermented drinks, there is always room for a recommendation.

Boat Ramp Beers

While many will argue an American Made Domestic Light Lager that can be bought in nothing but 36 packs at the local gas station is the only choice for a post fishing toast … there is also the nose holding high connoisseur of fine beers that would argue that a triple double IPA is the only legitimate option. In order to find the middle ground, we reached out to a wide array of ambassadors and members of the Loon Legion to get a feel for what might bridge this gap on the water…

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

“After a solid day soaking up the sun and wilderness, it’s nice to settle into camp and start preparing a meal with an ice-cold Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. It’s flavorful, refreshing and it’s a crowd-pleaser so it’s an easy choice when stocking the camp cooler. And, if I’m cooking something freshly caught from the river that day, it’s versatile enough to pour a dash into the pan to kick up the depth of flavor in the dish.”

-Ashlee, Sierra Nevada Brewing

Ballast Point Calico Amber Ale

“I am a huge fan of our new throwback release of Ballast Point Calico Amber Ale to crush after a day of summer activities. It’s my go to beer to share with friends while grilling up some tasty treats with its smooth caramel malt bill. It’s definitely a classic!”

-Amy Spackman, Ballast Point Brewing and Avid Fly Angler

Oscar Blues American Pale Lager

“It is HOT in northern California and our fish eat in the heat, so we are on the water during the heat of the day ALL summer. So, when we are toasting our catches and days at the boat ramp, we need a refreshing light lager to drink down. My favorite is Oscar Blues American Pale Lager (4.2% ABV). A very crisp and refreshing lager that doesn’t sacrifice flavor, it is my go-to beer when we put those big Nor Cal stripers on the boat.”

-Capt. Chuck Ragan, Loon Ambassador, Fishing Guide


Campfire Cocktails

There can be nothing more refreshing and relaxing than a cocktail by the campfire or on the tailgate at the boat ramp. While micro distilleries and craft cocktails seem to be the latest rage, slow-sipping some brown water by the camp fire is about as old as the Parachute Adams. Whether you are a two finger pour in a tin cup person or one that enjoys a cocktail with as many ingredients as there are flies in your guide’s box, we found a few ways to meet your needs.

Old Fashioned

“When it comes to enjoying a cocktail around a campfire, I’m all about keeping it simple. For this reason, I suggest the classic Old Fashioned. A blend of a few simple ingredients can produce a delicious cocktail and one that with a few minor adjustments can dramatically range in flavor.”

Old Fashioned
  • 2oz Rye Whiskey
  • .25 oz Simple Syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Orange Peel (for garnish)

Add all ingredient into rocks glass except the orange peel, add iced, stir 20 times, then garnish with orange peel.

Oaxacan Old Fashioned
  • 1.5oz Reposado Tequila
  • .5oz Mezcal
  • .25oz Agave Nectar
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Orange Peel (for garnish)

Add all ingredient into rocks glass except the orange peel, add iced, stir 20 times, then garnish with orange peel.

-Brendan McNerney (Head Bartender and Manager of Argus)


“Once back at camp, I generally handle the food and leave the adult beverages in the capable hands of my bride, Jennifer (@jjlovesbugs007). She knows how to "adjust" the ingredients depending on where we camp or how early we need to be on the water the next day. Margaritas seem to be the meet-in-the-middle choice for us, and Jennifer has them mastered. Simple, yet a great way to toast the end of the end.”

Jennifer's No-Salt Cutthroat Margaritas
  • Silver Tequila
  • Trader Joe's Organic Jalapeno Limeade
  • Orange Juice
  • Lime (for garnish)

Pour over ice in a large glass 6 seconds of your favorite Silver Tequila (make sure your bottle has a flow regulator, or you won't answer the breakfast bell.) Fill the glass with Trader Joe's Organic Jalapeno Limeade and a splash of Orange Juice. Stir. Float a slice of lime. Enjoy!

Joel & Jennifer La Follette


If you are looking at doing some two finger tin cup sipping there are so many good bourbon, Rye Whiskey, or just plain Whiskey micro distilleries around America. Since we didn’t have the time, money, or liver fortitude to sample them all we decided to share a few from the various regions we live, work, and spend time in.

Golden Beaver Distillery

Run by Kris Koenig, Golden Beaver in Chico, some amazing fly fishing themed drinks. Our favorite is the Chico Creek Rye.

“Chico Creek is filled with rainbow trout and hosts a Spring migration of Chinook salmon. Our rye whiskey tries to catch the experience of a warm Spring day of fly fishing on this creek and the excitement of a rainbow trout raising to your fly.”

Learn more about Golden Beaver Distillery at

Pioneer Whiskey

Pioneer Whiskey is owned and run by Todd Kemp and Alex Turner. Todd has traveled the world studying the many distilling techniques and cut his teeth at the OG fly fishing micro distillery Dry Fly Distillery in Spokane Washington.

Our go to tin cup sipper is named Jefferson Gold – This release resembles a high-end Canadian blended whiskey. It is roughly equal parts Corn Whisky, Rye Whisky, and Malt Whisky and is similar to most of our whiskeys in that the high-quality new American Oak really shines through, except the Jefferson Gold has a distinct sweet and spicy character that comes from the corn and rye.

We have found this Canadian Blend GREAT for campfire sipping and hanging. Also, it makes a very smooth old fashion in our experience.

Learn more about Pioneer Whiskey at

So whether it’s a light lager or double triple IPA to celebrate your catch or a campfire cocktail, remember to enjoy it with friends and do it responsibly.