Everybody knows that a
scapegoat is somebody who gets blamed for something he didn’t do. In the
case of Big Sky Brewing’s Scape Goat Pale Ale, however, there’s no need to
find a scapegoat for the quality of this brew. It’s a real winner that is
delicious and drinkable and could easily be paired to good effect with many
different types of food.
Scape Goat is brewed by Big Sky in Missoula, Montana and sold locally in
kegs. The brewery is the largest micro in Montana and in 1999 began selling
bottled beer, with bottling being done by the Portland Brewing Company in
Portland, Oregon. This facilitated the brewery’s move into Alaska and Oregon
as additional markets for its beer in the year 2000. Other states where Big
Sky sells its beers are Montana, Idaho, Washington, Wyoming, and South
Dakota. Production has been increasing steadily, and facilities have been
updated just as steadily to accommodate this.
Though goats are traditionally a symbol of bock beer (which is a lager),
Scape Goat is most assuredly an ale. Big Sky has a habit of naming its beers
for animals. Other beers produced by the brewery include Moose Drool Brown
Ale, Slow Elk Oatmeal Stout and Powder Hound Winter Ale. Scape Goat is
brewed with pale and crystal malt and hoped with Crystals and Kent Goldings.
The beer is average in alcohol content at 4.8% by volume. It won a gold
medal in the English style pale ale category at the 1997 North American
Brewer’s competition. If you taste this beer, it’s easy to see why.
Scape Goat Pale Ale pours to a deep amber color with a light and spritzy
head and a very caramelly malty nose. The palate is big and rich with malt,
firm bodied and delicious with just a hint of fruit and a touch of butter.
The finish is citric and slightly bitter with hops. It balances the malt
very nicely and lingers on the tongue just long enough to make you want
I really like the balance between malt and hops in this beer. Both are well
represented, yet neither one dominates. You’ll get a solid malt experience
upfront and a respectable hop bite in the finish. This makes for a very
drinkable brew that I enjoyed tonight with a thick charbroiled porterhouse,
a huge baked potato smothered in butter and sour cream, carrots in broccoli
in lemon-butter and fresh baked rolls.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For
reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.