A Gazelle or a Big Goat?

Posted on May 7, 2010 by

I continue on the IPA path for at least one more week. We will see where next week lands us. Today I’m going to introduce to you a brewery that you may have never heard of, Big Sky Brewing out of Missoula, MT. This brewery is one of the closests breweries to my house, which is still a good 800 miles away. Started in 1995, this brewery is only 15 years old, but their beer continues to grow. So let’s dig in!

Review of Big Sky IPA

Review of Big Sky IPA


For me, there is nothing special about the packaging at all. Its pretty basic and looks a little to old for me. From my understanding the label is a painting of a mountain goat created by one of the founding brewers mothers. It is a very nice painting, but every time I see an animal on a label, I always feel like it is that animals piss. Big Sky Brewing has other brands that include “Moose Drool” and “Scape Goat” which leads me to believe that the name of this beer is a little uninspired. The label tells me its an IPA and that it has 6.2% ABV in it. A little more information would be nice, but like I said, there isn’t anything special about it. Very classic.


A deep copper, a bit deeper than I’m used to seeing. A very nice fluffy white head with some good lacing down the sides.


Very hoppy. I can smell citrus hops, but I also seem to dig out a little bit of pine or mint within the hop smell. If anyone knows what kind of hops give it that pine or mint, I’d love to know for future reference. I don’t get any sweetness or malts in the smell.


Bitter! Its all hops. Even after it warms up, there isn’t much sweetness. I enjoy how dry it is, but I’d like just a pinch of balance for all this hop flavor. Some of the bitterness is a bit earthy, a little dirty.


Not much carbonation, but the acids from the hops hit the tongue and sting it nicely. It is a medium bodied IPA that, again, sticks to the roof of my mouth.


I would put this up there as a beer I could drink a few of. It has the dryness that I like, the hop characteristics that I’ve come to enjoy, but could use a pinch of sweetness to balance it. I’m not 100% of the bitterness after a few. However, I do enjoy this IPA. This would be really good with some spicy chili or taco’s or spicy shrimp.


I’d say the same thing as I have for the past couple a IPA’s. If you like bitterness and alcohol dryness, this is for you. Give it a try and tell me what you think! I’d love to hear about it.

Have you tried this brew? I’d love to hear about it. Plus I’d love to know where you live. Distribution on this beer is pretty centered so I’d love to know where you got it! Enjoy!

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  • http://m.inforum.com ryan

    Love the Moose Drool, Scape Goat and Trout Slayer that Big Sky puts out. I wasn't a big fan of the IPA but I might have to go back and check it out. Big Sky's beer reminds me of Whitefish… on tap in every bar.

  • mikebiewer


    You lived in Whitefish for a while didn't you? I bet having some of this on tap was nice. I've had the Moose Drool, it was a long time ago though. To be honest, I've never felt like trying any of these brews. They just don't look tasty when I'm standing there looking through the glass. I'm glad I gave one a try though, I'll probably try them all again now!

    Thanks for stopping in and giving me your two cents. I always appreciate it!


  • spike67

    Have you tried Surly Abrasive Ale yet? Great IIPA. Awesome tropical fruit profile with a great balance of citrus hops and malt.

  • mikebiewer

    I have not tried it yet. I have had their Coffee Bender and Furious. Both of which I like. I'll have to head over to Moorhead and see if their store has it. Can't get it in ND yet.

    Thanks for the tip!


  • Orclcert2k

    I’m sure you checked out http://www.ratebeer.com/ already but this and other IPAs have big ratings from the beer aficionados.  I’m growing used to the bitterness.  It has character.  By the way you are funny and keep up the great videos.  Take it easy.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the comments! I haven’t had this brew in a while. I’m pretty sure it would taste a lot different after drinking all this West Coast IPA beer. There are some beers here that are just TOO hoppy in my opinion, but the locals love them! I am starting to really enjoy really big hop character in Pale Ales and I’ve found a couple of IPA’s that I like. But anything that starts to get into the mid 80′s of IBU’s I start to turn away from. Its just to much for me.



  • Charlie C

    The piney smell you note is from Simcoe hops.  

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