Scape Goat Pale Ale

Review Date 5/29/2001 By John Staradumsky

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 another sip.

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.