Pygmy Owl Itty Bitty IPA
Big Sky Brewing Company

Pygmy Owl Itty Bitty IPAPygmy Owl Itty Bitty IPA
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American IPA
Ranked #6,791
Ranked #44,968
3.47 | pDev: 12.39%
Big Sky Brewing Company
Montana, United States
Pygmy Owl Itty Bitty IPAPygmy Owl Itty Bitty IPA
Notes: On a classic Montana summer day last June, our head of maintenance at the brewery, Gus (that’s ‘Mr. Magic Fingers’ to us), was on his way to a fishing excursion on the Clark Fork River. He came around the corner and saw something he had never seen before, a very young pygmy owl, approximately an inch in height. The tiny critter sat on the side of the trail with a fly on its head, and stared at Gus. As Gus stared back, he took out his cell phone and snapped a couple of shots.

The next day at the brewery, Gus shared the photos of his new friend. We all thought this “itty bitty” owl was pretty cool. So cool in fact, that we decided to post a shot on Facebook and see if the little guy was worthy of having a beer named after him. Based on the comments and likes, the overwhelming response was YES. Seven months later, we’re happy to announce the arrival of Pygmy Owl “Itty Bitty” IPA.

Pygmy Owl is an IPA with full fledged hop taste and aroma, yet is remarkably low in alcohol. In fact, it clocks in at only 4.2% ABV. An IPA with full flavor, but without the harsh bitterness. And the best part, you can have more than one without getting that drunkied up feeling.

IBU’s 30

Malts: Pale,Cara Pils
Hops: El Dorado, Mosaic
Reviews: 41 | Ratings: 168 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.86/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Another review fashioned from that March 2014 haul pic. Got a 6 pack of this, liked it and then it seemingly disappeared from shelves.

Pours a light yellow with 1/3" white head, average retention. Aroma had a tropical fruit and lemon like hop, but it was way better than Sorachi. Looks like a mix of Mosaic and El Dorado, gotta be the El Dorado giving that lemon aspect. Smelled nice.

Taste was easy going, they didn't over do it with the El Dorado for bittering I presume, was nice and complimentary to the late stage Mosaic use. Really was light bodied, well carbonated and full flavored. Checks all the boxes for what I want in a session ipa. I'm really surprised the score here is this low, gonna be a rare positive rate deviation for me. Sure, there are "better" session ipas, but those are still like $4/pint or whatnot, whereas these are $1.50 a piece. Would bang again if I see it.

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Photo of dcotom
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Everything about this screams hoppy pilsner, and that is by no means a bad thing. The sample was poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a glass goblet. Clear, light golden in color, with a two-finger soft white head that settled into a 3-mm white cap leaving scads of lacing. Loads of bubbles stream constantly from the bottom of the glass. Big aromas of crackery malt, with a grassy and slightly floral undertone. The flavor profile is similar in character, with a nice hop bite, a little lemony citrus, and a nice lingering bitterness. Medium mouthfeel, with a rather crisp finish. This is better than the ratings seem to indicate, but approach it with an open mind.

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Photo of MinerBob
3.35/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Let me preface my review with I'm not a fan of IPA'S but this one isn't bad. Never thought I'd say that. Pours a clear golden color with a lot of head. Hoppy smell of a strong IPA but a smooth flavor and easy swallow. Probably the best IPA I've ever had.

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Photo of Impetuous
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The kids call this a session ipa
It is thoroughly sessionable. Had four last night in short order and no hangover whatsoever. So it succeeds in that regard. There is no metric for this apart from overall. Hence the bump.
Taste is pine throughout with malt backbone fading until lingering pine is left.
Quite carbonated leading to robust mouthfeel


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Photo of colts9016
3.34/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a pint glass. A nice one finger head white head that has some retention. The color of the beer is a pale yellow color with a slightly haziness.

The aroma of the beer is grassy, grainy, citrus, and floral

The taste is grassy, pine, citrus, and perfume.

The mouth feel of the beer is slightly carbonated.

For a session IPA this is spot on, the taste does wane a bit.

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Photo of stevoj
3.31/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours like a lager, clean and crisp and clear, light head. Light hop aroma. Initial taste smacks of grains, but hops come in on the finish, and dries it out. This is a great session beer and would be great on a hot day.

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Photo of tone77
3.26/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of citrus hops. Taste is mild, citrus, touch of pine, no real malts to speak of, and minimal bitterness. Feels medium/light in the mouth and overall, while refreshing, it lacks the oomph I expect in an IPA.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. Bottle
Best Before: 08/07/15

Pours a nice clean/clear golden yellow color, nice carbonation, with a nice small fizzy white head, with some nice sticky lacing. The nose is hoppy, with a nice malt note, some citrus. The taste is hoppy, slightly malty, with some citrus notes. Medium body. Overall, not a bad brew for the ABV.

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Photo of Karibourgeois
3.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Really nice and bright aroma and flavor. Light bodied and drinks very easy (as it should). Taste has a good combination of citrus and grassy flavors and a hint of cracker in the backend.

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Photo of vladdswrath
3.26/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Hazy pale yellow pour, nice big sudsy head (albeit short-lived) with decent lacing. Smell is hops forward, dank and piny but not overbearingly so. Like most of the Big Sky Brews I've tried, this feels like a lighter express version of the heavier beers I enjoy. Taste and mouth feel are both thin, decent flavor but entirely too short lived. Sort of like I am drinking hopped seltzer water. It's better than that of course, but that's the best way I can verbalize it.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 10/28/2015. Pours slightly hazy bright golden straw color with a 12 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, light pine, cracker, bread, light honey, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/floral hops and light-moderate pale malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, cracker, bread, light honey, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Moderate amount of pine/citrus rind bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon/orange peel, pine, cracker, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Good balance and solid robustness of citrus/pine hops and light-moderate pale malt flavors; with a nice malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and light-medium bodied; with a very smooth and moderately crisp/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 4.2%. Overall this is a nice session IPA. All around good balance and solid robustness of citrus/piney hops and light-moderate pale malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of jhavs
3.64/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. can poured into a fluted snifter tasting glass.

A= Light, yellow, wheat, pretty clear, thin white head, some lacing loops the glass.

S= Citrus and grassy earthy notes.

T= Some light malt and a little bit o citrus and lemon rind.

M=Light body with moderate level of carbonation.

O= Easy to drink, not many big flavors, no off flavors. Prefer a bit more of a hoppy kick to aroma and/or flavor.

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Photo of pianoguy
3.46/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle (thank you to Rockin the Rivers )

An aggressive pour yields a somewhat see through yellow golden body with a white head the dissipated fairly quickly. slight lacing

Mainly the scents of citrus. lemon, with some grapefruit. With a little earthy grass. I'm getting a bit of malt, but it is very much under the radar.

Taste is more grassy then citrus. A little bit of malt comes through

Feel is ok. maybe a little thin.

With this one the citrus seems to come through a little more so then a lot of these lower ABV "session" IPA's Maybe this is because there isn't a lot of malt to balance it. But that said, it is was light and enjoyable. On a hot day I would take this over the brewer's Big Sky IPA.

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Photo of chicksdiggit
4.38/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured center from 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

L: pale straw color with a finger and a half of clean white head of consistent moderate sized bubbles. Large cone of quickly rising carbonation concentrated at the center of the glass. Thick retention, thin but sticky lacing.

S: Grassy aroma with green leafy hops and a little dank coming through. Not normally a fan of this smell but I like it here.

T: Green vegetal hops and dank in the flavor as well. Buttered cracker in the background malt flavor. Malt comes through more as it warms.

F: Hoppier than bitter, which I always appreciate. Not overly dry in the mouthfeel even though a dry finish in flavor. My type of IPA.

O: Tasty, but not over the top for me. Not an intense IPA like you normally see on the market. I dig it.

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Photo of Bunman3
3.42/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

My reaction is that of Senor Wences. S'alright? S'alright. I picked this up by chance at the Albertson's in Shelby before we crossed the border. This is Itty Bitty in terms of look, feel, and taste.

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Photo of Tone
3.64/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, straw color. 1/2 inch head of a white color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of grass, hops, hint of pine, resin, hint of floral hops, hint of sweet malt, and a hint of earthy malt. Fits the style of an American IPA, but since there is such low ABV, and less intense body and aroma, would be a better fit in the American Pale Ale style. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of grass, tea, hint of pine, hops, resin, slight sweet malt, and a hint of earthy malt. Overall, body tasted too much of tea for my tastes, and I know it is called itty bitty IPA, but nevertheless it should still be in the APA category. Name aside, it is a very weak IPA, with decent complexity.

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Photo of Zorro
2.69/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear golden colored beer with a medium sized white colored head.

Smells strongly hoppy with mostly a grapefruit scent. Some toasted grains and that is about it.

Starts out highly carbonated and slightly bitter. That is about it not a lot of subtleties here. Mostly this is grapefruit zest in taste.

Mouthfeel is club soda.

Overall it is drinkable but damn near Bud Lite.

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Photo of Donkster46
3.34/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Seasonal release from Big Sky. Really light, even for a session. I would enjoy this when it hits the 80 degree mark. Basic, yet enjoyable depending on the weather.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i am almost certain this isnt retired, as i had some today and do not think the bottle was old at all. the beer tasted fresh, and although its not the most incredible session ipa on the planet, its worthwhile in my opinion. it has a neat yeast sort of flavor, fruity like its belgian. maybe its from the hops not the yeast, but this is moving in that belgian type direction, at least for me. hops arent over the top, although its pretty bitter on the back end. there isnt a lot of that citrus refreshment going on, its more rudimentary than that it seems, but is really nice and light on the grain front, and has almost no body at all. i think both of these features are positives in the style, you could drink a ton of this if it could hold your attention or you didnt need it to. for me, i would have liked more hop flavor and less bitterness, but i dont dislike it as much as others obviously have. nice carbonation and really light, it works well in hot weather, but is a league below the best session ipas out there.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.41/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a clear light golden color with a small fine white head. The head fades rather rapidly, leaving a somewhat persistent white foam film on the surface of the brew and a decent sum of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is heaviest of an earthy and citrus hop smell mixed with other aromas of a cracker and bready nature. Along with these aromas are some lighter notes of a lemon and a little bit of sweetness of tangerine and some pear.

Taste – The taste begins with a somewhat crisp cracker taste mixed with some lemon and a moderate sum of grapefruit hop. As the taste advances a little bit of orange and bready flavors develop in the middle only to fade away at the end, bringing back a dry and crisp taste to the brew. Along with the citrus hop some rather herbal and earthy hop tastes also come to the tongue at the middle and increase up to the end, leaving one with a rather dry and somewhat dankly hopped light bodied IPA flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is very thin with a carbonation level that is on the slightly higher side. For the light abv. and the crisp flavors of the brew the feel is rather well done, making for a crisp and easy drinker.

Overall – A decent session IPA overall. Light in abv. and full of hops, but at some times a little unbalanced. Not a bad one to try if you like a somewhat crisp and more dankly hopped IPA though, as it may be a fantastic session IPA for you.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4/5  rDev +15.3%

This website continues to change.....the Bitty Owl is a very nice sessionable IPA a la All Day IPA, Pop-up IPA, etc. The beer poured a golden clear with thin white head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent carries light pine and citrus. The taste is very easy balance with good flavor from the hops in the form of pine and citrus. The mouthfeel is lighter in body with decent carbonation. Overall this is a great beer.

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Photo of TheCondor
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Mix and match six pack. I have one Big Sky beer I have liked, one I hated. We will see where this goes.

Appearance - Pours a very clear straw color with carbonation bubbles rising through the entirety of the drink. Pours a one finger head that quickly dissipates and leaves no lacing. I like all of Big Sky's packaging.

Smell - This is probably my favorite part of this beer. Smells nice and fruity, just like you would expect out of an IPA, but nothing too powerful. Citrusy, lemon, pine all coalesce into a nice nose on this beer.

Taste - Unfortunately, the taste cannot support what the nose is expecting. Fruity hops are present throughout the drink, but other than that there isn't much. A little bit of grains, some fruity hops, but not much else. Kind of a let down.

Mouthfeel - Finishes a little sticky. Strongly carbonated, light bodied.

Overall - Well, I'm not very impressed with this Big Sky product either. I wouldn't even bother trying it unless you just want to, and certainly wouldn't buy it. It was just bland, there are so many other IPA's out there to spend your money on. If its free and you don't have anything going on, go for it.

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Photo of zeff80
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Poured out a clear, golden color with a small, white head of foam. It smelled of toasted caramel, citrus and floral notes. Sweet caramel and citrus with a mild bitterness.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tumbler.

Something about the "Itty Bitty IPA Committee" just doesn't ring all that sonorous to me... Regardless, this stuff pours a clear golden brass topped by a finger or so of white foam. The nose comprises lemon zest, light orange rind, relatively mild pine resin, and a touch of slightly sweet biscuit off in the distance. The taste brings in more of the same, with a slightly stronger biscuit contingent and a stronger resin character, much to the dismay of the lemon, which tries in vain to stay relevant in these modern circumstances. The body is a hefty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a crisp-ish finish. Overall, a decent little IPA, but one that seems to sacrifice a bit of flavor and body for its relatively lower ABV. I'll take the extra bit of blood poison, thanks.

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Photo of utfiero
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color- clear gold. Full head.

Aroma- citrusy hops and lemon Jolly Rancher.

Taste- a pleasant, light, sessionable IPA from Big Sky. My rating reflects this brews quality in relation to similar light session IPAs. Starts mildly hoppy with a malty middle, finishing with a pleasantly soft hop note (think English ESB) lingering long and dry. A great hot summer day session IPA! 30 IBUs. Purchased at Whole Foods in Austin for $5.99 / six pack.

Poured from 355 ml bottle into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted June 2014.

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Pygmy Owl Itty Bitty IPA from Big Sky Brewing Company
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 168 ratings