Scape Goat Pale Ale | Big Sky Brewing Company

432 Ratings
Read the review
Scape Goat Pale AleScape Goat Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company
Montana, United States

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Scape Goat is our award-winning Pale Ale. It is a very smooth brew, refreshing and well-balanced. Scape Goat took home the Gold Medal from the North American Brewers' Association competitions as the best English-style pale ale brewed west of the Mississippi, but only because it is the best. Scape Goat is brewed with pale, crystal malts, and Kent Goldings and Crystal hops.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-02-2002

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 432 |  Reviews: 238
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from KenGage, so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, a good amount of hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out with a hearty malt character and sweet flavors of caramel & citrus. Then a decent burst of hops bitterness comes in to provide some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a nice solid beer that is worth drinking for a long time.

 757 characters

Photo of taylorhamrick
3.87/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice golden color, nice clarity, moving towards copper, but not quite that deep. The head is thin, off-white, but leaves pretty decent lacing. I actually kind of like the look of it, but it's not impressive. The smell has a nice leafy, kind of grassy hop presence, with a deep, but fairly light american hop aroma. Which is good, an APA, especially a <5% ABV one does not need to smell like a hop bomb. The malt presence is caramelly and sweet, a little powdery, also a slight toasty smell, almsot like pretzels. The taste is just as enjoyable as the smell. Starts off lightly bready, a bit cakey, but nice and dry and crisp. A good toastiness is present, too, a feature I really like in an APA. The hop profile is upfront leafy and herbal. Not very citrusy, which can be good in a beer like this. But there's a nice bite of orange in the middle, maybe some light grapefruit, but not much bitterness or resinous feeling. Finishes a little grassy, but a nice malty sweetness comes in, too. Though you do notice that it's a bit thin in the finish. That's really my only complaint. There's so much interesting going on, but the body is actually a bit thinner than expected. The carbonation isn't sharp, but you feel it in unexpected places and ways. Still interesting. And at this ABV, this one is easy drinking, but you'd never expect it to be so low based on the flavor. Really a very good beer. If it was around, I could possibly make it a staple-type beer.

 1,473 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
3.36/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle thanks to dancingcaddis, thanks. Nice pale orange-yellow color, decent head, looks about as good as any other pale ale. The smell is nondescript and boring, there is really nothing that stands out. The flavor seems to follow suit, a little bit of biscuit flavor but other than that it is completely boring. I am not saying this beer is bad at all because it is very easy to put down but it is just bland overall.

 424 characters

Photo of Ragingbull
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange in color with a frothy head and lots of prickle that doesn't rise at all in the glass. The nose is malty and slides smoothly in the nostrils. The attack is refreshing and displays a creamy mouthfeel for the beer. The hops presents itself late. The finish has some residual hoppiness in the mouth that carries through to provide a hoppy aftertaste. Drinking this beer is like a journey from the malty to the hops. It is certainly my favorite of the Big Sky beers I have tried.

 482 characters

Photo of Vidav
4.16/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Dark orange, very nice coloring. I got about 1.5 inch head, it seems to be mildly carbonated.

S: Not a lot to smell here, the hops seems to be the only thing coming through.

T: Starts out really hoppy but ends with subtle citrus.

M: Smooth feel.

D: This is just a really nice and drinkable pale ale. It would be a perfect session beer.

Notes: This is one of the first pale ales I really enjoyed. It is a bit stronger than most though not quite up there with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I would recommend this for anyone looking for an easy to drink refreshing beer.

 569 characters

Photo of benteach
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper tint with a strong head which quickly forms into a top ring. Not a lot of carbonation.

Nothing to distinct about the smell. Hops are all I can discern.

A very hoppy pale ale. Bitter, but goes down with a subtle aftertaste.

A bit stronger than I like Pale Ales to be, but is drinkable.

 294 characters

Photo of RedBaron
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice APA from a Rocky Mountain brewery. Good one for a warm summer day!

Appearance: Setting sun orange; nice white head that was properly carbo'd for this beer; left some lacework, too.
Smell: Floral, but nicely understated, hop aroma. Some grassy notes.
Taste: Mmmm...low-key citrus-y grapefruit bitterness throughout with some slightly biscuity malt components. Pine notes, too. Guessing good, clean and soft water from the Rockies made this enjoyable, too. Finishes pleasantly dry.
Mouthfeel: Nicely balanced beer. The lingering bittering hop is impressive in this beer. Love it.
Drinkability: By American standards this is clearly a sessionable beer (4.7%abv), and one that I enjoyed immensely in the context of winding down after a hot and humid summer day. I realize a "basic" pale ale doesn't get much dazzling press in the circles of beer geekdom (which I'm a proud member of) these days, but if you're searching for a reasonably priced, well-made sessionable APA, this is your beer. Nice job, Big Sky folks!

 1,019 characters

Photo of wnh
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottled poured into a pint glass.

Pours a crisp, clear copper with a steady stream of bubbles rising to the surface. Moderately sized sticky, foamy white head that leaves some nice sticky lacing on the way down.

Nose is sweet biscuit-like malt up front with some relatively strong citrus notes hiding just underneath. Not an IPA level of hop aroma, but for a hophead, this is one great smelling pale ale.

First thing I notice at first sip is hop bitterness, with some earthy hop notes coming through. There's a strong malt backbone that holds up the hops and keeps them in check--and quite likely keeps this from being an IPA. Toward the last half of the glass I notice some sweet grapefruit hop flavor in the back end, which brightens things up and makes it interesting. Mildly bitter lingering finish.

Scape Goat is medium bodied with a slight stickiness that enhances the bitter finish without allowing the bitterness to be too much. Well balanced on the whole, and that lingering bitterness sucks me in for another sip. I'm pleasantly surprised, and I'd gladly session with this beer.

 1,099 characters

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz pop top brown bottle with nice label

Appearance: Medium gold/orange amber beer with thin soapy white head with medium retention

Smell: Medium fruity (nondescript) hop aromas with an odd, estery/fruity malt background

Taste: Decent (if somewhat average/typical) malt and hop balance, with medium herbal hop finish

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied

Drinkability: Decent

Conclusion: A bit above average (better than your typical Pale like say, Bass) but nothing special

 482 characters

Photo of champ103
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a copper/orange color. A two finger white head forms at first, but recedes in an instant. Rings of lace are left behind.
S: Citrus and grassy hops. Almost tea like. A little bit of malt sweetness for balance and some yeast. Pretty good, but standard.
T: Follows the nose. Citrus and floral hops. Some grassy and hay. A very light caramel sweetness. Again, good but standard.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. A good creaminess comes out as the beer warms up and breaths. An easy beer to drink. I could quaff several of these with no problem.

I like this beer. Nothing special, but very good non the less. Pick some up if you want an easy drinking and well balances Pale Ale.

 686 characters

Photo of jsh420
4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

best by 05/28/09

pours a clear darker gold copper with a 1+ finger head that leaves a good amount of lacing down the glass

smell is very hoppy for an APA mostly grapefruit

taste is much like the smell very citrusy grapefruit hops but will a good sweet malt backbone just a tad tangy

mouthfeel is light with not a lot of carbonation that makes the beer very smooth

drinkability is high for me @4.7% i have found another winner for the hot summer days

big sky continues to impress me - they might not make the extreme high abv beers but every offering i have had from them is very flavor full and could be a nice gateway beer for non craft drinkers

 653 characters

Photo of Haybeerman
3.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear golden yellow color. Poured a 2 finger off-white head with fair retention. Lots of sticky lacing. Decanted continually.

S: Very prominent grapefruit and citrus. Floral hops and slightly sweet bready malts.

T: Very consistent with smell, but the malts are much more prominent. Resiny floral hops in the middle. Sharply bitter in the finish.

M: Light side of medium body. Ample carbonation. Finish is appropriatly bitter; clean and slightly dry.

D: Very sessionable. Aroma and taste is inviting, maybe a little light in the mouithfeel, but finish will keep you coming back for more.

 594 characters

Photo of Onenote81
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a goldish yellow with a large sticky white head on top. Excellent retention and beautiful lacing all over the glass. Smells like an IPA. Huge citrus and piney nose. Nice.

Mouthfeel is firm and crisp. Flavor is muted and tame. Does not follow the nose. No citrus or piney hop presence, rather there is a dry, husky, grainy flavor. It's pleasant, but nothing special. Not too bad.

 385 characters

Photo of Tone
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color. 1 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of hops, earthy malt, and a general sweetness. Fits the style of an American Pale Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and slightly chewy with an average carbonation level. Tastes of hops up front, strong earthy malt next, citrus in the background, and a there's is a general dryness associated with this brew. Overall, quite refreshing, but I'm not a huge fan of the earthy malt in APA's.

 480 characters

Photo of tronester
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear golden/copper, with a medium off-white head. Nice lacing is left as the level of beer goes down. Smell has a hint of floral hoppiness. Taste is well balanced, with biscuity malts, and earthy, floral hops. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin, high carbonation. Not so hot. Drinkability is quite good, low(er) ABV is nice. As far as an American Pale Ale goes, this seems to be half APA, half English Pale Ale. It is a good beer, but I have had better examples of either style.

 487 characters

Photo of pmcadamis
3.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A pink tinged beige head slowly rises to about two fingers of dense foam above a cloudy apricot colored brew. Lots of really finely bubbled lace sticks to the glass like fake frost in a Christmastime storefront window display. Head retention is good, and that lace is starting to dry into a nice crust. Hubba hubba!

S - Pink grapefruit is the dominant aroma here. My mom used to eat grapefruit sliced in half with sugar on top. She had a scimitar shaped little knife that was purpose built for grapefruit eating. This reminds me of that clean and citrusy, but slightly acrid smell. This is sweet smelling, but not malty per-se. It's more like that grapefruit with sugar on top, or artificially sugared up grapefruit juice.

T - Again, pretty much grapefruit and sugar without a whole helluva lot of complexity or malt spine. This is sort of one-dimensional, but it does that one dimension very well.

M - On the lighter side of medium bodied. This really could use a thickening up with a higher malt content. This showcases some really nice grapefruit hop notes, but the finish is surprisingly quite clean (ie un-hoppy) and fresh with a nicely building soft dryness.

D - Not bad. Not bad. This is a little underpowered and simple, but the soft mouthfeel and relatively gentle grapefruit notes are pleasant enough. This might be a good pale ale for a non-BA friend who isn't really into aggressive beers. I'd buy this again. It has session potential.

 1,456 characters

Photo of Birmingham
3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma: Medium strength aroma consisting of citrus and floral notes.

Appearance: The beer pours a pale copper with a tall off white head. The head is creamy and persistent.

Flavor: Mild citrus flavor. The bitterness and malts are balanced well.

Mouth feel: It has a medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall Impression: Solid beer, well balance neither the hops nor the malts are prominent.

 400 characters

Photo of alcstradamus
2.7/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A--Crystal clear sparkling amber with two fingers of head using a standard pour into a pint glass. A little bit of lacing is left behind.

S--Nice citrus hop nose...oranges, grapes, apples. Some floral presence as well.

T--Good caramel maltiness to balance out the hops leaving this one an OK tasting, though unimpressive, brew. It is a little empty and watery unfortunately, although there are no undesirable tastes present.

M--Light bodied and too watery

D--This is an inoffensive brew that goes down easy and is sessionable, but the lack of a real flavor profile makes me not want to reach for it. It is an alcohol delivery system, nothing more.

 651 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.86/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear light amber color with a rocky head - excellent stickage and quite a few shards of lace

Smell: While there is an earthy hop element underneath, the aroma is a bit too restrained and malty, to me

Taste: Fortunately, the hops come out much better in the flavor profile; after the caramel malt lays down its backbone, the hops jump out with a hybrid mix of English and American flavors that blend together nicely; after the swallow, the bitterness recedes into a well-balanced finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: The balance and low abv of this beer make for a very nice combination

Thanks, deliriumfest, for the opportunity

 686 characters

Photo of mugglesandhops
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Got this bottle at Joe's Place up in Norman. Poured 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint glass. Pours a Clear, Still Yellow with a big bubbly rocky head, poor head retention though. Smells bready and citrus hop scent. Taste was good, I really liked the taste of this pale. Not overly hoppy. Had a nice hoppy taste up front and a nice malt backbone. Mouthfeel was fairly thin. This is a great session beer.

 403 characters

Photo of webbcreative
3.62/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden color, 3 finger head. Citrusy, piney taste with good hop finish, bitter but not too bitter, I'm not really a pale ale lover but this one is a bit milder, and has me excited try more.... I would get this again.

[i hate the two hundred and fifty character limit, i now remember why i started reviewing on]

 324 characters

Photo of ajmoody76
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

came in a mix twelve pack of their four main beers. pours clear golden yellow with a one finger off white head. some lacing.

fruity and floral hops on the nose. some malt presence. no off odors.

crisp hop taste. fruity. some malt sweetness. not a great deal of depth. dry citrus fruit aftertaste. balanced for style.

mid body. good carbonation. decent apa. i would buy this mixed up twelve pack again.

 404 characters

Photo of hopdog
3.72/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz 'AlumaBottle'.

Poured a deep amber color with a smaller sized off white head. A couple of small floaters. Aromas of citrus, floral with some caramel. Tastes of caramel, light oranges and a little bready. Lightly sweet. I thought I would regret buying this one due to the novelty bottle, but was pleasantly pleased with it.

Notes from 9/7/05

 349 characters

Photo of colts9016
3.44/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Light copper color with little to no head. The aroma is hoppy floral and citrus. The taste is citrus, malt, kinda chalky hints of corn and floral. The finish is clean and very easy to drink. This beer is not as hoppy as some American Pale ales

 255 characters

Photo of ibbjamin
4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single 12 oz bottle in my adventures back to Manitowok, WI for the past holiday. This beer is somewhere around the $6-7 per 6-pack range i believe. Poured into a pint glass.

One inch white semi-frothy head after a normal pour. Transparent dark gold color. Some very light head retention. Good lacing.

Smells very light, clean and fresh. Quality ingredients used in moderate quantities.

Has a brew pub like taste to it. Again, like the nose, just quality ingredients in this one make it very refreshing, easy to drink lighter bodied beer. Good carbonation. Watery taste and finish, adding to its drinkability.

I'd like to get this beer to share with those not necessarily into the crafts, especially for a long day's drinking. Recommended it you are looking for something a bit lighter on the palate.

 817 characters

Scape Goat Pale Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
3.58 out of 5 based on 432 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.