Scape Goat Pale Ale | Big Sky Brewing Company

432 Ratings
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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

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Reviews: 238 | Ratings: 432
Photo of Bitterbill
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear gold with a very good head that persisted.

The smell was at first, all hops but then I noticed some malt there as well

The taste is a nice balance of malt and hops with a grapefruity note. A lot of flavour for an APA and that's a good thing because I know I'll buy this one again.

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Photo of karst
3.87/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper amber with a 3 fingered dense persistant head that puts up a solid veil of lace the sides of my Grindstone pint glass. Scape Goat Pale Ale is a very smooth English style Pale Ale. It is well balanced with pale, crystal malts, and Kent Goldings and Crystal Hops. Before you bring up the glass you are ambushed by aromas of zesty citrus, grapefruits, peaches and apricots. Flavors of these hops are very juicy and fresh. Body is light and mouthfeel is a little thin. Finish is wonderful as hop flavors recede to a mild bitterness of grapefruit. This is a hop lovers beer that has session written all over it.

Thanks Joe for bringing this beaut back to Missouri from your trip to the Bad Lands.

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

Poured a clear golden hued copper with a white clingy head.

The nose has citrus, pine, apricot, and caramel notes.

Medium-light body with ample carbonation. Hops are assertive, carrying on the citrus notes from the nose. Malts are caramel tinged and although in the back, their presence, while not balanced to the hops, is satisfying. This beer was pretty bitter in the finish, which acted great as a palate cleanser.

Paired nicely with shrimp scampi pasta and some brussel sprouts sauteed with Balsamic vinegar, butter, bacon, and red onion. A solid APA.

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Photo of pjwilson
4.22/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Here's a good session beer if the price is right. I like this pale alot, has just about everything i look for in a APA.
A: Seems a deep orange, darker than most APA's I've seen. Good head when poured and even minor lacing.
Smell: mmm hops, malt balance. west coast.
taste: Now there's some balance. right amount of bitterness meets malts. lingering bitterness. Pretty hoppy for how low of alcohol.
Mouthfeel: full
Drinkability: where'd my beer go? really smooth drinker.
Notes: Drink this one cold as it does not improve as gets warm. I tried one at 55 and it didn't taste so great....right out of the fridge hit the spot. Great for times when you want a really light beer, with full flavor. I dig this. The only pale ale that trumps this is poleeko gold, but that one usually costs more and is stronger. This will become a staple for me if i can keep getting it for 6 bucks a sixer.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am a tad pissed off at seeing the below. Somewhere along the line, my original bottle review got deleted, making the remaining review worthless. It may not have been a very good review, since I did it early on, but in the interim, it now comes in a 12-Fl. Oz. CAN from Crown. The CANQuest (TM) rejoices! I picked this up at Binny's (South Loop) during my Thanksgiving visit.

From the CAN: "Chained Up On All 4"; "3-7-77".

There is nothing like the satisfying auditory nature of the Crack! and so I celebrated with my infamous inverted Glug. I produced two fingers of tawny head as the result, but it evinced only mild retention. Color was a slightly hazy Amber (SRM = > 7, < 9). Nose had a solid citrusiness which made my mouth begin to water in anticipation. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste struck me as being only mildly bitter, not really rising to the aroma, with a bigger malt presence than I would have liked. I got some lacing in the glass as I drank. Finish was semi-dry, but overall, unsatisfying. I remember really liking it many years ago, but it seems as though my palate has changed in that time. I am not going to change my original scores, and I am glad that I found a CAN of this one, but I do not see myself giving it another run in bottle form.

This review is for Scape Goat in the Aluminum (bottle-shaped) Can.

I do not really have that much different to say from my initial review except that this serving style struck me as being hoppier, plus there was greater clarity. Hopefully, brevity is all in this case.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.51/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from NorthernTimber as part of The Easter BIF Bunny exchange. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/2" off-white head above the orangey copper brew. Head fades, but settles at a nice frothy 1/2", with prevalent foamy lacing. Aroma is lightly of fruity hops and pale malt, but lacking here for the style. Taste is again the fruity hops, with a tinge of lemon, and mellow pale malt sweetness to balance. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin, but drinkability can hardly be faulted. Wouldn't be a bad session brew.

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Photo of RootedFool
4.02/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle purchased at the North Coast Co-op in Eureka, California. A little too softly poured, nevertheless a half-inch of head rises toward the rim of the pint glass, off-white and densely bubbled. Leaves no lacing to mention. The body is a deep amber -- attractive color.


Bright and citrusy upfront with a lingering background of freshly baked glazed donuts. Nice.


Opens with a mouth-watering crackle of juicy hop bitterness along the edges of my palate, which spreads out into a round, powdered sugar sweetness in the middle. All the while, the bright hop citrus juiciness sticks around. Some light saltine notes toward the finish. The aftertaste is all hop echo and a perfectly balanced, soft malt backbone.


Excellent feel to the body, wraps around my palate without clinging and has a great weight to it. Plenty carbonated.

Incredibly drinkable and very balanced American pale ale.

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Photo of mac56
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this on the same day I tried Smithwick's Irish Ale. This was everything I wanted the Smithwick's to be, but wasn't. Another poster wrote that it's sort of reminiscent of SNPA. I think that's a very apt comparison.

I'll be buying more of this - a great session ale.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.12/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Re-review 19 December 2006: A snoozle full of citrusy hops greets you in the nose of Big Sky's Scape Goat Pale Ale. It's bright and citrusy with notes of grapefruit, pineapple, and tangerine/apricot, and a rounding note of spruce. It's very nicely balanced against a gently biscuity maltiness, and I find it quite drinkable with a refreshing tartness and solid bitterness. Flavorful, smooth, drinkable!

Original review 25 December 2004: The rich maltiness that dominates the nose of Big Sky's Scape Goat carries through in its flavor. It's sweetish, caramel-drenched maltiness is threaded with floral and lightly fruity hops that help to balance it and give it a dual character; and it's nicely backed by a solid bitterness that leaves it dry and refreshing in the finish. The head retention could be a bit better; but with its slightly restrained alcohol content; smooth medium body; rich caramel malt character; and great balance, this makes for an excellent session ale!

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Photo of clvand0
3.19/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to kmpitz2 for sharing this one. Pours a copper color with a small head that doesn't have good retention and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma has the character of hops that I don't like. Earthy and dirty is how I can best describe them. I'm not sure what they are, but I just don't like 'em. The flavor is hoppy and has a caramel malt flavor, but just doesn't do it for me. Mouthfeel is ok and drinkability is ok.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice golden color, with a finger of head that falls to ring the beer. The nose is all about APA. Lots of dirty APA hops mingling with some biscuit malts and a hint of caramel. Eh. I just don't find this combination appealing. The flavor is okay. There is a nice caramel that comes through, with hops and biscuity flavors on the finish. The feel is off. Way too thin on this beer. Its almost watery feeling. Not what I expect. Drinkability is okay. Its not the best beer I've ever had, but its not awful.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11/08/04- Sampled at the Big Sky Brewery on tap.

*taken from notes from August 2004.

Appearance- A golden light amber pour with decent foam head and light amounts of lacing.

Smell- Lots of hoppy smells. Floral and a mixture of fruit. Maybe a bit of malt also. Maybe a bit of grassy scents also.

Taste- Nice hop flavor. Kinda reminds me of a SNPA, but with more citrus tang to it. More hops than I expected.

Mouthfeel- Very crisp, clean and dry with a nice aftertaste. Hops stay with you throughout the day and night.

Drinkability- This would be a great session beer if they carried it back here in California. Will get some more of this when I go back next year.

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Photo of redmosquito
3.26/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep caramel color w/ an off white head. Aroma of toasted bread and roasted malt. Nice bitterness and toasted malt flavor. Good body, malt flavors and bitterness. The hop flavors are subtle and in the background, this could be a result of a well traveled bottle. Well balanced, like an English pale ale rather than a hoppy west coast American pale ale.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.22/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright, dusty tangerine with very little carbonation. All those CO2 molecules gave themselves up to form an impressive, dark cream-light orange head that is dense and tacky. It falls first at the edges and leaves quite a bit of lace in blurred rings.

Only two varieties of hops were used to brew Scape Goat (Crystal and Kent Goldings), but they provide a complex aroma. I had anticipated more of an English pale ale scent, but I'd forgotten that Rogue Brutal Bitter uses Crystal and it doesn't smell English to me. Anyway, it's a nose that appeals to me. The brewers seem to have added the Crystal hops with a heavier hand because their bright, citrusy aroma overpowers the earthy spiciness of the Goldings. I hope the flavor is a carbon copy of the nose.

Not quite, but it's close. The flavor is a wonderful melange of three components. Sweet caramal malt vies with the grapefruit sprucy Crystal and spicy Goldings. The caramel and spicy hops were in the background in the aroma, but come out to play on the palate. The finish is long as a direct result of the medium-full, slightly slick body. With a tweak here and there, this would make a great IPA.

Bolder and hoppier than most APAs and an intriguing combination of the US and UK styles, Scape Goat Pale Ale is a wonderful craft brew and is a pleasant surprise. If you run across this well made beer from the Treasure State, pick up a sixer or two. You won't be sorry.

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Photo of dren
2.35/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

After loving the Moose Drool brown I figured I would give Big Sky another shot and check out their pale. The first sip greets you with malt and hops but some unwanted roasty flavors lingered around and resulted in a bad after taste. Not what I would expect from a pale. I thought it might have just been me but a few of the guys had the same beer with me and we couldn't finish them. We might have purchased a bad 6 pack, but I find this highly unlikely since we were in the town the beer is brewed in.

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Photo of SeanChouffe
3.11/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: Aluminum bottle - different.
Appearance: Not a very pale ale. Amber/brown color with plentiful effervescence and a white frothy head. Head diminishes, but leaves a decent film a light, sticky lacing. Aroma is quite non-descript; earthy and some malty notes. Mouthfeel is light, and effervescent with a mild hop finish. Flavor sweet start and some hops toward the end.

Non-descript but fairly drinkable.

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

The beer pours a golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice toasted, grainy malt scent. The taste is good. It has a really cool malty flavor with a light, refreshing finish. It goes down easy with a creamy malt palate. It boasts of toasted flavor. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a pale ale with some flavor and nice malty aroma. There isn't much hop character, but the beer drinks well.

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.59/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First, the container. They call it an AlumaBottle -- a bottle shaped vessel made of aluminum. The idea here is that the bottling facility can still accommodate the traditional bottle shape while using a lighter material that protects the product from light and resists breakage. Sounds like a good idea to me if A) it doesn’t affect the taste or material properties of the beer, and B) I can get over the deeply instilled social stigma of drinking beer from a can. So far my personal progress on embracing this new/old concept has been a renewed affirmation at keeping an open mind to new ideas, while at the same time I can’t quite get used to seeing a beer poured from a vessel that looks like it contains an oil additive.

Scape Goat is clear and brassy with an assertive hop nose. It has a dry hop flavor and a finish that tastes uncannily (pun intended) like cannabis (second pun unintentional). I’ve always enjoyed the flavor of cannabis and take some delight in the notion that the devil’s weed is a near relative of the heavenly hop.

This brew left no lace, offered only an implied head, and featured very light carbonation. Whether or not these properties are correlated to the aluminum container, I can’t say. But this is a very decent pale ale, nicely balanced on the middle palate though somewhat acerbic towards the finish. Still, much more than I expected from a can or… AlumaBottle.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.04/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12.5 oz Aluminum Bottle...

Thats right, an aluminum bottle! I could not pass up buying a few of these when i saw them. I will tell you one thing about this bottle style, it keeps beer very cold. The appearance was really nice but I could tell by the smell that it was not as hoppy as I was hopung for. It is a very enjoyable and smooth beer, but not a great Pale ale. I would buy these again just for the uniqeness of the bottle, but if you are looking for a great pale, move on to another choice.

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

A pale ale by the numbers. As effortless as the following review.

Golden orange. Whitish cap.
Hoppy nose of equal parts herbs and citrus.
Vaguely malty. Sugar cookies and bread crusts. Leans towards biscuity as it warms. Touches of diacetyl arrise as well. Closes hoppy with mint leaves and lime rinds.
Light bodied and quaffable.
This is a decent pale ale and nothing more. You've tasted its ilk before.

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Photo of bditty187
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear bronze hue with coppery-gold highlights, there is plenty of animation to replenish the modest off-white head, it topped off at a half finger in height, which held well. Some lace was produced that was spotty and unorganized. The nose is just potent enough to whisper equal amounts of caramel-toffee and light piney hops. It is soothing and inviting, albeit simplistic. The palate is dry upfront, which is very pleasant, with kisses of hoppy bitterness, in the middle is a good amount of malty softness, sweet too, the finish is again dry with lingering piney notes from the hops. Undercurrents of nuts and yeasty fruitiness play well with the other flavors, occasionally citrus notes emerged too, more so in the aftertaste. This is a typical APA and there is nothing wrong with that, it is well brewed and quite yummy. Medium in body, the carbonation level is low but natural, it seems dead-on for this beer. As a whole this is a very good session brew and it would be something I’d quaff often if it were available locally, I purchase mine in Sioux Falls, SD. Worth trying but you need not seek it out. It is a solid beer.

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Photo of Thrasher
4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a pretty good beer with enough flavor to be interesting while being incredibly easy to drink. Appearance is hazy orange-gold with decent head and minimal lacing. Aroma of biscuit malts and light fruitiness with very appealing musty yeast odor. The beer goes down effortlessly, with bright, sweet flavors followed by just a short sharp kick of hops which are neither especially bitter nor lasting. Mouthfeel really good; smooth and substantial without being thick. I was pleased with this beer and had no trouble finishing the glass. It may not rock your world but it provides satisfaction.

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a very impressive example of a Pale Ale. I drank it straight from the bottle, which had a very rugged label, featuring a picture of a goat (surprise, surprise). Balanced malt and hops and flavors. Not the best. I have never been bowled over by anything from the Big Sky Line.

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Photo of RoyalT
2.88/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Beautiful and bright hazy orange in color with a sorry head.

Smell – This is interesting. There’s a light malt backbone to the floral hops, but this one is very musty. There’s a sharp sweetness in there that I can’t quite figure out. It’s almost like a subdued form of sweet onion. It’s very pungent yet sweet, but not lingering. Strange.

Taste – The grassy hops really come out at the taste. The malt shows up as well, but I thought it missed the mark with the hop profile. Between the lawn clippings and sweet onions it’s more like a garden then a beer.

Mouthfeel – This one had a terrific mouthfeel. It was dry enough to quench yet malty and sweet enough to go down well. It was a solid medium in the body.

Drinkability – The funny flavors that I found will probably keep me from buying again, but it’s not a bad ale and it went down really well.

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Photo of ZAP
2.94/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A decent enough pale ale...I'd drink it if I saw it on tap in Montana..don't think I'd buy it over Summit or Sierra Nevada though..

Pours a nice copper head...I didn'tcare for the nose that much at first...the first time I drank it it reminded me of sweet it's just more of a sweet ickiness....towards the bottom though a nice bready/biscuity nose emerges that is quite pleseant..

Medium light body....session beer style body...taste is sweet fruitiness....kind of a unique fruitiness...some decent bready notes...a slight dry finish...

Not a bad taste...just not real strong flavored....balanced and easy drinking if you want to be nice..."dumbed down" and "weak flavored" if you want to be honest...

Not a personal favorite...I won't buy it again...unless I'm in Montana and see it on tap alongside some macros..

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