As a young boy growing up in North Dakota, long before I became interested in beer I was a fan of beer cans. Schmidt cans, specifically. The Minneapolis brewery targeted outdoorsmen with a series of cans featuring wildlife scenes – ducks, antelope, bears, and so on. The cans have become collector items (some now go for as much as $30 apiece) but I just loved them as works of art.
So it’s probably not too surprising I’m a fan of Big Sky Brewing. Not only does Missoula, Mont., brewery make some good beers, but their bottles and cans feature similar artwork of wild game and Western scenes. Their flagship is Moose Drool brown ale. Other everyday beers are Scape Goat pale ale, Trout Slayer wheat ale, and Big Sky IPA.
Tonight, you can meet Big Sky head brewer Matt Long (pictured) at Flanny’s for the Tempe bar’s monthly tap takeover, which starts at 6:30. The evening will showcase perhaps the best selection of Big Sky brews you’ll ever find in Arizona – 15 in all, including such high-octane specialities as Ivan the Terrible (10% ABV), Olde Bluehair (10.5%), and All Souls Ale (11%).
Opened in 1995, Big Sky has grown into Montana’s largest brewery and distributes to nearly every state west of the Mississippi. Several years ago, they agreed not to sell Moose Drool in East Coast states to settle a legal dispute with Canada’s Moosehead Breweries.
Tonight’s Big Sky tap takeover beers
- Moose Drool brown ale
- Scape Goat pale ale
- Trout Slayer wheat ale
- Big Sky IPA
- Powder Hound winter ale (seasonal)
- Cowboy Coffee Porter (limited release)
- Biere de Noel strong Belgian-style dark ale (limited release)
- Olde Bluehair barley wine (2011 limited-release version)
- Ivan the Terrible imperial stout (2010 & 2012 limited-release versions)
- All Souls Ale imperial saison (2010 & 2012 limited-release versions)
- Hound Dog (imperial version of Powder Hound)
- Berliner Weisse (a sour wheat beer)
- Crystal dry-hopped Scape Goat pale ale (firkin)