Big Sky IPA is our April brew of the month

IMG_8281Call me crazy, but I have been so eager to go camping that I set up my tent in my basement one afternoon. I even inflated my sleeping pad, put it in the tent and laid on it.

I cannot wait for the first time this year when my friends and I sit around a campfire and watch the hypnotic dance of the flames under the big, star-studded sky. When that happens, I think I will be doing 12-ounce curls of Big Sky IPA, brewed by the Big Sky Brewing Company of Missoula, Montana.

Though not the boldest IPA around, Big Sky IPA offers a nice bite and a bracing dose of citrus. It is also available in cans, which is ideal for camping.

When poured into a pint glass (which is unnecessary around a campfire), the color is orange-tinted amber. It smells of West Coast citrus intermingled with a malt balance. Though not overpowering, the aroma is still invigorating with scents of orange, lemon zest, pine and tropical fruit (maybe mango and pineapple). Pale malts and caramel provide a balance.

Flavor-wise, though, the balance tips toward the hops; the flavor is much more floral and earthy than the aroma and the malts are present only as a foundation. The first sip offers a nice bite, which more or less maintains its strength throughout the pint. The orange, lemon, pine and tropical fruit are still present, but relegated to a supporting role.

  • Serving temperature: 45-50ºF (which is a perfect temperature for camping)
  • Alcohol content: 6.2 percent ABV.
  • Food pairings: Kyle Sillars, the quality control director at Big Sky, said curried dishes are a classic pairing for IPAs. However, he also highly recommended a bison burger with blue cheese. Other suggestions included grilled waterfowl, dry-rubbed and grilled pork or a simple burger with pepper jack. For dessert, he said many like to pair IPA with carrot or coffee cake.
  • Where to buy: Big Sky IPA is available at most area beer retailers.
  • Price: $8.99 per six-pack.

Casey Wagner lives in Iowa City.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


A collaboration between The Englert Theatre and FilmScene


Help us build the greatest small city for the arts in America—right here in Iowa City. Learn more »

Donate Today

Strengthen • Grow • Evolve is a collaborative campaign led by two Iowa City-based arts nonprofits, The Englert Theatre and FilmScene that seeks a major reinvestment to strengthen the arts through modern and historic venues, innovative programming, and new models of collaboration.

For 18 years...

Little Village has been telling the truth and changing our little corner of the world.

If you can, help us head into the next 18 years even stronger with a one-time or monthly contribution of $18, or any amount you choose.


Wed, Oct. 23, 2019

Hilton Garden Inn Iowa City Downtown University at 7:15 a.m. (program starts at 7:30 a.m.)

Keynote address by Dr. Melissa Shivers
Vice President for Student Life
University of Iowa

Buy Ticketes

(No tickets sold at the door)

2019 Award Honorees

Jesse Case
Elizabeth Bernal
Angie Jordan (South District Neighborhood Association)
Inside Out Reentry
Matthew Farrey
Kevin Sanders


VOTER’S GUIDE for the 2019 Johnson County Elections

Mark your calendar! Local elections for City Council and School Board on November 5, 2019. Polls are open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.