Beer of the Week

Big Sky Moose Drool Brown Ale

Week of February 10, 2014

The best-selling beer brewed in Montana, and arguably one of the best Brown Ales you'll ever taste.

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What the Brewery Says:


That first taste, the best part of a beer after a long day. We want to make that better than ever. So we made Moose Drool. The name sounds a little iffy, but it's really the best Brown Ale you'll ever taste. That's why Moose Drool is far and away the best-selling beer brewed in Montana.


It's chocolate brown in color with a creamy texture. A malty beer with just enough hop presence to keep it from being too sweet. The aroma mostly comes from the malt with a hint of spice added by the hops. Moose Drool is brewed with pale, caramel, chocolate, and whole black malts; and Kent Goldings, Liberty, and WILLAMETTE HOPS. It has an original gravity of 13 degrees Plato, and is 4.2% alcohol by weight, 5.3% by volume.


More About the Brewery:

Big Sky Brewing Company was started by Neal Leathers, Bjorn Nabozney, and Brad Robinson. Brad and Neal had been homebrewers in Michigan since the mid 1980's, and had moved to Missoula with a group of friends in the summer of 1990. In the early '90s they worked at Sportsmen's Surplus and High Country Sports where they met Bjorn. One of Brad's first nights in Missoula was spent at the old Iron Horse when it was attached to Bayern Brewing Company down at the end of Higgins Avenue. He was impressed by Bayern's lagers, but felt that there was room in Missoula for a second brewery; and since Neal and Brad specialized in brewing English style ales he felt that an ale brewery would be producing very different beers than Bayern Brewing Company did. Neal agreed, and the two began to work on starting up a brewery.

We brewed our first batch of beer, Whistle Pig Red Ale, in mid-June of 1995 and hit the market with it just in time for the 4th of July weekend. A couple of months later, Moose Drool Brown Ale and Scape Goat Pale Ale followed, and Big Sky Brewing Company was on its way.

The company was a draft only brewery (no bottled beer) for its first five and a half years. We brewed everything on Hickory Street, but we realized that to really become a regional player we had to find a way to put our beer into bottles. The Hickory Street brewery was not nearly large enough to allow for bottling, so we began working toward building a new brewery. While we were raising funds for the new brewery, we worked out an arrangement to brew our beers at Portland Brewing Company a few days a month. Then Portland Brewing Company bottled our beers and shipped them out to our distributors. Finally, in early 2002 we broke ground on a new brewery on Trumpeter Way just north of Missoula's airport. We began brewing in the new brewery in September of 2002 and started bottling our beer there in January of 2003. Since then, we have been where we always wanted to be, brewing and packaging all of our beer right here in Missoula.Fortunately for us, we're brewing a lot of beer here! In 2006 we were somewhere around the 50th largest brewery in the U.S. with total sales of nearly 33,000 barrels. That works out to around 455,000 cases or over 1,800,000 six-packs of beer that we sold last year. We sell our beers in thirteen states: Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, California, Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Montana is still our #1 state for sales.



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1 Comment · Big Sky Moose Drool Brown Ale

  • Drool? Gross...

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