Full Moon Pale Ale - Alley Kat Brewing Company

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Full Moon Pale AleFull Moon Pale Ale

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64 Reviews

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Reviews: 64
Hads: 106
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 10.12%
Wants: 23
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Alley Kat Brewing Company visit their website
Alberta, Canada

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-18-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Full Moon is a West Coast style pale ale that is both kettle hopped and dry hopped with Centennial and Cascades.The hops provide this ale with a nice citrus-like taste to balance out the caramel malts.

West Coast style pale ales are from a larger category of brews called American Pale Ale (APA). The APA is a cleaner and slightly hoppier version of British Pale Ales using North American hop varieties but everything else remains the same, right down to the balance between malts and hops to the medium body. With the additional hops APA tends to produce nice fruit-like flavours while balancing out the bitterness from the hops used in the process.
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Reviews: 64 | Hads: 106
Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a shaker pint glass at Kawa Espresso Bar in Calgary (they have a decent beer list too, domestic and imported, much of it craft). A light coppery orange brew with a rather minimal white head, although what is there persists for quite some time. Aroma is a fine balance of sweet nutty malts and hop resins and spice, most notably featuring some mild citrus rind and tropical notes. Palate is similarly balanced, with considerable malt character accompanied by dry, citric, almost green hop flavors. Plenty of Cascade character along with another almost English vibe: Pink grapefruit, lemon marmalade, black tea, melon, flower shop, and faint pine are all revealing themselves but nothing is getting too aggressive. The malts start as light caramel and toast, with a more nutty note showing up later. Crisp and refreshing, with a thin to moderate body and fairly assertive carbonation. Finishes citric, with a little white pepper. I concur that this is probably one of the best western Canadian American pale ales, superbly balanced and assertively hopped if a tad on the dry side. Nothing pops out in a violent fashion but there is still plenty of flavor, malts and hops in close synchrony.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341mL bottle; thanks to some friends from Red Deer for bringing a mixed 12pk for me to try
L - lighter amber color, thinner ivory head fizzles rather quickly leaving a little lacing on the glass
S - grapefruity hops, caramel malt, pine
T - toasty grain, caramel, pungent grapefruit and pine, nice balance with moderate bitterness
F - creamy medium feel, finishes bitter, but not overly
O - solid APA. I like it's balanced flavors. Really enjoyable!

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Photo of Olek4374
4.01/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Surprisingly, despite being an Edmontonian this is the first review I am doing of one of Alley Kat's main line of beers. I've had all before and all are fantastic, but they certainly warrant a real review.

This beer comes from Alley Kat's new variety pack, which boasts a pleasant selection of five beers (their 4 main beers and their current seasonal). I didn't really care much for this beer when I first began drinking craft beer (I thought it was too strongly flavoured), but times have changed for sure. This is, bar none, one of the best pale ales I've ever had. I'm not even being a homer here - this beer puts Granville's and Okanagan Spring's pale ales to shame. While their brews are very good, this one is so much deeply flavoured with a much easier drinkability I feel.

The beer has a great dark bronze colour with a generous 3-finger head. The main aromas I'm picking up are citrus (something I notice a lot with these cascade hops). I'm also picking up what I can only describe as a carrot aroma. It's really pleasant to say the least- and ever changing.

The taste is super - exactly what you want from craft beer. It's sweet at first with the same citrus burst I desrcribed earlier, but there is a big hit of bitterness at the end of the sip. It's a little sweet and a little bitter - perfectly balanced beer. The carbonation is not excessive and certainly noticeable.

Fantastic beer overall, and likely the best of Alley Kat's mainstream beers. It's rich in flavour but has a pleasant drinkability.

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Photo of Rutager
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A long time want, thanks wordemupg!

Appearance. Pours a clear orange-gold with a finger of cream coloured head that leaves thin bands of lace.

Smell. Toasted griany malts, piney and floral hops with some dry citrus and a little tropical fruit.

Taste. Sweet citrus fruits, pine and floral hops with some dry toasty grain and a little tropical fruit.

Mouthfeel. Medium body, maybe on the low side with smooth medium carbonation.

Overall. Very flavourful pale that I could drink many of.

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Photo of biegaman
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alley Kat Full Moon has a classic clear, golden-amber complexion. For a pale ale it looks perfectly the part, although it could use a little more foam atop, especially if it is to call itself 'Full Moon'. Though far from flat, this lacks anything you could confidently, fairly call a 'head'.

Candied citrus peel, flower petals, and grass clippings combine with ultra-bready malt to make for a bouquet that is resonant and expressive. It's a slightly smaller size than those pale ales made south of the border, but it delivers all the requisite qualities. The malts smell like cookie-dough and upgrade the aroma to 'heavenly'.

Full Moon is not rich or explosive, but it is delicious. It has a palpable feel of citrus that makes you just want to drink it, if for no other reason that the grapefruit, papaya and lemon flavours are just too irresistible. The aftertaste, especially, is flower-infused and keeps the leafy hop impression running long into the finish.

The ale shows a bit of muscle without abandoning the style's mild, medium-bodied structure. In particular, I admire the way the acidic, citrusy hop notes blend with the sweet, cookie-dough malt on the finish. The beer is impeccably well balanced and has a textural depth that isn't always found in this style.

Well-hopped pale ales are the thoroughbreds of session drinking and given all the choices in the world Alley Kat Full Moon would be among my top picks for a night of long, easy consumption. It is a wonderfully complete ale with a stunning style that features layers of sweet malt and bitter hops. Without doubt one of Canada's best.

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Photo of Scrylol
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice one finger head that disappears quickly, leaving behind some bubbles and lacing. The body has a nice dark golden color. Few bubbles streaming up to the top.

Smells citrusy and piney, with very slight hints of tropical fruits. A bit of caramel and malt.

Bit of a fruity and piney taste on the mouth, and leaves some dry earthy notes behind. Bitterness balances quite nicely with the malt, none are overpowering the other. Slight notes of bread on the tongue.

Decent thickness to it, slightly chewy and still easy to drink. Quite a bit of carbonation tickling the tongue.

A nice Pale Ale by Alley Kat.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Craft Beer Market in Calgary.

beer is an orange/amber colour with a small white head. Retention mediocre but good lacing.

Lots of toasted malt in the smell, along with earthy and grassy hops. Floral notes as well. I do not get the citrusy c-hop scents that one would expect.

Taste contains toasty caramel malt, grassy hops. Some orange as well, providing the only expected west coast hop flavour. Quite balanced. Relatively bitter.

Medium bodied, moderate to high carbonation- a bit irritating.

Overall, pretty good but not the beer I was expecting. Didn't come across as the West Coast APA that I expected. Was it me, the beer or the taps? Who knows.

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Photo of maclean25
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a six-pack of bottles while driving through Jasper, Alberta.

The beer is clear with a light-caramel colour. It pours with a creamy, light beige coloured head. I would describe the smell as a blunted or dulled fruit, some citrus, apple or apricot bouquet.

It has a strong hops and grain flavour. The malt gives way to the hops which more deep and complex, especially of lightly scented flowers. It has a full body with average level of carbonation with small bubbles.

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Photo of Tackledorange
4.83/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

it pours a nice coppery orange colour with about a two finger head. the smell is outstanding lots of floral citrusy hops but also some biscuity malt notes come through and balance out the smell. the taste is just amazing lots of citrusy hops and a very nice balancing of the bready malt that just complements the hops perfectly. the mouthfeel is very good a little spritzy which makes it just really refreshing on a hot summers eve.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #51 (April 2011):

It’s the tiny bubbles that first told us this is a stand-up Pale Ale; the brassy clarity is showy, as is the lacing. Citric and spice, floral and fruity, with a clean and dry grainy nose. Deep smoothness with a creamy medium body. Ale goes quick to the dry side with a sting of hop bitterness and raking of dry graininess. Layers of complex hop flavor unfold; citric rind, wildflowers and some peppercorn. Dry biscuits and a mild ripe fruitiness in the nearly bone-dry finish. Drinkability measures very high –match that with a pleasing yet pretty complex flavor and it makes for a stellar brew.

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Photo of evlu1441
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of my main go-to beers. They're available, delicious and reasonably priced.

Pours a medium amber with a thin soapy head. The aroma is really nice and hoppy.

This beer has a really nice flavour profile. It starts out slightly sour and hoppy, but this slowly gives way to brief hop bitterness. The lightly roasted malt flavour really comes in and is accented by lots of hoppy aroma. These flavour blend from one to the next incredibly smoothly.

While the flavours in this beer are not remarkable or unusual for the style, this beer is very well-crafted.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.69/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear copper color, with a decent head. There is a very nice hoppy aroma. The taste is rather dry, and has a good hop flavor as well, but as bitter as some other APAs. The flavor doesnt last on the paletee too long. Overall this is a good middle of the road apa.

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Photo of liamt07
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of wordemupg, 341ml into a tulip. Thanks dude.

Pours a copper orange, finger or so of offwhite head. Small bubbles, dense head with some mild retention and lace. Nose has lots of citrus, orange and a hint of lemon. Mild malt balance, some bready pale malts can be sensed underneath. Taste opens up bitter with some toasty whole grain bread. This feeds into some citrus/orange and leaves bitter, just as it began. More toasty notes are found again. Medium light body, lingering bitterness. Good drinkability, straightforward and enjoyable.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this several times, but haven't done a formal review.

A - Pours a crystal clear copper colour, thin layer of head with little retention and some sporadic sticky lacing.

S - Soapy citrus hops and some caramel malts on the finish. I recall it being strong in the past?

T - Soapy citrus hops dominate, very floral and sweet. Finish is slightly bitter (but in a nice way) and some sugary and bready malts linger on the tongue.

M - Nice carbonation on the body, a little prickly gown down, but doesn't finish overly dry, which is nice.

D - A very tasty offering from Alley Kat. A staple for any hop fan and a good go-to session ale. Nice hop and malt balance and worth picking up if you've never had it.

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Photo of kwjd
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber-orange colour with nice white head with some lacing down the glass. Smells of some citrus hops with caramel malt. Bitterness is pretty par for the course for an American Pale Ale, with some sweetness in there as well. Nicely balanced. A bit thin, but really nice overall.

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Photo of scott451
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in a pint glass. A thin bubbly tan head that diminishes to a thin layer. A clear light brown colour. Lots of fine lacing.

Malty smells with some fruity notes.

Malts up front with a hoppy finish. Some citrusy notes. Very well balanced.

Medium body. Drinkability is very good.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.86/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale amber colour, producing a modest white head that devolves into strips of lacing fairly quickly. A little cloudy; not surprising because it's unpasteurized. The smell is not particularly overpowering; some caramel maltiness with fruity overtones. Subdued, but pleasant.

Mmmm... sweet toffee malt is the first taste I notice, but this is well-balanced with a citrusy hop flavour. It leaves a lingering bitter aftertaste, very much reminiscent of grapefruit as previous reviewers have mentioned. Carbonation is lowish-to-moderate. Medium-bodied, with a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. I could drink this all night.

Another fabulous offering from Alley Kat - I am glad to live in a region where this brewer's beers are fairly easy to get a hold of. I'll definitely be picking this up again.

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Photo of demcorhip
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks pretty good, thanks to Stagger for sending this my way in CanBif. An amber coloured pale ale, slightly hazy, half finger worth of off white head that receded to leave a thin collar.

Interesting. Some grapefruit hop aroma, and biscuity malts. Nothing out of the ordinary here for the style, but what is there does smell nice.

A decent enough pale ale. Biscuity malts meet some hop bitterness as well as grapefruit/citrus hop aromas and flavours.

A good enough ale. Somewhat lighter than medium bodied, somewhat watery, yet with a nice touch of astringency. Combine that with biscuity malts nicely balanced with some dry hopping and the end result is a very drinkable american pale ale. Would be interesting to take this head to head with a standard like Sierra Nevada's PA. Id be quite happy to have this as a go to pale ale, recommended for fans of the style.

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Photo of DoktorZee
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A favorite beer from a local brewery, this one was poured into a short (just right!) draft glass. No indication of date bottled.

Appearance is golden/copper, with a fairly full head that dissolves very quickly. Lots of carbonation on initial view as well.

Smell - less of a nose on it than I'd expected as though it's lacking a bit of intensity - hard to really pull out any specific flavors.

Taste - decent flavor, but a little light on the hops initially with a little more on the follow-through. Tart, but not bitter.

Feel - nice mouthfeel with less carbonation than I would have expected with the initial look in the glass.

Drinkability - definitely a highly drinkable beer, but not quite as highly rated as I would have thought given the reputation. Maybe an old bottle? I'll need to try another batch!..:)

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Photo of eat
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of the last of the current Canadian Top 25 I haven't yet tried. From a bottle at Volo. Pours very clean, dark-amber in colour. Nice off-white head settles into a patchy cover. Lots of lacing. Pretty nice look.

Pleasant floral hops along with a candy-like malt and spring water minerals. A little buttery. Quite balanced.

The smell translates well to the taste. Nice floral and earthy hops, candy-like malt. The malt profile is a little shallow for my liking. There needs to be more depth, I feel like everything is treble and it needs more bass. Still quite decent. Nice dry finish, nicely balanced.

Silky medium body with light carbonation. Could be fuller to pair better with the taste.

This is very drinkable. The bottle boasts that this beer is among the best in Canada. Maybe it's in the top 10 or so for a pale ale, but I'd rather see a couple others ahead of it in the Canadian Top 25; St. Ambroise and Tankhouse for example. Since both of these are much more readily available to me here in Toronto, I'm just going to keep drinking those. I wish I knew how fresh this was, it could be quite old having sat at Volo for a while. There was no date on the bottle.

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Photo of DoctorStrangiato
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 341-ml bottle into a tall draught glass.

Appearance - copper-coloured beer with a 1/2-inch sustained wispy foam head. Moderate carbonation.

Smell - very nice malt rounded out with citrusy hops making up the balance.

Taste - great taste profile overall. Enough malt to not be one-sided but there's great hoppiness that competes with many other great pale ale offerings.

Mouthfeel - fairly smooth although a good prickly zap from the hops at the finish.

Drinkability - goes down easy and not boring at all. Definitely a good choice for a 6-pack and an evening.

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Photo of cratez
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

341ml bottle at Volo, poured into a tulip. Wrong glassware, but it still works. Pours a glowing golden-orange body with a ring of bone white head and threads of stringy lace. Smell and taste are toasted biscuit and caramel, taffy, white grapefruit and lemon, citrus with a bit of tangerine. Juicy, acidic hop bitterness in the aftertaste, good pithiness that lingers for quite a while. I'm also picking up a whole whack of flavours that don't normally appear in a pale. About midway through I get marmalade, butter, hints of mango, and must. Can't tell whether these are the features that make Full Moon 'special,' or if I had a dated bottle. I'm gonna assume the former.

It's tempting to say this beer isn't worthy of 'best in Canada' status because it doesn't differ that much from other APAs. But the flavour does have some unique twists, and I quaffed this in no time. In other words, it's a tasty, drinkable brew. While the Top 25 title is debatable, there's no denying that Full Moon is a solid and decently nuanced drinker.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at Volo. No discernable best before date, although it was the new label style. Served in a mini-pint glass.

A - A finger of off-white foam that dissolves pretty quickly. Excellent glass-coating lacing though! Transparent golden orange, so it's definitely filtered and force-carbonated. Nice color, but needs more head volume.

S - This bottle smells a little older, and I'm guessing this isn't a hop monster of a pale ale (like Minneapolis Town Hall brews or Alpha King) to begin with. Some light citrus zestiness, toffee malts. Not super complicated, but pleasant all the same.

T - The hop character in the taste is a little more floral and a little less citrus. Again, it's fairly malt-forward with sweet toffee and caramel flavors. There's a touch of residual bitterness, but nothing aggressive.

M - More zesty carbonation than I prefer. A light-medium body that's otherwise pretty smooth, and a dry, clean finish.

D - This one is pretty drinkable - there's nothing off-putting, the flavor is nice, the bitterness is present but restrained, and the ABV is fairly low. Too bad it doesn't have a little more hoppy zing to it - perhaps I'll get a crack at a bottle closer the source some day.

Not sure why this is a top 25 brew in Canada - it's not particulary interesting or worth seeking out. It'd be a decent session pale ale, and I think fresh it'd probably be a bit better than Tankhouse (but not as good as Alpha King).

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Photo of MeisterBurger
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice golden amber, clear, with an ample, frothy head. The head retains well and leaves a goodly amount of lacing.

The aroma is toffee with a deft touch of c-hops and mild fruity esters.

Now this is a pale ale. A nice balance of light caramel malt and citrusy bitterness that lets you taste the best that each has to offer. The grapefruit bitterness tempers the honey like malt with a firm hand rather than an iron fist. Bitterness lingers wonderfully in the finish.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Very smooth overall. A great drinker.

This beer could easily hold its own against the best APA brewed in the States. Would that the LCBO would look west and support breweries within its own borders and make this available on a regular basis. I'd buy loads of it.

Many thanks to stagger for this one.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

341ml bottle poured into 400ml DAB glass nov11 2009

A clear bronze with a thumbs width of fast falling head that leaves no lace

S mild grapefruit with a little caramel and pine

T as it smells but with a little more malt forming a nice balance, neither hops or malt take over pretty good overall

M light but a little creamy from the carbonation

D It all adds up for a very drinkable beer, well rounded and nothing really worth complaining about

one of the better beers I've had from my home province of Alberta, well worth trying for sure

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Full Moon Pale Ale from Alley Kat Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.