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Full Moon Pale Ale - Alley Kat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Full Moon Pale AleFull Moon Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

102 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 102
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.4%
Wants: 23
Gots: 9 | 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:
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.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-18-2002)
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Ratings: 102 | Reviews: 65 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pale colour. Little head. Floral aroma. Hoppy is best characteristic, .Citrus lemony and malt, and that's the aftertaste. Light, smoothand refreshing. but mates thought not much to it. Had this on tap three years later at Hop In Brew and noticed the lace. AN average brew.

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.98/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a medium head with short retention. Aroma of citrus hops is quite powerful and dominant. Taste is also dominated by the citrus hops with a lingering bitterness at the end. Body is too thin (definite lack of malt) for the style and the carbonation is a bit low. Nice for the style from a Canadian brewer but kind of weak compared to US staples of the style.

Photo of biboergosum
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

341ml bottle. I will drink this beer on tap no matter where I find it, which has been in a depressingly small number of places here in Edmonton, its birthplace. Seeing it as an option upon entering an establishment, I always start with it, in case I am disappointed later with the other offerings, and then I can always go back to its comfortable embrace...why on earth wasn't it my 100th review?

This beer pours a clear medium pale brassy amber hue, with two healthy fingers of foamy, moderately puffy eggshell-white head, which melts away in a New York minute, leaving a solid low-lying band of roiling seascape lace around the glass.

It smells of bready, lightly toasted cereal malt, grapefruit/orange citrus, with a hint of sweet lemon tea, and floral, faintly grassy hops. The taste starts with a decent dose of bitter citrusy hops (still with the orange and grapefruit, why mess with success?), followed by a grassy, leafy essence, and is quickly rounded out by the slightly semi-sweet, pastry-tinged caramel malt backbone.

The carbonation is on the low-fi side, but moderate enough to provide the support this needs, the body on the leeward side of medium weight, and adequately smooth. It finishes mostly dry and lingeringly hoppy.

The key here with this (if not, then soon to be) Canadian classic is balance, eh, producing an apparently dry, fragrant, and ultimately satisfying pale ale. It definitely is pushing the boundaries of pale ale/IPA, which to me makes it eminently drinkable.

Note: a few of my friends think Full Moon tastes like soap. I suppose it does have that perceivable characteristic of certain aromatic, floral hops, but that doesn't take anything away from it, IMHO.

Photo of MasterSki
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
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).

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear. birnished orange color, hige head, freah, snow-white foam, delicate lace, intricate bubbles, slowly dwindling, a delight for the eye.

Nose is citric and slightly sour, lemon, orange, and must, making me think of a certain Belgian characteristic, a foreshadowing of flavors to come.

Taste: mild, at first, and fruity, with a nice hop tingle riding sidecar on the palate, marvelous play, the flavor jumps, jiggers, swims, and wiggle on the mouth, a bright citric mix, with cameos from cherries, peach, but the sour citric stays on top. Medium body, light, tangy finish.

Not your typical "pale ale" at all, most unusual, but a welcome treat!

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Voonder for including this in a trade!

Pours bright golden amber with a thin, staying head that leaves dotted lines of lacing down the glass.

The smell is biscuity, herbal, piney. Nice, but for a "dry-hopped" beer, on the mild side.

The taste is of sweet biscuity caramelish maltiness with balancing piney, herbal, leafy, slightly citric bitterness. A basic, nice, well-balanced taste.

It has a creamy, slightly buttery, medium body. Very smooth. Carbonation on-spot.

This fits the bill well for a well-balanced, easy-drinking, more traditional APA. Disappears quickly - very "sessionable".

Photo of biegaman
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Photo of liamt07
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Photo of Viggo
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Orrshow! From BIF Canada 2006.

Pours a clear amber/copper, small white head forms, spots of lace and good retention. Smell is citrus and pine hops, with some toffee, but the hops dominate. Taste is toffee, malt up front, some pine and citrus but a weak finish. Nice and balanced APA. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low to medium carbonation. Definately a nice pale ale, too bad we can't get it here in TO.

Photo of Derek
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Copper-bronze with a white head, very little retention, slight lace.

S: Tangerine, nectarine & a grassy spiciness. Some great dry hopping for a pale!

T: Tangerine, nectarine, apricot, slight biscuity malt. Good bitterness.

M: Well-attenuated, light-to-moderate body has a slight hop acidity.

D: Very drinkable... a sessionable hop fix.

Thanks to Wildone for this this CanBIF treat (Its been on my want list for far too long)!

Photo of wordemupg
4.08/5  rDev +1%
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

Photo of barnzy78
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
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!

Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, sampled at a dive bar down a Calgary alleyway. Looks smells and tastes pretty much like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. It's probably better on tap if you can find it via that dispense method as SNPA is usually much better on tap as well. A dark amber/golden orange with a nice thick head of puffy white, good lacing sheets and legs as well, oh yes indeed. Aromas of fresh green hops, with a nice simply sweet malt backgrounds holding the horrorshow together. Taste is more of the same with a creamy, edgy, yeasty mouthfeel and dang good drinkability. Drink this one at a dive bar for added effect, let's all go up the Korova and get some...

Photo of canucklehead
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My girlfriend brought back a six of this beer and I must sat this is one great pale ale. Full fo citrus notes and lots of midbody, this is a well made new world pale ale that would be my session drink if I lived in Alberta. I look forward to more of their beers.

Photo of andrenaline
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of bobsy
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the greatest pleasures I get out of beer is trying brews from Canada - my adopted country, of whom I will soon be a citizen. To this end all my trades so far have been within the borders of the great white north, and this beer has come to me courtesy of Shadman, who resides in Medicine Hat, AB.

Pours a radiant gold with a finger of white head, which leaves spotty lacing on the glass. An enticing aroma full of honey and herbal hops, with a good dose of biscuit. The taste is a perfect balance of sweet honey and caramel malts and fresh grapefruit hops. This tails out to a long lasting pleasant aftertaste, which I can only describe as grapefruit drenched in farmer's market honey. This beer almost blurs the line between an IPA and an APA. Straight afterwards I had a Dogfish 60 min and noticed the hopping was similar, and as I sat pondering this I realised the malting was similar to the Southern Tier IPA. A divine mix of my two go-to beers. The body is as I would hope - smooth, medium and medium-low carbonation.

As I try to work my way through the better Canadian beers I've come across a number of standouts. Without a doubt, this is the best Canadian take on an APA I have had yet, and it also deserves to be ranked as one of Canada's best overall. I would love for this to be available in Ontraio. I would kiss goodbye to my dogfish, wave sayonara to my southern tier and hunker down for an evening with the alley kat.

Photo of Rutager
4.16/5  rDev +3%
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.

Photo of jrenihan
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Photo of kwjd
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Photo of IronDjinn
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 341ml brown bottle. Pours out a very tantalizing clear copper hue, a small off-white head that recedes to a thick ring and leaves a fair amount of lacing in its wake. Nose is of strong hops, then mild malt and very faint citrus notes. Flavour at first is a sucker punch of hops, mellowed out slightly by caramel malt, yet leaving a not at all unpleasant hoppy aftertaste. Very full mouthfeel and yet goes down surprisingly smooth. Reminds me more of an IPA, and is good competition for Big Rock's Traditional. Always a pleasure to do business with this brew, I think I'll have another now...

Addendum--3.29.04--Recipe seems to have changed a bit, the hop presence is not as bold unfortunately, but the end result is a more cirtusy smooth character with more floral hops. It's not a bad change, mind you, I just miss that extra hop whallop to it. A milder pale ale than it used to be, perhaps to bring in a larger market.

Photo of Howlader
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of BigBry
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft - Poured a dark golden color, with white head. Thick and creamy, thin stream of bubbles help with head retention. Smell of citrus, grapefruit, and hops - full refreshing aroma. The flavour is lightly toasted malts with a great balance of bitterness and hoppy burst. Great flavor, smooth, and easy to drink. Wish I had discovered this one earlier than now.

Had a sample again at Beerfest, and confirmed that this was still the best of any of the other APAs there.

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of papat444
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to stagger for sending this my way.

Enjoyed with my lunch which consisted of: Trader Joe's organic lentil vegetable soup and some black forest style rye bread that i dunked in some tzatziki.

Poured from a 341ml. bottle, best before Dec. 17, 2009.

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous orange body with a decent white head floating on top. Lots of lacing left on the sides.

Smell: A good piney hop aroma with some solid malt. More on the dry side.

Taste: At first i thought it was a little off but as it warms it does get better. More malt-driven that hops though the flavor of the hops (grapefruit) are quite present with a present but not overdone bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Dry and a tiny bit metallic. As it warms it gets smoother but feels a little bit thin and light. Carbonation is spot on but something about the mouthfeel keeps it at average.

Drinkability: Not too bad at all. I'd get some more of this probably. Easy to put down for sure.

Overall: I don't know what the bottling date is so i can't say how many months its got on it but it doesn't taste at its freshest. Would love to try this at the source. That said, it still is a good beer and well deserving of its place in the Top 25.

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Full Moon Pale Ale from Alley Kat Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.