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Full Moon Pale Ale - Alley Kat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Full Moon Pale AleFull Moon Pale Ale

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104 Ratings

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Ratings: 104
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.4%
Wants: 25
Gots: 12 | 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

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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 104 | Reviews: 66
Photo of evlu1441
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.69/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Photo of liamt07
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
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 andrenaline
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
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 kwjd
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
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 scott451
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of thehyperduck
3.86/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Photo of demcorhip
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Photo of DoktorZee
3.46/5  rDev -14.4%
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!..:)

Photo of eat
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of DoctorStrangiato
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Photo of cratez
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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 MeisterBurger
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Photo of wordemupg
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
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 papat444
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

Photo of Dawkfan
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Pours a golden orange. Small white head, decent lacing.

S- Citrus & pine hops, Carmel malt backbone.

T- Lots of hops upfront that gives way to a nice malt finish. I'm left with a bitter/metallic taste in my mouth.

M- Medium body, low-medium carbonation, very crisp.

D- The hops in this apa are prominent but not overpowering and just works together so well with the malts. I could session this all night long. What a shame that this is almost impossible to find on tap in the city where it's brewed.

Photo of asnider
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 341mL bottle into a pint glass, Alley Kat's Full Moon Pale Ale looks great. It pours a darkish golden yellow that borders on a red/amber colour, with a nice white head. Good lacing throughout the drinking session.

The nose is very hoppy, with a hint of citrus and perhaps a touch of lavender.

The flavour of this beer is amazing. It's got a nice hoppy bite---as a true pale ale should---with subtle citrus and floral notes. There's a nice bit of malty sweetness, too. It may sound strange to say, but this beer tastes how it smells. For me, this is the gold standard among Canadian pale ales. Only Mill Street's Tankhouse Ale comes close.

The finish is nice, with a lingering bitterness that's quite enjoyable, especially on a hot summer day.

As far as drinkability goes, there are few pale ales that go down easier.

Overall, Full Moon is an outstanding beer, and exceptional example of an American/Canadian-style Pale Ale. There's a reason I count this beer among my top 5 favourites.

Photo of berley31
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured with an extremely small, white head that soon diminished to a thin film... no real lacing to speak of. Body was clear and copper-colored. Very nice aroma of medium hops and some citrus as well. Fantastic on the palate... not at all what I was expecting from the appearance. Medium-bodied, very creamy, with average carbonation and a bitter finish. Very nice taste as well - quite bitter, but not overpowering, with a fairly long duration. Overall a great APA that should satisfy those who like hops, but not scare off those who aren't fans of the style.

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 ritzkiss
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split a bottle courtesy of Bobsy - thanks for sharing! 12oz pours a crisp, golden hue with a finger of head. Not any lacing to speak of.

Nose is grassy hops mixing with floral hops, a clean almost lager-ish smell.

A really easy drinker. Nice touches of bittering hops, flowers, a hint of pine, all mixed together with a slightly too dominant pale malt. Carbonation that's like a good referee - doing its job and you don't notice.

This is a fine Canadian example of a pale ale and probably one of the best one's I've had. It's too bad you can't get it a little easier.

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

This is a really solid beer, one of Alberta's best, maybe even THE best regularly offered bottle from the land of wheat and honey.

Pours a tawny gold edging toward red, with a moderate head. mainly clear, but with a hint of cloudiness. A round caramel smell with hops present. Taste is much fuller than I was expecting, with moderately strong hops at forefront and present throughout, but with a strong malt backbone, too, and the mildest hint of ... soap ... or Thrills gum (do they still make that stuff? It was awesome). A thoroughly enjoyable beer that I'm going to be drinking a lot of this summer, I bet. Probably too bitter to introduce to non-beergeek friends as a sessioner, but I'll session it in a second.

Photo of CoolJosh
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Voonder, received this as an extra in my first trade from a great trader.

Pours a semi hazy rusted orange, with a foamy white body that dissipates rather quickly to a ring.

It smells pretty refreshing, with predominate lemon characteristics. Some orange scents sneak through, in addition to a tad bit of grapefruit bitterness.

The taste is a little on the plain side. A fairly slimy mouthfeel that takes away from any complexity, as the edges around the flavors feel wet. It's saved by a lemon and plain malt taste with some grainy textures. Not a WOW, but definitely an easy and effortless drink.

Photo of biboergosum
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
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 bobsy
4.77/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

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Full Moon Pale Ale from Alley Kat Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.