Full Moon Pale Ale - Alley Kat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Full Moon Pale AleFull Moon Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

64 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 64
Hads: 106
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 7.65%
Wants: 24
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 papat444
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
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. (1,200 characters)

Photo of Dawkfan
4.17/5  rDev +3%
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. (506 characters)

Photo of asnider
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (1,004 characters)

Photo of berley31
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (560 characters)

Photo of Derek
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
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)! (433 characters)

Photo of ritzkiss
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (570 characters)

Photo of stagger
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (717 characters)

Photo of CoolJosh
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
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. (615 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
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. (1,702 characters)

Photo of bobsy
4.77/5  rDev +17.8%
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. (1,440 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
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". (605 characters)

Photo of Proteus93
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Clean golden, white head with a decent retention but not much for stick on the glass. Leaves a good sheet behind, though.

S + T: Leafy, herbal hops... flavour is similar, with a dash of citrus, and a spot of pale malt.

M + D: Crisp, clean, and refreshing. Quite a nicely done example of the style, and a favourite of the brews tasted. This would be a session beer of choice. (380 characters)

Photo of ablaze
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a vibrant copper-orange with a moderate and clingy head.

Soft aromatic floral hops with some orange zest.

Juicy and lively brew, with a decent portion of slightly bitter hops that doesn't overwhelm the malt. Falls in line with sweet oranges and even kiwi. Crisp, bold taste with a pleasing and gentle mouthfeel. Very satisfying and mouthwatering.

The standard North American pale ale in my books. It's brewed right here in Edmonton, tastes sublime, and I could drink it any time. Rock solid, delicious brew. (518 characters)

Photo of trevorwideman
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

341ml bottle sent to me by vanrassel. Thanks!

Vigorous pour gets me a very little bit of head with a slight lacing. Hazey copper colour with the mild carbonation and bubbly head makes this one look like iced tea. Smell is much more appealing. Floral and citrussy, suggestions of juicy ripe pear and apple, with a slight caramel malt backbone. The dry hopping makes this beer particularly appealing.

Roasted caramel malt strikes a nice balance with the mild grapefruity hop profile. Bitter enough to make it interesting but not out of control. A bit of fruitiness in the flavour juicy and apple-like. Certainly not complex in its flavour, but extremely enjoyable with what it has. Mouthfeel is dry and sticky with a thinnish body, but the carbonation is exceptionally low. I would have liked this to dance around a bit more. That said, it makes it a very good session ale, and if I had access to it I'd be tempted to make it a regular in the old fridge. (958 characters)

Photo of Shadman
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I won't downgrade the appearance based on the label even though it looks like someone's attempt at a homebrew version.

having said that, it poured an interesting peach orange color, quite viscious, with an slightly tan coloured head that showed good retention and some awesome lacing.

aroma was not in your face per say..just some floral, pine-scented hops.

tastes as advertised. Certainly not 'in-your-face hops that I find in some versions, but almost perfectly balanced between the piney-floral hop that leads to-malt-that leads to just the right amount (IMO) citrus taste. Nothing here is overbearing and I, for one, liked that. Let's call it full flavored and well balanced.

A smooth and medium bodied brew...I dasre say a session brew as well...

will search for this one again and recommend my local beer guy start stocking this particular beer... (868 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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... (641 characters)

Photo of Viggo
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (415 characters)

Photo of vanrassel
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My fellow Alberta BAs have called this the hoppiest beer that's brewed in our province, and I would agree. You can't really say this is a well-balanced beer — but in this case, it's a good thing. This is a beer that knows what it is and its full flavour isn't compromised in an effort to appease the less adventurous.

It poured a nice copper colour with orange highlights, topped off by a creamy, two-finger head. The head had nice staying power, and left rings down the side of my glass. The smell is floral hops with only the faintest backing of malt. Going down, it's all hops — but the taste isn't overwhelmingly bitter. The carbonation plays nicely on the palate and the finish is mostly clean, with just a touch of hops. (731 characters)

Photo of Orrshow
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a beautiful golden color with a very small amount of bubbly head. The head dissipates rather quickly leaving a film on the glass.

Smell – Floral hops make their presence known right away. Smells like blooming garden with a citrus twist. I love how this one smells.

Taste – This beer has a very hopped bitter taste with a touch of sweetness. Very very nice. Leaves a strong after taste as well which sticks around a while.

Mouthfeel – When this beer first enters your mouth the feel is amazing. Good carbonation and the right body for the style. My only complaint is that my mouth feels a little dry afterwards.

Drinkability – Not much to say. Solid drinkability for this one. Not overbearing at all. Perfect for a hot summer day.

As long as Alley Kat is putting out stuff like this I will keep coming back. They hit the spot with this one. (880 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.97/5  rDev -26.7%
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. (399 characters)

Photo of niangelo
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a snazzy redesigned Alley-Kat bottle. A nice golden caramel color, with hops and citrus on the nose. Very little maltiness. A one-finger head sticks around for a short time, leaving slight lacing and bumps of foams on the surface of the beer.

Mouthfeel swishes around nicely, some balanced carbonation. Siver me timbers! This is what beer is about! An aggressive, explosive floral and citrus flavor, this thing doesn't beat around the bush. Glorious hops, and lemon cascade down my palate and finish in a dry, hoppy tone. My buddy complains about the hops while we taste, and I bathe in it. Drink after drink brings out the complexity of the brew, but I just can't get over the full-frontal citrus flood. It's just perfect.

Hats off to Alley-Kat. (765 characters)

Photo of Noxious26
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle poured in a non-descript straight sided glass at Bottlescrew Bill's in Calgary.

Clear, orange-amber in colour. Little off-white head that recedes to a ring around the edge.

Aroma is strongly of floral hops. Not much else evident.

Floral hops rule throughout the taste with a hoppy bitter finish and aftertaste. I find that any beer that is heavy on the floral hops just mutes out the rest of the beer for me.

Light bodied with light carbonation.

This is a decent pale ale and I'm sure that a little bit gets lost while drinking it at a pub instead of at home in a more ideal environment. A floral hops character and I do not seem to mix. It's not a favourite of mine, but if not overpowering I can enjoy it. However, it does tend to mute out subtleties in aroma and taste, atleast for me.

Review made from notes. (844 characters)

Photo of the42ndtourist
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(CANBIF beer) whee!

Another extremely well-crafted pale ale. An orangish-red sort of colour. Hops are leaning towards English, but not entirely removed from a Pacific feel. The smooth malt shape of the beer backs this bitterness quite well. There's an interesting note in the overall flavour - perhaps from the yeast. It's the only Alley Kat beer I've had yet, so I can't say for sure.

I rather like this one as well. (423 characters)

Photo of Cwrw
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I cannot quite conceive why it has taken me so long to review Full Moon, an Albertan pale ale for the hop-lovers. Up until about maybe 6 months ago, it was not widely available in too many stores even in Alberta. Finally I just ordered some in at my local store, as I should have done a long time ago. This year, 2005, the packaging, label and box gets a facelift for Alley Kat's 10-year anniversary. Gone is the purple colour with the cats on the packaging, and instead the box is now a very classy looking, more traditional format. The box also comes with a small card telling about the anniversary and the change of labels. I poured the chilled bottle and watched the ample, bonewhite head form. The foam is healthy looking and creamy, leaving patches and islands of lace. The colour is an expected coppery nectarine, clear but not sparkling. With the beer chilled, the first aromas I get are strong pumpkin with fresh malt. Swirling the glass releases some pine, soil, pepper, and tangy metallic aromas. Others include celery, vanilla wafer, cinnamon, lightly toasted bread, and pumpkin pie. The maltiness is balanced nicely, but it is definitely behind the hops a little. The taste is quite bitter from beginning to end, but whilst the hops run the show here as far as taste, their is enough malt here for a solid mouthfeel. Up front the spicy hops give their earthy pepper taste, and more in the middle and then a very dry finish, mouth-puckering. I would say the citrus qualities are felt more than they are tasted, as the finish leaves the exact same feeling as grapefruit does, or pomegranate seeds. Pumpkins and more pumpkins in the taste. The taste is unlike anything else--not exactly complex, but very hard to define. I could throw it into trite categories like "hoppy" or "spicy" but there is definitely something lurking here that defies my categorisation. It is more akin to an immensely flowery powder, or dusty red grapes. The taste is grassy, oily and woody. Definitely something you just have to taste; description be damned. The beer does get a little dry for me after 1 or 2 of these; I have rarely come across a beer so bitter from the front to the back of the tongue--it does not let up. Still, the mouthfeel is balanced and drinkable. Medium carbonation, bordering on light. Definitely a gem from Edmonton. (2,331 characters)

Photo of elricorico
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper colour with a fizzy white head that is thin but has some staying power.

The aroma is strong. A hint of toffee sweetness and a touch of lime smothered in a very bitter hop smell. If it is possible, this beer smells dry.

The taste is a bit citrus up front with a long large hit of hop bitterness to finish. The flavour coats the mouth and stays there, begging for another mouthfull. In short, it tastes good.

The mouthfeel for this beer is among the best I've had. It is smooth, with the right amount of carbonation. It is not thin, but does not feel oily. I don't think that it could get better in this category.

This beer is a quaffer, and I tend to enjoy it a little more each time I revisit. A top shelf brew from a great local brewery. (771 characters)

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