Sugar Moon Maple Ale | Garrison Brewing Company

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Sugar Moon Maple AleSugar Moon Maple Ale

Brewed by:
Garrison Brewing Company
Nova Scotia, Canada

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Truly Canadian Ale brewed with Nova Scotia maple syrup from "Sugar Moon Farms" ( The term was originally coined by Native Americans for the sugaring season, and this is definitely a brew to be enjoyed under a cold sugar moon!

21 IBU

Added by Seanstoppable on 04-13-2009

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Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 44
Reviews by pootz:
Photo of pootz
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


Poured a dark amber ale in the glass. 2 finger tan cap, fair lace.

Aroma is nice Not too overstated but the maple is present but compliments the malts -. like maple cereal.

Big malt spine, moderate maple flavor mixes with the herbal-woodiness of the Spalter hops. Long wet finish, a tad sweet but not offensive.

One of the better put together maple beers I've had, innovative use of Spalters.

 408 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of cam477
3.56/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of chinchill
4.49/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery

Creamy tan head over a deep copper body.
Wonderful aroma with hints of maple, toffee and vanilla.
The flavor is even better, with a clearer maple component and some nice roasted nuts.

Overall: Excellent, all natural, maple flavored ale. Best maple ale I've had.

 286 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, 6.3% ABV. Can't say I'm familiar with the concept of a "Sugar Moon".

This beer pours a clear, dark golden amber hue, with two fingers of thin foamy pale beige head, which shows decent retention, eventually leaving a low rise of paint splotch lace around the glass. Wow, this smells good - even from a fair distance away - fragrant, not overly sweet maple syrup veritable. Underneath that bit of Canadian manna, I also get a bit of understandably overlooked biscuity grain and bitter weedy hops. The taste is more subdued on the guest ingredient front - the maple falling back to a supporting position, mostly through its less obvious earthy, woody essence, letting the sourdough breadiness and nutty, oily bitterness of the base beer edge back to center stage. The carbonation is on the low side, the body medium weight, and decently smooth. It finishes with an echo of the sweet malt and maple syrup, the focus is more of a dry floral, nutty nature.

Kudos to Garrison for making this smell at first contact like a Timmie's Maple Cream doughnut, and following up with a nice complementary balanced amber ale. As I've said before, Maple influenced ales are Canada's claim to a new beer style.

 1,207 characters

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - a syrupy brown, tall tan head dissipated slowly
S - super sweet maple and brown sugar dominate, very subtle hop freshness
T - the maple is there, but it is quickly taken over by soapy and metallic notes, still sugary sweet, oily hop note, but the flavour is a bit of a turn from the nose
M - medium carbonation, sticky mouth coating with a slight chemical oily hint
O - started off with a bang but ended on a little down note, its a good enough brew, but it could be a case of the feature ingredient taking away from the fact that it is a beer

 547 characters

Photo of ChrisCage
3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours with a syrupy tan colored head that is dense, but not super thick....settles to a bubbling yet puffy looking film. The color of the brew is a clear bronze, with reddish hues. The carbonation appears to be fine, with lots of small columns rising to the top. Lacing is pretty much non existent unfortunately....still a better than average looking beer.

S- Fresh maple syrup, and lots of it. It literally smells like how maple syrup smells after soaking into warm pancakes. I'm guessing that there is some malt aroma mixed in here and perhaps some hops but it's really hard to detect....perfect aroma for what Garrison is going for here!

T- More of the same here, but more balanced and more complex. There are flavors of maple, of course, but also malt, brown sugar, and caramel/toffee. It's sweet, but then towards the finish, bittering hops completely balance out the flavors, with a 360 degree spin, similar to an american amber ale, imo. Great flavors and great changes in flavors too!

M- The body is maybe a little lighter than I'd like it to be considering the richness of the beer itself. Carbonation is fine, just how it should be I think, as the character of the brew really doesn't need to work hard to make itself known on the palate.

D- Really great dessert beer, and I could handle probably a couple of bottles/pints before being saturated with satisfaction. On it's own, without food, one bottle would suffice...I really like what the brewery has done here and look forward to getting more of this before it's gone and have to wait another year.

 1,569 characters

Photo of Rutager
3.96/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a clear, deep red-amber with two fingers of thick and sticky looking, off white head. Lasts a while and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell. Maple!! Lots of sweet maple. Some sweet caramel and maybe a hint of herby hops.

Taste. Sweet caramel and woody maple. Sweetness seems just right. Some grassy hops in the end.

Mouthfeel. Medium body, stronger than medium, super-smooth carbonation.

Overall. Good maple beer. Maybe a little too much maple, but what the hell ...I'm Canadian.

 496 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a medium amber color ale with a large foamy head with average retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of light maple syrup with a nice medium caramel malt base. Taste is a nice enough mix between some maple notes with balanced sweetness and a standard caramel malt backbone. Body is about average with OK carbonation. Nothing necessarily special about this one but still better then most maple based beers out there.

 433 characters

Photo of mmurphy525
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of DreamDeath
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of ludachris
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear mahogany red with one finger of whispy off white head that quickly dissipates leaving only dots of lace.

Sweet and sticky maple syrup, graham cracker, bready malts, and a touch of grassy hops make up the nose. Sweet and very inviting; like maple cookies in liquid form.

It almost seems contradictory, but the syrupy notes of maple are quite clean and present from start to finish. Light grassy hops come in the middle, evening out the sweetness. As the hops begin to fall off, notes of graham cracker come in, imparting a semi-chewy finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit filmy at times. It could use a bit of bulking up, but the balance of it all makes up for it.

Another solid seasonal from Garrison. The sweetness of the maple is perfectly worked making it easily quaffable rather than harshly cloying. I'd say this one is definitely worth a try, especially if you're in the area.

 912 characters

Photo of mrmanning
2.06/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

500 ml bottle from private order- Murky brown, pours a billowing off white cap. Nose of burnt sugar, earthy malts, odd... wet leaves, aluminum pretty much take over. Somewhat sweet maple and caramel malts up front, but that is taken over by an offputting sour flavour followed by a metallic twang that does not go away. Medium body, slightly creamy. Unappealing metallic finish with sour maple. I don't like this at all.

 420 characters

Photo of BigBry
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried a sampled at Calgary Beerfest, everyone really liked it, so had to track down a bottle.
Pours a nice, shiny brown color with a tan colored head. Foam is thick and dense, shrinks down to a short floating cap, chunky lace.
The smell is what catches you right off the top, sweet, fresh maple syrup. No other aromas really coming through, but the maple is great.
Taste has more of the sweet maple syrup. At first you might expect it to be overly sweet, but there is very nice balance between the malt base, hop bitterness, and the sugar sweetness.
There is a complex layer of flavors, especially when it starts to warm up. Maple, brown sugar, caramel. Sweet to start, hop bitterness at the end balance everything out.
The body is on the lighter side, which helps it from becoming too sticky or cloying. Carbonation level works for the beer/style.
Would make a good after dinner drink, or with a dessert. A good one for friends who don't like "beer" and whose only experience is with main streem lagers.

This stays on my list of beers to look out for, buy it when you see it.

 1,079 characters

Photo of Mousel
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of grub
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another bottle from Viggo. thanks eric!

500ml bottle. sampled sept 6/09.

pours deep reddish orange with a small dense tan head. the head seems to last forever and leaves some spotty lace.

aroma is insanely mapley. even from a couple of feet away it is all i can smell. maple syrup on a stack of pancakes. pecan and almond character too. white bread. bit of cracker. alcohol.

taste is good. again, lots of maple syrup but without being overly sweet. bit of pecan, but less nutty than in the aroma. pancakes. white bread. bit of smoke. earthy medium-low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. medium body. just over medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. restrained sweetness and the bit of nutty character keeps it interesting and balanced and holds everything together well. one of the nicest maple beers i've had, and although i'm not generally a huge fan this one was quite good.

 894 characters

Photo of byronic
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of krome
4.5/5  rDev +24%

Photo of Long813
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From: Premier Wine & Spirits

A: Clear rugby red body with three fingers of off white head. Decent retention which dissipates into a thin ring ans leaves no lacing.

S: You can smell maple from three feet away - it's that strong. Besides that, some breadiness gives it a fuller body

T: I find the taste of maple to be weaker than the aroma, but still quite evident. Some bready characters in there and low bitterness. I feel it could use some more flavours

M: Medium-light bodied with medium carbonation. Very sticky maple aftertaste and lasts for a long time. No alcohol notes.

D: Not bad, but I think it would be better with maple added into another style of beer rather than the style revolving around it. The maple gets boring, but for what it is, it's not bad.

 778 characters

Photo of lgmol
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of sdm9465
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of Jeffry-Mazerolle
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of Viggo
4.29/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, sent my way by Bobbyok.

Pours a hazy and chunky reddish amber, almost brown, thick off white head forms, drops to a decent layer, no real lacing on the glass. Smell is crazy, tons of maple, icing sugar, cereal, caramel, toasted wheat, very malty, light bit of citrus kick, really neat. Taste is similar, insane maple, but in a real maple sort of way, tastes authentic, maple sugar, almost tastes like a waffle with syrup, some citrus, pecans, biscuits, vanilla, more maple, really cool. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. I really enjoyed this one, the maple character is kickass. Thanks Bobby!

 623 characters

Photo of bcrocker
4.5/5  rDev +24%

Photo of andrenaline
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a nice caramel colour, thin layer of beige soapy head with little retention, no real lacing, very little visible body carbonation.

S - Super sweet with the maple taking a strong presence. Literally, its tough to detect anything other than maple syrop.

T - Quite different from the nose, some bitter earthy hops come off the top and are almost a bit sour rather than bitter. The maple flavour does linger on the tongue alongside some caramel and a bit of coffee.

M - This one is definitely in need of a carbonation lift as it comes across way too thin and watery for my liking.

O - Overall, a unique maple ale though not the best Canadian made maple ale. Worth a try but don't get your hopes up.

 708 characters

Photo of PorterPro125
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Serving Type: 650 mL Bottle

A- Pours a dark, Maple Syrup Amber colour. A thin cap of fizzy white head tapers off swiftly. No lacing.

S- Distinct smells of Maple. Maple syrup and primarily, maple candy. The aroma reminds me of my childhood when I visited a "Sugar Shack" where they made Maple Syrup. A little bit of biscuity malt comes through but mostly maple.

T- Again, the distinct flavour of maple candy. Biscuity malt also makes another appearance along with a slight bitterness to round out the sweetness.

M- Medium bodied and moderate carbonation. Seems to work fine here.

O- I haven't had too many Maple beers but this one is by far the best. Excellent Maple flavour and a hop presence that doesn't mess with the flavour. Delicious indeed.

 757 characters

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Sugar Moon Maple Ale from Garrison Brewing Company
3.63 out of 5 based on 44 ratings.
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