Full Moon Pale Ale | Alley Kat Brewing Company

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Full Moon Pale AleFull Moon Pale Ale
116 Ratings
Full Moon Pale AleFull Moon Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Alley Kat Brewing Company
Alberta, Canada

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-18-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 116 |  Reviews: 66
Reviews by DoctorStrangiato:
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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More User Reviews:
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 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.

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Photo of chickenm
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of LDuke
4/5  rDev -1.2%

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.

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Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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Photo of DaryleTilroe
4.58/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

As an Edmonton native I have been drinking this beer forever. I followed it though the "New Coke" fiasco when Alley Kat ill advisedly tried to turn it into a totally unnecessary, mediocre IPA. Luckily, as with new coke, the market spoke and 'Full Moon Classic' came back. Since I had never left a review of the original I am rectifying that situation.

When poured right there is a very acceptable head for the style. A clear, rich coppery colour and assertive carbonation; perfect. It is very refreshing with a decent hoppiness, but not so much as to linger or dissuade another sip. Nose is very mild and pleasant. A classic session APA.

Back to standard stock in my fridge.

Now don't mess with it again Alley Kat!

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Photo of maplesyrup76
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

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 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.

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Photo of Merlin68
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of chubb-a-lub
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

341ml bottle poured into tulip.

Pours a clear honey amber with one skinny finger of eggshell head that leaves Antarctic landscape lace as it recedes.

Smells of toffee-like caramel malt, grapefruit and lemon pith, soft pine resin and fruity, flowery hops.

Tastes of more snappy caramel malt, pithy citrus and piney, fruity hops.

Feels soft and sturdy. Medium bodied with frothy carbonation. Finishes dry.

Verdict: Recommended. I could drink a lot of this when it's hot out.

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Photo of Garin
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It poured a beautiful peachy gold with a thick, dense, creamy white head. A few bubbles are present underneath, but only as a surprise now and then.

Fresh, clean, citric hops notes lift from the glass. A little nutty malt is hidden in there as well.

The flavour is toasty, bready, chewy malt supported by clean and elegant bitterness and a lovely herbal hop character. The hops have a lemony quality, and it's all balanced by a slightly tannic bite in the middle. Smooth, rich, and easy drinking -- does it get any better?

This is a fantastic beer.

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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 Mlkluther
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

A great balanced beer with a nice hoppy bitter finish.

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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.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Full Moon Pale Ale from Alley Kat Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 116 ratings