Full Moon Pale Ale | Alley Kat Brewing Company

66 Reviews
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 111
Photo of MAB
4.94/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Quite possibly my favorite beer of all time. This one is aggressively hopped. The nose on it is heavenly; the flavour incomparable. It is 5% abv. Very bitter, with citrusey tones.

The company always shows up to local CAMRA events, and if you can attend one, a cask-conditioned draught version is even more impressive.
I usually drink it on-tap at the "Hop In" bar on 12th Av. in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, but it is easily available in bottles at better liquor stores around the province.

No, I don't work for or have shares in Alley Kat. But I am one of their biggest boosters. WOW!

 589 characters

Photo of Tackledorange
4.83/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

it pours a nice coppery orange colour with about a two finger head. the smell is outstanding lots of floral citrusy hops but also some biscuity malt notes come through and balance out the smell. the taste is just amazing lots of citrusy hops and a very nice balancing of the bready malt that just complements the hops perfectly. the mouthfeel is very good a little spritzy which makes it just really refreshing on a hot summers eve.

 432 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 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!

 724 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 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.

 558 characters

Photo of 3Vandoo
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big Thank to IronDjinn to give me a few sample ot this beer.

A "pale ale" that I am truely enjoying.

Her appearance is a copper hue, a short head formed but dissapeared only to say "hi". I really enjoy the effects of light in this beer, as I see many teint reflecting.

Finally a good smelling beer, floral and hoppish is what my nose is able to perceive.

The smell makes you think you will get a good hoppish beer, but this is not the case the hops is smooth but present, then followed by a tiny bit of malt. Caramel flavour appear to end this beer.

I adore her mouthfeel, leave me a great sensation in mouth and very drinkable, too bad we can't get our hands on that beer,

Again thanx to Iron.

 715 characters

Photo of MeisterBurger
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

 819 characters

Photo of lipschitz
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Brown 341ml bottle, with Precocious kitties on the label. No freshness date, but I bought this at the brewery 5 hours ago...so it's pretty fresh, I'm sure. The box also indicates that this beer was awarded a silver medal at the 1996 World Beer Championships.
Appearance: pours rich copper, with an ample tan head, which subsides into a delicate lace.
Smell: Complex floral hops, some citrus notes as well....stunning!
Taste: Tastes as good as it smells. The hops are there to greet you, and they stick around for the whole ride. There is plenty of citrus-oil overtones as well, but they don't distract from the hops...they compliment them graciously. The overall feel is wonderfully bitter!
Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation, a bit of oil on the back of the tongue...feels nice, so nice.
Notes: This is so good that it is almost silly. When I drink this, I feel sorry for the poor tasteless masses that never get to enjoy such a bounty of flavour, seems a shame really. It refreshes, while it satisfies the hophead in me. This is fantastic beer. I detect a session in the making.

 1,096 characters

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.

 658 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 Scrylol
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice one finger head that disappears quickly, leaving behind some bubbles and lacing. The body has a nice dark golden color. Few bubbles streaming up to the top.

Smells citrusy and piney, with very slight hints of tropical fruits. A bit of caramel and malt.

Bit of a fruity and piney taste on the mouth, and leaves some dry earthy notes behind. Bitterness balances quite nicely with the malt, none are overpowering the other. Slight notes of bread on the tongue.

Decent thickness to it, slightly chewy and still easy to drink. Quite a bit of carbonation tickling the tongue.

A nice Pale Ale by Alley Kat.

 616 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 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 saskguy
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My favourite Alberta beer and close to being my favourite Canadian Microbrewery ale.

Good head with a pleasant copper colour.

Moderate floral aroma with a bit of citrus.

Nice moderate carbonation level.

Agressive hop flavours, perhaps not a full blown PNW pale style but still a high ibu beer. The hops are complemented by a reasonable malt profile.

 361 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

 1,611 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 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.

 572 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 feloniousmonk
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
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!

 654 characters

Photo of canucklehead
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

 262 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

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

Poured a hazy, tea like orange colour, with a dense off white head, small bubbles, nice lacing. Aroma of citrus, peaches, dried fruit, floral hops. Taste was sweet, fruity, with a grainy taste, juicy and finsihes dry. Has tea like qualities. Great balanced pale ale. Mouthfeel is thick, body is full. Great session ale.

 319 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 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.

 489 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Full Moon Pale Ale from Alley Kat Brewing Company
4.05 out of 5 based on 111 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.