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

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Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 111
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.

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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 BigBry
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft - Poured a dark golden color, with white head. Thick and creamy, thin stream of bubbles help with head retention. Smell of citrus, grapefruit, and hops - full refreshing aroma. The flavour is lightly toasted malts with a great balance of bitterness and hoppy burst. Great flavor, smooth, and easy to drink. Wish I had discovered this one earlier than now.

Had a sample again at Beerfest, and confirmed that this was still the best of any of the other APAs there.

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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.

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Photo of Naerhu
2.12/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A big thanks to KBL Scott for bringing this beer all the way to Japan!!!

Transparent orange body with no carbonation apparent, low head.
Spice and thai curry on the nose. wtf? Thai curry?
Washed out beer, most have been a bad bottle, as that is what the three Canadians were telling me who where tasting with me. No hops apparent, the malt is also a no show.
The body is toliet paper thin, high carbonation and generally harsh.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Photo of Beersignal
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours fully clear amber caramel colour. An apetizing cream coloured head of foam dressed the liquid but for a moment only. Some patches of lace.

A very refined set of aromas dominated by malty and grainy odours that are cut by a fresh hop signature. A faint hint of caramel sneaks in near the end and is erased by a final push of hops. A class act.

First sip reveals a finely carbonated, light and silky refreshing liquid yielding delicate flavours of biscuit, apples and peaches (a hint of grapefruit). Finishes dry and earthy with lingering hop notes. Nicely refreshing.

Finely balanced and quaffable pale ale could easily be paired with chicken tomato pesto burgers or a poached salmon with dill sauce.

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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 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 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.

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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.

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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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Photo of Morris729
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper color with a creamy white head that sticks to the glass as it fades into a heavy lace. Nose is very aromatic with notes of floral hops, lightly toasted grains, and a touch of fresh pine. Moderate in body with a bit of a slick mouthfeel due to all the hop oils. Taste is lightly sweet grains up front quickly followed by bitter hop resins and a bit of an iced tea flavor. Strong piney hop oils round out the taste leaving some lemony citrus rind notes in the finish and lasting aftertaste. A very nice pale ale. Thanks to lipschitz for the sample!

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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!

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Full Moon Pale Ale from Alley Kat Brewing Company
4.05 out of 5 based on 111 ratings.
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