13 Aug

Hoptical Illusion Beer Review

Flying Monkeys Hoptical IllusionAs a big fan of the way Flying Monkeys Craft Brewing approaches beer-making, I often find myself reaching for these familiar and tasty brews rather than trying something new and I have to fight the urge. While not as attractive of an option as its hoppier cousin SmashBomb, Hoptical Illusion is a great brew for those times when I want something full flavoured but not quite as strong.

Brewed with privately grown Amarillo hops which lend the beer its provocative citrus and floral essence, this APA gets its subtle maltiness from the blending of an amber klin and roasted speciality malts.

Delicious but subtle, Flying Monkeys certainly got it right in their description:

Hoptical Illusion is a beer that doesn’t beat you over the head, steal your wallet, and jack your car. But you still wouldn’t want meet it in a dark alley.

Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale Ale

Brewery: Flying Monkeys
Style: Almost Pale Ale
ABV: 5%       IBU: 18

3 and a halfcat


Hoptical Illusion pours a copper amber color with a dense finger of white head. The head has great retention with large and small bubbles and leaves strong lacing down the side of the glass. Crystal clear, this beer features pretty bursts of effervescent bubbles that shoot towards the surface.


A strong aroma of floral and resin hops is tempered by slight tropical fruit notes including pineapple, tangerine, and melon. A caramel and roasty malt aroma is perfectly blended for a light smelling but aromatic beer with a just a hint of pine.

First Sip:

Hop-forward, this APA features tropical fruits including melon and grapefruit as well as some caramel sweetness. Lighter in flavour than the (deliciously) out-of-control SmashBomb, Hoptical Illusion still packs quite the tropical punch of citrus and floral hop flavours in a blend that goes down smooth and has a slightly bitter aftertaste.


A medium, almost bready body and lively carbonation give this brew an almost prickly mouthfeel.


An extremely well-made APA, Hoptical Illusion is a great summer beer and one of my favourites of the style. Remarkably drinkable, it is quite sessionable despite its slightly higher octane than other summer favourites. One of the most widely available craft beers in Ontario, Hoptical Illusion is certainly worth a try but I am unlikely to choose it over its more powerful and more flavourful partner in crime.

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