Moe's Backroom Pale Ale
City Brewing Company, LLC

Moe's Backroom Pale AleMoe's Backroom Pale Ale
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Pale Ale - American
3.03 | pDev: 16.83%
City Brewing Company, LLC
Wisconsin, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Moe's Backroom Pale AleMoe's Backroom Pale Ale
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Reviews: 80 | Ratings: 104 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GroovyDeus
GroovyDeus from Ohio

2.21/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is a strange one as the first bottle I had, I really enjoyed - however, the second and third (which I am currently on) seem markedly different.

A: Light amber/orange. Good head/head retention on all pours.
S: Citrus/pine hops up front and then something a bit off/funky underneath.
T: Not bad...light. No malt character to speak of (perhaps a lot of corn in the grain bill). Late hopping or low alpha hops...pleasant enough here but lacking balance. Metallic on the back end.
M: A bit overly carb'd for the style. Gives the beer a sharp feel.
O: I'll finish the 6...and not a bad summer beer, but probably won't be back for more.

Jul 15, 2012
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argock from Virginia

3.31/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a clear Donegal mug. No freshness date. Received as leftovers from my friend Pat's recent visit.

A: Very clear light copper with 1-finger off-white head, a bit wispy, but it leaves a few lace figures behind.

S: Aroma is pretty light with herbal, floral hops with a kiss of citrus and slightly grainy pale maltiness with very slight caramel

T: Inobtrusive but enjyable with nothing offensive. Straightforward pale maltiness, with some crystal 40 caramel, and finishes a bit tealike with herbal and earthy notes. I think this is more of an English Pale Ale than an APA, at least in the hopping.

M: Fairly highly carbonation but the medium body feels lighter and drier for it.

O: I didn't mind this brew at all and rather enjoyed it for what it is -- either an underhopped APA or a misnamed English Pale Ale. Not something I would seek out, but not a bad value per others' reviews and certainly I have had much worse.

Jul 03, 2012
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MouthfulOfchris from Texas

3.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Golden color with a nice looking and lasting fluffy white head.

S: Not too much going on in the smell. I can smell a little toasted grain and some hops but not as much as I would prefer in a Pale Ale.

T: A balanced taste between the malt and hops. There is a little bitterness aftertaste left on the tongue

M: A light and smooth mouth feel with little carbonation on the tongue.

O: Overall it is a very drinkable beer - though not the best. There are plenty of better Pale Ales out there. Though it is not as good as some of the competition, you won't be sad that you bought and tried it.

May 05, 2012
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BMMillsy from Florida

3.17/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Cloudy yellow color with light head. Aroma is a bit yeasty for a pale ale, with some slight pine and citrus behind hay and funk. Not hop forward, but not a bad flavor here--mostly sweet light pale malts and a little bit of sweet citrus and bread. Seems like a miss for the style, but not a terrible beer by any means. Won’t go for it again, though this could be a good segue to craft beer for Bud drinkers, I guess.

Apr 02, 2012
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katan from Colorado

3.95/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a light brown color. Very clear and doesn't appear to have much carbonation. Little to no head or lacing.

S - Light amount of citrus hops, lightly floral. Certainly an american variety, a little bit piney.

T - Starts off a little bit malty, but then quickly gets a potent hit of american hops. Very grassy and piney - almost could be mistaken for a IPA. Finishes dry, bitter.

M - Light beer body and a out of balance amount of carbonation. Finishes clean.

O/D - Good APA - especially with the surprising amount of hop character. ABV is manageable. Not overly filling. A little bit too dry at times.

May 22, 2011
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cauchonpa from Virginia

2.67/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked up six of these at the local grocer on sale. After the first three, it became obvious why they hadn't moved at the original price. Not a terrible beer, but nothing to call up the old man about. This might be a good American Pale Ale to introduce someone who typically sticks to light beers and sweet liquors.

Appearance -- Pours (into a pint glass) a coppery orange with a thick head; 2 fingers unless poured with the utmost delicacy. Several ascending trails of bubbles highlight this APA's effervescent quality. The head laces well and is left clinging to the side of the glass. From appearance alone, you'd expect this beer to be better than it is. (4.5 out of 5)

Smell-- Not much to note here. Nearly all malt, punctuated by brief notes of spice. The wife says it smells like her (overly malted) gluten free beer. The nose becomes acutely aware of the high ABV. If you are expecting a hoppy aroma, look elsewhere. (2.5 out of 5)

Taste-- Similar to the aroma, nearly absent of any hop characteristics. High on malt and alcohol, which may make this a good beginner's pale ale. Overall, it lacks body and comes off one dimensional.The alcoholic pungency reminds me of watered down corn whiskey. Finally, the spice that briefly appeared in the smell appears even more briefly about mid-palette. (2 out of 5)

Mouthfeel-- The carbonation that impressed me so much in the appearance has disappeared. I'm left with a feeling reminiscent of water. Smooth and drinkable; this APA reinforces its place in the territory of the novice. I'm not disappointed, but I'm not impressed. (3 out of 5)

Drinkability-- Very smooth and not offensive, this ale would sit well in the latter half of a night of drinking as the high ABV stands out and excuses the lack of taste. Overall, this would be a good beer to introduce someone used to liquor or lagers to the world of pale ales. (3.5 out of 5)

Mar 06, 2011
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Jadjunk from Georgia

2.42/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

#96. It's interesting to know that this beer was retired shortly after I purchased it about 2 weeks ago. It it is anything like the other two that fall under the Tap Room No. 21 line, I can expect this to be one horrid Pale Ale.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass at room temp.

(Appearance) Thank heavens! Despite having a very fizzy carbonated head, it is quite tall (2-3 Fingers) and retains quite well as compared to the average beer. Lacing clings on in thick foamy shelves as the head recedes. The color is a pale orange, almost like an orange champagne, crystal clear and heavily carbonated. Significantly better looking than the other two of the trio, this manages to hold a respectable appearance. There's plenty of improvements to be made here, but overall I am pleasantly surprised. 4

(Smell) Falls short on potency and prevalence of a few of its biggest necessities. For one, the hop presence is nearly nonexistent. I can smell some, but not nearly as many as I need, making this possibly the lightest hop aroma'd IPA I have smelled thus far. Malts are also on low here too. One of the strongest (but still considerably weak) aroma is the citrus or lemony smell that wafts about the brew. This aroma could use a definite morale boost; the potency of this potentially vivid brew is truly disappointing. 2

(Taste) Yikes. This continues as one malt-heavy pale ale, Sweet corn! I can hardly gather any hop intrusion save for some reserved bitterness in the finish but it's tied with some bold alcohol tastes and a clean metallic taste. It's a messy concoction and is hardly able to highlight the characteristics of a Pale Ale. Drinkable, but that's about it. 2

(Mouthfeel) Smooth and thicker than I anticipated. It does alright, but I would have expected more of a hop crispiness and some more carbonation intrusion. Not the worst characteristic of this beer, but still questionable. 3

(Drinkability) Pretty average. It's not the worst of the bunch, but it hardly interesting. The ABV is fair and the taste is not draining despite being off balance. If you don't mind the overwhelming malty taste and the poorly concealed alcohol then a sixer of this would be the best choice of the bunch. Regardless, I'm more likely to skip the entire series and get a superior pale ale for a few bucks more. 3

Verdict: I was slightly surprised by the improvements this beer made over the others, and also surprised by its discontinuation. I know it's not superb by any means, but why the best of the three? Oh well, if you saw this and are looking for a good pick, this is as good as this Tap Room No. 21 gets. It's hardly a hoppy or exciting beer, but it's got more character than any others. D+ (2.4)

Feb 18, 2011
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chinchill from South Carolina

3/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle served in a pint glass. Undated. While label appears the same as BA photo, print indicates "Brewed and bottled by Tap Room Brewing ... Rochester, NY"

Crystal clear golden, with a small off-white head that is surprisingly durable.

Subtle aromas of faint hops, malt, and grains/cereal.

The taste is mostly of hops; flaws of omission (intensity and complexity) rather than commission. Slightly bitter balance, appropriate for style. Mild hoppy finish.

M: light-medium body, a bit thin for an APA; ample carbonation; clean, crisp and rather dry finish.

A rather ordinary pale ale, but good drinkability and well priced at about $6/6.

Feb 16, 2011
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JMad from Texas

3.51/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass...

The color was golden, with a thin white head that left nice lacing on the glass.

I could smell biscuits, malt, grain and lemon.

The taste is mostly of lemony hops and bread, there is a hint of butter and a slightly bitter finish.

The beer feels thin, it has good carbonation and a satisfying finish.

This is an average pale ale, pretty solid, but nothing special.

Feb 09, 2011
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jrallen34 from Illinois

3.07/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a tulip...Pours a clearly light copper, watery looking, average light tan, nothing to look at...The aroma is alcohol with wet hops...The taste is more of the same, a wet hopped grassy pale ale. Decent flavor profile, not going to be light, but just isn't great and too alcoholic.

Nothing worth trying.

Dec 16, 2010
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InebriatedJoker from Ohio

3.73/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into my favorite beer mug -

Poured a dark gold with one finger head that dissipated quickly lots of bubbles with thin lacing.

Smell was of mild hops and light malt-

Taste was mild considering a 5.70% abv - light malts with light hop hints .

A decent brew that's easy to drink -

Oct 30, 2010
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.31/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Don't know why this is listed as retired. It just showed up here. Also, bottle says Rochester, NY not LaCrosse, WI. Contract brew?

A - Poured out a clear, golden amber color with a one finger soapy, white head of foam. It left little to no lace.

S - It smelled malty and grassy. Not much else.

T - It tasted of some bitter grassy hops. A nice burnt toast maltiness, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale.

D - This is a nice APA. At $6.59 for a six pack it is a nice value.

Oct 10, 2010
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rgrholmes168 from Texas

3.2/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this on up and thought I'd give it a try.
Beer poured a one finger head that quickly disappeared leaving a trace of lace and a small amount of foam.
The color is a bright amber with little carbonation. The smell was fairly strong and I did get a whiff of hops.
The beer was decent. After reading a couple reviews it was betterthan I expected. A slight hoppy taste, it goes down smooth, with very little aftertaste. The beer is light on the tongue and overall I am happy

Aug 11, 2010
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WVbeergeek from West Virginia

1.78/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours a pale bright copper hue with a large off white head. Speckled lacing left behind this beer label looks so ghetto and forgettable. Aroma has some spicy and citric floral hop notes in the nose. Flavor has a hars bitterness with some watery soapy character going on this stuff is terrible. The worst pale ale I've had let's pour this stuff. Watery texture I can't stand the high carbonation going on in this atrocity. Drinkability terrible never again I've officially retired the Tap Room No. 21 Moe's Backroom lineup.

Jul 19, 2010
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Mora2000 from Texas

2.58/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Travita for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a clear yellow with a white head. The aroma is corn with some wheat. I don't get many hops in the aroma. The flavor is corn with some light grassy hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not good in any way.

Jul 05, 2010
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tempest from New York

3.6/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at Chip's Wine and Beer in Kill Devil Hills, NC. The clear amber beer has a mix of earthy grapefruit and toasted caramel malt. It's on the sweeter, fruitier side of pale ales, but I think it's deserves better than it's C+ rating. It finishes with a simple, herbal hop bite and overall is fairly sessionable. It's just a touch on the thick side of a pale ale.

Jun 26, 2010
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legatovibrato24 from Virginia

3.49/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours quite clear, with a yellowish amber color, head dissipates rather quickly. Hops are present in the smell, however not in the same league of power as Sierra Nevada Torpedo or Stone IPA. Of course in all fairness, it is also not in that price range, at $5.99 a six pack, this is one that I will consider coming back to, or at least sampling their other offerings.

Letting this one linger on the tongue exposes its hoppy characteristics, which are subtle but well done. It is far from overpowering but has enough flavor to stand on its own and command a certain amount of respect.

Unfortunately, in the Pale Ale department the competition is fierce and those willing to pay for it, can find much better Ales.

Jun 25, 2010
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Mosstrooper from California

2.79/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into Guinness 20oz tulip pint glass.

Appearance: Pours copper color with a good-sized off white head that dissipates slowly and doesn't really leave much lace.

Smell: Very sweet smelling- too sweet. Candy aromas with buttery hints.

Taste: Not as sweet as the smell suggests, but light on flavor. Begins with almost no flavor, finishing with an apple sweetness that turns into a slight toasty bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium body with light carbonation and a watery finish.

Drinkability: This is definitely better than the one other beer I've had from this company, but it's average overall. Still, this one was bought from a local Kroger at only $1/bottle, which is definitely a good price. If it can be found at a bargain, it may be worth a taste, or something to have around for parties.

Jun 14, 2010
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Dalem from Michigan

1.59/5  rDev -47.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Light amber in color with quite a bit of visible carbonation in the glass. The head was fizzy, had absolutely no firmness and depleted very quickly. I could've swirled the brew around in the glass for minutes on end and there'd still be no lacing also (Yes, I tried to make it happen too by doing just that). Not off to a good start at all. It smells like a stale Labatt's Blue that some one tried to fancy up by adding a handful brown sugar to it and then filtering it through a box of corrugated cardboard.
The taste is mostly metallic, aluminum foil to be exact, with a trace of sickly sweet malt. There is a little puff of something for a second in the back end that may be hops but they taste almost artificially enhanced and disappear as soon as they appear. The aftertaste was what it smelled like.

Jun 05, 2010
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baos from Indiana

3.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From notes.

Over all a nice refreshing brew, red tinted amber body. With decent head. Some lacing. Aroma is of American hops citrus in nature. The light malt comes through a bit better than the hops on this pale. A bit musty-floral old hops in flavor with a bit of metallica. Not a bad beer but not the best on the create your own six pack selection at Kroger's.

Mar 19, 2010
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association330 from Michigan

3.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours light amber with a decent head. Fades to a cap and bubbly ring of foam. A bit of lace, but nothing spectacular.

S - Caramel malt, a bit of banana and strange spice, some piney hops. As the beer warmed, I thought I caught a slight whiff of adjuncts.

T - Citrusy American hops. Lacks malt depth/balance. Moderately bitter finish comes off a touch metallic and rough-edged.

M - Goes down pretty easy. Light side of medium bodied, solid carbonation.

D - Pretty average. Drinkable, but kind of a lawnmower pale ale.

Jan 09, 2010
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mithrascruor from California

3.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear light amber color with some visible carbonation. Off white head stays a thin film most of the way through, minimal lacing.

Smell: Aroma of malts, caramel, and hops. Nothing special, but not bad.

Taste: Not particularly flavorful; in fact, a bit watery at first. Most flavor comes in towards the finish with some fairly generic blend of malts, hops, and caramel. Then a bit of bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light- to medium-bodied. Relatively smooth, with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Pretty easy to drink, taste and alcohol-wise, but not very inspiring to make me want to drink another.

Not a bad beer, but solidly average.

Jan 03, 2010
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Cyberkedi from Georgia

3.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma is crisp, malty and slightly fruity, providing hints of pear and banana. It pours an appetizing clear golden amber with a decent white head. Flavor is malty and a little hoppy, just a bit on the thin side. Texture is fairly tingly and leaves a finish that is more hoppy than malty. Overall, fair to middlin'.

Nov 23, 2009
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cnally from Indiana

2.88/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one has a very pale coloring, amber colored with a huge fizzy head that has some trouble lacing. Carbonation bubbles rise liberally.

Subtle, subtle aroma. Caramel malt comes to mind, a little trace of hops and actually kind of a mystery--where is any aroma at all?

I may be no expert. I am far from one of those. But are we sure this isn't a vienna lager? The flavor profile mirrors what a typical pre-prohibition lager is like--that caramel bite, distinctive spice--that being said it is a mild flavor, barely recognizable and sour on the finish. Confusing.

Milky, filling, decent carbonation and not overly assulting...pretty decent feel.

I am very confused. A mild ale for sure, but a good dose of malt...Upon further thought I see the APA being decently drinkable despite its lackluster individual characteristics.

Nov 15, 2009
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Spineypanda from Texas

3.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Honestly, this as a Pale Ale, does not quite fit the criteria I look for and enjoy... but really this beer is not horrible.

It has a dark golden color, and hardly any head.
Smells of malts and lightly of hops.
Tastes not like a strong hoppy pale ale, but has a bit of a citrus flavor and just a little sweetness.

Not horrible, but not a very good pale ale.

Oct 20, 2009
Moe's Backroom Pale Ale from City Brewing Company, LLC
Beer rating: 73 out of 100 with 104 ratings