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Moonshine in Can – Coming Soon!

Moonshine in Can - Coming Soon!

We’re just days away from releasing our much-loved flagship beer, Moonshine, in CAN!

May is set to be the month of Moonshine, with pre-orders launching on Monday 4th, and the cans to be with you from Tuesday 12th May!

Cans of Moonshine have been in the pipeline for many a, well, moon (sorry!) – but we’ve brought the release forward a little in the context of the current climate to offer you the option of continuing to sup our most popular beer from the comfort and safety of your own home whilst we all wait patiently for our glorious pubs to re-open.

This is a massively exciting step for us, as despite it forming over half of everything we make here at Abbeydale Brewery, we’ve never released Moonshine in smallpack before. Until a few years ago, we wouldn’t have been able to brew enough to keep the beer available to all of our pub customers and satisfy demand in bottle or can. However, the investment and expansion which has been ongoing for many years has enabled us to gradually increase production, and the addition of our very own canning line (which was already planned in long before lockdown) means that we can maintain our own very high standards and package beer the moment it’s ready, without compromising on quality or freshness. So, it has finally allowed us to take the step of getting Moonshine into can and keep full control of making sure that it reaches you exactly as we intend!

The only other option available to us previously would have been to send tanks of Moonshine away for packaging elsewhere – but Moonshine is so dear to our hearts that we did not want to do this and lose any element of control over the finished product. Every single pint of Moonshine that is supped is brewed and packaged right here at our very own brewery, not packaged or even contract brewed elsewhere (a solution some other breweries prefer to use). The compromise to quality that this could entail is something we simply would not tolerate.

We’ve also always preferred canning as a method of presenting beer to bottling, as our brewery owner Pat Morton explains – “Cans are light proof and there is less chance of extraneous air leaking in, both of which allow for a much higher quality finished product when compared to bottles. Cans are lightweight, transport more easily than glass, and recycle well.” It also means there is no chance of broken glass contamination in the brewery which is important for us as we operate in a small space (as those of you who have joined us at one of our events here in the past will know!).

The recipe is exactly the same as for the cask ale we all know and love. Usually, we would package into cask with a little yeast, for secondary fermentation to be encouraged (producing real ale). For can, we’ve simply removed the yeast and given it a bit of a sparkle within the brewery to bring you a product that is as near as dammit as you would find in a pub, and captured it at that pure, precise moment, ready for you to enjoy at your leisure.

A lot of you have been asking what this means for the rest of our core beers… and we’re pleased to say that cans of Absolution, Deception, Daily Bread and Black Mass are also on the way! We don’t have a date for these yet, we still need time to get 100% familiar with our canning line and make sure we are doing everything absolutely as we should, but we’ll be sure to keep you all updated on the progress.

We’ll be taking pre-orders for Moonshine cans from Monday 4th May, with the official release being on Tuesday 12th May – so we’ll do our best to get pre-orders shipped to you as close to this date as we can.  Trade customers can call us on 0114 2812712 or email us on [email protected] to find out more, with home drinkers being able to place their orders directly with us at – cans will be priced at £15 for a 6-pack or £50 for a case of 24 cans.

We’re so excited for the next stage of Moonshine’s journey… it’s been such a big part of Abbeydale Brewery for the past 24 years (more on that here) and we can’t wait to see where the future takes us.


Team Abbeydale

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The Origins of Moonshine

The Origins of Moonshine

With cans of Moonshine coming very soon (we should have a date for you by next week!) we thought we’d cast back our memories right back to the early days of Abbeydale Brewery, to tell you more about the beer that has become our beloved flagship, our biggest seller (it’s over half of everything we make here!), and Sheffield’s most iconic brew.

Moonshine was the first recipe our brewery owner Patrick Morton worked on when setting up Abbeydale Brewery back in 1996. Absolution was the first beer we actually brewed here, but Moonshine was already much more than just a gleam in Pat’s eye by this point. It was carefully thought out, though the level of its success was beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. Following the success of Pale Rider, Pat’s first commercial recipe whilst he was at Kelham Island Brewery, and inspired by the likes of Brendan Dobbin (still a friend) at West Coast Brewing and Sean Franklin at Roosters Brewery, he wanted to reproduce that pale, hoppy, American hop flavour in a more acceptable (at the time) ABV of 4.3%. 

Patrick (and even more so his wife Sue) dislike the flavours given by crystal malts so prevalent in brown beers. Sheffield was a little unusual in having a taste for paler beers than the standard brown bitters enjoyed by the rest of the country, thanks to Stones bitter which was produced (and very popular) locally. So put together Sheffield’s acceptance of pale beers, Patrick’s and Sue’s dislike of crystal malts, love of American hops and drinkable more-ish beers and Moonshine was born.

Moonshine is also light on bitterness, and the emphasis has always been on late-added hops for flavour rather than hops added to the boil (which extracts maximum bitterness, something which can be off-putting to many people’s palates). Originally 100% Willamette hops, the recipe for Moonshine has changed ever so slightly over the years, blending in other hop varieties including Citra, Centennial, Delta and Chinook, at carefully adjusted volumes to ensure the flavour of the beer itself remains as consistent as possible despite seasonal variations in the raw ingredients.

Pat and Sue have always described Moonshine as a cross-over beer. Says Sue, “Often people used to tell me they didn’t like beer, but then they liked Moonshine. I reckon that what they often didn’t like was crystal malt and very bitter flavours in brown, bitter beers. So Moonshine converted many non-beer drinkers and lager drinkers to real ale and pale hoppy beers, but not too bitter beers. From there, many have moved, with us, on to more adventurous styles, including developing a taste for bitterness, high ABVs (remember Last Rites at 11% is essentially a very strong version of Moonshine), completely over the top hoppiness and even sour beers! Many others have loyally stuck with their first love… pale, now gently hoppy, not too bitter, more-ish Moonshine."

Named Sheffield’s most likely cask ale to be found on bars around the city throughout the last decade, most recently in the Sheffield CAMRA (Campaign For Real Ale) 2019 Beer Census, Moonshine has been the recipient of numerous awards over the 24 years of our history. Beginning with winning Sheffield’s Steel City Beer Festival on its very first appearance in 1996, it’s also been awarded Champion Beer of Yorkshire 2012, runner up Champion Beer of Yorkshire 2017, and won a national bronze medal in the Golden Ale category at the prestigious Champion Beer of Britain Awards in 2018. It’s come a long way since that very first pint was sold on 2nd September 1996.

Today at Abbeydale Brewery we’re really proud that we can continue to produce such a consistent and popular beer as Moonshine, alongside the other pale ales we’re renowned for but also the more weird and wonderful styles that we love to play around with too. And we are very proud indeed to have been an early part of the uprising that has led to such a massive variety of beer being available in the UK today. And so, as we gear up for the next stage of the revolution and get ready to launch our flagship cask product in can, we hope you’ll continue to follow our progress. We’re SO excited to see where this takes us next…

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Some bank holiday creativity

Some bank holiday creativity

As the bank holiday weekend approaches, we have put together some colouring sheets for you to get creative with!

The templates feature our favourite American Pale Ale – Heathen, an unknown Brewers Emporium beer and a blank can for you to go wild with!

We’re looking forward to seeing how you get creative and have fun with your designs, so please share them with us across instagram, twitter and facebook. There will be a prize for the design that impresses/amuses us the most, so get them to us by Monday 20th April to be considered.

Click on the image below to download the printable colouring sheets.


Three sheets in total, combined within one pdf file. Each sheet is standard A4 size (21 cm w x 29.7cm h). Images can be printed or coloured digitally.

Prizes available for 18+ and UK only.

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All in this together

All in this together

Here’s what we’re doing at Abbeydale Brewery to try to bring a little bit of sunshine to your days.

We’re aware that we should all be doing our best to stay at home at all times right now, and your favourite watering hole is "out of bounds". Please don’t forget that you can still get hold of our beers to enjoy at home from our online shop at and we can bring your favourite beer right to your door!

We are continually updating the offering on there (starting with the return of MOONSHINE MINIKEGS, which are available now, along with minikegs of our other core beers!). We would love to hear your ideas for anything we could add! Our can stocks are running a little low currently, but we’re working hard to get things back in stock!

We offer a courier service for delivery, taking all the stress out of ensuring you can get your beer easily. We’ve also just introduced free local delivery for all orders of over £25, so if you’re based in Sheffield and place a qualifying order please select this option. In light of the government announcement of Monday 23rd March, we have suspended the option of collection from the brewery with immediate effect. We aim to get all orders out within 2 working days, but please bear with us (especially if you’re not particularly local to the brewery) as we are collating orders by area. We are of course very carefully following all government guidance and have strict procedures in place to ensure we are all kept safe, and will continue to monitor the situation and do our best to adapt as quickly as possible. We know how important sitting down with a beer is, so we’ll continue to do everything within our power to keep it flowing!

We’re all in this together, and so we wanted to do something to help the rest of our amazing industry community. As such we’re starting a little initiative – for every order on our online shop from a member of the public totalling over £40, we will commit a forward credit of £10 to the pub you would normally drink our beer in, which the pub can claim from us when this has all blown over*!

Our pubs, The Rising Sun and the Devonshire Cat, are now closed in line with the government’s ruling of Friday 20th March. We will really miss them (along with all of our other wonderful pub customers) but we’ll keep you all updated when the times comes that we are able to re-open safely.

We always used to say that “There’s nothing more social than beer” and we’re really passionate about not letting this go despite the challenges our industry and the wider world is currently facing. Our business has been built on the strength of our community and it’s critical to us that all work together at this time. Please reach out to friends and family using phones, emails, chats, etc. And where we can, let’s help each other. If you ever fancy a bit of a chat, we’re here. Please feel free to reach out to us (who’s up for a Skype drinkalong at some point?!). We at Abbeydale would like to thank all of our customers for their loyal patronage and in these challenging times we send each and everyone our very best wishes.

We can’t wait to join you all for a pint when this is all over.

Team Abbeydale x


*Max. credit per venue of £100 available

  • About Us

    A true Sheffield institution founded in 1996 and based in the heart of the Antiques Quarter, Abbeydale Brewery blends heritage and tradition with creativity and innovation.

    Abbeydale Brewery brochure

  • Contact Us

    Abbeydale Brewery Ltd
    Unit 8, Aizlewood Road
    S8 0YX
    Telephone: 0114 281 2712
    Email: [email protected]


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