Hoponius Union - Jack's Abby Brewing

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Hoponius UnionHoponius Union

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

2,252 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

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Ratings: 2,252
Reviews: 333
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 8.45%
Wants: 345
Gots: 353 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Lager |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mschofield on 08-07-2011

This lager harmoniously combines lager yeast fermentation and west coast IPA hops. Our India style Pale Lager is like a traditional IPA but with a twist - it’s fermented cold and aged for extended periods. A blend of classic American hops creates a huge tropical fruit and citrusy hop aroma. A dry finish accentuates the pleasant bitterness and hop profile. Hoponius Union uses locally grown dehulled spelt from MA.

65 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,252 | Reviews: 333
Reviews by DrJay:
Photo of DrJay
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Orange/gold and clear with a short, dense off-white cap. Thick lacing and great head retention. Fresh hop aroma, lots of citrus, grapefruit, pith, slight pineapple. Really well constructed, with citrus hops throughout but mild malt up front and tropical/spicy notes in the bitter finish. Moderate carbonation, on the creamy side while still retaining some crispness, nice texture. I really enjoyed this beer. Bright hops all the way through yet still refined and refreshing.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #68 (Spetember 2012):

LOOK: Golden, slight haze, billowy white foam head

SMELL: Resiny, herbal, grassy hops, biscuity malts

TASTE: Medium-bodied, smooth, creamy, fruity, tropical, citrusy, resiny, leafy, bitter, dry, grainy, crackery finish

West coast IPA meets east coast lagering (fermented cold and matured before packaging) and local dehulled spelt. The result is quite unique. All the fruitiness of an ale, the hop bite of an IPA and mellowness of a lager. The best of many worlds. Hands-down one the best hop-centric offerings to hail from the east coast in recent years, and a lager to boot.

STYLE: India Pale Lager
ABV: 6.7%
AVAILABILITY: Year-round

Photo of tectactoe
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to portia99 for this one (it was an extra!), really looking forward to it. Pours a light copper color with very high clarity - only a very, very mild haze that forms dead center. Foamy white head begins to form some chunking lacing and legging right off the bat.

The nose is heavily hoppy with a solid malt backbone - if the first whiff is any indication, this beer will be balanced very well. Some lemon zest, pineapple, and bitter citrus peel couple nicely with light and leafy pines and wet hops. A touch of cracker-like sweetness from the malt brings the aroma together nicely.

The first thing that hits the palate when taking a sip is a helping of wet, juicy, pine-like hops; grassy, floral, and slightly pungent. Light resin starts to come out as the sweet malts work their way into the mix, helping to balance and offset. Some mild fruitiness extracts itself from the hop bill; pineapple, grapefruit peels, herbal lemon zest.

The hoppy flavors mostly fade by the time the beers has left your mouth and all that's left is the aftertaste, but a light, assertive bitterness remains along with some sweet bread, butter, and cracker malt flavors that give the excellent balance I was expecting from the aroma. As the brew goes on and gets warmer, I'm tasting some light white pepper spices come out from the hops, and maybe even some faint onion flavors. The body is medium and slick with a surprisingly dry and crisp finish.

Wow! Very solid brew here. It doesn't really exhibit the normal characteristics you'd expect from a lager, mainly because the identifiable yeast flavors are mostly covered up by the hops. You could easily mistake this beer as an IPA. The only real tell-tale sign is the dry, crispiness in the end. Nevertheless, this one shows exceptional balance and great execution for a very drinkable, hoppy-ass brew.

Photo of ExtraStout
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. poured into a pint tumbler. Big creamy 1 finger head, lots of lacing, crystal clear pale yellow golden color. Nose had fresh hops, resins, hops oils, bit musty, some fresh citrus fruit and grapefruit, almost no lager or malts.

Taste explodes with fresh citrus hops, grapefruit and tropical fruits, light hop resins and musty fresh hop oils, a bit oily, then some light lager fruits and light pale malts, some sweet toasty malts. Light sweet honey like flavor. The it gets very bitter and slightly astringent, the hops way overpower the lager flavors and gets a bit overly on the finish, dry and very bitter finish with lingering fresh hops and citrus, light pine as well, and has a sticky almost creamy feel.

I'm an IPA guy, not a Lager guy, but bumping the IBU's to 65 seemed to work real well. I would choose this over many standard IPA's out there.

Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a pokal an orange tinged medium golden with a sticky full one finger bone white head atop.Tropical fruits all over the place in the nose along with light toasted cereal grain.Grainy feel with some dry toasted malt underneath tropical fruit-like hops that linger in the finish.Seems mush small er than 6.7%,one of the more hopped up lagers I have had.

Photo of tbryan5
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Rudzud for sending this one to me in a trade.

Poured from the bottle into a pilsner glass. It's a clear golden straw color with a minimal head that dissipates quickly and leaves BEAUTIFUL lacing on the glass. Love the smell: fresh hops intermingled with a combination of citrus and pine. If you can believe it, this brew tastes better than it smells. The hops come on slowly, peak just as you swallow and linger for just a bit longer enticing you to take another sip. Simply fantastic. It has a above average carbonation and coats the mouth but isn't very slick.

I loved this one. Heard a lot about it and am glad I was lucky enough to finally get to try it!

Photo of migwell
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bit cloudy with a small head that persists. An IPL it is, tasting quite like many a great IPA while having a lighter body and clean finish reminiscent of a lager. This is a good drinking beer which goes down easy and doesn't pack a major ABV wallop. Very fine beer, this!

Photo of SunDevilBeer
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been looking forward to trying beer from this new brewery - happened upon it at the Union Brewhouse recently.

Looks like a lager should, then the smell hits you with the hops. Really fresh scent. Great balance, finishes a bit dry. Each sip makes you want to have the next. I could drink this beer all the time.

This beer runs rings around Prima Pils IMO. Seek it out.

Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

Pours near clear early, then clouded by the last pour, fluffy and light eggshell head

Mild nose with a hint of hops

Hops up front here, with a hit of lime on the back of the throat. Aggressive hops all over this one. Crisp, citric, tasty and quite dry.

Well worth a try

Photo of Homebrew35
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled June 26th, according to Julios website.

Pours a nice creamy fluffy white 2 finger head. Brilliant clear pale straw colored body.

Smells very good. Citrus, lemon, touch of garlic, tropical fruit, sulphury lager yeast smell (a bit much of this but it does let you know right away it's a lager yeast).

Tastes quite grainy and crisp, lemon, grapefruit, floral, dank juicy and oily hops. A good amount of sulphur again in the taste. Finish is lightly piney, grainy and sulphury.

Thin bodied, medium carbing, firmly bittered and powdery dry on the finish.

Overall this is a tasty beer. Very hoppy on the nose and pleasing. Fairly good flavors in the taste. The dry powdery finish and a good amount of sulphury smell and taste keep this from being an A+ beer. Very good beer and a great value.
$3 a pint bottle.

Photo of tigg924
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at New World Tavern--Plymouth
Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, low carbonation, gold in color, clear

Smell: piney hops and light citrus hops

Taste: sweet caramel start followed by pine and citrus hops

Mouthfeel: sweetish start with big bitter middle and less bitter finish, moderate carbonation, light bodied

Overall: A nice and smooth lager. This one is a lot hoppier than others in the style. Better as a beer than for the style. A sipper that I will get again but one per sitting.

Photo of standardcherry
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very clear orange/golden color with a nice big white head.
S: Smells super hoppy. Floral, tangerine, tropical fruits, slight grassiness; lots of peach and mango. Light toasted sweetness from the malts.
T: This beer is very juicy and tropical. Floral, orange, mango, tangerine, peaches. A bit of honey and a slight sweetness from the malts to balance it out. Finishes bitter and a bit piney. The difference between this and an IPA is that the finish here is drier and more crisp, which leaves you wanting more! The bitter aftertaste does not linger as long either.
M: Light bodied with medium carbonation. Mouthfeel is crazy good, so smooth, crisp and refreshing. I could drink this all day.
O: Another home-run from Jack's Abby. I would take this beer over most IPAs out there.

Photo of PSU_Mike
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a slightly hazy burnt straw color with a 1 finger white head. Low carb and nice lacing on the edges.

FIrst smell is lemon, a hint of grass, a little subdued but still pleasant.

Lemon is main flavor. It's pleasantly hoppy but not a blast in the face. A touch of grass on the finish.

The finish is spot on. Crisp, clean, and refreshing. A little puckering lemon on the sides of the tongue though which I could do without.

Very enjoyable and easily crushed. I'm a fan and believer in Jack's Abby.

Photo of ehammond1
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle (2013)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, brooklynbrews!

Clear golden rod with a very persistent, creamy, eggshell-colored head. A gorgeous lager. Fairly sticky with nice, regular, lined lacing down the glass.

Nice blast of pine and fallen pine needles along with citrus juice and zest. This is a showcase of hops, and is really something quite special, especially for an American pale lager. Mild, bready malt bill, but this is definitely all about the pungent hops. Given this blind, I'd guess this was an IPA, without a doubt.

The flavors follow the aroma. Pine hop flavors, citrus zest, and moderate bitterness combine for an incredibly drinkable, but especially hoppy lager. Clean, crisp, and discernable flavors. Fantastic, and the flavor actually surpasses the aroma.

Medium to near full-bodied, especially for the style. Medium to high carbonation, but crisp and especially drinkable.

Fantastic. Perhaps the best iteration of this style I've ever tasted.

Photo of GOBLIN
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid in every way . . . Benefits from being way over hyped however. Just not up to snuff in my opinion.

Photo of far333
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Crystal clear straw/apricot colored with an off-white head that settles out to a 1/4 inch cap that settles slowly. Aroma of citrusy hops, some florals, and pine, notes of biscuit malt.

Big, hoppy flavor upfront, floral, citrus, melon, mint, pine, finishes tingly pine with a it of a hard edge. Some honey malt rises up, but hops dominate, with herbal and spicy notes lingering.

Full mouthfeel, semi-slick, finishes tingly. Good beer.

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Ljudsignal for this neat extra!

Poured .5L bottle into pilsener glass; looks like an IPA. Golden-amber in color with lively carbonation and a lovely thick fluffy white head that fades slowly leaving lots of lacing. Definitely smells like an IPA; floral and fruity hops with some citrus rind, and only a slight hint of lager yeast smell underneath. Taste is citrusy hops that quickly come to a bitter pinch, overtop of a crisp lager mouthfeel and some slight malt hiding beneath the bitterness in the aftertaste.
Overall, a very cool beer. The second "IPL" I've had, and this one is the better of the two. Lots of great hop flavor, with a good dose of bitterness; couple that with the lager maltiness, and this reminds me of a super-hoppy version of an English IPA. Delicious!

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours out a nice darker yellow beer with good clarity, 1" of white head with pretty solid retention, especially for a hoppy beer.

Aroma was obviously a very hoppy lager. You got both, in good supply: Simcoe hops, lager yeast. Has an herbal component to the aroma.

Taste, good snap and bite from the culmination of the yeast, Simcoe hops and mild/light body of the beer. Plenty bitter, but not a one trick pony, it kicks down some grapefruit (probably Cascade) with the Simcoe bitterness, and of course, the lager yeast is well intentioned and complimentary with this brew. It doesn't have a tropical fruit component to the hop flavor in the mouthfeel, its definitely more in the grapefruit and pine realm.

Carbonation is high, but appropriate for style. I was impressed with SA IPL, and this beer takes that up another notch. Clean, crisp and hoppy, super mild bready malt does its job.

Wouldn't hesitate to drink this over and over again. Not quite humulus lager, but better than SA IPL. I'm really liking this IPL trend. . .

Photo of hagbergl
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Bottled in mid-November–perfect timing for Thanksgiving drinking.

Appearance: Towering pillowy white head atop a clear orange-yellow body. Tons of soapy lacing and serious head retention.

Smell: Candied orange, light grapefruit and some toasted bready graininess that conjures in your mind the smell of a German lager (like a Helles) that's just been hopped way up. Solid smelling beer, though certainly more muted than an ale. (As an IPA lover I do miss that piney dankness that wafts up from the freshly opened bottle. I'm not getting that here.)

Taste: Tons of crisp smooth candied orange and pink grapefruit, kiwi and pineapple in the flavor. Not as aggressive as an IPA in its hop attack but still delivers lots of hop flavor. Malt is there and more noticeable than in a regular IPA, but firmly in a supporting, minimalistic role. Very dry finish accentuates the hops and brings on the bitterness in the finish. One thing I will say about the beer is that it doesn't warm that well and loses a bit of crispness in the flavor and mouthfeel (as if the carbonation dissipated).

Mouthfeel: Clean and smooth mouthfeel with a decent medium carbonation (I do feel that the beer could have a slight bump in carbonation level). I love the dry finish, which really helps the hop flavors pop towards the end.

Photo of Brenden
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The color is short of verging into orange, but it's pretty far down the yellow spectrum. It holds a mild haze for a while that eventually clears up completely, leaving a bright and glassy brew. The off-white head begins just about one finger tall and holds well, thick and rocky. Lacing is webbed and quite consistent.
The aroma shows off all the fruity sweetness of the flavor with the drying counter also found. It rests on a semi-dry malts base and shows the hops nicely. There is quite a bit of citrus along with the sweeter element, and has maybe some stemmy bitterness underneath.
The flavor's where it really picks up. It's hoppy, balanced and complex with lots of depth. The sweeter fruits notes lie up front from beginning to finish, carrying with the plenty of citrus and showing the biscuit and dough-like malts. The hops are oily and fresh, with lemon, leaf and some resin staying strong while allowing a little herb to show and grass to finish it out with the sweetness before stemmy dry bitterness finishes it.
Sweeetness doesn't keep the dry nature of this beer from showing in the feel one bit. If anything, it only starts sweet and ends quite dry. Crispness kicks the whole time off a soft, strong carbonation that creates lots of smoothness.

Photo of CloudStrife
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a slightly hazy pale golden with a white head. Can see an average amount of visible carbonation in the body. Leaves some spots of lacing on the glass.

S: Nice dose of hops in this one, really pulls off that west coast hop aroma that is normally reserved for IPA's. Has a great toasted malt background. Bit of sweetness from both the hops and malts.

T: Flavor is great on this one, really shines as both a lager and a hoppy brew. Great toasty bready quality along with that character lager yeast. Hops add solid bitterness mid sip to even things out. Lingers into the aftertaste with roasty malts.

M: Has a medium to full body with a nectar like mouthfeel. Moderate to low carbonation, bit sticky on the finish.

Overall I'm real impressed with this one and will be going back for more. Really blurs the ale / lager line. Packs some serious flavor.

Photo of quirkzoo
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Celticfutblclub, thanks again.

Pours a very clear light orange with 1 finger of fine white head that sticks around in a thin layer.

Really nice hoppy aroma, tons of fruit, citrus and tropical fruits. Not much else to the aroma other than hops but the hops are really nice.

The taste is more of the same. A lot of nice light hops with a strong amount of bitterness, very clean aftertaste indicative of the lagering. Really smooth, though I think I would have liked to have just a bit more going on other than the hops. Couldn't really detect much malt or yeast.

The mouthfeel is light, bordering on too light. I can't decide if I like the lightness which lends drinkability or if I want it to be more substantial. Definitely lighter than your typical IPA.

Overall this is a nice beer. I had it with my dinner and it has enough flavor to stand on its own against a nice thai curry, but it is also light enough that I don't feel full after drinking it. Glad I got the chance to try it, I will definitely seek out more Jack's Abby next time I visit relatives in the NE.

Photo of Guess2814
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'm drinking on this beer as I'm writing this message.. This nice golden look with a nice hoppy lager smell.. The taste is unbelievable .. Soon as you open the bottle you can smell the fresh IPL hoppy smell.. Leaves a nice taste on on tongue.. Jack Abby's continues to create classic beers.. Cheers!!!!

Photo of AdamF625
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- golden and transparent with a fluffy white head

S- citrus and pine

T- suttle grapefruit and pine hop flavors with a nice bitterness

M- thin body that's carbonated well.

O- crisp and dry, a well hopped lager. This is my staple local everyday drinker for sure.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Picco in Boston. Review from notes.

A: Served in a pint glass, the beer was orange in color with a small white head that formed a nice cap on top. Moderate lacing, but very sticky.

S: Nice and citrusy! Some orange, orange rind, a little bit of pine, and some floral hops.

T: Again, more citrus with more pine than in the aroma. Some grapefruit, orange, and orange rind with a bit of grassy hops as well. A little bit of pale lager malt

M: Medium bodied, extremely crisp and drinks very smooth like a lager. No sign of the abv whatsoever, could drink this beer all day long.

O: Loved it, very impressed. Had been hoping to try this beer for sometime and jumped at the chance when I saw it on tap and was not disappointed.

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Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 2,252 ratings.