Hoponius Union - Jack's Abby Brewing

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Hoponius UnionHoponius Union

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

2,286 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,286
Reviews: 343
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 8.45%
Wants: 347
Gots: 366 | 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: 2,286 | Reviews: 343
Photo of GregSVT
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle into a tulip

A: Pours a clear golden yellow with a nice big white head that fades to a ring leaving tons of lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is akin to a big IPA rather than a Lager but it smells amazing. There are a ton of hops in the form of tropical fruits and a bit of pine as well as some nice malty and grain aromas as well.

T: The taste doesn't disappoint either. Big flavors of tropical fruits and pine along with sweet malt and grains. This is a super hoppy yet very balanced beer. The finish is not overly bitter like an IPA but rather very smooth like a lager should be. It's very impressive to get the best of both worlds here.

M: The feel is crisp yet creamy from the carbonation.

O: I was not expecting much as this was an extra in a trade but it blew my mind. Crazy good and highly recommended.

Photo of mynie
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pretty orange pour with a fluffy white head.

Smells--like a hop-forward lager should--like raw hops, no esters or yeast or any of the other stuff I usually like to talk about but the beer denizens ignore. Taste very much the same, but thankfully the hop profile is as moderate as it is excellent, and so it does a fine enough job of balancing itself. Big nodes of grapefruit, passionfruit, and dried potpourri flowers. No super high alpha cat pee or pine nodes, though, since they'd probably be too much without any clear malt presence cutting into them.

Damn solid flagship APA (erm, APL); it stood its own against HF's phenomenal Citra.

Photo of dar482
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in an extremely clear light reddish amber color with a fluffy white head with lacing.

The aroma has tropical of mango, tangerine and orange peel, grapefruit, some spicy pine needles, very hoppy. Lots of fruit. A bit of a bready malt. A wonderful West Coast fruity aroma.

The flavor is extremely hoppy with that tropical and citrus of grapefruit and lemon peel in the front. A bit of a light bready malt. Then onto a very spicy and grapefruit peel finish. There’s some Earth and green vegetable flavor in the finish as well as that lager, slightly metallic, note. Tons of grapefruit peel that continues on and on.

The beer is super refreshing, drinkable, and clean, but also so hoppy.

Photo of mbratt93
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dont let this APL fool you, it tastes just like an IPA. Jacks Abby has found what they are good and perfected it to its greatest quality.

Photo of gonzo000
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a. Hazy sunrise oragne in color once settled with a two inch head. Head thins, but remains through out the life of the beer. Lacing on the glass.

s. Citrus and hoppy pine. A bit faint.

t. Fruity - pineapple, peach, orange - on the front. The back end is all pine. Hopped up with a touch of bitter in the very finish.

m. Silky smooth with excellent carbonation

o. Outstanding all around. Excellent beer that I will revisit often.

Photo of Rizalini
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this .5 litre bottle in a trade from Jageraholic, dated 02.25.2013, and poured into my Deschutes tulip glass...

A - Pours a crystal clear golden orange color. 2 fingers of off-white head fade rather quickly leaving some nice spotty lacing behind.

S - The smell is amazingly hoppy! Hops smell of tropical fruits like pineapple, and some earthiness. Very inviting.

T/M - The taste has a nice hoppiness in the beginning, a crisp malt middle, and a great hop resin aftertaste. Getting more of the tropical fruits as well in the aftertatse. The mouthfeel is light/medium. Crisp like a good lager, and good carbonation.

O - This is a great IPA/lager combination! If I did a blind taste, I would call this an IPA. The only thing preventing this from being DIPA status is the lighter mouthfeel and alcohol content. A really solid beer that I had my doubts about, but was proven wrong very quickly. I would grab this one all day long if it was available in my area, but sadly it's not. So a big thanks to Jageraholic for letting me expierence this great brew! Great extra, cheers to you my friend!

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 02.12.2013

A: Pours a golden orange color with a little more than a fingers worth of head that has great retention

S: Extremely hoppy, with huge notes of citrus and light pine. Very fruity as well. Malts barely come through

T: Again, very hoppy. More of a fruitiness come through than just general citrus hops, with light pine and peppery spice notes as well. The malt does a nice job backing up the hops, much more so than in the nose. Finishes crisp and lightly bitter

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: An impressively hoppy lager with huge aromas of citrus and a crisp, balanced taste. Great price point to boot. More than worthy of a purchase

Photo of Cugabuh
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My, oh my have Jack's Abby gone ahead and revolutionized the craft beer world or what? Okay, okay maybe I'm giving them a little too much credit, but one must admit, they have crafted an excellent beer that offers a nice, unique blend between two popular types of beer - an IPA and a Lager. Ladies and gentleman, my I announce to you on behalf of Jack's Abby, the IPL.

Imagine the citrusy hoppiness of an IPA, but with the crispness of a lager. The smell alone will make you think your drinking an IPA, yet the aftertaste will reward you with the refreshing, crisp wetness that comes along with a lager.

The flavor is certainly citrusy, slightly piney, and even a bit grapefruitey from time to time. With what tastes like centennial hops, or something similar to it (perhaps cascade), one will feel they are drinking a light-bodied IPA.

Even the color bears similar resemblance, giving a nice hazy yellow-amber color with a small, creamy head at top.

I’ll be blunt and open with the end of this review - Hoponius Union is exceptional. Jack’s Abby has certainly taken a step in the right direction with this beer, and other breweries could certainly learn from their ideas.

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 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.

Photo of ChrisL24481
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my first time trying any brew from Jack's Abby Brewery and, boy, I am glad it was a fresh Hoponius Union (bottled on January 7, 2013). Poured into a Boulder Beer Company Mojo IPA pint glass.

Appearance - It pours a nice golden-orange color with about a 2-3 finger off-white head. The head appears soft and dense with decent retention. It slowly dissipates until a thin layer remains. A bit of lacing sticks throughout the glass. A bit of carbonation throughout as well.

Smell - The hop characteristics stand out with the first sniff which is then followed by citrus and tropical flavors specifically orange, lemon and a bit of grapefruit.

Taste - A delicious beer to say the least! Great hop flavors with a hint of the citrus/tropical fruits that you pick up with the smell. There is somewhat of a dry/bitter finish, but still a great tasting beer.

Moutfeel - A light-to-medium bodied beer with a bit of carbonation. This definitely has the feel of a pale lager, but the taste of the IPA throughout. This is an easy to drink beer that would be perfect for a hot/summer day. I can't wait to have this one again.

Overall - This was one refreshing and delicious IPL. I love the fact that it has the smells/tastes of an IPA with light body of lager. This is a very drinkable beer with little bitterness on the back end from the hops. A great beer that I recommend to all and I can't wait to enjoy the remaining bottles from the 4-pack.

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

Appearance - pours a one finger pillowy head, nice lacing down the glass. Not a ton but enough down the side.

Crystal clear golden amber color.

Smell - this is the best thing. Tons of hops smell, citric or pine smell. Your olfactories will be in overdrive as you smell this beer. I think it is simeco hops.

Taste mouthfeel - as a lager this beer is super clean. The hops you smell are the typical over the top hops. With an 65 IBU this beer doesn't kill your palate.

Overall - this is the signature beer of Jack's Abby, you have to try it.

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

Many, many thanks to Cyser for sending this one!

A - Pours a medium gold color that's crystal clear, very minimal head that's thin, yet even across the top, and really no carbonation to speak of in the tulip glass.

S - Spice, pungent, tropical fruit and pine with a little bit of grainy character, but not much.

T - Some sweet caramel biscuit malt hits initially and then sticks around while citrus and pine bitterness come crashing in over the top. The blend superb, even , and leaves a lingering pine citrus lingering aftertaste. The hop character is almost oily in nature...superb.

M - Thick body for a lager and very smooth.

O - Shhh, this lager thinks it's an IPA (don't tell it). I haven't had a lager this hoppy since fresh Southern Tier Krampus. Never heard of this brewer before and I'm already looking forward to next year's batch. Very unique and dialed in for the hoppy IPA heads. Very well done!

Photo of nas5755
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hard to classify. A lager hopped as if it was an intense west IPA. Way to kick ass America and make a new beer style.

A- a clear golden orange with straw hues. A good sized head from a very aggresive pour and very solid lacing.

S- Dank citrus hops, lots of navel orange leads the way and then a surplus of contributing grapefruit and tangerine hops lending a hand.

T-Very clean, lots of hops. Navel oranges(hmmm, Citra), some clean orange pith bitterness. A slight sweetness from the malt that appears to accentuate the hops. Very good.

M- Solid, very clean. Hop resins arent as intense as an ale even though the hop taste is at that level. Carbonation is a bit underwhelming. I wish it was a bit higher(more of the product of the growler than anything).

O- Very impressed. This is hoppy, like an IPA, but very clean. Awesome job on dry hopping. The nose is fantastic, very dank and awesome navel orange smell. This is something that I will be going back to get another growler of until the bottling line is in place next year.

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

Joined BA today and glad to have a beer from MA be my first review!

Serving: 16.9oz btl. into a Boulevard Tulip
A - Light sunrise & golden hues with a couple fingers of eggshell hue head. Nice legs.
S - Sumptuous esters of juicy south American fruit mixed with pine and light scents that remind me of an herbal garden. I'm very "nosy" and this is one of those brews that you can kick back, stick your nose right in, take a sip, and repeat many times over.
T - To me, this is a very enjoyable brew. A terse, malt foundation that nicely hits the mid-palate while cheerful citrus flavors mix with very light herb garden notes and roll around and waft back up through your nose. Love it.
M- Medium to light mouth feel but there is a quality, well balanced sense to it. A brew that you can enjoy a couple bottles of within a couple hours.
O - Big fan for many reasons - gratifying and very pleasurable beer from a MA brewery with some ingredients from MA. (Thank you, Kelly's Package Store!)

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

Thanks to AutumnBeerLove for making the trek to pick up this growler. Served in a Surly Darkness glass.

A - A finger of white foam settles to a near-complete cap, thick collar, and stray splotches of lace. Transparent golden body.

S - Massive aromatic hops here - very floral, with orange blossoms, pine, faint herbs, and a faint chive note I sometimes get from Citra hops. Some nebulous sugary malts in the background.

T - Taste is a bit less sweet, with more pine and a more bread-heavy malt character. Plenty of pine and citrus hop flavor, with mid-level bitterness and a crisp, clean lager finish.

M - Pleasant moderate carbonation, medium body, smooth texture, and no alcohol presence. Dry finish with a bit of residual oily hop texture. Easy to drink in large quantities.

D - It's a slightly smaller Humulus Lager. I'd never heard of Jack's Abby but this beer is for real. We obliterated the growler in record time. I would order this all the time if it was local.

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

Big thanks to AutumnBeerLove for giving me a whole bunch of these.

Pours a clear yellow-orange with a medium white head. Smell is a nice mix of citrus hops combined with a more traditional lager aroma - very interesting, but doesn't stand out. The flavor, however, is a different story. The blend of hops here is absolutely incredible, and the lager base really supports it so much better than I could have expected. It's a great citrus hops flavor, and I would never know it's a lager flavor-wise, as it tastes more like something along the lines of Zombie Dust. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this beer is incredibly impressive, quite unlike anything I've ever had before. The best hoppy lager I've had.

Photo of siege06nd
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to billab914 for this one.

A. Mostly clear honey gold with two fingers of some of the prettiest head I've ever seen in a beer. Settling down to a half finger over time, the head, lacing, and beading remain consistent and impossibly tight. Suds absolutely blanket the sides of the glass.

S. More excellence. Big tropical mango and tangerine notes, some honey sweetness, and then a healthy dose of garden herbs and tall grass.

T. Mango, pineapple, underripe strawberry, earth, pine, thyme, crackers, rose petals.

M. Really nice. It starts big and tropical but then finishes with that classic, earthy, dry, and floral lager finish.

O. This is a really good Pale Lager. Very hoppy but incredibly well-balanced and has a very classic pilsner finish, with spice and grain providing a very crisp, refreshing experience. I love this beer and would make it a staple in my fridge were it available in my part of the country.

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

Poured into lager glass.

Deep golden orange with a humongous frothy head that subsided to a tight layer with tons of lacing start to finish. Aroma was malty, earthy, some yeast, citrus fruit, a slight but of pine resin. The citrus aroma reminds me of lemon lime hard candies. Get the malts immediately on he sip, then a huge blast of citrus more grapefruit than the nose suggested. Earthy underneath, nice hit of bitterness, not overwhelming. Tiny bit of breadiness or yeast, slightly toasty. Flavor hits and passes quickly, and grapefruit and maybe mango linger just a bit. Very clean and refreshing, light on the palate. Finishes dry and makes you want more. The carbonation is light and refreshing. Very drinkable and can see this on a hot summer day. Subtle, complex enough to be interesting, well balanced. Another winner from Jacks Abby.

Photo of scottfrie
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle into SN tulip pint glass. Thanks again SneezyAchew.

A: Pours a clear deep golden color with a huge, very oily, and dense off-white head that slowly faded into a very thick film. A complex network of sticky lacing was left down the glass. Impressive. Certainly looks well hopped.
S: Very bright smelling with dominant notes of floral and citrus hops. Light notes of bitter orange peel and tangerines come through. Lightly bready lager smells as well.
T: Hops follow the nose with a blast of floral and bitter citrus peel to my palate. Crisp lager yeast and bready malts come through after the hops subside, but the finish is full of lemon zest and pie crust.
M: Pretty full bodied actually with a rather slick and chewy mouthfeel and very smooth and mellow carbonation.
O: I’m loving this brewery. This beer takes lager to a whole new level. Definitely a lager ipa, and freaking great at that. Definitely check this out. Thanks again, Michael.

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

16oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A fairly clear, golden colored body. A good two+ fingers of soapy head cling to the glass as it recedes to a thin layer. Big sip marks.

Smells like a west coast IPA. Light cracker and toasted flavors from the malt. Clean. Tropical fruit over top with an underlying spiciness.

Juicy oranges and grapefruit up front with some cracker-like malt through the middle. A little bit of toasted biscuits before the spelt pulls it back and adds a little crisp spice. The finish is a blend of tropical fruit bitterness and dryness.

On the lighter side of medium with a smooth feel. Dry and bitter finish, but never overpowering.

This is not your dad's APL. An interesting blend of styles that works. The crisp lager flavors compliment the hops. Dry, crisp low end with juicy tropical up top. This is a winner for sure.

Photo of gunpwdr
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nose: Pine sap, grapefruit notes buttressed by hints of flowers, wood spice, mango, and durian... all of which have a sweet, gummy candy-like quality. Palate: Citrusy, pine sap, hoppy notes along with a touch of brown sugar dominate the attack. Toast, citrus, and bitter hops dominate the mid-palate and give way to a grapefruit-bitter finish and a touch of malty sweetness.

This brew profiles very much like an IPA but categorization aside, the hops are the main event and in this regard, this beer kicks ass. At the outset (and probably 5-10 degrees too cold), the finish was a little thin and lacking body. As I write this, the finish has filled out more and the maltiness balances things out very nicely. Delicious.

Photo of BostonHops
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

500ml bottle served in a snifter.

pours a clear gold tone with a frothy 1 and 1/2" white head that fades at a moderate rate into a lasting cap; some lacing. of the aromatic hoppy bouquet offered by the nose, tropical and citrus hops stand out first and foremost for me; some secondary notes of grassy and pine hoppiness and a hint of malt.

flavor follows the aroma with a medley of hops - citric/tropical showcased with some more subtle pine and grassy characters, flanked by a subtle toasted/biscuity malt element. bitter hoppy bite persists through the finish. very tasty. medium bodied on the palate with average carbonation.

overall a slam dunk keeper in my book. flavorful and bold yet light enough that having a few in a row won't put you down for the count. such a drinkable brew - unquestionably one of the best lagers i've ever had.

Photo of justintcoons
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pub-style pint glass.

Appearance
Golden with 2+ fingers of creamy white head. Good clarity with wisps of cloudy yeastiness floating about. Light carbonation.

Nose
Dank greens, pine sap, pineapple, mango, and candied citrus.

Taste
Dank greens, pine sap, and wintergreen. Lighter notes of candied orange, grapefruit zest, pineapple, and mango. The smooth malt backbone comes in at the end with ample notes of bread and caramel.

Mouthfeel
Medium bodied, clean, smooth, juicy, and refreshing with a modestly light bitterness.

Overall
Hot damn! Dank and juicy. Big hop flavors balanced by a clean bready maltiness. I see more of these in my future.

Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 2,286 ratings.