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Hoponius Union - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Hoponius UnionHoponius Union

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

2,098 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,098
Reviews: 299
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 8.45%
Wants: 325
Gots: 274 | 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: 2,098 | Reviews: 299 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MikeAndrews
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours with about a fingers worth of head, the beer itself is slightly hazy and opaque and a distinct yellow color.

The nose is very malty-biscuity. The hop aroma is faily muted, there is some slight hop spiciness up front, but it is very subdued.

The taste is fairly malty up front and this fades to a quite back-of-palate hop bitterness. This bitterness lingers for quite awhile.

This is a pretty interesting beer. It has some good hop bitterness but doesn't have much going on in the hop aromatics department, most of the hop notes here are from bitterness (lots of kettle hops).

This is a pretty decent beer, I don't have much experience with craft lagers but this is pretty tasty. That said, I definitely prefer ales to Lagers.

Photo of mcintire78
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a: Beautiful. Pale gold to straw in color with a two finger head that slowly dissipates and leaves some nice lacing. Light to moderate carbonation.

s: Very powerful aroma of citrus hots, mainly grapefruit, upfront.

t: When it first hits the tongue there's a moment of malty smoothness that quickly fades into a moderate taste of fruitish hops up front, which fades into a bit of a bite at the end.

m: Smoother than I thought it would be--neither the carbonation nor the hops affect the drinkability.

d: Much more drinkable than I would have thought--almost too much so. I was expecting more of a bite. Still, if you're looking for a lager that tastes like an ipa, this is your beer.

Photo of Murph-Dawg
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very good beer, will have again. Need to Visit the Brewery in Framingham and try a fresh one.

Thought it was good but there are many other beers I would likely get instead.

Jack Abbey is creating a great beer and for themselves, kudos!

Once I try it fresh at the brewery I may change my mind.

Photo of Jacobob10
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap at Hops N Scotch in Brookline, MA.

Appearance: Yellow color, clear body, with a small white head. Sparse lacing on the glass. Good head retention.

Smell: Heavy hop aroma. Citrus and grass. No malt presence.

Taste: Citrus plays interestingly off of the light biscuit malts. Light bodied, a little too light for such a hoppy beer.

Mouthfeel: Thin textured, dry aftertaste with lively carbonation.

Overall: The lager flavor mixed with the strong hop profile doesn't completely work for me. It's a good beer and very unique, but maybe a little too much on the dry side. I wasn't in the mood for a second one. Glad I got to try this on-tap, regardless.

Photo of TheBeerSipper
3.92/5  rDev -8%

Photo of jvillefan
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A: It has a beautiful orange amber body with a thin off white lacy head.

S: Very bready with fruits. There is a biscuit aroma with apples and pine mixed in. Very potent aroma. Exactly what you would expect from a hoppy lager.

T: Very good but the balance is not there. Very strong lager flavor with even more powerful hop flavors of pine and apple.

M: Good body but could be a little thicker and excellent carbonation.

O: Very good hoppy lager. Not the best out there but still in my top five lagers.

Photo of morebeergood
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Stone's Public House in Ashland. Served in a standard pint glass. Bright yellow color. Nice white head. Good amount of carbonation. Great hop aroma for a lager. Taste was surprisingly good. Well balanced hop flavor, but not overboard. Amazing they can pack that much hop taste into a lager. Mouthfeel was smooth but crisp. This is a really great beer, and it's easily their best offering I have had to date.

Photo of odomosan
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Very excited to try the much talked about Hoponius Union that many think is one of the best beers in the world. Props to the Apt's again for coming back from a road trip with some more outstanding beers.

A- Pours a vibrant, modestly hazy gold. A strong pour leads to a 1.5 finger, thick, foamy head with superb lacing. I decided to go with a DFH ipa glass. Wasn't confident in my glassware choice given that I don't come across a lager-ipa hybrid every day.

S- Citrus fruits with melons, tangerine and mangos. Despite the hop level, the lager yeast still comes through. Sweet, yet musty.

T- Unlike any lager I've had before. Hops abound. Citrus smelled with a touch of tobacco leaf. The middle portion when the malt takes over is just outstanding. It hits that wonderful medium and level of balance that I wish lasted for days. Dry, bitter finish that flirts with astringency without going there.

M- Outstanding feel on this lager. Super dry. Zero alcohol warmth. Coats the mouth nicely.

O- I can certainly see the hype. Undoubtedly one of the best lagers I have had to date. It doesn't fit the standard lager profile, but that doesn't keep it from being an outstanding brew.

$5.99 for 500 ml bottle.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is transparent amber with a lot of fluffy white head and some large bubbles. Nose is light, clean and fresh. Some grain, a touch doughy, strong hop punch, tropical fruits light, grassy and herbal. Taste is the same, well attenuated, clean grain notes, a touch doughy, with a strong hop punch. More tropical fruit, grapefruit, grassy hop behind, and light bitterness with a dry well carbonated finish and lighter body.

Photo of koutkid41
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

A: Small head, copper in color with great clarity.

S: Piney, citrus, resiny, and tropical hops. Very fruity, kinda like a kid cocktail. Sweetness coming trough.

T: Bitterness comes trough right away. Fruity up from and the malts come in with bready notes with lingering chalky bitterness in the end. Bitterness eventually mellows out after a while. Pretty subdued flavor.

M: Smooth, crisp, medium bodied, love the dryness.

O: Pretty solid IPL. Really loved the aroma but the flavor was subdued and mostly tasted malt profile and bitterness of the hops.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with my brother.
Pours a fairly clear deep golden color with a decent sized creamy white head that dissipates rather quickly. Aromas of sweet bready malty with hint of spice and fruit with a light spicy earthy hop aroma to round it all out. The flavor holds a creamy bready malty taste with lots of spicy earthy hops to balance it out. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick almost sweet mouthfeel. Another great brew from Jack's, but not one I would seek out again.

Photo of ZethOfTheNorth
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dated 5/24. My first Hoponius experience.

A: Orange/yellow. A finger of nice bright head that leaves generous lacing.

S: Fruit cocktail. Mango/peach/grapefruit, all quite light. Smell is clearly that of an IPA, but not a super aggressive one.

T: This is two months old and I'm thinking the tropical hops have faded significantly. Bittering hops steal the show; this is drinking like a bitter bomb with soft peach notes to round it out. Nice, but likely not what it could/should be.

M: Exceptionally dry, crisp, and clean.

O: Clearly from the other reviewers. this is great when fresh. With two months on it, it's something a little less than great.

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 Alieniloquium
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep golden clear body. Small head. Wisps and some lacing.

Smell - Pine hops. Musty. Faint grapefruit. Slight sweetness to the pale malt.

Taste - Brighter citrus, but still has a lot of pine and resin. Bitterness builds quickly, faster than the sweetness. Finishes dry and bitter.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy and medium carbonation. Moderately bitter.

Overall - Not as good as it warmed. Better cold. Good all around.

Photo of smakawhat
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle at Smoke & Barrel as part of the first DC bottle share/tasting. Sample pour into a large snifter glass. From notes.

A pale orange amber body, with faint very light tan off white bubbles. Minor head produced but quite thick bubbles for a collar that is left.

Nose is quite hop forward, and I guess expected. A good airy light citrus hop front, with a mild malt presence. Clean, surprisingly smells like a solid IPA. Kind of jarring but real impressive.

Palate hits with a thick pine resin, and a good mild sense of sweetness. Like a solid lager it finishes quite cleanly, almost like as if an IPA were missing something. Malt backbone seems to be missing a little but it's sort of something you don't seem to care about on this first sip. No sweetness or heat present either, or sugar rush.

Overall, a real memorable and impressive take on a style, worth trying again. Quite enjoyable would love to have more of this.

Photo of PHBoiler
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bold yellow/orange body that is completely translucent with a crisp finger width white head. Good looking beer in the glass. Some pine and citrus on the nose. Aggressively hopped and quite bitter with a solid lager base. The lager base is my favorite part of this beer. Very well made with a great mouthfeel. The hopping is a bit too aggressively west coast for my taste. It is certainly interesting with the lager body though. Worth a try for west coast IPA fans indeed.

Photo of BradMatton13
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of NiceTaps
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a tall lager-style glass.

A- Pours a bright and clean golden color, 2-finger white head that settles nicely leaving lots of lacing.

S- Hops all over; citrus grapefruit and orange, some pine. And some lager graniness.

T Light grass and very mild malt flavors are quickly trumped by a big dose of the citrus hop flavors.

M- Very light. Crisp. Light lager feel, mostly. Lingering hop bite and dry finish.

O- It looks and smells good, tastes OK, but has no body. It needs an element to tie it together. It is a light tasting lager one second, then a hop bomb the next. Not bad, though.

Photo of vfgccp
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Loosely bubbled white head pours low with ok retention and lace. Medium orange gold body.

S - Nice light pine and woody hop cone nose.

T - Opens with green plant flavors; almost kale like. Smooth white bread and light caramel center. Lemon and pine bitters balance the backend.

M - Smooth, medium-full frame with nice carbonation.

O - A great session beer; smooth, full flavored, well balanced, easy drinking.

Photo of dheacck11
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A little stuffed up, so my senses may be a little clouded...

Pour is a lovely golden hay color with hints of melon and orange. Thick foamy head, 1 finger, soft and white. Lingers.

Nose is mostly some soft citrusy hops. Little bit of pine. Nothing too prominent.

Taste is interesting. Nice, juicy citrus hops up front, get a little grapefruit sense. This follows with a dry malty lager flavor, which rather refreshing. Seems to have a finish with a bit of dry hop.

Feel is medium thin as befitting it's name.

Maybe it's my sinuses. maybe it's the beer. It's good, I'm just not feeling incredible with this. Maybe I just want it to be an IPA too much, and I'm trying to make it something it's not...

Photo of tone77
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A bottled beer? From woodychandler? Yes, it's true. And what a bottle to come through with, many thanks. Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a deep golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of hops, citrus. Taste is smooth and refreshing. I could drink these all day long. Some solid hops, malts, citrus, well done. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a high quality beer.

Photo of biegaman
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hoponius Union has such a well polished golden tone it could fit in at Europe's most majestic cathedrals (probably museums too). It has a bright and angelic aura with pristine clarity, calm bubbles and a thin white head that appears to be soft as fleece. An immaculate appearance.

The effects of lagering are most appreciated in the mouthfeel; while this process removes a lot of the fruity esters that are by-products of fermentation, it's not always obvious from smell alone whether a beer is a lager or an ale. In this case it's even more difficult because of the abundance of hoppy citric and tropical fruit flavours and the fact that much of its 6.7% alcohol can be detected. The smart money would be on ale.

Of course, you'd be wrong. While this recipe uses the same zestful varieties of American hops as an IPA, it is in fact fermented at a cold temperature (as opposed to warm) and aged ("lagered") for an extended period. Why does this matter? Well, it has evidently led to a 'smoother' beer, one with a tighter and cleaner flavour profile (think of it as a song played with minimal distortion, or hearing that song through speakers that have minimal static).

Otherwise, however, I am inclined to say it doesn't matter much (after all, some people prefer loads of distortion). This beer offers much the same biscuity, lightly nutty maltiness and toasted bread flavours, as well as all the mango, grapefruit, lychee, and tangerine one could ask for in any hoppy beer. There's plenty of tree resin, bubblegum, and citric acidity too - IBUs aren't affected by lagering. It makes no difference to hops what temperature you ferment at.

Indeed, the only difference between Hoponius Union and a West-Coast IPA - aside from the fact that it's brewed in Massachusetts - is that it's been lagered. This offering only further reinforces my opinion that people (beer educators specifically) put far too much emphasis on the 'lager vs. ale' comparison; there's obviously so many more important factors that distinguish a beer.

Photo of HamdenHector
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: crystal clear; copper colored; 1 finger white head that receded quickly to a thin cap; moderate lacing;

S: grapefruit is predominant with a bit of pine in the background;

T: a little grapefruit up front; all pine in mid-palate; grapefruit takes over again for the finish; low to moderate bitterness from mid-palate to finish;

M: light-medium bodied; low to moderate carbonation;

O: really easy and enjoyable to drink; refreshing;

Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 2,098 ratings.