Hoponius Union - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
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 BEERchitect
3.77/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

If the American IPA style is supposed to celebrate the highest hop rates possible and the lowest malt influence that's capable, then why are we fussing with anything other than a the crisp and clean base Lager style? Wouldn't Lager allow for a more dominant showcase of hop character over that of more characterful ale?

That just may be the inspiration that's used for Jack's Abby Hoponius Union. Upon the first glimpse, its off-bright appearance is golden and with the most modest of haze due to evident dry hopping. A frothy head of stark-white foam sits atop the beer in stubborn fashion, lacing with well defined concentric rings at each drink.

The sharp scent of those papery hop cones resonate to the nose with fresh-cut grass, slivers of grapefruit peel, bitter orange, and leafy character. Trailing deep in the recesses are the cracker-like malt structures that only support the hops in timidly supportive role. And like dry IPA, the hops command the taste with a bright botanical notion of dried citrus peel, mulled herbs and grasses, leaf, and lemongrass. Its terse sweetness never rivals the hops but give the most timid support necessary. Dry bread and crackers dissolve on the tongue at middle palate and allows the dry hop flavor to trample over the late palate and aftertaste.

Light bodied, the taste buds and trigemental sense searches for caramel sweetness or a heartier malt impression, but there are none- the beer carries the dry and sensible mouthfeel of German lagers, except they are covered up by the sharper and more acidic hop dryness. Lightly resinous on the palate, the hops trail into mild alcohol warmth and an echo of lightly kilned barley.

It's easy to become seduced by thinking of this beer as a hoppy lager. But the counterpart could be taken too- that this is an IPA with quivering support and exposed hop-derived astringency.

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.77/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Holy crap, good on the beer of the month club I got as a Christmas gift to come through with something like this! 12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a clearish golden color. The head is a finger high, and white in shade. Retention isn't the best, but the texture is soft enough. Plenty of lacing sticks to the glass. (3.5)

Smell: Well, it's just like a good west coast IPA...ONLY A LAGER! I get a decent amount of grapefruit, pine, flowers, melon, and a slight touch of sweet malt. Unfortunately, the nose seems somewhat dinky - what's here is good, there just isn't enough of it. A slightly disappointing nose, considering it's rated a 95 overall. (3.25)

Taste: This works FAR better. It starts off with some hoppy goodness: a mix of melon, mango, grapefruit, and pine. The finish is malty and slightly sweet yet not ridiculous. But the best part? IT'S DELICATE! It's one thing for a pilsner to be delicate - it's another thing entirely for a big IPL to have such softness. Its overall balance is utterly superb. Some of the notes blend together a bit too well, but this is a great-tasting lager otherwise. (4)

Mouthfeel: While it's crisp like any good lager should be, it's also a bit heavy. Luckily, it's very soft without being too flabby. Carbonation is actually gentle by lager standards. Drinkability isn't amazing, but it's a very nice beer to savor. (3.75)

Overall: The nose let me down, but the taste and feel work far better. I like how this uses its lager character to soften the edges of the typical IPA without blunting them excessively. I could conceivably drink this all day without chugging it moronically - nice to know the first beer I had from Jack's Abby was a winner! (4)

3.77/5: One of the better IPLs I've sampled

Photo of beerdedking
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%

Very heavy on herbal, grassy hops, and less on citrus and pine. Also a touch of mineral dryness at the
end. Not my favorite, but not bad.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.81/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

this india pale lager style is really taking off, and this is one of the better examples, but I hate to say like I always do, that humulus from the bruery set the bar impossibly high for other brewers. this is excellent, until you have a humulus. it pours a nice radiant orange color with an inch of fading white fluff. a nose of crisp clean pine family hops, with a pronounced bitter close. lager yeast is evident upon the first sip, its dry but not at snappy as some. it lets the cereal grains come through a lot to balance the hops, which have a sort of punctuated citrus and pine bitterness back and forth going on. the beer would be better if it didn't come across so filling. bigger malt base than necessary here I think, fuller than most lagers, but its carbonated well and the bitter finish is quite dry, encouraging quick consumption. overall a great beer, but underwhelming in some ways, especially when put up against the gold standard for the genre.

Photo of nataku00
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a clear golden color with a finger of off white head of mostly small bubbles. Plenty of sticky thick lacing as the head dissipated.

Nose is mostly citrus and floral hops, biscuit malts.

Floral and herbal flavors along with some bitter citrus peel. Just a slight malt presence, biscuit and caramel. Finish is clean and dry, with some light citrus flavor lingering.

Light body and well carbonated. An interesting beer, but I feel this bottle might have been past its prime.

Photo of stakem
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into a snifter. The brew appears a clear orange with a finger of white frothy. Patchy legs of lace stick to the glass and the cap displays decent retaining powers.

The aroma is tropical with hop character. Somewhat herbal with pine, rind and pulp to zest of something like oranges or grapefruit. A mild inclsuion of supporting fruity alcohol.

The taste is surprisingly toasty with bready malt. Considering the aroma, I was expecting a hoppy assault right upfront but instead its quite grainy. Toffee mixes with sulfur and a bit of a cheesy hop flavor mixed with herbs towards the back.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is earthy herbal and cheesy with plenty of bitterness and a veggie hop flavoring. I would have this again if the opportunity presented itself.

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 Boofcheese
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A bit too malty to have that West Coast freshness for me at least.

Photo of GJ40
3.84/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampled from a 500ml bottle purchased at Yankee Spirits in Swansea, MA.

A - Golden and crystal clear with a moderate creamy, white head. A steady rise of bubbles.

S - Floral and fruity hops with a nice lager crispness.

T - Nice floral and citrusy hops contrasted by a clean, crisp lager base. It was an interesting mix. They don't come together perfectly but it was interesting and enjoyable.

M - Silky with a moderate carbonation.

O - A good, interesting beer.

Photo of oline73
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours a very slightly amber color with a half finger of off white head. The head fades quickly to a ring around the pour with a small island in the middle.

Smell: Juicy citrus fruit along with grapefruit peel hop bitterness. There is a nice balance between the malt and the hops. Reminds me of a nice west coast IPA.

Taste: Not quite as nice as the smell. I'm getting lots of citrus peel bitterness, but the sweeter citrus juice like notes aren't there as much as they were in the smell. The finish is extremely bitter and almost a bit acidic. The malt behind the hops is bready but not particularly sweet.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium with a ton of fluffy, tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This one smelled fantastic but I thought the taste fell a bit short. It was still quite good, but I wouldn't call it fantastic. I'd have more to see if my opinion changes.

Photo of Boto
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Draught @ Noho Brewfest: This one pours a clear golden color. There was a small white head on it. The nose is good: piney and citrus hops. The taste is good also. IT has a pretty good hop bite. Pine and resinous hops dominate the flavor. Medium bodied. This tastes really good and is easy to drink.

Photo of kevanb
3.86/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle poured into a stemless wine glass. Bottled 2/25/2013 and enjoyed on 3/13/2013.

The beer pours a soft copper color, slight chill haze, with a finger high soapy white head that has nice retention and leaves a great network of sticky lacing. The aroma is very fruit forward, notes of mango, grapefruit and tangerine with some wildflower tucked in there that finishes with a big dose of sweet, pale cereal grain. The the flavors much less impactful, mango and grapefruit lead the way before some light sweet floral notes bring out a lot malty sweetness brings out a bit of an unpleasant clash between the hops and malt. The body is a bit thin yet very lively, watery at times on the tongue with a redeeming creamy finish.

Verdict: A nice hoppy lager from Jack's Abby, but not the hop monster I expected it to be. I definitely enjoyed the bottle and if it was a local beer to me, I could see this being in my fridge regularly as an every day drinker.

Photo of Ego
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

growldog from olivers in albany ny

eyes...
all white head with a little audible sizzle, golden straw with a bent towards the orange hue, infrequent cargo of carbonation transports from the bottom of the glass, nice lacing on the glass as this dissapears

nose...
nice piney / fresh cone aroma, not as much as some wet hop types but in that vein, some malt sweetness lies underneath but mostly this is just lovely hops with a definite tip of the old hop hat to pine

taste etc...
the sweetness was more pronounced than I would have thought, it really checks in the bitterness, it has a nice bite of both carbonation and initial blast of bitter mixed together that mellows out along the malts leaving just a subtle hint of the hops in the background, this
is not some overly complex puzzle to orally solve, it is pretty straight forward but solid in all categories, this just drinks so damn well

verdict?
a touch too sweet to go nuts for my personal taste but there is not much wrong with this beer. solid in all fazes of the game, I definitely would have this on tap if I saw it (unless there was something ungodly on the other tap(s))

Photo of 50marathons
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was my first try with an IPL. Very good hop flavor. I'm not sure I understand why we nee a hoppy lager but it's certainly tasty.

Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Golden body with a fluffy white head. Good retention. Really nice appearance.

Lots of grassy and citrusy hops in the aroma. Smells really fresh and well dry hopped. I feel like I'm picking out a lot Cascade maybe.

Taste is moderately bitter for an IPA-like beer. Good balance between hop flavor and bitterness and a very well attenuated but has a lightly sweet malt backbone. The lagering leaves the beer very crisp and refreshing. Grapefruit pith and grassy hops are prominent.

Not an overly hoppy beer for what it's supposed to be. My rating is sort of a balance between rating it a hoppy lager and an IPA, I guess. It's really an IPA at heart. I doubt many people would think it was a lager if they didn't know. It came out pretty rad. If rated like an IPA, I think I would have to say it's missing that extra level of depth in hop flavor that the big West Coast style ones have. Nevertheless, I will be filling up my growler every time I hit up the Natick mall for some fresh kicks.

Photo of fscottkey
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A: Clear light amber color. I got a 1 finger head of white bubbles. The head leaves decent lacing on the sides. The bottle has a easy to read manufactured date 6/16/14. It also lists the IBUs 65 and ABV 6.7%. I love when it is easy to find and read.

S: Some sweet smells along with the piney presence of hops.

T: The taste confuses my brain. It is simultaneously bitter and sweet at the front. I keep taking sips and keep getting that result. There is a taste of mild citrus zest and spiciness. The hops are on the finish making it somewhat dry.

M: Slightly dry and moderately carbonated.

O: This is an interesting twist on a lager or IPA. The sweetness helps balance the hops - but they are still there to enrich the experience. There is no sense of alcohol at all. This is an enjoyable beer and I will seek out more from Jack's Abbey.

Photo of horshack7
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: With a very white and fluffy two fingered head. Underneath is a clear and very golden beer.

Aroma: Lots of grapefruit notes and some piney bits in this lager. Light buttery biscuit.

Taste: Mostly on the citrus hoppy side quite alot of grapefruit and piney bits. Light dry mouthfeel with some crispness. Biscuit notes round it out.

Notes: It's drinkable and the citrus notes add a good touch. Cheers.

Photo of tviz33
3.89/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle in to a Duvel tulip.

A- Absolutely clear golden body with 1.5" of fluffy white head that sticks around for a few minutes.

S- This smells like, well, a hoppy lager. Just what I expected.

T- The hop flavor is there but comes to an abrupt hault and finishes smooth and malty. I could probably drink this all day.

M- Medium body and medium amount of carbonation

O- Quite a good beer. A wonderful melding of styles.

Photo of BMMillsy
3.89/5  rDev -8.7%

Bottle as an extra in trade. Thanks! Pours hazy golden colored with a one finger white head. Aroma is grassy hops, tropical fruit, lager yeast sweet aromas. Flavor is sweet tropical fruits, pineapples, grapefruits, mango, some honey sweetness, lightly crisp grassy pine, but not particularly bitter. Smooth body, medium plus heaviness especially for the style, with medium plus carbonation. Crisp finish and easy drinking. Very nice.

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 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.

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