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Hoponius Union - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Hoponius UnionHoponius Union

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

323 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 323
Hads: 2,340
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 6.86%
Wants: 350
Gots: 401 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 323 | Hads: 2,340
Photo of mclynch
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of my top ten beers ever. This is one outstanding lager.
The pour is a light amber color with a beautiful and lasting head.
As you approach the glass the aroma of citra and simcoe hops grabs you by the nosehairs and drags you in! I almost enjoy smelling this beer as much as drinking it!
But get to the drinking! Mmmm . crisp and clean as a lager should be, with those hoppy aromas now transformed into a nicely balanced bitterness and hops flavor. Delicious and smooth - I can drink a lot of this beauty.

Also... kudos to Jack's Abby for sending a lowly homebrewer like me the recipe for this deliciousness... which I brewed and served at my son's wedding - everyone was amazed. I was quick to give credit where credit is due - thanks JA! (745 characters)

Photo of jdhowe
4.19/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500mL bottle courtesy of JOSHMAN, 6 May 2013 bottling date.

A: Pours a cloudy golden color, almost like an IPA, with a finger of fluffy white head that quickly recedes to a thin bubbly layer. If I didn't know better, I'd guess this was an IPA from the appearance. Very nice looking, though. Plentiful lacing remains on the sides of the glass.

S: Sweet citrus covering up a slightly bready pale malt backbone. Here a little bit of the lager character emerges, but really it's the hops that are most prevalent. Lots of citrus and a little pine gives a crisp and sweet aroma to the beer.

T/M: A medium body laden with citrus character that dominates the palate, with underlying bread and cracker flavor to the malt. The finish is drying, again belying its lager roots, but also strong with bitter hop character. A perfect amount of carbonation makes this beer a joy to drink. Alcohol is not evident anywhere.

O: A very nice beer. The lager base is complemented quite well by the plentiful hopping, but it remains central to the character of this beer. A strongly bitter lager, to be sure, but retaining a lot of the drinkability of the style. Definitely a beer I'd be happy to have again at some point. (1,203 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
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. (470 characters)

Photo of Kinsman
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fills the glass with a beautiful bright copper which is crowned nicely by a dense white head. Resinous lace rings the glass as it goes down.

Hops invite you right in with powerful grapefruit notes and a nice punch of piney goodness. All hops all the time on the nose... who said lagers were suppose to malty anyway?

Juicy citrus makes for quite a refreshing sip. Pleasantly bitter without ruining your palate. Some Cascadian pine notes in there as well. Little room left for the malt to come through.

Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I'd like as I prefer my hoppy beer to have some substance to them but this certainly nothing to be too picky about. Refreshing and highly drinkable. I'd challenge any BA to correctly identify this as a lager in a blind taste test. (767 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
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. (503 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.77/5  rDev -10.9%
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. (1,866 characters)

Photo of tbryan5
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
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! (671 characters)

Photo of jbaker67
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy, bubbly golden-orange with a large lasting frothy off-white head. Some lacing on the glass. Really nice aroma is fruity and hoppy, with lots of citrus hops and tropical fruit along with beady malt and some herbal and floral notes. Flavor is just as nice, lots of citrusy hops and plenty fruity, with citrus and tropical fruit and a long moderate bitter finish. (373 characters)

Photo of Skwalk47
3.64/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours translucent copper with a large white head that dissipates quickly.

Hops, pine, almost soapy aroma.

Taste is similar with lots of hops but not much on the fruity or citrus spectrum.

Really nice mouthfeel with moderate to high carbonation and a slightly resiny texture.

Overall, pretty good. The bottle was about 5 weeks old so perhaps that reduced some of the haziness/fruity notes that others have mentioned.

Surprised that they would dissipate so quickly. (471 characters)

Photo of dheacck11
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
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... (702 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I had this beer on-tap in a pint glass at Stone's Public House in Ashland, MA.

Appearance: medium golden hue with a bit of haze and a moderate effervescence. Head is a finger of creamy eggshell foam with a nice chunky lace. Good!

Smell: lightly malty with a big grapefruit aroma. Not over the top but very enticing.

Taste: the hops are definitely the story here with a big grapefruit/pine/tropical character. Malt and sweetness are just enough to balance the surprisingly smooth, moderate bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a great and well integrated carbonation and delightful creaminess. Wonderful!

Overall: tasty, refreshing and wonderfully creamy. Bam! (670 characters)

Photo of Keginator70
3.71/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Chose a pilsner glass. A pleasant nose full of piney hops with hints of thyme. Medium head sticks around and compliments the golden opaque liquid.
Up front moderate bitterness followed by an atypical lager malt taste. No grassy or grainy sweetness here but nothing unpleasant.
Really hard to define this one. A very good but not great selection on a hot Summer's day. I think it would go well some spicy sea fare. It's so-so with sharp cheddar cheese.
On it's own it's much better than Jack Brau by a mile and but not in the class as say Victory Prima Pils. (558 characters)

Photo of BobZ
3.99/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 oz Bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Deep amber/orange with an initial 1/2" head that disappears quickly leaving only a ring, nice lacing.

Smell: A well balanced pine & citrus hoppy aroma, quite pleasant. You also get some malty sweetness beneath the hop profile.

Taste: Really clean and well balanced hoppy flavor, right at the right combination of pine and grapefruit. The bready malt flavors come through at the end.

Mouthfeel: Very nice body, again well balanced and clean on the finish.

Overall: An extremely enjoyable hoppy lager, one of the best offerings I've had from Jack's Abby. (611 characters)

Photo of JMScowcroft
4.62/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jack's Abby Brewing - Hoponius Union

Look - Pours a hazy pale golden amber with a pinky sized (subjective enough?) foamy head that vanishes as quickly as it came. Chunks of lacing. Great representation of this hybrid style.

Smell - Citrus and slight resin hops in front, bready yeasty sour lager aroma in back, subtle but crisp, makes me ready to take a sip for sure.

Taste - Citrus (grapefruit sour) hops are a blast from the start followed by a wave of traditional (bready) lager and then a second wave of more resiny bitter hops takes up the rear.

Mouthfeel - Surprisingly bitter for 65 IBU, but in a good way. Slightly sticky (buttery) malts and maybe a little boozy and warming, but yummy as hell! Carbonation is just right, medium bodied.

Overall - This is a solid brew, I am really digging this IPL style. Jack's Abby as a whole seems solid so far, will have to continue sampling their offerings. (908 characters)

Photo of WillCarrera
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by starrdogg, thanks Matt!

A- Pours a clear golden color, topped with some white head, leaves spotty lacing.

S- Nice mix of bready yeast, citrusy hops, pine, slight onion, some grass and malty sweetness. Smells very nice.

T- Fruity, citrus and tropical, a bit of pine, the hops are really great. The malts are light and bready. Really tasty stuff.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth feel, finishes dry.

O- A great hoppy lager, I could drink this stuff all the time. (474 characters)

Photo of Brad007
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a bright golden color with a frothy white head into my glass. I've heard great things about this brewery and I'm glad we can finally get their offerings.

Hops mix with sweet spelt in the nose. Floral, grassy and there's also some citrus. The label doesn't say which hops.

Wow. Hops with a decent citrus/cut-grass edge mellow out in the middle to expose the sweet, rich buttery malt underneath.

Very clean and it retains most of those flavors at the back. An added bonus would be a citrus tweak right before the edge of the throat.

I gotta hand it to Jack's Abbey here. The only other "hoppy lager" I've sampled is Sam Adams Double Agent IPL. This is much cleaner, much tastier and more to my liking. I'll be buying more in the near future! (753 characters)

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to celticfutbclub for this bottle...

A: Pours a nice translucent orange/yellow gold with one and a half fingers of pure white head. The foam settles fairly quickly, leaving a frothy ring along the edges of the glass. Good lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is light malt, yeast, pine and orange citrus hops.

T: It starts out light, sweet, and refreshing with a good bit of light malt and mild citrus hops. As it moves to the middle I get more citrus, some pine, and a helping of yeasty. The finish is hoppy bitters and yeast.

M: Light bodied beer. It's super refreshing to start, get really flavorful in the middle, and finishes bitter and wet. Smooth from start to finish, with some lingering hops on the back end.

O: Very nice beer. This is something that I would drink more of if it was available in my area. A great summer beer, but also something that you'd want all year round. Solid. (904 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Went to Boston over the weekend and got to try this at The Publick House.

A: Light copper color with a thin white head.

S: Lots of grapefruit with some soft bready malt, lemon peel, sage and some mango. Smells pretty fantastic.

T: Lots of grapefruit and pine upfront with a light but sturdy biscuity malt backbone. Finish brings a touch of pine resin, but finishes very smooth and clean. This beer is fantastic. Why can't we get this in San Diego? Why??? (459 characters)

Photo of Hendry
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle into a pilsner glass. Looks like a lager, yellowish and crystal clear. Lively carbonation.

Aroma: lager? Well, just a bit of breadiness in there. Nose similar to a moderately hopped IPA, light lemon-grapefruit citrus aroma, and I emphasize LIGHT. The aromas are subtle and faint, not jumping out at you.

Flavors start out light and subtly citrus, and quickly fade to a yeasty fresh lager vibe, crackery.
The bitter aftertaste from the hops is long lasting and pleasant..

Mouthfeel is on the light side of medium, flavors coat the middle of the palate mostly,not much on the tip or back.

Lines are blurred when it comes to traditional styles these days, and crossover beers seem to be emerging all the time. Somehow this lager bridges the gap to hopville, and is an enjoyable change of pace, but I'm not completely floored either. Worthy of trying for both IPA fans and lager fans, I'm not getting the world class ratings on this one: good but not incredible. (991 characters)

Photo of standardcherry
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
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. (784 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 4.21.13
Dated 03.25.2013

A - Pours a hazy medium orange with a two inch cream-colored head with good retention and lacing.

S - Hoppy pine and orange citrus.

T - Lots of pine and bitter orange peel. I would have guessed it was an IPA. Good stuff.

D - Good carbonation with a light body.

O - Finally a lager with good ipa qualities. This one lived up to the hype for me. (390 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
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. . . (1,032 characters)

Photo of tkelley
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Second pour of the night from a growler I bought on Saturday. Lugged the growler back to my house in a backpack for three miles, don't know how that might affect things.

a -- the body is brilliant. Kind of a hazy, golden orange color. Very little head, but really good lacing and retention of the said very little head.

s -- Boom, grapefruit. Piney west coasty hops. Lagery. Light biscuit and flower scents.

t -- much like the nose, it's a mouthful of grapefruit. Very citrusy. Very fresh. Fruity, dry and not astringent. Tastes beautiful and magical.

m -- medium carbonation. little spicy from hops. refreshing though.

o -- so, so good. again, wicked refreshing and very hoppy. Tastes like America -- awesome.

Cheers. (724 characters)

Photo of Beerandboards
4.51/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - very clear copper color, super dense white foam

S - lots of flowery hop notes, the classic lager smell, some citrus somewhere in there.

T - they really nailed this one. Lager smoothness leads, then copious amounts of floral and orange/lemon peel hops come in after. An outstanding blend of lager and hops.

M - similar to the taste, they nailed this one as well. Ultra smooth, nice medium carb, great finish.

O - this is an outstanding beer. (448 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1763rd Review on BA
Bottle to Speiglau Wheat Glass
500ML

Thanks to Jlindros and Rudzud for this one.

App- Into the glass, its that classic lager yellow with a bit of deep golds behind it. The small capped head receded fairly quickly but didnt leave a ton of bubbles behind it. Was a nice looking beer, just needed a bit more head and lace.

Smell- When I first smell this one its a bit more of a grainular hop note with a touch of pale hops. As it warmed a little bit more it takes on a bit more of a juicy hop note on the noise.

Taste- I enjoyed this beer. The crispness of the lager paired with a good dose of juicy and semi fruity pale malts and then go into a bit of a little bitter to balance out the flavors. Better when this was cold.

Mouth- A semi light body with a bit of a medium carbonation level behind it. A bit more hops on the residual flavor wouldve been nice but the lager notes with a bit of grain are really nice.

Drink- Im not a lager fan, but these hoppy lagers are really starting to do it for me. (1,025 characters)

Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.