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Hoponius Union - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Hoponius UnionHoponius Union

Educational use only; do not reuse.

333 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 333
Hads: 2,402
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 22.7%
Wants: 358
Gots: 423 | FT: 15
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hoponius Union Alström Bros
Reviews: 333 | Hads: 2,402
Photo of JamesStreet
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottled 6/25/15 poured into snifter
This beer poured a orange-golden color with a moderate white head.. Amazing lace down the glass. Smell is of tropical fruit and citrus with a hint of cracker, breadiness. Taste has the fruitiness of the nose interplaying with the pilsener malt to balance out nicely. Feel is medium with moderate carb. Love me some hoppy lagers.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

MFG 08.09.2013. Tulip glass.

A: Pours a pale straw color, brilliant clarity, with a finger of nice bright white head. Very good retention but minimal lacing.

S: Smooth, sweetish pale malt, and floral hops.

T: Light floral hops, nice supporting pale malt, finishing with mild to moderate lager yeast flavor with mild bitterness.

M: Super smooth, medium-light carbonation and body.

O: Nice stuff. Smooth, easy drinking with mild flavors.

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Photo of GJ40
3.84/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lots of hype around this brewery lately, definitely dig the bottles, emphasis on lagers, decent price, etc.

Pours pale orange, quite a bit of haze and dust in there. Big ol white head slowly settles to a finger or so, a little lace left.

Scent is, indeed, wicked hoppy. Lots of dank and earthy hops, grapefruit, lemon, some tropical, and a touch of cat pee for good measure.

Taste follows suit nicely - tropical fruit is more abundant with lots of peach, pineapple, citrus, lemon and all the good stuff, still a good amount of dank and earth. There is some toastiness in the finish but the lager part is pretty much lost here, this may as well be an IPA. But more well-rounded than the scent, and quite tasty I will admit.

Mouthfeel feels a little thin, but quite smooth and fine enough for the 4. Pretty easy drinking.

It is very enjoyable, but pretty much drinks like a good, tropical, danky IPA - not that there's anything wrong with that, but I do wish lager qualities were there more to spice things up.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9 fl oz brown bottle served in tumbler.

Slightly hazy pale straw with a hue of copper. Foamy, bright white head that clings to the tumbler's sides leaving a lot of sturdy lacing.

Fresh citrus and slightly sweet tropical fruit aromas; clean spices from the hops as well. Light biscuit-like toasted malt, just enough to provide a bit of a backbone for the hop character.

A lot going on in flavor, primarily from the hop character: fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, etc.), a pronounced spice: black pepper and pine, and bright tropical fruit (melon, lime). The wheat base is clean with just a touch of sweetness. The finish is dry with a lively, somewhat light bitterness followed by an aftertaste of lime, pine, and rosemary.

A light medium in body. Fresh, juicy, and clean on the palate. In a nutshell, extremely thirst-quenching.

A flavorful, hop-driven lager that is by no means boring. For beer, this may be the definition of refreshing.

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500mL bottle. Pours a hazy golden ornage color with an inch of thick, frothy head. Lots of lacing. Big hop aroma. Grassy and citrus hops. Slightly tropical as well; maybe mango. The taste is a bit more subdued than the aroma but its still hoppy. Grassy upfront with some citrus notes. Hints of the tropical fruits. Bitter, grassy finish. Orange peel aftertaste. Creamy, crisp mouthfeel. This tastes like a hopped up Lager. Overall, certainly worth having again.

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Photo of Omnium
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours a nice clear gold 2 fingers of soapy white head, mild lacing.
S - Grassy, and piney aroma, a touch of light citrus, and lager kinda traits, some bready malt.
T - Lots of pine and grass as far as the hops goes, a mild bitterness up front then smooths out to that crisp mellow lager taste.
M - Clean, smooth, refreshing, light bitterness on the palate.
O - Well it really is that good, something you could definitely drink a few of, I think there's also some great examples of the style already out there, but this one is popular for a reason.

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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.

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Photo of Damian
4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank on tap at the The Publick House & Monk's Cell, Brookline, MA
Served in a pint glass

Nearly clear, golden-amber appearance. The liquid was topped by a small, flimsy white head. A thin blanket of streaky lacing coated the top inch of the glass.

The aroma was exceptional. Peach, apricot and nectarine notes dominated the nose. Tropical fruits came through strong as well. Mango and pineapple were most noticeable. Touch of citrus. Some caramel malt sweetness trailed in the background.

The flavor profile was remarkably hoppy and complex. Similar to the nose in many ways except perhaps more crisp and bitter. Caramel malts came through on the front end before the hops took over. Lots of candied citrus peel. Hints of mango. Spicy in the center with notes of peaches. The finish was piney and resiny. Quite dry and bitter. Overall, the beer was well balanced and drinkable.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied and pillowy soft. Super smooth and creamy with a fine bubbled, moderate effervescence.

The boys at Jack's Abby have redefined what a lager can be. This beer competes with (and beats) many of the best IPAs in the country. I cannot wait to see what these guys come up with next.

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Photo of ms11781
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a completely clear golden color. There is a thin head that develops, maybe a half a finger, but it sticks around. Excellent, sticky lacing is left on the glass. Very clean looking beer.

The hops coming from the nose are unlike anything I've had from a beer of the style. There is a huge citrus hop aroma along with a bit of tropical fruit coming through. Some orange and grapefruit lead the way with a touch of some pine. Not much malt in the nose.

The taste is excellent. More tropical fruit in the taste, mango comes to mind, than in the nose but it's still citrus forward. Grapefruit is present as is bit of pine. There is a subtle sweetness from some biscuity malt, not enough to balance the hops, but enough to let you know it's a heavily hopped lager and not an IPA. The finish is very dry with a moderate bitterness.

Medium body with carbonation to match but it feels much lighter. It's crisp and very clean. It's actually surprising how light this one feels on the palette.

This is an excellent beer. If it didn't say it was a lager on the bottle (or the tap list when I've had it on draft), I would think it was an IPA or a highly hopped APA. It drinks very clean and seems to have no room for error. The fact that it's as good as it is shows the craftsmanship that has been put into it. Definitely a beer I'll be returning to over and over.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Hazy and almost no head, as to be expected with a beer full of hop oils. Smells fairly mild for a beer billed as an "india" whosawhatsit. Hoppy for sure, but nothing compared to heady west coast style IPA I grew accustomed to in Denver. The flavor was another story. The malt starts things off pretty mildly, with predictable toasty sweetness, but hops quickly take over. Body is there, as is a gentle carbonation level. I feel like I'd be more comfortable with a blast of soapy pilsy or grassy german hops, but the american hops coupled with lagered malt cleanliness is unique and singular to this beer. It is unusual and not unenjoyable, especially after years of "moar hopz" west coast beers. Think of a fresh bottle of Urquell poured half and half with a Smuttynose IPA. Bizarre but delicious. It's really good, but I'd still opt for SNPA or Bells Two Hearted Ale since they're easier to get and world class outstanding beers. If I saw this one in the same cooler, I'd definitely grab it for a change of pace, but I fail to see it as anything really out of the ordinary in terms of flavor.

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours light gold with a white head that sticks to the side of the glass.

Smells like a big hoppy IPA. Lots of bright citrus fruits.

Again like a big IPA. Dank grapefruit and citrus along with a little bit of pine. Finishes fairly crisp and dry.

Light to medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Very much re-defining what a lager can be. Lots of great hoppy flavors typical in an IPA along with the crisp finish of a lager. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of ChrisL24481
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of PHBoiler
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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

Consumed 3/28/13

Appearance: Clear, golden orange with some copper - more of a golden copper from a distance - pours with a nice, big off-white head - the nice fluff fades to a nice cap, leaves a ton of lacing

Smell: Nicely hoppy, and decidedly not an IPA - floral citrus - oranges and grapefruits, with some juiciness - some spiciness/grassiness that seems more typical for a lager - pale and caramel malts in the background, some more hints this is a lager - something that smells like sweet onion when it warms up

Taste: Yes, this is a hoppy lager - floral, lightly juicy orange, tangerine, and grapefruit - spicy and grassy, with a lager yeast finish - malts are pale and caramel - could almost pass for an IPA, with the exception of the yeast spiciness and the malt profile - very unique and flavorful, medium level of bitterness - earthy, grassy finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nicely carbonated, smooth, but the finish is a bit earthy and oily

Overall: About as great as a hoppy lager can get (?)

If I had to pick on this beer for one thing, I would comment on how it's rather odd how hard it tries not to be a lager. But it is. And it's tasty. The oily, earthy aftertaste kind of tires my tastebuds, but the bottle size is quite ideal. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of stephens101
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fizzy and chill-hazed yellow-orange in color like a lager. The off-white froth is stagnant. Citrus hops feature prominently aromatically, like and IPA, but the lager yeast is noticed, veiled, and just behind. Tastes of citrus, lemon peel and grain. The hoppiness is subdued, as if it was stopped in mid-sentence while trying to make a very brilliant point. Mouth-feel is medium and the body is crisp with a bit of heat in the finish. While this one is pretty damn tasty, I'm left ambivalent, wondering if I would rather just have one or the other.

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Photo of jbertsch
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Really enjoyed this one. Had it on tap at The Gaff in Waltham.

The bartender's pour gave me a very tiny head. Not sure if that's representative of a typical pour of this beer. Nice lacing.

Wonderful hoppy aroma of stinky hops. Stink in a good way, the way you'd enjoy stinky cheese (at least I do). Kinda smelled like feet, but still floral. I love it.

It definitely has a hoppy flavor that matches the aroma. It didn't give me a citrus-hop profile. What I felt like I was tasting were the actual leafs of the hops, and their oils. The malt profile is biscuit like and really takes second stage to the hops.

Mouthfeel was just fine, not flat or too carbonated. The hop oils make it a little sticky.

Overall I loved it. Clean, refreshing, yet totally flavorful. Full of hops but doesn't overwhelm either. Went great with fried pickle chips.

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Photo of GonzoHomebrewer
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When Jack's opened, I was excited at the thought of a brewery just minutes away from this new place in MA I call home. I tried hoponius and fell in love. I made it my mission to make sure the restaurant I work for put Jack's on tap for two reasons: 1) This beer is amazing and people need to try it. 2) I wanted an awesome beer for my shift drink

The restaurant was smart and listened to me. I drink plenty of this on tap, but decided I'd buy a 4pk and review it in bottle.

A- Pours a wonderful burnt, rusty orange with a lovely frothy head. Also laces wonderfully on the glass as well, looks about as good as it can get for an "ipa"

S- Its like someone made a potpourri of Pine needles and lemon rind. Smells great

T- Fantastic! The citrus notes are a little more prominent here than in the nose. There are some signs of malt, but it doesn't even bother to really push the hops aside, they're just along for the ride. I feel as though the lagering process must help in showcasing the hops. delicious

M- This is what surprised me. Its not unusual for a brewery who hasn't been bottling very long to not quite get the magic that is their beer on tap right away, but Jacks succeeds here. Just enough carbonation to make the hob bite linger a bit, but not so much that it detracts from the drinkability. very nice.

O- This is one of my favorite beers. If you're looking for Heady and get disappointed in the chase, BM me and I'll send you this for locals. Instead of buying the world a coke, I'd buy it an Hoponius Union.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Clear pale copper (SRM 9-12) with a slight, creamy white head that leaves a coating of lace below the lid of an HB stein.

Quick floral hops are replaced by grassy aromas and resin. Citrus zest leaves a light touch of lemon and orange, while peppery celery follows. Warmth brings out wet hay.

Quite bitter, yet somewhat balanced. Grapefruit and caramel work well together. A dry finish has modest bitterness and light, lingering effects.

Crisp and medium body with alcohol as expected. A satin texture is highlighted by fizzy carbonation.

This is a fine beer with which to decompress during a mild, sunny summer evening.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle into a Half Acre tulip.

A- pours a bright honey color with a 2" white head. Big clumps and blotches of lacing remain on the glass.

S- straw, lemon, grapefruit, light honey and some grassy notes.

T- light malts, tart lemon, grapefruit, bitter pine.

M- light body and medium carbonation. Very dry and acidic.

O- good beer, but very bitter which makes it more dry than I would like. Leans more towards bitter pine, grassy notes than the citrus.

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Photo of starrdogg
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of Mikecap
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a deep copper from a 500 ml bottle into my IPA glass. Two-finger white head that dissipates fairly quickly, decent lacing on the glass.

Smell: Citrus fruits, piney and resinous hops, with some earthy notes. Pick up some grapefruit, and overall a not overpowering aroma.

Taste: Somewhat hoppy but not overly so, certainly on the lower threshold of IPA in my opinion. I can pick up the grapefruit that I sense in the aroma, and this is slightly sweet and not overly malty.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth and not too bitter. Goes down very easily with the right amount of carbonation for the style. Very smooth with a nice creaminess.

Overall: This is a great beer by Jack's Abby. Interesting yet not overly complex and certainly one of their best, but everything they make is pretty solid. Definitely worth seeking out. Also a great brewery and great people, get out there if you can.

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Photo of Etan
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A: Pours a pleasant clearish orange-gol with a nice white head.

S: Beautiful citrusy hop aroma. Grapefruit, sweet tangerine, a bit of sticky pineapple, grass, hint of grain behind.

T: Taste brings robust grassy bitterness, mild tobacco leaf, a hint of orange peel, doughy grain.

M: Light-bodied with light carbonation.

O: A nice IPL.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sierra Nevada Celebration pint glass.

The color is a yellow gold with a small amount of haze and a finger of foamy white head with little lacing on the glass.

The smell is hoppy but not knock you over hoppy as a orange aroma comes out to greet you. Along with some hop aroma there is some sweet pilsner malts that has a bit of a biscuit aroma.

The taste is hoppy and gives a bit of bitterness with orange rind and earthy, leafy greens. There is a touch of tangerine, passion fruit and even some lemon-like flavor for a moment. The malts then steer into more biscuit flavor and some saltine flavor is there before bitterness is rained down over the backend.

The feel of this beer is light and is quit drinkable. This is really smooth with ever the smallest bump in the road of bitterness. This makes a good early spring beer.

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Photo of utopiajane
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a true amber gold with bright clarity and bubbles streaming up from the bottom. The head is soft, white and falls slowly enough to leave a ring and slippery lace. Nose is strong and earthy lager yeast that has been splashed with sunny hop citrus. There's a touch of pine and grapefruit but nothing as strong as an IPA. The body of the beer is smooth and the earthy yeast seems to give it texture. It has ample carbonation but those bubbles do not bite you. The citrus is flower like. The grapefruit is soft and so is the pine. The light malt is perfectly unobtrusive but carries this beer expertly with a light grain in the aftertaste. It's caressed by a gentle bitter but even that is restrained. Smart and poised.

This beer kept the quality of a lager and added just the right amount of hops to show them off a little but not get carried away. Extremely food friendly with just a hint of sweetness. This beer is uncomplicated by the hops and is quite engaging.

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Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 333 ratings.