Hoponius Union - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Hoponius UnionHoponius Union

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

315 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 315
Hads: 2,320
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 2.6%
Wants: 350
Gots: 385 | 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: 315 | Hads: 2,320
Photo of davey101
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into a SA perfect pint. Just showed up on shelves again so fairly fresh.

A - Pours a very clear golden amber body. Massive amount of sudsy foam. Clinging and sticky with excellent retention.

S - Piney and bitter grapefruit, floral grass, and cereal grain. Very IPA like, subdued but excellent.

T - Bitter hops. Citrus, pine, grass, and some lemon. Then comes a cleaning wave of grainy malts. Quick finish with just a light lingering bitterness. Drinkability is incredibly high on this beer. Crisp and well carbonated.

O - Jacks's Abby knows lagers and this is the best one I've tried from them yet. Takes the best elements of an Indian pale ale and a pale lager to create an incredibly delicious and sessionable beer. (734 characters)

Photo of jneiswender
4.79/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Had this beer on tap at the brewery in Framingham. Served in a 4oz tasting glass, cool.

A-white head and a gold pale body.

S-nice and profound citrus and pine scent. Very clean.

T-wonderful flavor. pine resin and fruity citrus. Just enough malt. Lager yeast provides the clean medium for the hops.

M-medium to light

D-Just an awesome beer. So clean and yet so flavorful. I would not only drink this again but I would seek it out. (435 characters)

Photo of AndyAvalanche
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had a bad headache the last 2 days and took the time to finally do this. Review based off several notes. Had this beer man times on tap, via growler, and in bottle. Doesn't matter how long it's in front of me, or in my fridge, it always goes real quick!

1 pint 9 oz. bottle poured into a large Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. Comes out a dark golden color, sort of tottles between yellow and amber. Like many quality lagers, this is a very clear looking, well filtered beer. Slightly off white but not quite cream colored head. Huge bubbles and the head erupts and you have to take our time pouring this one if our not careful, but I like it that way. Head sticks around awhile and it has excellent lacing.

Smell is freaking awesome. Definitely centennial hopped in a big way. Very generous in the aroma hopping portion of the brewing process on this one, especially for a lager. Like a nice west coast style IPA in the smell, tropical fruits and plenty of citrus. I've heard some say it lacks a malt backbone, but I don't buy it. I understand the argument in the sense that the malts really do take a backseat to the hops which is pretty unique at this point. Slight hints of the lager yeast.

Taste is truly outstanding. Again generous amounts of centennial hops that produce plenty of citrus peel hops and some tropical fruits (pineapple, cantaloupe, maybe even some mango) . Sweetness to it, bready and nice. The malty sweetness again is present, but goes away quick after the hops make there way in. It's bitter, but a pleasant bitter that balances itself well with the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Starts sweet then goes to a nice gentle bitterness, perfectly balanced. Great carbonation level and medium bodied. Again well balanced with a nice initial sweetness that slowly leads to a nice dry bitter finish. Perfectly balanced the whole way through. Unbelievably drinkable, hence why I had to base this review off so many notes.

This is a PERFECT and flawless representation of the style, I don't care if chugalug06 says otherwise!

Jack Hendler, you knocked this one out of the park sir! A constant space reserved in this in the fridge for this, either bottle or growler! (2,189 characters)

Photo of Ego
3.87/5  rDev -8.5%
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)) (1,137 characters)

Photo of andrewinski1
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass. The color is light hazy straw. There is not much of a head on this one. Just a thin layer of bubbles.

Really nice unique aroma here. There is mango and melon prominent in the aroma. This is going to be good.

The melon notes are prominent in the flavor as well; that's how the beer starts. The finish has a bit of pine. There is just enough sweetness here to emphasize the melon, just enough piney bitterness to make this crisp and refreshing. I really like this flavor.

This is light to medium bodied. The carbonation is sharp. Overall this is very enjoyable. I will definitely be picking up more of this. (634 characters)

Photo of Kadonny
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap at home into my DFH glass. Jacks Abby just came to PA literally 2 weeks ago, so this beer is fresh, fresh, fresh.

A: A light to medium golden color with a one finger white head. I'm not getting any lingering glass lacing.

S: Wow, I mean wow. This is a lager? The nose is all tropical fruit. Mango, pineapple, peach and some citrus. Some baked bread sweetness is detected. The hops steal the nose.

T: The tropical fruits are amazing in this beer, so damn hoppy. Again, mango, peach, pineapple, some tart apple, slight citrus and some grass. I even get some bitterness in the middle here, prickly. The malt is grainy and bready smooth with some slight sweetness, but it really pokes through. Towards the finish is where this beer shines as a lager. The body turns creamy like a good lager, but still not really sweet. Finish eventually dries out to be crisp. I laughed that a reviewer said it was too malty...uh it is a lager. Anyway, fantastic beer, different in so many ways, it's genius.

F: Mouthfeel is prickly but smooth towards the end with a clean finish. No alcohol and it really leaves you mouth satisfied.

O: This is my first real foray into Jacks Abby products and I love it. They are known for their lagers and there is a reason for that. If you love hoppy beers and you've been looking for an outstanding hoppy lager, this is it! Fabulous beer. I can't wait to try their other stuff. (1,440 characters)

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Ljudsignal for this neat extra!

Poured .5L bottle into pilsener glass; looks like an IPA. Golden-amber in color with lively carbonation and a lovely thick fluffy white head that fades slowly leaving lots of lacing. Definitely smells like an IPA; floral and fruity hops with some citrus rind, and only a slight hint of lager yeast smell underneath. Taste is citrusy hops that quickly come to a bitter pinch, overtop of a crisp lager mouthfeel and some slight malt hiding beneath the bitterness in the aftertaste.
Overall, a very cool beer. The second "IPL" I've had, and this one is the better of the two. Lots of great hop flavor, with a good dose of bitterness; couple that with the lager maltiness, and this reminds me of a super-hoppy version of an English IPA. Delicious! (787 characters)

Photo of fmccormi
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Straight pour from 16.9oz/0.5l/1 pint 0.9oz/500ml pry-off bottle to a tall Ommegang flute; no freshness or bottling date visible, but this was purchased about 9 days ago (Friday, 10/5) at Julio’s in Westborough, MA. Store attendant told me it was very fresh as he pulled it straight from a box as it was being restocked on the shelves, so I think it’s safe to assume it’s essentially as fresh as it’s going to get.

Appearance (4.5): Just about four fingers of cream-colored head, dying down to a chunk rim around the edge of the glass, leaving lots of pretty, lacy rings on the sides. The body is a hazy, glowing, orange-gold color, and just gorgeous.

Smell (5.0): Holy passionfruit and pineapple Batman, you son of a bitch. Moderate dank undertones, slightly resinous, and dominated by that sweet, juicy citrus. Papaya. Drool. Grapfruit, both pith and flesh. Understated but very nice and warm, bready malt character underneath that is not dominated by but in no way distracts from the hops. Not sure I can ask for much else.

Taste (4.5): Quick flash of grassy bitterness, followed by a solid, very dry, well-formed bready-biscuity kind of character, classic pilsner malt style. And then comes layers of hop flavor: sweet citrus (red grapefruit & pineapple), lighter floral-lemony tones, and then piny resin that opens up into a dank, resinous bitterness in the finish. This is awesome, really, really excellent. And there is a distinctively “lager” tone in the malt character that comes out toward the end, kind of a mildly skunky vapor that melds with the dry, crackery malt tone. Hard to describe and pretty subtle, but it’s a classic characteristic to me, and it’s there.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Moderate carbonation that foams modestly and tingles toward the end, but the body is medium-weight and very oily—but still finishes very dry. Very good feel.

Overall (4.5): Overall, I’d say this beer kinda kicks ass. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a lager this much since I was about seven deep during my sophomore year, and that was for entirely different reasons. It brings the hops in a very clear, balanced way: it’s not BLINDINGLY bitter, but has plenty of hop strength and character, enough to give lots of hop bombs a run for their money, flavor-wise. And the composition of the hop profile is excellent. As for the malt, it’s very well-done and balanced just right—bready, crackery, not sweet by any means, but solid and well-defined. And finally, it’s clearly a lager—a fantastic one. That fact that you can get 4-packs of 0.5l bottles of this for about $11 is almost criminal. If you see it, buy it and drink as soon as you can. Damn. (2,678 characters)

Photo of tzieser
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

enjoyed on-tap at the pour farm tavern in new bedford.

a: clear golden color with a fluffy white head that sticks to the sides of the glass for a long time

s: strong hop aroma...notes of citrus and pine. the nose very similar to a west coast IPA

t: loads of hop flavor, with notes of citrus and tropical fruits with a light pine bitterness. finishes dry and clean. very drinkable. the lager yeast makes this more drinkable than any hop bomb i've ever had.

m: smooth mouthfeel.

so glad to see a lager with that citrusy west coast hop flavor. huge marks for creativity. well worth seeking out. (596 characters)

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I originally had a 4 oz sample at the brewery, but I liked it so much that I got a growler.

64 oz growler poured into a pint glass at cellar temperature.

L – Pale amber color with a 2-finger frothy cream-colored head. Great retention and nice lacing. Clear with good carbonation.

S – Bready and caramel malt with a wonderful bouquet of hops with grapefruit, mango, pineapple, peach, and some pine notes.

T – Starts off sweet with bready and grainy pilsner malts, some caramel, and some tropical fruits with mostly pineapple flavors. Hop bitterness builds at the finish with mostly grapefruit notes.

F – Light-to-medium-bodied with good carbonation, a clean and mouth-coating feel, and bitter and slightly dry finish. Bitter citrus hop flavors linger.

O – This is a really nice lager. It’s crazy how these guys get so much flavor in these beers. You’d never think that they’re lagers. I’m not trying to badmouth lagers; it’s just that ales tend to have more complex flavor arrangements than lagers. Not so with Jack’s Abby. A major plus with these beers is that they still have the nice clean, refreshing feel of a lager with the vast range of flavors of an ale. Really tasty and drinkable beer. (1,222 characters)

Photo of billybob
3.76/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

light golden honey color head held well with a sticky lace. mild aromas of pine taste about the same as most of your ipa's carbonation was flat and did not help might give it a second try. (188 characters)

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

poured from a bottle into a tulip shaped glass. Appearance is great, big head, golden-copper lagerish color, minimal lacing. Smell is good-ish, Lagers never smell as good as ales IMO. Plenty o' bubbles, great taste. Nice and fruity, no bitterness, very drinkable. I really like this beer, it might be better then their Mass Rising. (331 characters)

Photo of ZethOfTheNorth
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
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. (657 characters)

Photo of Jacobob10
3.92/5  rDev -7.3%
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. (659 characters)

Photo of GregSVT
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
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. (827 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 RaulMondesi
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This sucker better be damn good considering that Raul had seats at Fenway, six rows behind the on deck circle, but the game got postponed. And lucky enough for Raul - and the people around him - it was pretty damn good.

Airy, light, and crisp (kind of like Raul likes his hina's). Airy, light, and crisp... (308 characters)

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle 6,7% Abv.
Served chilled in an over sized wine glass.
No bottle date visible.

Thanks to gn0sis for this amazing extra!

Appearance: Hoponius (I think this will have to be the name of my next cat) pours a lightly hazed, bright golden-orange, while a standard pour yields a massive, creamy, off white head. The head lasts fantastically and leaves thick clumps of lacing clinging to the glass as it slowly recedes.

Smell: Mmmm, this smells amazing - Eric must have grabbed this one directly off of the bottling line as the nose is still bursting with hops! Fruity hops dominate the first few sniffs, with notes of orange, lemon, tangerine, paw-paw and traces of mango, pineapple and granadilla. As the beer begins to open up, herbal, resinous and floral hop characters also become apparent. The combination of the floral character and the sweet citrus yields a distinct orange blossom aroma. As the beer approaches room temperature, some underlying biscuity malt is noted.

Taste: Delicious, absolutely delicious. The flavour offers big leafy/herbal and resinous hop flavours upfront, with added notes of grapefruit peel, sweet citrus (orange and lemon), floral notes (orange blossom again) and tropical fruits (pineapple). The finish is quite bitter and displays a wonderful crispness that only a lager yeast can deliver.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, with a medium-high level of fairly smooth carbonation.

Overall: Hoponius is the first India pale lager I have had and it was absolutely fantastic. The crispness derived from the lager yeast certainly make this one of the most refreshing beers around. It was 40 degrees Celsius today and this just hit the spot - I would kill for this to be my summer staple. (1,727 characters)

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

Going into the Metrowest area anyways why not stop by a brand new brewery. Crystal clear and a vibrant yellow/gold. Big bubbly head about two-three fingers high. Nose is fresh, floral hops. Smells like I just cracked open a bag of whole flower (cascade?) hops. Light grainy malt background but that is dominated by the hops. Flavor is just like the nose. Grains are popping out more crackers and biscuit but then the hops just wash over all of it. Fresh flowery hops and a lot of lemon/lime A sweet tartness but overall it light and crisp, very refreshing. They called it a India Pale Lager at the brewery. (606 characters)

Photo of BigCheese
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

.5L Bottle, 1 week old!!!

A: Pours a cloudy/hazy light orange/yellow, big white frothy head. Head dies quick, not much lacing, could be a kinda dirty glass.

S: wow, Grapefruit & Tropical hops right of the bat, some hay/grassy bready maltiness too.

T: Citrus, Grapefruit rind, pineapple, hop oil and pine cones initially, then a hit of some light bready maltiness, some wet fresh grass, toasted malts, lemons, honey, finishes with a clean crisp herbal bitterness. Starts off like an ale, finishes like a lager.

M: Definitely a lager in body. Clean, highly carbonated, rich body, very smooth creamy/oily mouthful, light crisp finish. Great drinker.

O: Great brew, I believe the hype. Has the hoppyness of a big west coast ipa. Great body, complex, very "bright" tasting. Never had a lager quite like it. Get some fresh! (823 characters)

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%

Pours a straw yellow with a head that trails the glass. The scent is full of pine from the hops. The taste was fantastic with a focus on the hops, but with a nice balance with the malt to create an exceptionally clean finish. Great focus and execution of the style. Loved it right away. (286 characters)

Photo of fitzy84
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at Plan B Burger Bar in Springfield, MA.

The beer poured with an amber-orange appearance with a little bit of haze and a medium head. Wonderful aromas of citrus mixed with grassy and hop notes. The taste was this great balance of bittersweet flavors. Not as hoppy as an IPA with just the right combination of hops with citrus, like lemon and orange, and bready flavors. This flavoring was complimented by a crisp and refreshing mouthfeel, giving the drink a great body. Overall, this was a great discovery. (513 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 brureview
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful golden clove honey color.

A wonderful hoppy smell from the head.

The mouth feel is excellently balanced with just the right amount of carbonation.

The smooth finish adds to the this balanced portrait of a great beer: just the right amount of lemon-hops taste with a trace of bitterness.

With warming, the beer becomes exceptionally smooth- more hops and fruits to the finish- citrus, especially grapefruit.

This beer is a child of an great brewing concept: lager yeast and west coast hops.

Distinctive taste- superb when warming. (553 characters)

Photo of gcamparone
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16 oz bottle into a snifter. Lucky enough to scoop up the last 4 pack at Yankee Spirits in Attleboro, MA.

A- Pours a slightly hazy, golden body with a thick fluffy white head that reduces slowly to some bubbles sitting on the top of the beer. Leaves uniform lacing.

S- Citrus, grapefruit, tangerines, honey, caramel malt, slight breadyness. Subtle but delicious aromas.

T- Starts off juicy, citrusy and tropical, progressing into a sweeter lager with caramel and honey notes, ends every so slightly bitter and piney. Unlike an IPA of the same flavor profile, these notes are more subdued, not as sticky, and leave less of hoppy aftertaste.

M- Super light, smooth, and refreshing. Definitely has the drinkability of a lager.

An excellent representation of an uncommon style. All hopheads should seek this one out. Comparable to an IPA but less aromatic and a little more modestly flavored, yet extremely delicious. (936 characters)

Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 315 ratings.