Hoponius Union - Jack's Abby Brewing

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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 HopHead84
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

8/15/2013

Bottle from gn0sis, thanks! Poured into a snifter. The beer is burnished golden orange with two fingers of soapy white froth. Lots of lacing clings to the glass. The nose is clean with a pleasantly bright hop fruitiness that's dripping with tangerine, mango, passion fruit, and orange redolence. Warming brings out herbal and floral character with a touch of spiciness. Malt presents no sweetness and brings to mind saltine cracker and maybe a touch of biscuit. The flavor catches your attention immediately with a firm but gentle bitterness that's accompanied by orange pith and flesh, grapefruit, herbal and floral notes, and a light mango presence. There's less hop fruitiness in the flavor than in the nose, with the herbal and citrus pith being more dominant. The finish is clean, bitter, and quite dry, with a hint of alcohol. Excellent stuff. I'd drink this often if it were fresh and available around here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap and served in a tumbler pint, the beer is a slightly hazed, steadily carbonated, copper-golden coloring with a low profile, thin, off-white filmy coating. Aromas of resiny hops, with basil and hemp characteristics, as well as a slight peppering. Flavors are hop forward, with that heavy pepper/basil combo blasting the tastebuds. Light toasted backbone supports the hops presence, and the beer is light bodied and smooth in mouth. Great cling along the glass as you go. The aftertaste is light and bitter, with a slight floral highlight. Resiny, bitter finish, with the clean feel typical of a lager. Very tasty.

Photo of plaid75
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Prohibition Pig, Waterbury, VT.

Poured a shiny brass hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured piney, resinous hops and a grainy pale malt.

The taste consisted of waves of balmy pine and grapefruit with a clean, tempering pale malt.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style.

Overall a tasty hop forward lager.

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to portia99 for this brew.

Poured into a Squatters True Pint glass a very nice cloudy dark golden yellow color, very nice carbonation, with a nice one-finger white creamy head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is hoppy, malty, with a nice citrus note. The taste is hoppy, nice little touch of malts, and some citrus notes. Medium body, with a nice slightly dry/bitter finish. Overall a very nice brew. Thanks Bill!

Photo of dcmchew
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy golden, one finger fluffy white head, with nice strips of carbonation. Looks like a lager indeed, but not entirely.
Great smell! Nice balance of citrusy green hops (tropical notes too) and caramel biscuity malts, like in a Munich helles. Hops are aromatic, not overwhelming. Should be great.
Okay, so, the malts are light, with some caramel and biscuit notes, and not as robust as an ale would be. Still, rich, but rather "fluffy", like boiled grains. Sweet hoppy fruitiness, with sweet oranges and tangerines, mild grapefruit, tropical lychee and pineapple, big floral notes and also prickly spicy hops. Great green leafy finish, with pine, mild bitterness.
Light body, but not watery, actually very very smooth, again, "fluffy". Dry finish with a green fresh hoppy aftertaste. Also, 6.7? Where?!
Overall, feels like a more crisp American IPA, with a German malt base and perfectly balanced hops. Extremely drinkable (watch out for the abv) and tasty.

Photo of kscaldef
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into an imperial pint glass. Clear golden with a respectable, head of fine foam. Some lacing, but not a lot.

S: Floral and spicy aroma. Very fresh smelling. Reminds me of a good English style pale.

T: Clean, smooth, and balanced; with solid, but not overwhelming, bitterness on the finish. Leaves a lingering flavor of biscuit malt. A blend of piney and floral hops.

M: Medium-high carbonation. Medium-light carbonation.

O: Very impressed with this. This is my first beer from Jacks Abby and I'm really happy to have gotten to try it. One of the most interesting "yellow fizzy" beers I've had.

Photo of beerthulhu
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

-spiegelau ipa glass. ipl.

A: Hazy princeton orange coloring with a creamy, froth head of one inch, dirty bone white, with a solid retention rate that only adds to the lasting visual. Moderately paced glass consuming effervesce, lasting coverage, decent coverage rate on the vessel.

S: Nice wiff of dry pineapple-orange, good level of awareness. Some fresh green melon sneaks in along with wet citrusy notes. Crisp pale malts lets the hopping speak for itself with some tropical nature, very clean. Deep down some fresh apple-pear yeastiness comes to light. Good complexity for an ipl, duration is good, awareness is generous, whats not to like.

T: Citrus, semi-dry, followed by a grassy hopping. Solid level of bitterness, light flowery piney-orange, dry whole grains with a decent lingering after fade of citrus-grass on the swallow that is lightly dry and begs for the next sip. Crisp lager like flavor, generous american wet coast hop addition with a strong level of hoppiness well balanced with malt aspect.

M: Crisp and tight mouthful, bubbly and sharp, just like a good lager should be. Medium bodied with a touch of creamy nature.

O: Overall beautiful presentation with a well lasting capping only leads to a lasting impression. Lightly cloudy orange coloring with a crisp carbonation rate dances in the glass with healthy hop loads, cleanly brewed, with a lingering dry hopping afterwards that certainly won't dissappoint even the most stubborn of hop heads. Citrusy fade. Had this after a 90+ day mowing the lawn and this hit the spot perfectly, to bad he didn't bring along more friends, only had one. Clean lager brewed with american hop influence just as the label claims is spot on. 6.7% feels more mid 5ish. 6 pack worthy. Hop levels worthy of mid entry ipa status with a cleanly brewed background makes this a must try per style (pale lager). There is a lot to say about this beer, it starts with the the brewery's focus on one style (lagers). Nice to see other states outside pennsylvania focusing on this underappreciated german style and bringing some respectability with an american twist and influence. Rated as an american pale lager.

Photo of vfgccp
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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

S - Nice bright pine and woody hop cone nose.

T - Opens with green plant flavors. Very herbal. Smooth white bread and light caramel center. Lemon and pine bitters balance the backend.

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

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

Photo of Duff27
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Straw Colored body with a good lasting head oner. Spotty lacing.

S- The hops are out of this world.

T- Very tasty, hop, easy going down.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Over carbonation fits here.

D/O- I'm not sure how true to style this is but damn it's tasty. Thanks 4DAloveofSTOUT.

Photo of AlexFields
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very clear and light, nice head but the body just looks like a lager, nothing extraordinary.

Smells very floral and citrusy, definitely reminiscent of a west coast IPA.

Tastes a lot like Pliny! Grapefruit type citrus, strong hops but not overwhelmingly bitter, some floral notes, very slight sweetness but definitely hop forward. Like a somewhat less interesting and complex Pliny but still very good.

Very drinkable, nice crisp mouthfeel.

8.0/10

Photo of flagmantho
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
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!

Photo of DrJay
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Orange/gold and clear with a short, dense off-white cap. Thick lacing and great head retention. Fresh hop aroma, lots of citrus, grapefruit, pith, slight pineapple. Really well constructed, with citrus hops throughout but mild malt up front and tropical/spicy notes in the bitter finish. Moderate carbonation, on the creamy side while still retaining some crispness, nice texture. I really enjoyed this beer. Bright hops all the way through yet still refined and refreshing.

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

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

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
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. . .

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of Brad007
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
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!

Photo of puboflyons
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From the 25 fl. oz. bottle mfg: 05-06-2013. Sampled on July 16, 2013.

It looks pretty decent with an amber-bronze pour with a good white head that lingers throughout and leaves delicate lacing on the glass. Good clarity.

The aroma is of earthy hops, biscuit malts, herbs, grass, citrus, and mild sweetness. Really enticing.

The body is light to medium

The taste has a generous pale malt and herbal start and the earthy hops sneak up quickly at the finish leaving a semi-lingering finish. Citrus notes too. Dry and biscuity at the end. Nicely done.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I received this as an extra from Gogriz (thanks Cody!). It was an unlabeled 12oz bottle, filled expressly for him (not distributed). Talk about a cool extra!

It pours a clear light copper color with a few fingers of frothy foam. The aroma is really hoppy for a lager. In fact I recently tried an Indian Pale Lager and it didn't smell quite as hoppy as this beer. Simcoe I believe, resiny with a splash of cat urine.

It tastes as good as it smells, and its actually pretty hard to tell its a lager. A touch of initial sweetness turns into a manageable bitterness in the aftertaste. Very well constructed, this was smooth and flavorful. I could definitely go for a whole lot more of this beer, surprised I never heard of it before. I'll have to try to stop here sometime in the future!

Photo of claspada
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear light golden color with a rather large, fluffy white head and some spotty lacing as the foam recedes.

Aromas begin quite dank and hoppy for any lager I hace ever had. It starts with some tropical fruits with a bit of citrus and additional pine resin. In the background as it warms there is some light toasty, crackery maltiness.

The tastes directly follow the nose but in reverse with some light crackery maltiness that adds the smallest amount of malt sweetness before the citrus and pine hop flavors kick into gear. Some grasyy hop flavors as well which linger along with the pine resin flavors.

The mouthfeel is my only complaint as with many lagers, finish seemed slightly stripped and finishes a bit too abruptly for my liking. Carbonation is perfect to style.

Overall this is one of the most flavorful lagers I have ever had to date and clearly well crafted and the recipe must have been tweaked many times to arrive at such a great, hihgly drinkable balance. High marks for this one.

Photo of rudzud
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the armsby abbey.

A - Poured into a standard pint glass a crystal clear golden hue with a seamy one finger head that recedes to leave nice side lacing.

S - Nice hop notes up front. Definitely resembles a nice ipa with hop bitterness and a light malt sweetness.

T - Very nice lightly sweet bitter hops with a smooth malt finish. Quite bitter throughout.

M - Fairly nice mouthfeel. Bitter and dry but crisp and refreshing.

O - Overall I Enjoyed this beer. A very nice hoppy beer with a good crisp bitter finish.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 06 Nov 2013, consumed 08 Dec. I picked this up at Julio's.

In my Sam Adams perfect pint, this is a brilliantly clear golden amber with a large, dense, frothy, white head with excellent retention and lacing. The nose is beautifully hoppy. Dusty, doughy malt character is present, but really, this is all about the hops. Tropical, pungent, fruity, citrusy and just outrageously aromatic, this is truly awesome. Clean lager fermentation allows this to be entirely about the hops, and the blend of grapefruit and navel oranges is extremely refreshing.

The palate opens with a clean, quenching bitterness, mildly resiny and extremely citrusy, with orange zest, orange juice and grapefruit present by the bucketful. A mild pine sap bitterness is present as well. The mid-palate brings out the hop flavor, the blend of floral citrus and a little bit of grass. Malt character is minimal, with just a little bit of a burnt sugar/ toffee/honey sweetness present, pairing really well with the citrus hops. With the classic lager smoothness/slickness on the palate, this beer is ridiculously clean and has a nice, biting bitterness on the finish. Medium-light in body with moderate carbonation, this beer is excellent on the palate. Very highly recommended. In the pantheon of IPLs, there aren't many that better this.

Photo of tectactoe
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to portia99 for this one (it was an extra!), really looking forward to it. Pours a light copper color with very high clarity - only a very, very mild haze that forms dead center. Foamy white head begins to form some chunking lacing and legging right off the bat.

The nose is heavily hoppy with a solid malt backbone - if the first whiff is any indication, this beer will be balanced very well. Some lemon zest, pineapple, and bitter citrus peel couple nicely with light and leafy pines and wet hops. A touch of cracker-like sweetness from the malt brings the aroma together nicely.

The first thing that hits the palate when taking a sip is a helping of wet, juicy, pine-like hops; grassy, floral, and slightly pungent. Light resin starts to come out as the sweet malts work their way into the mix, helping to balance and offset. Some mild fruitiness extracts itself from the hop bill; pineapple, grapefruit peels, herbal lemon zest.

The hoppy flavors mostly fade by the time the beers has left your mouth and all that's left is the aftertaste, but a light, assertive bitterness remains along with some sweet bread, butter, and cracker malt flavors that give the excellent balance I was expecting from the aroma. As the brew goes on and gets warmer, I'm tasting some light white pepper spices come out from the hops, and maybe even some faint onion flavors. The body is medium and slick with a surprisingly dry and crisp finish.

Wow! Very solid brew here. It doesn't really exhibit the normal characteristics you'd expect from a lager, mainly because the identifiable yeast flavors are mostly covered up by the hops. You could easily mistake this beer as an IPA. The only real tell-tale sign is the dry, crispiness in the end. Nevertheless, this one shows exceptional balance and great execution for a very drinkable, hoppy-ass brew.

Photo of Durge
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the chilled bottle into the big tumbler I see a clear, golden light amber colored lager with a decent but broken fluffy white head with healthy lacing. The aroma makes itself known quickly from a distance with a decidedly tart citrus hop and biscuit base. Very impressive and unlike any lager I've had the pleasure of knowing before (other than this same brew on tap). The flavor is such a pleasure with more of the same biscuit and citrus hop blend and maybe some rye grain and light grass ideas. It's peppery, tart and clean with a light but lively carbonation that offers an effervescent feel over a medium body. More grass and grapefruit lemon pours over the tongue with quite some bite, especially unheard of for a lager but as the label explains, this is simply a lagered IPA and the unique flavors are definitely successful and worth a try.

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