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Hoponius Union - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Hoponius UnionHoponius Union

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,752 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,752
Reviews: 260
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 8.43%
Wants: 284
Gots: 158 | 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:
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 added by: mschofield on 08-07-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,752 | Reviews: 260 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Thorpe, at the time of this review, this is the #2 beer on the "Top Beers - Dortmunder / Export Lager" list on beeradvocate.com.

Beer is yellow with a mild haze, wispy white head, minimal lacing.

Aroma is quite hoppy, sweet, fruity hops, a mild yeast presence.

Beer is light in body and a little sweet, moderately bitter on the finish and quite hoppy in the midpalate. I really like this beer very good. I'd have a lot more of this if available to me.

Serving type: growler

02-01-2012 05:34:30 | More by drabmuh
Photo of SocalKicks
SocalKicks

California

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

08-05-2013 00:48:20 | More by SocalKicks
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at Armsby Abbey

Big creamy 1 finger head, lots of lacing, crystal clear pale yellow golden color.

Nose had fresh hops, resins, hops oils, bit musty, some fresh citrus fruit and grapefruit, almost no lager or malts.

Taste explodes with fresh citrus hops, grapefruit and tropical fruits, light hop resins and musty fresh hop oils, a bit oily, then some light lager fruits and light pale malts, some sweet toasty malts. Light sweet honey like flavor. The it gets very bitter and slightly astringent, the hops way overpower the lager flavors and gets a bit overly on the finish, dry and very bitter finish with lingering fresh hops and citrus, light pine as well, and has a weird sticky almost creamy feel.

Moth is med bodied, decent carb.

Overall good, great hop flavors but overpowers the nice lager underneath, and a weird finish as well as a bit astringent.

Serving type: on-tap

08-20-2011 03:21:03 | More by jlindros
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

3.46/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Reservoir, Waterbury, VT.

Clear golden pour, with a nice, thick, foamy cap of white head; nice retention and some patchy lacing on the glass. Aroma was very light, notes of herbal hops, and biscuity malt sweetness. The taste was mostly sweet up front, biscuity malts, toffee, fruit punch, giving way to toasted grains, and a lightly bitter, herbal hop finish. Light-medium body, moderate carbonation, pretty easily drinkable. Overall decent, especially for a lager, but still probably not something I'd go for again.

Serving type: on-tap

04-03-2014 12:01:53 | More by Rifugium
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Serving type: on-tap

08-18-2013 12:36:35 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

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

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

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

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

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

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2012 02:41:51 | More by oline73
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 08/17/12 notes. Had this on tap at a bar right outside of Boston. Served in a pint glass.

a - Pours a clear amber color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks pretty good.

s - Smells of citrus hops, pine hops, fruity malts, floral hops, and light biscuit. Very nice and hoppy, almost like an IPA. Very nice nose.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, resin, pine hops, tropical fruits, grapefruit, fruity malts, floral hops, and light herbal notes. Even more fruit and hops than the nose; outstanding taste.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Light bitterness but not much at all. Very easy to drink; feel like I could definitely have a few of these.

o - Overall I thought this was a fantastic hoppy lager. I've been pretty impressed with their beers and this might be the best one I've had so far. Tons of hops and fruit in the nose and taste, and pretty easy to drink for 6.7% ABV. Would love to have it again.

Serving type: on-tap

08-22-2012 15:22:19 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Rochefort10nh
Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

08-10-2012 22:45:42 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, golden color. Clear. Excellent chunky lace from the modest head.

Fresh, but quite strong, grapefruit like hop smell. Very similar to a hoppy pale ale.

This is a very smooth lager with a strong hop bite, which takes this beer out of the style. Nevertheless, this is an exceptionally easy-to-drink beer. The aftertaste Is a long lasting bite of bittering hop. The body is rich for a lager, but the carbonation provides decent balance.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2012 21:57:42 | More by smcolw
Photo of mendvicdog
mendvicdog

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

10-19-2012 19:21:40 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of beernads
beernads

Florida

4/5  rDev -6.3%

09-16-2013 00:41:50 | More by beernads
Photo of XmnwildX12
XmnwildX12

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -18%

12-05-2013 03:56:34 | More by XmnwildX12
Photo of imperialking
imperialking

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

10-22-2012 19:06:01 | More by imperialking
Photo of MarkyMOD
MarkyMOD

Colorado

4/5  rDev -6.3%

03-04-2014 01:04:34 | More by MarkyMOD
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler shared by Thorpe.

Pours a clear golden amber with a thin white head, quickly fading to a thin collar and no lace. Clean, dry aroma with a subtle hop bite, mildly fruity, with light yeast. Medium thick body with soft carbonation and a bready, biscuit finish. Slight fruity sweetness from a strong hop bitterness. Not quite a real dortmunder, but an expectional lager/IPA hybrid. Really enjoyed this.

Serving type: growler

02-05-2012 21:50:49 | More by yourefragile
Photo of zestar
zestar

California

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

05-12-2013 07:33:53 | More by zestar
Photo of oriolesfan4
oriolesfan4

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

01-06-2013 17:21:17 | More by oriolesfan4
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bottle backlog here at Chez Woody is not entirely of my doing. Sometimes, people bring me beer as though I need more and then I become overwhelmed by it all. This is one of those instances. The Great Bottle Eradication of 2014 continues in earnest and unabated!

From the bottle: "Jack's Abby Brewing's goal is to create truy remarkable beer that combines the strict standards of traditional German brewing with the innovative approach of American craft brewers. We specialize in lagers, which take longer to brew than ales but yield exceptionally rich flavors and smooth, crisp taste."; "All Jack's Abby lagers are unfiltered and unpasteurized. Sediment in the bottle is normal."; "Hoponius Union 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 long 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 sourced ingredients."

I made a solemn promise to The Old Lady last summer that if a beer in any way indicates that it is bottle-conditioned, I would treat it as gently as I would her. The fact that she would beat my ass within an inch of my life if I ever mistreated her notwithstanding, I went with a VERY gentle pour. I have said before, she is as tough as nails, which is part of the attraction for me. I got a brief skim of bone-white head across the top of the beer before it faded into mere wisps. Color was a sunshine-yellow (SRM = 4) with just the faintest of haze visible in the glass. I promise you, I was extremely gentle, but there may have been something in suspension. Nose smelled deeply of citrus-grapefruit rind hops. Wow! As a lifelong Pennsylvanian, I know the difficulty behind making a Lager and to make one that comes off with this level of hoppiness is just amazing. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium. The taste was all hops and for a hophead, that was just fine by me. I cannot say that I would have identified it as a lager of any stripe, but perhaps that is part of the mystique. I do know that the light, spritzy mouthfeel made it very easy to drink on a Summer day, where an AIPA might have been more to handle. The finish was extremely dry and I really had a tough time believing that this was a lager. I had put the remainder of what was left in the bottle back in the reefer to settle and when I went to pour some more into the glass, I noticed that the haze had cleared! Impressive. Warming, I got some of the honey notes that I always think of as characteristic of well-made lagers, but the hops continued to carry the day.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2014 14:09:15 | More by woodychandler
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2012 16:01:05 | More by stakem
Photo of InspectorBob
InspectorBob

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

07-15-2013 18:08:53 | More by InspectorBob
Photo of DrunkinYogi
DrunkinYogi

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

08-26-2013 04:43:39 | More by DrunkinYogi
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4/5  rDev -6.3%
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!

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2012 00:02:21 | More by Wasatch
Photo of duceswild
duceswild

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

10-30-2012 04:49:09 | More by duceswild
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

05-07-2014 13:11:19 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 20:30:01 | More by biegaman
Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 1,752 ratings.