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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

2,020 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,020
Reviews: 283
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 8.69%
Wants: 305
Gots: 227 | 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:
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: 2,020 | Reviews: 283 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of woodychandler
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of ejimhof
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Picco in Boston. Review from notes.

A: Served in a pint glass, the beer was orange in color with a small white head that formed a nice cap on top. Moderate lacing, but very sticky.

S: Nice and citrusy! Some orange, orange rind, a little bit of pine, and some floral hops.

T: Again, more citrus with more pine than in the aroma. Some grapefruit, orange, and orange rind with a bit of grassy hops as well. A little bit of pale lager malt

M: Medium bodied, extremely crisp and drinks very smooth like a lager. No sign of the abv whatsoever, could drink this beer all day long.

O: Loved it, very impressed. Had been hoping to try this beer for sometime and jumped at the chance when I saw it on tap and was not disappointed.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike.

The beer is clear and golden hued with a small head that leaves sparse lacing on the tulip. Lots of fresh hop character in both the nose and taste. This drinks much more like an IPA than a German lager. And while this beer is tasty, it does lack the distinctive characteristics of a Dortmunder lager. The body is light and the finish is dry, offering a hint of lager yeast. Overall, a tasty brew. Easy to drink and flavorful, just don't expect an authentic example of the style. I would definitely have this again.

Photo of smakawhat
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle at Smoke & Barrel as part of the first DC bottle share/tasting. Sample pour into a large snifter glass. From notes.

A pale orange amber body, with faint very light tan off white bubbles. Minor head produced but quite thick bubbles for a collar that is left.

Nose is quite hop forward, and I guess expected. A good airy light citrus hop front, with a mild malt presence. Clean, surprisingly smells like a solid IPA. Kind of jarring but real impressive.

Palate hits with a thick pine resin, and a good mild sense of sweetness. Like a solid lager it finishes quite cleanly, almost like as if an IPA were missing something. Malt backbone seems to be missing a little but it's sort of something you don't seem to care about on this first sip. No sweetness or heat present either, or sugar rush.

Overall, a real memorable and impressive take on a style, worth trying again. Quite enjoyable would love to have more of this.

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

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 biegaman
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
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 rab53
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Kelp
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of billab914
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of HopHead84
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
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 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 atrocity
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of Latarnik
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of ShanePB
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of liamt07
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
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 PEIhop
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 2,020 ratings.