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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: 2,404
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 22.7%
Wants: 360
Gots: 424 | 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: 2,404
Photo of JohnG190
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Boston_Steve for the trade! Pours a golden amber with fluffy white head that dissipates quickly. Nice lacing. Aroma is all about hops - floral, citrus, pine, some grassiness - a very nice smelling beer. Taste follows nose, bitter throughout but nicely balanced by sweet malt backbone. A very quaffable beer. Smooth, with a light-medium body and effervescent carbonation. Overall a well crafted lager. I've only had one other IPL, that from Boston Beer Company, and I do like the style! An IPA(L) that one can serve cold, I'll be looking for these come summer!

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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.

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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 migwell
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bit cloudy with a small head that persists. An IPL it is, tasting quite like many a great IPA while having a lighter body and clean finish reminiscent of a lager. This is a good drinking beer which goes down easy and doesn't pack a major ABV wallop. Very fine beer, this!

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Photo of DIM
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

mfg date 10-07-13. Very fresh. Sweet.

a: Slightly hazy pale golden color; pours with a smallish semi-sticky white head.

s: Hop forward for sure, fresh lemon with hints of tropical fruit. Some mild caramel as well.

t: Hop forward and exremely flavorful without being a hop bomb. Lemon and pineapple juice hops dominate. There is a little caramel sweetness peeking through. Lingering mild pithy grapefruit.

m: Gentle carbonation and silky body.

o: I didn't see the date until after I bought it, 6 days after it was bottled! Great beer, if it was available locally I would drink a ton of this.

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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 Kendo
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from the growler into a pint glass. Body is clear light amber that appears more dark golden when backlit. Lots of visible carbonation, with a bunch of slow-rising big bubbles that fortify the 1-finger whitish head.

S: Citrusy and floral hops. Quite pleasant, though not the smack-in-the-face experience of some of the hoppier American-style IPAs.

T: This is tasty. After a modest malt foundation (lightly biscuity), the citrusy hops dominate. Think grapefruit pith and peel and a nice floral/herbal taste as well; pine needles come to mind at times as well. Finishes bitter but clean, with a lingering minerally, citrus bitterness on the palate.

M: Quite creamy in feel; call it light-to-medium in heft. Carbonation is active but fine, accentuating that creaminess.

O: This is good stuff. It's going down real fast.

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

12 fl. oz. bottle
Served in a pilsner glass

A - It pours a golden amber color with about three inches of off-white head.

S - IPL's have a unique smell. This one has a citrus nose with a metallic note. It has a noble hops essence.

T - The taste is right in line with the smell. It has a strong citrus taste with a metallic bitterness on the finish. I noticed some bread/toast at the beginning, but the citrus overwhelms the malt after a few drinks.

M - It seems to have a little more body than the standard lager.

O - This is a great example of a good style of beer. I have only had a few IPL's and have enjoyed them all. I get an unusual flavor that I describe as metallic. That may not be the best descriptor. This is definitely worth buying a six pack of more.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle purchased at Acme Bar and Pizza in Rochester, NY and consumed in a tulip.

Pours a brilliant, hazy orange. Small head, visible carbonation. Nice looking lager.

Smells include citrus zest, pine, and sweet malts.

Tastes incredible. Tons of citrus goodness, along with some earthy dank herbal hop tastes as well. Malt sweetness shines through as well. Insanely drinkable. Crisp finish probably due to the lagering.

Nice mouthfeel. Light to medium bodied, keeps it very drinkable.

A classic IPL, and the benchmark for the style, IMO.

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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 popery
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a nice bright gold with a big puffy head, a light cream color. Lots of lacing, very good retention, in case you're curious. The aroma is quite hoppy. Big on bright citrus with a little tropical fruit in the mix. Nice floral note, as well. Sugary, doughy malt underneath all of those hops. Taste is similar. Lots of hop flavor. It pretty much drinks like an IPA. It's just a bit cleaner for better and worse. The hops start with sweet floral and citrus flavors but get a bit bland in the finish. It's just not quite as juicy as I'd like. Nice dry finish, otherwise. Light mouthfeel with a little bit of hop oiliness. Very good beer.

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a glass boot

Solid , thick foamy four finger head . Pillows of white foam. Good lacings on the glass. Orange yellow liquid with slight but steady carbonation .

Aroma of citrus and grapefruit.

Hoppy beer with strong , sharp bitter finish. Medium mouthfeel with nice carbonation.

India Pale Lager which is indeed a "wicked hoppy lager." Good IPL loaded with citrusy hops.

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Photo of mynie
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pretty orange pour with a fluffy white head.

Smells--like a hop-forward lager should--like raw hops, no esters or yeast or any of the other stuff I usually like to talk about but the beer denizens ignore. Taste very much the same, but thankfully the hop profile is as moderate as it is excellent, and so it does a fine enough job of balancing itself. Big nodes of grapefruit, passionfruit, and dried potpourri flowers. No super high alpha cat pee or pine nodes, though, since they'd probably be too much without any clear malt presence cutting into them.

Damn solid flagship APA (erm, APL); it stood its own against HF's phenomenal Citra.

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Photo of Joe_Grizzly
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

my first I.P.L

I got a 4 pack of this for $12

the bottles threw me for a loop they are pints and very well made could be used as a weapon if need be

I also like the artwork on it like a medieval crest

has a nice carbonation and mouth feel I drank it super cold

had a nice pungent bitterness to it

the aftertaste was like a top notch D.I.P.A but with a different twang to it because it was a LAGER

def a winner in my book nice and smooth and the A.B.V % isn't ridiculous so you can have 2 or 3

that's all I got if you can get it and like IPA's it's worth the purchase

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

Amazing extra from bramsdell (cheers buddy!) enjoyed from a beer hunter taster glass.

a - brew pours transparent honey yellow with a generous frothy head that hung out for a while and as it dissipated, it left big frothy chunks of lacing. lots of visible carbonation dance to the surface.

s - nose is a fair amount of hopping layered over some nice earthy malt lager. great citric notes on a lager is a welcome addition.

t - really nice. definitely a lager, but with all them hops gives the impression of a pale ale with the earthy undertones. the hops bring to life a style i'm not normally wild about. biscuity with a subtley bitter finish.

m - nice medium bodied brew with a good fullness to the profile and feel.

o - super enjoyable and refreshing brew. not usually a big fan of a lager, but this beer, i could drink all of the time. very well suited for the warm weather.

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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!

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Photo of nataku00
3.82/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a clear golden color with a finger of off white head of mostly small bubbles. Plenty of sticky thick lacing as the head dissipated.

Nose is mostly citrus and floral hops, biscuit malts.

Floral and herbal flavors along with some bitter citrus peel. Just a slight malt presence, biscuit and caramel. Finish is clean and dry, with some light citrus flavor lingering.

Light body and well carbonated. An interesting beer, but I feel this bottle might have been past its prime.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.81/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


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.

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Photo of scotorum
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Sierra Nevada IPA glass.

a: Clear dark gold with an inch and a half white heat which dissipated to rocky and then even surface foam and patterned lacing.

s: Spice and resin.

t: Pine and spice hops forward over a tasty medium malt base. Bitterness lingers in the mouth of an otherwise dry finish.

m: Light to moderate.

o: A very easy drinking IPL, tasty and refreshing. Eminently sippable and sessionable.

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Photo of plaid75
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to cbeer88 for this!

Pouts a somewhat clear, somewhat lighter orange color with a beige finger of head. Dissipates to a frothy foam. Aroma has lots of floral, grassy and pungent grapefruit. Malt profile is mild. Tastes of juicy grapefruit, mango, orange, floral hops and grassy, herbal hops. Lighter sweetness, touches of caramel. Body is light, oil, slick, crisp, and down right beautiful...lager body, IPA boldness. Drinks like a charm, overall excellent!

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

Bottled 5-06-2-13. Smelled tropical fruits after removing bottle cap. Poured into pint glass. The beer had a clear orange golden color. Carbonation present all over glass. Not much presentation of the head, was about an inch thick but broke down quickly.

Aroma was primarily tropical fruits and floral notes. It seemed a little too faint, would prefer it more upfront.

Flavor was mostly tropical fruits - can't really pick out particular fruits on this one. It starts out pleasantly sweet and finished bitter. It's perfectly balance. As the beer started to return to room temperature, the delectable sweetness of the malt started to build up. It has a light bodied mouthfeel and oddly has this subtle tingly sensation in the mouth. Very good mouthfeel.

Overall it's a solid beer. Telling the difference from this lager and the IPA's would not be an easy task for me. I'm happy to try this at least once. Unfortunately this beer was not fresh as I hoped it would be. This is a great beer but I wonder how it would taste if it was less than 30 days old.

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Photo of MNishCT77
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16.9 oz. bottle acquired in a trade (thanks, Greg Radawich!), unknown bottling date but gifted at NHC2013 at the end of 6/13, poured into my DFH tulip glass, drank 8/3/13 over an hour.

A: 3/3 - straw yellow-golden coloration, impressive clarity for a IPA/L (can both see or read through), white rocky head on pouring persists throughout drinking as a half-finger lacing, moderate alcohol legs for an IPA/L; probably my favorite aspect of this beer

S: 9/12 - I had a bottle immediately on trading and recall the hop aroma being more impressive but this still stands; like the 2nd Anniversary Lager, there is lots of grapefruit, orange/tangerine mixed with a grassy/floral quality ....some alcohol and malt notes are also present but the hops are front and center as would be expected; I detracted several points because, after drinking the IPL, the aroma unfortunately isn't as overwhelmingly good

T: 15/20 - on the anterior tongue, there's a mild bitterness (IBU 65) but the hop flavors, like in the 2nd Anniversary Lager, predominate as would be expected...mostly citrus fruit with some floral arrangements; in the middle of the mouth, the bready/biscuity flavors really kick in, which is surprising for the style and renders it closer to an IPL for me; the alcohol is present in the taste but not overwhelming, and I picking up very little yeast characteristics from the clean lager strain

M: 4/5 - moderate bodied with thick hop oils coating the tongue, don't taste the 6.7%; moderate carbonation for style/ABV and moderate alcohol legs

O: 9/10 - a really nice flagship beer from one of the best up-and-coming breweries on the East Coast; the hop aroma and flavors to really shine through, which is especially impressive because this bottle is at least one month old; most of my gripes derive from the malt character being too present, but, again, cheers, Jack and co., for creasing one of the best flagship IPA/Ls that I know

TOTAL = 40/50

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

Thanks to Liam for this!

Lightly hazed blonde, 1.5 fingers of white head, some lace as well. Smell is full of tropical fruits and citrus, grapefruit, pineapple and oprange, a persistant grainy malt, but quite hte hefty hop bill here. Taste is of fruity citrusy hops, grapefruit and orange, fishihes with a bit of crisp larger malt, bitterness throughout and felt in the cheeks, heavily hopped. Lightly carbonated, medium feel and oily on the back of the pallate. An incredible lager here, would gladly revisit this again, great drinkability.

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