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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: 2,402
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 22.7%
Wants: 359
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: 2,402
Photo of kawilliams81
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle into a Half Acre tulip.

A- pours a bright honey color with a 2" white head. Big clumps and blotches of lacing remain on the glass.

S- straw, lemon, grapefruit, light honey and some grassy notes.

T- light malts, tart lemon, grapefruit, bitter pine.

M- light body and medium carbonation. Very dry and acidic.

O- good beer, but very bitter which makes it more dry than I would like. Leans more towards bitter pine, grassy notes than the citrus.

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a tall lager-style glass.

A- Pours a bright and clean golden color, 2-finger white head that settles nicely leaving lots of lacing.

S- Hops all over; citrus grapefruit and orange, some pine. And some lager graniness.

T Light grass and very mild malt flavors are quickly trumped by a big dose of the citrus hop flavors.

M- Very light. Crisp. Light lager feel, mostly. Lingering hop bite and dry finish.

O- It looks and smells good, tastes OK, but has no body. It needs an element to tie it together. It is a light tasting lager one second, then a hop bomb the next. Not bad, though.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass, bottled on 2/12/13 FRESH! Pours a light orange, with a fluffy white head, that leaves plenty of lacing. Smell is earthy hops, citrus, cut grass, lemon, and hints of biscuit. The taste is similar, starts subtle with a grapefruit and lemon bittering finish. Body is almost medium, plenty of life, a little dry, and easy drinking. This is a nice beer and different than most.

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Photo of Lambocalrisien
4.91/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a crisp, dark but see-through golden color with a nice two finger white head and leaves good lacing.

S - Amazing and very unexpected. Nose fills instantly with pleasant floral and citrus hop aromas.

T - Holy HOPS, this thing is wicked hoppy, in the best of ways. Grapefruit and mango up front with a subtle pine on the back end. Finishes dry but with a crisp clean feel. Excellent balance of flavors and bitterness.

M - Smooth with a light-medium body and close to perfect carbonation. Goes down really easy.

O - The best IPL on the market. Great beer and a must try for all beer lovers. Excellent job Jack's Abby.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-deep golden color with a big white head and good lacing

S-grapefruit, pine, light sweet malt, floral notes

T-grapefruit, tropical fruit, pine, malt, floral, nice bitter dry finish

F-light to medium body with moderate, carbonation, crisp and dry

O-a great lager beer with nice IPA characteristics and good balance, great drinking beer

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Photo of tectactoe
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of DocJitsu
4.56/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, light golden color with an impressive white head. Speaking of impressive, the nose on this lager is a big surprise. Grapefruit and pine a plenty. A nice medium-bodied mouthfeel that has adequate carbonation and dryness at the finish paves the way for grapefruit, pine, and floral flavors make this extremely drinkable lager very tasty.

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

Purchased at Julio's for like $3.00. Poured from 500ml bottle into crooked stave tulip. My first Jacks Abby brew.
Pours a see through golden burnt rusty color with a finger of foamy head.
Aroma is simply amazing...I was not expecting this! Crazy cotton candy and pine hop aromas with a crisp lager clean finish. Taste is very similar...sweet candy and pine hop, some pineapple. There is a certain crispness and hearty mouthfeel - must be the lager; but works so well with the crazy hop presence. Its not bitter at all but has fantastic flavor. Great great brew!

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Photo of ChrisL24481
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my first time trying any brew from Jack's Abby Brewery and, boy, I am glad it was a fresh Hoponius Union (bottled on January 7, 2013). Poured into a Boulder Beer Company Mojo IPA pint glass.

Appearance - It pours a nice golden-orange color with about a 2-3 finger off-white head. The head appears soft and dense with decent retention. It slowly dissipates until a thin layer remains. A bit of lacing sticks throughout the glass. A bit of carbonation throughout as well.

Smell - The hop characteristics stand out with the first sniff which is then followed by citrus and tropical flavors specifically orange, lemon and a bit of grapefruit.

Taste - A delicious beer to say the least! Great hop flavors with a hint of the citrus/tropical fruits that you pick up with the smell. There is somewhat of a dry/bitter finish, but still a great tasting beer.

Moutfeel - A light-to-medium bodied beer with a bit of carbonation. This definitely has the feel of a pale lager, but the taste of the IPA throughout. This is an easy to drink beer that would be perfect for a hot/summer day. I can't wait to have this one again.

Overall - This was one refreshing and delicious IPL. I love the fact that it has the smells/tastes of an IPA with light body of lager. This is a very drinkable beer with little bitterness on the back end from the hops. A great beer that I recommend to all and I can't wait to enjoy the remaining bottles from the 4-pack.

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Photo of AlexFields
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
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.


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Photo of Malty_Matty
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- this looks your archetypical beer. Between gold and amber in color with a 2 finger white head on top, this is what everyone imagines when they hear the word beer.

S- a slight but not overwhelming nose of citrus and pine up front. Not much else. (i do have a bit of a head cold though)

T- the citrus isn't as strong here as in the nose. I pick up spicier earthier hops in the front and finish. Citrus is more toward the middle of the sip. The malt body keeps it balanced though it feels like more could have been done with it.

Mf- I could comfortably drink this all day. Light body and clean finish make for an incredibly drinkable beer.

I could drink this beer any time and be absolutely happy. A well done lager, which should be a model to others in the style.

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Photo of sleuthdog
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into GI tulip stem

Pour: Honey orange color and cloudy look. The head was a solid 2 fingers of fluffy, soft looking white with both some small and medium bubbles within. The lacing left behind is something to behold as it clings to the glass from the top to the surface of the beer. A sparse soft pillow is left on the surface.

Smell: If I didn't read the label of this beer as being a Pale Lager I would have said this is a great smelling IPA or pale ale with big hops. A big hop forward smelling beer with pine, grapefruit and some grassy notes. Upon subsequent sniffs I get some more of the citrus with orange and pineapple.

Taste: A fairly bitter forward beer with an astringent quality but in a good way. There is an initial hit of bready notes but that is quite fleeting as the hoppy bitterness takes hold right away. Grapefruit rind with big pine taste and bitterness throughout. The finish is very bitter and dry and the burps are even bitter.

Mouthfeel: Light body and very drinkable even with the high level of bitterness. A bit thin but that is only because I am comparing this to an IPA and I have to continue to remind myself that this is not and IPA. Crisp and refreshing and would make one hell of a hot summer beer.

Overall: Really enjoyed this beer and would love to be able to get some of this to enjoy on a hot, humid summer day here in Chicago.

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Photo of quirkzoo
3.96/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Celticfutblclub, thanks again.

Pours a very clear light orange with 1 finger of fine white head that sticks around in a thin layer.

Really nice hoppy aroma, tons of fruit, citrus and tropical fruits. Not much else to the aroma other than hops but the hops are really nice.

The taste is more of the same. A lot of nice light hops with a strong amount of bitterness, very clean aftertaste indicative of the lagering. Really smooth, though I think I would have liked to have just a bit more going on other than the hops. Couldn't really detect much malt or yeast.

The mouthfeel is light, bordering on too light. I can't decide if I like the lightness which lends drinkability or if I want it to be more substantial. Definitely lighter than your typical IPA.

Overall this is a nice beer. I had it with my dinner and it has enough flavor to stand on its own against a nice thai curry, but it is also light enough that I don't feel full after drinking it. Glad I got the chance to try it, I will definitely seek out more Jack's Abby next time I visit relatives in the NE.

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Photo of LeRose
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into lager glass.

Deep golden orange with a humongous frothy head that subsided to a tight layer with tons of lacing start to finish. Aroma was malty, earthy, some yeast, citrus fruit, a slight but of pine resin. The citrus aroma reminds me of lemon lime hard candies. Get the malts immediately on he sip, then a huge blast of citrus more grapefruit than the nose suggested. Earthy underneath, nice hit of bitterness, not overwhelming. Tiny bit of breadiness or yeast, slightly toasty. Flavor hits and passes quickly, and grapefruit and maybe mango linger just a bit. Very clean and refreshing, light on the palate. Finishes dry and makes you want more. The carbonation is light and refreshing. Very drinkable and can see this on a hot summer day. Subtle, complex enough to be interesting, well balanced. Another winner from Jacks Abby.

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Photo of flexabull
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of cbeer88, thanks again!

Pours a bright and slightly hazy gold color with a huge white head.

Aromas are very nice. Notes of hard candies, sugary citrus, floral hop cones and crackers.

Taste is light and hoppy. Crackers, bread dough, and light creamy sweetness up front. Finish is snappy and crisp with bitter grapefruit, and mineral bitterness.

Mouthfeel is smooth with plenty of body and nice carbonation.

Overall, a very tasty lager. Very refreshing and super drinkable, would be a treat on a warm day.

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Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to MSquared2 for sharing this one during one of our random Sunday tastings! Served from bottle into Sweetwater 15th Anniversary snifter. Poured a pale golden yellow with a half finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, earth, earth hop, marijuana, fruit hop, and pine resin. The flavor was of sweet malt, earth, marijuana, pine, pine resin, earth hop, and spicy hop. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. There were quite a few different components going on in both the nose and flavor of this one that really kept me on my toes. With having a few brews from this brewery that night I can honestly say that they have aromas pinned down. With just a little more robustness this could definitely be a standout for the style. I suggest you get your hands on some of these or other brews from them if you get the chance. You won’t regret it.

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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.

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Photo of dubinsky
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a Deschutes tulip glass. Thanks to Stearns16 for including this as an extra.

A - Pours a clear golden honey orange with a huge foamy white head. The head receded quickly but left some serious lacing behind. Like a snail sliding down the sides of the glass. Some serious retention going on.

S – Pale Lager? WTH is that? This smells like an IPA or super hoppy pale ale. In fact this really reminds me of what Row 2, Hill 56 smells like. Huge wafts of pine and grapefruit dominate the nose, along with a floral/grassy finish. Some biscuit malts are present, but this is mostly a hop forward beer.

T – Nice and bitter. Much less malts than I expected. Very astringent with grapefruit pith, pulp and rinds. Some grassy elements are also evident. There is a slight malty finish, but this is dominated by bitterness and finishes dry and bitter.

M – Medium Body with medium-high carbonation. Nice dry finish. Very crisp and clean. If Pliny and Prima Pils had a love child, this would be it. 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 – This is a great beer, and I completely understand the Hype. My only gripe is that a lager shouldn’t be so high in ABV. When I chose to drink a lager or pilsner I do it usually to not have such a high ABV beer. Notwithstanding that, this is a great beer and is incredibly drinkable.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to ILOVESTOUTS, poured into a Hill Farmstead glass.

Pour: Nearly clear orange with two fingers of white, super sticky head. Leaves incredible lacing, and the head forms a nice film.

Smell: A definite lager aroma hits at first, but then is crushed by a huge pine and citrus profile. Big lemon and limes. Some light breadyiness tries to balance, but only barely.

Taste: Again, lager bready hits first, but the hops hijack the taste in an instant. Huge pine, and some clean citrus. A little bit of doughy breadyness it, but only just. Finishes bitter with pine.

Mouthfeel: It's a lager, so naturally, this is amazingly drinkable. The hop profile reminds me of Sculpin. Nice bitterness, and very refreshing.

Overall: This is a beer I would choose over most IPAs. Just fantastic.

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Photo of NardiByNature
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Brewed 9/24

Golden - mostly clear with a sticky, rocky white head. Plenty of visible carbonation with little bubbles clinging to the bottom of the glass. Really like the smell: grassy, weedy, lemony. I take a big easy swig and it’s very refreshing: earthy, crisp, and bitter, this can quench a thirst and a buzz. Nice finish though I could use a little more carbo. I love lagers so I’m lucky enough to live in the distro zone. Seek this one out.

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Photo of oline73
3.85/5  rDev -9%
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.

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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.

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Photo of dasenebler
3.44/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jack's Abby Hoponious Union
.5L bottled 10/31/12

Golden amber with brilliant clarity. Tightly-bubbled, effervescent head. (4)

Aroma is somewhat restrained hop-wise. I get some grass and tropical fruit, but it's muted and uninteresting overall. (3)

Flavor is exceptionally clean, with a firm herbal bitterness. There's really not a whole lot going on here other than hops and slightly biscuit malts. Subtle notes of orange and mango. Mouthfeel is medium-light, but the carbonation seems large-bubbled and not very smooth. Dry and very drinkable on the whole. (3.5, 3.5)

I feel like this level of crispness and refreshment can be found in a top-fermented IPA. There's really nothing exclusive or interesting about this beer being an "IPL". I enjoy it, it's well-made, but at the end of the day, I reach for a lager when I feel like drinking something more traditionally German or Czech. When I want hops, I reach for a local, dry-hopped ale that can be consumed within weeks after fermentation, not months. If I lived in Framingham, I'd get growlers of this beer and be slightly confused, but pleasantly drunk. (3.5)

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Photo of vonnegut21
3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Armsby Abbey.

A: Pours a clear-golden straw color with a finger and a half of white, fuzzy head. A very nice looking beer.

S: Hops. Pine and resin are present up front. There are some citrus notes as well, but this is all pine with some grassy, floral aroma.

T: Lots of up front hops on the first taste. Lots of hop bitterness. A bit unbalanced compared to the flavoring hops. Lots of pine and grassy notes, with a bit of grapefruit and perhaps a touch of mango on the back end. This being a lager, the malt backbone is really muted, too much so really. It's really a bit of a bland-bodied beer, with a nice hop profile that just overwhelms the backbone.

M: Kind of thin and watery, but with a really nice crisp, clean finish. With some more body to this, it would be truly excellent as I really enjoy the lager finish.

O: I was really excited to try this beer as I've heard a lot of good things about it. I have to say I was pretty underwhelmed by it. I'll definitely give it another try in a bottle, but it was a bit too thin-bodied and dry for my tastes.

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

Appearance is perfect if you love gold with heady lacing galore. The carbonation is just right, and as I have come to love from Jack's Abby, the unfiltered unpasteurized product is pure.
Smell is hoppy but not overly so. Well, it is a whole nose full of hops. A bit of citrus too
Taste is something that will blow your mind in this beverage. Higher than a five/five
Mouthfeel is so crisp and so smooth I can't imagine anything being more heavenly.
Overall these lagers Jack's Abby makes are some of the greatest beers today. Affordable and oh so delicious, the Hoponius Union is the kind of beer I wish I could drink more regularly.

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