Hoponius Union - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Hoponius UnionHoponius Union

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

316 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 316
Hads: 2,322
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 6.86%
Wants: 350
Gots: 386 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 316 | Hads: 2,322
Photo of inlimbo77
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz bottle. Poured into a DFH signature glass.

A: Pours a crystal clear pale, orange color. I initially got about a finger of bright white head. Lots of carbonation streaming off the bottom of the glass. There is a little bit of lacing.

S: Smells like a West Coast IPA! Lots of overripe peach grapefruit, and citrus. It's a very clean smell. Fruity hops and very light malt hidden behind it all.

T: You get those hops right at the front of the tongue. They aren't aggressively bitter like a strong IPA or DIPA but they're there. Mango, peach, grapefruit, etc. The middle of the mouth if much cleaner than an ale would be. Lighter on the malts. And the finish is much more crisp and clean than an ale. Mild on the bitterness.

M: Light leading to medium bodied. Nicely carbonated. (783 characters)

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

A: An almost perfectly clear light reddish-amber pour. Huge slightly off-white head. Fades very slowly, leaving huge swaths of lacing behind.

S: Huge hop aroma. Citrus, grapefruit and tropical fruit. Even some pine! Absolutely wonderful.

T: Grapefruit, oranges, mango, pineapple followed by a huge wave of pine. Big hop bomb. Only a hint of a bready malt following all of the hop flavors but it's enough to balance out the bitterness decently.

M: Medium bodied, crisp.

O: Great brew. It's like one of the best IPAs I can think of, but it has the smoothness and drinkability of a lager. It's the best of both worlds. Really tasty and goes down easy. What else could you ask for? (684 characters)

Photo of ms11781
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a completely clear golden color. There is a thin head that develops, maybe a half a finger, but it sticks around. Excellent, sticky lacing is left on the glass. Very clean looking beer.

The hops coming from the nose are unlike anything I've had from a beer of the style. There is a huge citrus hop aroma along with a bit of tropical fruit coming through. Some orange and grapefruit lead the way with a touch of some pine. Not much malt in the nose.

The taste is excellent. More tropical fruit in the taste, mango comes to mind, than in the nose but it's still citrus forward. Grapefruit is present as is bit of pine. There is a subtle sweetness from some biscuity malt, not enough to balance the hops, but enough to let you know it's a heavily hopped lager and not an IPA. The finish is very dry with a moderate bitterness.

Medium body with carbonation to match but it feels much lighter. It's crisp and very clean. It's actually surprising how light this one feels on the palette.

This is an excellent beer. If it didn't say it was a lager on the bottle (or the tap list when I've had it on draft), I would think it was an IPA or a highly hopped APA. It drinks very clean and seems to have no room for error. The fact that it's as good as it is shows the craftsmanship that has been put into it. Definitely a beer I'll be returning to over and over. (1,403 characters)

Photo of jaasen64
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 Pint .9oz bottle from a 4-pack poured into 22oz glass. Bottled 4/23/12. I've been hearing a lot about this local brewery, finally decided to try some.

A- Pours a translucent yellowish golden, about a quarter finger of white frothy head that dissipates very fast, about average carbonation.

S- Sweet dry smell of hops, citrusy grapefruit, smells like you're typical west coast IPA.

T- Sweet and bitter hops, grapefruit, a little bit of lemon, still has a mix of a lager taste which makes it different then your typical IPA. A fairly dry, sweet, and a little bit bitter finish.

M- Medium bodied, smooth, well-balanced, low carbonation, carbonation/bitterness leaves a very slight unique tingle sensation on your palate, alcohol hard to detect.

O- This was definitely an interesting brew. A mix between a lager and an IPA. On the bottle label they say that they use lager yeast fermentation while the beer is cold and then age it with west coast IPA hops for extended periods of time. This definitely creates an unique flavor that is a mix in taste between your typical lager and a west Coast IPA. It smells just like your typical West Coast IPA and has the citrusy taste but also has the typical lager taste. At first I wasn't sure if I was too excited by the taste of this beer since it was a little bit different then I was expecting it to be, but it definitely grew on me and by the end I really enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend giving this beer a try and I'm sure you will enjoy it. (1,499 characters)

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

Many, many thanks to Cyser for sending this one!

A - Pours a medium gold color that's crystal clear, very minimal head that's thin, yet even across the top, and really no carbonation to speak of in the tulip glass.

S - Spice, pungent, tropical fruit and pine with a little bit of grainy character, but not much.

T - Some sweet caramel biscuit malt hits initially and then sticks around while citrus and pine bitterness come crashing in over the top. The blend superb, even , and leaves a lingering pine citrus lingering aftertaste. The hop character is almost oily in nature...superb.

M - Thick body for a lager and very smooth.

O - Shhh, this lager thinks it's an IPA (don't tell it). I haven't had a lager this hoppy since fresh Southern Tier Krampus. Never heard of this brewer before and I'm already looking forward to next year's batch. Very unique and dialed in for the hoppy IPA heads. Very well done! (914 characters)

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

Poured from a 16oz bottle into a duvel glass.

A: pours a nice clear golden orange with a two dj he white head that dissapates nicley and leaves tons of nice lacing... Looks crisp and clean.

S: tropical citrusy fruits, mango, light grapefruit, a touch of pine in there as well. A bit of pine apple, and a touch of sweetness, the nose smells very well rounded and hoppy.

T: Tate is much like the nose, a beautful blend of citus and pine bitterness, deffinatly get the tropical fruit, grapefruit, pinneapple. Very well balanced hop flavor though out... Very nicley done. As this beer warms some of the lager characteristics start to become a but more apparent,

M: medium bodied with carbonation on the lighter side of medium.... A nice dry finish punches the hop profile home.... Very smooth and nice drinkin with a slightly lingering bitter resinous touch on the end.

O: this is a great beer, if I had not know it going in I dot think I would have ever figured it for an east coast lager, deffinatly wouldve taken it for a west coast ipa.... And a damn good one at that. (1,075 characters)

Photo of lucas1801
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great looking clear yellw/light amber. This beer is probably miscategorized on here as this is an IPA that happens to be brewed with a lager yeast.

A: Pours a nice two finger head that lingers and eventually settles into some great lacing.

S: Nice hoppy nose, pine and citrus are dominant.

T: Very well done beer; hop flavors match the nose, malt is light and clean as expected being fermented with a lager yeast.

M: Dry as it should be which allows the hops to shine, as this is supposed to be more like an IPA than anything else.

O: great beer from a great brewery, worth a buy for sure. (594 characters)

Photo of tzieser
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

enjoyed on-tap at the pour farm tavern in new bedford.

a: clear golden color with a fluffy white head that sticks to the sides of the glass for a long time

s: strong hop aroma...notes of citrus and pine. the nose very similar to a west coast IPA

t: loads of hop flavor, with notes of citrus and tropical fruits with a light pine bitterness. finishes dry and clean. very drinkable. the lager yeast makes this more drinkable than any hop bomb i've ever had.

m: smooth mouthfeel.

so glad to see a lager with that citrusy west coast hop flavor. huge marks for creativity. well worth seeking out. (596 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
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. (742 characters)

Photo of Sailracer
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale yellow in color. Has a hint of hop/citrus aroma. This beer has a nice balance of maltiness, bitterness and aroma hops. The citrus hop flavor is fairly prominent relative to typical IPAs, which I like very much. The light carbonation made this smooth and easy to drink. Very good, overall. (293 characters)

Photo of tigg924
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at New World Tavern--Plymouth
Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, low carbonation, gold in color, clear

Smell: piney hops and light citrus hops

Taste: sweet caramel start followed by pine and citrus hops

Mouthfeel: sweetish start with big bitter middle and less bitter finish, moderate carbonation, light bodied

Overall: A nice and smooth lager. This one is a lot hoppier than others in the style. Better as a beer than for the style. A sipper that I will get again but one per sitting. (519 characters)

Photo of hagbergl
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Bottled in mid-November–perfect timing for Thanksgiving drinking.

Appearance: Towering pillowy white head atop a clear orange-yellow body. Tons of soapy lacing and serious head retention.

Smell: Candied orange, light grapefruit and some toasted bready graininess that conjures in your mind the smell of a German lager (like a Helles) that's just been hopped way up. Solid smelling beer, though certainly more muted than an ale. (As an IPA lover I do miss that piney dankness that wafts up from the freshly opened bottle. I'm not getting that here.)

Taste: Tons of crisp smooth candied orange and pink grapefruit, kiwi and pineapple in the flavor. Not as aggressive as an IPA in its hop attack but still delivers lots of hop flavor. Malt is there and more noticeable than in a regular IPA, but firmly in a supporting, minimalistic role. Very dry finish accentuates the hops and brings on the bitterness in the finish. One thing I will say about the beer is that it doesn't warm that well and loses a bit of crispness in the flavor and mouthfeel (as if the carbonation dissipated).

Mouthfeel: Clean and smooth mouthfeel with a decent medium carbonation (I do feel that the beer could have a slight bump in carbonation level). I love the dry finish, which really helps the hop flavors pop towards the end. (1,313 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.2/5  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. (557 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
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. (407 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (462 characters)

Photo of Damian
4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank on tap at the The Publick House & Monk's Cell, Brookline, MA
Served in a pint glass

Nearly clear, golden-amber appearance. The liquid was topped by a small, flimsy white head. A thin blanket of streaky lacing coated the top inch of the glass.

The aroma was exceptional. Peach, apricot and nectarine notes dominated the nose. Tropical fruits came through strong as well. Mango and pineapple were most noticeable. Touch of citrus. Some caramel malt sweetness trailed in the background.

The flavor profile was remarkably hoppy and complex. Similar to the nose in many ways except perhaps more crisp and bitter. Caramel malts came through on the front end before the hops took over. Lots of candied citrus peel. Hints of mango. Spicy in the center with notes of peaches. The finish was piney and resiny. Quite dry and bitter. Overall, the beer was well balanced and drinkable.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied and pillowy soft. Super smooth and creamy with a fine bubbled, moderate effervescence.

The boys at Jack's Abby have redefined what a lager can be. This beer competes with (and beats) many of the best IPAs in the country. I cannot wait to see what these guys come up with next. (1,192 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Reagan1984 for getting this growler out my way. Served in a mug since I've packed all my lager glassware pre-move.

Pours a clear light golden color with a nice white head and some spotty lacing as it goes down. Thin collar throughout. The nose brings some nice tropical fruits with a bit of citrus and resin there as well. The flavor profile is along the same line and is really fantastic. Beautiful fruits and a nice hoppiness throughout. Moderate bitterness throughout and a dry finish. Body is fairly light. Finish is fantastic. This is a very, very impressive beer. (586 characters)

Photo of chazmatz
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was poured for me at Jacks Abby, and I brought this growler home and poured a chimay goblet full of Hoponius Union.

I'd say this is in the Dortmunder Export style, but with the distinct hoppiness of an IPA. Unlike any in the Dortmund style due to its unusual amount of hoppiness.

The look:
Hoponius had a nice one finger of head, which was light and creamy-looking. Almost fluffy. Light golden color and small bubbles rising.

The sniff:
Super floral, grapefruity, zesty, and pine aromas. The amarillo hops are evident in the bouquet.

The taste:
Hit hard by the crisp floral bitterness, again, very floral, sharp and bitter at first, followed by light sweetness. Mouthfeel, very soft and creamy. Carbonation is mild. So well balanced, the blend of hops creates a complex world of flavors that are not overwhelming, though the dominant flavor seems to come from the Amarillo hops.

The finish:
Chewy pine resin with clean floral finish. Makes me want to drink another. A very fine beer. (994 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
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! (785 characters)

Photo of morebeergood
3.92/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Stone's Public House in Ashland. Served in a standard pint glass. Bright yellow color. Nice white head. Good amount of carbonation. Great hop aroma for a lager. Taste was surprisingly good. Well balanced hop flavor, but not overboard. Amazing they can pack that much hop taste into a lager. Mouthfeel was smooth but crisp. This is a really great beer, and it's easily their best offering I have had to date. (417 characters)

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

Appearance - pours a one finger pillowy head, nice lacing down the glass. Not a ton but enough down the side.

Crystal clear golden amber color.

Smell - this is the best thing. Tons of hops smell, citric or pine smell. Your olfactories will be in overdrive as you smell this beer. I think it is simeco hops.

Taste mouthfeel - as a lager this beer is super clean. The hops you smell are the typical over the top hops. With an 65 IBU this beer doesn't kill your palate.

Overall - this is the signature beer of Jack's Abby, you have to try it. (544 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

@ Bukowski's, Boston

Deep honey color with a fluffy bunny head. Foam sticks to the glass and creates the silhouette of a brontosaurus.

Smells like a fresh bag o' hops. Grassy and citrus. Taste, again, is akin to a bag o' grassy and citrus hops. I believe the term "hop juice" would not be inappropriate. Silky, Al Green smooth mouthfeel.

Never heard of Jack's Abbey until the bartender told me. Had a great time at Bukowski's, me, Jack's Abbey and a live Santana recording. (478 characters)

Photo of taez555
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beers pours a crystal clear bright golden tan body with a very mildly off-white head.

Nose is extreme, in your face, resin and citric hops. I just picked up a growler from the brewery about 2 hours ago, and the smell from this fresh hops are sublime.

Taste is medium bodied with an immediate huge citric hop resin, grapefruit, orange, lemon, citric hop attack. Loads of rich malts, but very smooth (probably thanks to the lager yeast). That's really what does it I think, it's got all the flavors of a big IPA, but goes down smooth like crisp lager. A perfect combo. Bitterness isn't overpowering at all. It's bitter, but really well balanced and in check. The smooth caramel malt flavor has a chance to shine through despite the hops. You can clearly taste the two parts of this beer. Ends with a nice lingering hop resin bitterness and flavor.

I know this beer is a lager, but... come on.... this beer is a pure resin IPA (sans the ale yeast). Kudos to Jack's Abby for showing the world that not all Lager's need be boring macro land. This beer easily holds it's own the best California resin/citric IPA's. If JA takes off, this will be their flagship brew. (1,167 characters)

Photo of amphion1065
3.35/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Meadhall, served in a branded pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a hazy, rich shade of caramel. A nice, tight one-finger head of white foam forms.

Pretty serious pine resin in the aroma. The hop presense is very robust, and that piney character is quite evident. A little bit of underlying sweetness in the nose, but it's mostly about that hop stickiness.

The taste isn't quite the aroma's equal. I was quite surprised by the sweetness throughout the taste - there's a very strong malt backbone, but unfortunately with the hop profile it comes off as a little faded. I was left wondering just how old this keg was.

The mouthfeel only bolstered my suspicions about the age of this beer. Undercarbonated, almost to the point of feeling dead, this seemed a little thin and watery.

Jack's Abby is doing some great things, but this beer - and more specifically, this pint - was just OK. I hope to try a growler of this soon, and with any luck drink a more representative sample. (993 characters)

Photo of seanwhite
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Every once in a while you pick a beer off a list with no idea what to expect. This was one of those times and boy did it pay off well. I had never heard of or tried an India Pale Lager, but I was intrigued.

A: Pours a clear gold with soft pillowy head.
S: Huge hop aromas - citrus, tropical fruits, apricot, resin running the show.

T: Stiff malt backbone. Beautifully balanced, crisp, drinkable. Very similar to an IPA in taste but actually a lager. Flavor follows- solid hop profile showing lots of citrus and pine notes.

M: Mild bitterness throughout. Body has enough weight to carry the hops without lending too much sweetness.

Very good beer, an entirely worthwhile east-cost hoppy brew. (700 characters)

Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 316 ratings.