Hoponius Union - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Hoponius UnionHoponius Union

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

313 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 313
Hads: 2,315
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 6.86%
Wants: 352
Gots: 381 | 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: 313 | Hads: 2,315
Photo of GonzoHomebrewer
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When Jack's opened, I was excited at the thought of a brewery just minutes away from this new place in MA I call home. I tried hoponius and fell in love. I made it my mission to make sure the restaurant I work for put Jack's on tap for two reasons: 1) This beer is amazing and people need to try it. 2) I wanted an awesome beer for my shift drink

The restaurant was smart and listened to me. I drink plenty of this on tap, but decided I'd buy a 4pk and review it in bottle.

A- Pours a wonderful burnt, rusty orange with a lovely frothy head. Also laces wonderfully on the glass as well, looks about as good as it can get for an "ipa"

S- Its like someone made a potpourri of Pine needles and lemon rind. Smells great

T- Fantastic! The citrus notes are a little more prominent here than in the nose. There are some signs of malt, but it doesn't even bother to really push the hops aside, they're just along for the ride. I feel as though the lagering process must help in showcasing the hops. delicious

M- This is what surprised me. Its not unusual for a brewery who hasn't been bottling very long to not quite get the magic that is their beer on tap right away, but Jacks succeeds here. Just enough carbonation to make the hob bite linger a bit, but not so much that it detracts from the drinkability. very nice.

O- This is one of my favorite beers. If you're looking for Heady and get disappointed in the chase, BM me and I'll send you this for locals. Instead of buying the world a coke, I'd buy it an Hoponius Union. (1,525 characters)

Photo of stonermouse
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First review of a Jack's Abby brew, although I've had or sampled a few now. I'm excited to see the bottles turning up everywhere.

Appearance was suprisingly cloudy, more like an IPA than what you'd expect from a lager. Although these guys are defying expectations regularly, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised here. Color is straw yellow and fairly typical.

The smell is muted, yet sweet and lemony. Very clean and pleasant.

The taste is unusual, but an absolute home run of flavors. A lager base is just brilliant for these IPA flavors. It's kind of like taking the bun off of a burger, and just savoring the meat and cheese and all of it's juiciness. Juicy lemon flavor throughout, cut with some mild melon flavors to even it out. Everything is just pure and clean, as one would hope.

The mouthfeel isn't as clean as you might expect from a lager, but I enjoyed the sticky hop resins that I was still tasting and burping up an hour later. They are quite sneaky because of how mellow and clean the taste is.

Wow all around. This beer is clean, tasty, and full of flavor, but not so overpowering that you couldn't session a couple of them. And the best part, the pint bottle runs 2.95 at my local. 2.95 for a spectacular, local craft! These guys are a bit under the radar right now, but not for long. Get in now so you can say you were there when... (1,357 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Hard for me to rate this, because for a lager, it's a great IPA. I rated down slightly for this because I'm not sure how this fits in a "newer" style of IPL.

A: slightly translucent golden-brown with a bunch of sustaining head
S: wonderful floral and citrus notes (I'm guessing Citra hops). A scent to be expected from IPAs, but rated at 5 due to the lager aspect, right or wrong)
T: reminds me of a session IPA, which is mostly what I'd expect. Taste follows nose pretty well (honey, orange) but has a slight crispness to it (that also seems to "weaken" it). There is a mild spice bite in the transition to the end taste, lightly peppery.
M: not a lot, but not expected. Light pine in a finish the reminds me of Czech pils. The carbonation does seem to fade quickly, however.
O: I thoroughly enjoyed this beer, and tried to compensate for some lower individual marks in this category. I will say that it is lager-like in one sense: it loses a bit of a appeal as it warms. (973 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales teku glass. Bottleneck says 041615.

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains well before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of sheer surface foam. Not-so-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Mild grassy hop aroma that's a bit fumy.

T- Definitely more on the earthy side as far as the hop profile's concerned. Nice mild bitterness with a bit of sweet malt flavor. Goes down so easy but is still very interesting due to the enhanced hoppiness. Slightly fruity aftertaste with a clean finish that resets the palate for more sips.

M- Crisp and somewhat sharp with medium carbonation and a lightish body.

O- I'm rating this higher than I would if this were an IPA because, if I'm reviewing to style, this is the best American Pale Lager I've ever had. (877 characters)

Photo of illpass78
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%

400 ml (13.5 oz) on draft, served in a mason jar, at Sweet Cheeks in Boston.

Appearance: Pours a very slightly cloudy straw yellow with a one-finger white head that displays good retention. Nice lacing on the way down.

Aroma: This beer smells of grapefruit, lemon, pine, grass, hops and some faint bonus citrus. Inviting and fairly complex.

Mouthfeel: Nice balance. Perfect body for the style.

Taste: This beer hits you with a big, bold grapefruit flavor up front and finishes with dry, bitter hops. I like this a lot. It strikes me as an IPA/lager hybrid. Good stuff. The grassiness and lemon bite are in there, too. A fine beer.

Overall: This is one of those beers I got tired of hearing about and tried in part so I could say the hype is wrong. Well, I failed. This is a really excellent beer - one to seek out, worth sipping and enjoying, but also the right balance for cookouts and outdoor goings-on. (910 characters)

Photo of Brad007
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a bright golden color with a frothy white head into my glass. I've heard great things about this brewery and I'm glad we can finally get their offerings.

Hops mix with sweet spelt in the nose. Floral, grassy and there's also some citrus. The label doesn't say which hops.

Wow. Hops with a decent citrus/cut-grass edge mellow out in the middle to expose the sweet, rich buttery malt underneath.

Very clean and it retains most of those flavors at the back. An added bonus would be a citrus tweak right before the edge of the throat.

I gotta hand it to Jack's Abbey here. The only other "hoppy lager" I've sampled is Sam Adams Double Agent IPL. This is much cleaner, much tastier and more to my liking. I'll be buying more in the near future! (753 characters)

Photo of CheezyBlaster
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Jack's Abby review number 4 in 1 week.

This smells like a beautifully stinky, all business, mid-profile, hoppy American ale. American. A kiss of funk with full-on punchy, but light, malt I can't place. Touch of smoky cheese. Wow. Dry roasted peanuts in the distance.

Bites big and juicy in the front. Has that pungent (well, pungent "taste") right up the malty middle. Sort of cheesy, nutty, grainy. Trails out with a familiar, but pleasant, and mild grapefruit pith . . . that brings you back for more. There is a LOT going on in the taste and feel that I am inadequate at sketching out here. Slick and wildly drinkable. Just great. I can't believe I've had 5 beers, from a place I've never tried, and I've absolutely loved 4 of them. These guys are hitting hard!! More Jack's Abby! (786 characters)

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 (575 characters)

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. (830 characters)

Photo of AdamF625
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- golden and transparent with a fluffy white head

S- citrus and pine

T- suttle grapefruit and pine hop flavors with a nice bitterness

M- thin body that's carbonated well.

O- crisp and dry, a well hopped lager. This is my staple local everyday drinker for sure. (269 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 gcamparone
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16 oz bottle into a snifter. Lucky enough to scoop up the last 4 pack at Yankee Spirits in Attleboro, MA.

A- Pours a slightly hazy, golden body with a thick fluffy white head that reduces slowly to some bubbles sitting on the top of the beer. Leaves uniform lacing.

S- Citrus, grapefruit, tangerines, honey, caramel malt, slight breadyness. Subtle but delicious aromas.

T- Starts off juicy, citrusy and tropical, progressing into a sweeter lager with caramel and honey notes, ends every so slightly bitter and piney. Unlike an IPA of the same flavor profile, these notes are more subdued, not as sticky, and leave less of hoppy aftertaste.

M- Super light, smooth, and refreshing. Definitely has the drinkability of a lager.

An excellent representation of an uncommon style. All hopheads should seek this one out. Comparable to an IPA but less aromatic and a little more modestly flavored, yet extremely delicious. (936 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 06 Nov 2013, consumed 08 Dec. I picked this up at Julio's.

In my Sam Adams perfect pint, this is a brilliantly clear golden amber with a large, dense, frothy, white head with excellent retention and lacing. The nose is beautifully hoppy. Dusty, doughy malt character is present, but really, this is all about the hops. Tropical, pungent, fruity, citrusy and just outrageously aromatic, this is truly awesome. Clean lager fermentation allows this to be entirely about the hops, and the blend of grapefruit and navel oranges is extremely refreshing.

The palate opens with a clean, quenching bitterness, mildly resiny and extremely citrusy, with orange zest, orange juice and grapefruit present by the bucketful. A mild pine sap bitterness is present as well. The mid-palate brings out the hop flavor, the blend of floral citrus and a little bit of grass. Malt character is minimal, with just a little bit of a burnt sugar/ toffee/honey sweetness present, pairing really well with the citrus hops. With the classic lager smoothness/slickness on the palate, this beer is ridiculously clean and has a nice, biting bitterness on the finish. Medium-light in body with moderate carbonation, this beer is excellent on the palate. Very highly recommended. In the pantheon of IPLs, there aren't many that better this. (1,316 characters)

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

16.9 fl oz brown bottle served in tumbler.

Slightly hazy pale straw with a hue of copper. Foamy, bright white head that clings to the tumbler's sides leaving a lot of sturdy lacing.

Fresh citrus and slightly sweet tropical fruit aromas; clean spices from the hops as well. Light biscuit-like toasted malt, just enough to provide a bit of a backbone for the hop character.

A lot going on in flavor, primarily from the hop character: fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, etc.), a pronounced spice: black pepper and pine, and bright tropical fruit (melon, lime). The wheat base is clean with just a touch of sweetness. The finish is dry with a lively, somewhat light bitterness followed by an aftertaste of lime, pine, and rosemary.

A light medium in body. Fresh, juicy, and clean on the palate. In a nutshell, extremely thirst-quenching.

A flavorful, hop-driven lager that is by no means boring. For beer, this may be the definition of refreshing. (944 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I was caught completely off guard in finding this beer. Thankfully the place I went to brings stuff over from the east side of the state. Really excited to try this one.

Nice citrus tones. Really smooth beer. Hops bring all the suave and none of the abrasive character. Love it. I would drink this all day and all night. Great beer. (333 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (947 characters)

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

I haven't had too many hopped up lagers and I've certainly been missing out. This one was apparently bottled recently.

The beer pours a deep honey amber with a solid inch of white fluffy head. It's a relatively clear beer (although some yeast is caked onto the bottom of the bottle) and the head does provide some nice lacing. Honestly, this beer looks and smells more like an IPA than any lager I've had, but its distinctly crisp taste has me leaning towards lager.
The nose is all citrusy hops (slightly tart like kumquats) with a touch of armpit B.O., cat piss and very subtle ethanol (after some warming). It's definitely got an interesting nose, but the hops do rein supreme. Drinking the beer is as expected; it's a clean, sweet, hoppy, drinkable beverage. The mouthfeel is just the right amount of bitterness with a lingering, dry finish that burns the lips.
This is an insanely good beer that lives up to my expectations and would be outstanding on tap. I would definitely try this beer again considering its reasonable price, local availability, and the unique style it offers. (1,088 characters)

Photo of darthvohn
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Glass Used: Nonic

Appearance: Golden honey hue, and a finger of fast evaporating foam.

Smell: Citrusy and hoppy; I also get whiffs of papaya sweetness.

Taste: Citrus hop note, followed immediately by grapefruit and lemon zest. Sweet grain dances around in the middle and back. Finishes with a slight bittering hop bite.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation; dry finish

Overall: A pretty tasty treat from Jack's Abby. I really liked how well the hop and citrus flavors melded and flowed across the tongue. Wish I had regular access to this beer. Definitely recommend. (566 characters)

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. (795 characters)

Photo of iflah45
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted this at the Mass Brewers fest and finally made it over to Framingham for a growler.

Pours a crystal clear golden reddish color with a seafoam 2 finger head that recedes quickly.

The nose is NUTZ, absoultely sublime. It reminds me of heady topper with tones of fresh bursting citrus and grassy earthy tones in the background. Tangerine, orange, peach etc. I asked at the brewery and they said that they dry hop and use a hop back method. The hops used are citra, centennial, and amarillo. AWESOME!

The taste follows the nose with loads of fresh citrus, peach, melon, pear....but not so much of the bitter piney finish of most ipa's (guess this is the tagline of an India Pale Lager!?!?)

Mouthfeel is very crisp and dry, yet a bit more resinous and oily than a normal pale lager. Quite interesting.

Overall, easily the best, most well rounded beer currently offered by jack's abby. I have a feeling that this one is the favorite of the brewer himself. It seems very well crafted and I can imagine the recipe was tinkered with for many many homebrew batches before we tasted it. Cannot wait for their wet hop lager coming out soon!!! (1,144 characters)

Photo of Roguer
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice 1 finger, snow white head with great retention. Brew is a lively pale golden straw color, nearly transparent. Nice lacing.

Classic IPA aroma, with big notes of citrus and pine. Noticeable dose of caramel and pale malts. Biscuity.

Flavor follows the aroma in stronger proportion. Very, very sweet and hoppy: tropical fruit (mango), wildflower honey, light citrus peel, pine resin, and pepper. Thick but not strong bread notes, especially on the back-end.

Refreshing and lively mouthfeel, a little thicker than a single IPA would come across. Each sip easily has me looking for the next.

This is a very tasty brew. It comes across as a single IPA, but with a thicker, smoother mouthfeel. Very hoppy, but not unnecessarily so. I like this beer across the board. (775 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 tastybeer
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Beer is clear and bright amber in color with a soapy-hop oily looking white head. Smells like sweet citrus, fresh grains, apples, passionfruit, peppery, and leafy. Taste is along the same lines. Very juicy, dank hop cones... Also very drinkable and delightfully balanced. Yes. (277 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From the 25 fl. oz. bottle mfg: 05-06-2013. Sampled on July 16, 2013.

It looks pretty decent with an amber-bronze pour with a good white head that lingers throughout and leaves delicate lacing on the glass. Good clarity.

The aroma is of earthy hops, biscuit malts, herbs, grass, citrus, and mild sweetness. Really enticing.

The body is light to medium

The taste has a generous pale malt and herbal start and the earthy hops sneak up quickly at the finish leaving a semi-lingering finish. Citrus notes too. Dry and biscuity at the end. Nicely done. (551 characters)

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. (1,521 characters)

Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 313 ratings.