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Hoponius Union - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Hoponius UnionHoponius Union

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,868 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,868
Reviews: 271
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 8.43%
Wants: 296
Gots: 194 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Lager |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This lager harmoniously combines lager yeast fermentation and west coast IPA hops. Our India style Pale Lager is like a traditional IPA but with a twist - it’s fermented cold and aged for extended periods. A blend of classic American hops creates a huge tropical fruit and citrusy hop aroma. A dry finish accentuates the pleasant bitterness and hop profile. Hoponius Union uses locally grown dehulled spelt from MA.

65 IBU

(Beer added by: mschofield on 08-07-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,868 | Reviews: 271 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mclynch
4.69/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of my top ten beers ever. This is one outstanding lager.
The pour is a light amber color with a beautiful and lasting head.
As you approach the glass the aroma of citra and simcoe hops grabs you by the nosehairs and drags you in! I almost enjoy smelling this beer as much as drinking it!
But get to the drinking! Mmmm . crisp and clean as a lager should be, with those hoppy aromas now transformed into a nicely balanced bitterness and hops flavor. Delicious and smooth - I can drink a lot of this beauty.

Also... kudos to Jack's Abby for sending a lowly homebrewer like me the recipe for this deliciousness... which I brewed and served at my son's wedding - everyone was amazed. I was quick to give credit where credit is due - thanks JA!

mclynch, Jun 30, 2013
Photo of IPAalways
4.68/5  rDev +9.6%

IPAalways, Aug 27, 2014
Photo of datalager
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Wow, I'm really digging the beer! Drinking it right now. I'd say it reminds me of a top level IPA with a smoother finish. There is a ton of circus and pine hop aroma, plenty of bite, and a lingering aftertaste. But the mouthfeel and swallow is decidedly more oily than dry. There are also notes of nuttiness and herb (oregano...rosemary???) in the whiff as it warms. This is a super dynamic beer. There is one other really hoppy lager that I have had (Stoudt's Smooth Hoperator, also quite good), and I think the "lager" quality of this style has it's place in a world of IPAs.

At any rate, call this beer world class, because that is what it is.

datalager, Apr 01, 2014
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

16.9oz/500ml/.5l bottle served in a glass beer mug.

L - lightly hazed orange/copper color with a white head that thinned to a layer leaving some decent lacing behind.

S - citrus and tropical fruits with a malty backbone.

T - citrus hops upfront with a dry and bitter finish.

F - medium bodied, crisp and refreshing, easy to drink.

O - it's a great example of a IPL, a style I wish more breweries would tinker with.

JoeyBeerBelly, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of JoshJayne
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%

JoshJayne, Aug 19, 2014
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
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!

BurgeoningBrewhead, Aug 22, 2013
Photo of BigCheese
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

.5L Bottle, 1 week old!!!

A: Pours a cloudy/hazy light orange/yellow, big white frothy head. Head dies quick, not much lacing, could be a kinda dirty glass.

S: wow, Grapefruit & Tropical hops right of the bat, some hay/grassy bready maltiness too.

T: Citrus, Grapefruit rind, pineapple, hop oil and pine cones initially, then a hit of some light bready maltiness, some wet fresh grass, toasted malts, lemons, honey, finishes with a clean crisp herbal bitterness. Starts off like an ale, finishes like a lager.

M: Definitely a lager in body. Clean, highly carbonated, rich body, very smooth creamy/oily mouthful, light crisp finish. Great drinker.

O: Great brew, I believe the hype. Has the hoppyness of a big west coast ipa. Great body, complex, very "bright" tasting. Never had a lager quite like it. Get some fresh!

BigCheese, Jun 09, 2012
Photo of JMScowcroft
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jack's Abby Brewing - Hoponius Union

Look - Pours a hazy pale golden amber with a pinky sized (subjective enough?) foamy head that vanishes as quickly as it came. Chunks of lacing. Great representation of this hybrid style.

Smell - Citrus and slight resin hops in front, bready yeasty sour lager aroma in back, subtle but crisp, makes me ready to take a sip for sure.

Taste - Citrus (grapefruit sour) hops are a blast from the start followed by a wave of traditional (bready) lager and then a second wave of more resiny bitter hops takes up the rear.

Mouthfeel - Surprisingly bitter for 65 IBU, but in a good way. Slightly sticky (buttery) malts and maybe a little boozy and warming, but yummy as hell! Carbonation is just right, medium bodied.

Overall - This is a solid brew, I am really digging this IPL style. Jack's Abby as a whole seems solid so far, will have to continue sampling their offerings.

JMScowcroft, Jun 01, 2013
Photo of standardcherry
4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very clear orange/golden color with a nice big white head.
S: Smells super hoppy. Floral, tangerine, tropical fruits, slight grassiness; lots of peach and mango. Light toasted sweetness from the malts.
T: This beer is very juicy and tropical. Floral, orange, mango, tangerine, peaches. A bit of honey and a slight sweetness from the malts to balance it out. Finishes bitter and a bit piney. The difference between this and an IPA is that the finish here is drier and more crisp, which leaves you wanting more! The bitter aftertaste does not linger as long either.
M: Light bodied with medium carbonation. Mouthfeel is crazy good, so smooth, crisp and refreshing. I could drink this all day.
O: Another home-run from Jack's Abby. I would take this beer over most IPAs out there.

standardcherry, May 16, 2013
Photo of VictorWisc
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Started out with a well chilled bottle that warmed as I went along. Poured into a tall sample glass (multiple pourings).

Pours light to medium amber, clear, with substantial cream-colored uneven head. Recedes fairly quickly, but with good lacing, almost no collar. No visible carbonation.

When the bottle was opened, the room filled with tropical hops aroma. When poured, the aroma changed toward the piny, bitter end. Some spice on the nose, but mostly camelia, mango and ... malt. Definitely did not expect malt on the nose, but it was clearly there. Caramel malt notes, almost approaching fresh butter and vanilla. Overall, an interesting balance of aromas, approaching those of a complex DIPA.

Taste followed the aroma. Not sure if hops faded, but I've had a bottle before and it seemed more bitter. Oddly enough, no such issues with tropical notes--sweet citrus, mango, hints of green tea. Can't really place the spice flavor, but a hint of nutmeg with roasted malt notes as it opens. Caramel malt notes in the finish along with returning sweet citrus that lingers before leaving a clear pine residue.

Body clearly reflects malt that I noticed when first opened the bottle. Although dry and fairly crisp, it feels a bit heavy on the tongue, coating it and allowing the flavors to linger in the mouth. So I'll go with medium body. Moderate but robust carbonation. Alcohol is not particularly noticeable--certainly less so than with Victory Prima Pils and Headwaters PA, which are both lower ABV, but Victory's house style is a bit boozier than most. Still, noticeable buzz after finishing a full 1/2 liter of HU (at 6.7%).

A surprising IPL that drinks like IPA but at lower temperature. Very well balanced beer that should grace every hophead's list. I'm lucky enough to have local distribution, but I have little doubt this brand will go national before the next presidential elections. The entire lineup is quite good, with HU and Framnghammer clearly the most popular entries.

VictorWisc, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of yourefragile
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

yourefragile, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of Clausen19
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%

Clausen19, Sep 12, 2014
Photo of Joel
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

When was the last time you had an IPL (India Pale Lager)? O<. when was the last time you had an IPL from a cask?

Jack's Abbey showed great confidence in this Lager by serving it from the cask. I had this last Saturday night at Bukowski's Tavern in Boston. So what is wrong with this Lager? Very little. At first sight I was a bit surprised at the over one finder of head. Also it didn't look like a full pint. I was also surprised at the warm serving temp. I would guess that would have been in the 55-60F range. How many beers are there that would taste good at this temp?

I could picture the different hops dancing around in my mouth in harmony. These hops went together quite well. Citrusy as noted and not bitter. The smoothness of the lager made me want to drink this fast, but the flavor made me want to savor it.

I make my own homebrew and this is a well balanced beer.

Joel, Oct 06, 2011
Photo of Damian
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Damian, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of magictacosinus
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks angrybabboon! Poured into a pokal glass from a 500ml bottle. Bottling date is "02/25/2013." A bit old by now, but should be fine.

Pours a pale golden (amber when not in the light) complete with a great amount of carbonation and a good 2 finger of head that fills to the top of the pokal. The bubbles floating in this thing are very champagne-like, and keep the head in a strong, thickened shape. Lacing abounds at the rims of the glass. There's a bit of a hazy color to this, which ranges from the pale amber to slightly golden color at the bottom - and the trickery is unique, as in the light it just looks like a standard clear American lager. However, this isn't (in the words of Stone), "tasteless fizzy yellow beer." I can tell that this is going to be much heartier based on the appearance. Pretty much transcends the style at hand.

The aroma consists of big grapefruit, orange rind notes, combined with a grainy sweetness that is slightly toasted and robust. The hop resins are definitely alive here, even in a bottle this old. Slightly caramelized, in fact, although there is an underlying breadiness that serves as a solid backbone to the hops - which, strictly speaking, are the complete priority here. Smells like any great IPA I've had - and the hops in particular are earthy, pungent, slightly astringent, but filled with lots of mineral qualities and fruity notes. Super zesty but soothing, and at the same time, near identical to any solid hoppy ale I've had to date.

This is awesome! Sure this is a lager? Well, my senses are definitely telling me that it is, as the taste is quite crisp and smoothened out from the lack of extra breadiness found in ales. However, while the cracked, golden yet slightly toasty grains do peer in, I'm faced with a strong combination of earthy, near soil-ridden citrus bitterness, combined with a tinge of sweetness from the alcohol, and vibrant, chewy carbonation. The finish is slightly boozy, but resembles a floral, orange and pine laden bouquet of flavors. There's a touch of graininess and crisp cracker flavor, but the hops are the ones winning the battle here. And, as the bottle states, only 65 IBUs?? How? This is just as citrusy as many monstrous DIPAs, yet not nearly as astringent. Finish is quite dry, however, but still laden with the hop oils.

What a fantastic beer! I would love to try it fresher, as I could only imagine what the hop profile does then. The fact that this is a lager makes this a far crisper and easier to drink beer than its hoppy counterparts, and as a result really sets a standard for making more delicious hoppy and flavorful lagers in the country. I seriously want to see more beers like these - preferably out West. A world class lager!

magictacosinus, May 02, 2013
Photo of woosterbill
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

500ml bottle into a 668 tulip.

A: Clear pale amber body under a dense finger of off-white head. Good retention, light lace. Nice.

S: Cannabis aromas waft out of the bottle as soon as it's opened, but in the glass I'm getting more grapefruit and underripe mango. Amazing, especially for the style.

T: Citrusy hops up front, transitioning into pine midway through and ending up with crisp minerality and powerful bitterness. Mild fruitiness on the aftertaste. Great.

M: Light-to-medium body with moderate, creamy carbonation. Terrific.

O: Awesome beer, by far the best of its style I've ever had. Until the crisp lager finish you really wouldn't know this was anything other than a dank west coast hop bomb IPA. And it's a great deal, too. If I lived in MA, this would be a regular in my beer fridge.

Cheers!

woosterbill, Sep 06, 2012
Photo of RLBeauregard
4.56/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

By now everyone knows the quality brewing going on with lagers at Jack's Abby, and the locally sourced ingredients fueling their beers. Hoponius Union has a nice bite at the beginning, but mellows out with subtle sweet flavors resembling grapefruit mixed with almost a nutmeg richness. It's easy to drink 2-3 of these at a sitting. A nice substantial taste, but not overly filling. One of my favorite beers of all time.

RLBeauregard, Jul 28, 2014
Photo of GlennBaltzel
4.56/5  rDev +6.8%

GlennBaltzel, Aug 15, 2014
Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a .5 liter bottle into a pilsener- pours a beautiful and clear golden copper color, visibly effervescent, with less than a finger of head, but good retention and lacing.

Nose is nothing but hops- sharp pine-y resin along with a little grapefruit burst. Also a little pale malt in the background.

Taste is consistent- hoppiest lager you'll ever have. Bold hop bitterness throughout; pale malt up front, but quickly overtaken by sharp pine. Finishes pretty dry and stays a while.

Mouthfeel is also great- light, crisp body with moderate to full carbonation. Exceptional brew from an exceptional brewery. Get it if you see it!

Hopdaemon39, May 10, 2012
Photo of fmccormi
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Straight pour from 16.9oz/0.5l/1 pint 0.9oz/500ml pry-off bottle to a tall Ommegang flute; no freshness or bottling date visible, but this was purchased about 9 days ago (Friday, 10/5) at Julio’s in Westborough, MA. Store attendant told me it was very fresh as he pulled it straight from a box as it was being restocked on the shelves, so I think it’s safe to assume it’s essentially as fresh as it’s going to get.

Appearance (4.5): Just about four fingers of cream-colored head, dying down to a chunk rim around the edge of the glass, leaving lots of pretty, lacy rings on the sides. The body is a hazy, glowing, orange-gold color, and just gorgeous.

Smell (5.0): Holy passionfruit and pineapple Batman, you son of a bitch. Moderate dank undertones, slightly resinous, and dominated by that sweet, juicy citrus. Papaya. Drool. Grapfruit, both pith and flesh. Understated but very nice and warm, bready malt character underneath that is not dominated by but in no way distracts from the hops. Not sure I can ask for much else.

Taste (4.5): Quick flash of grassy bitterness, followed by a solid, very dry, well-formed bready-biscuity kind of character, classic pilsner malt style. And then comes layers of hop flavor: sweet citrus (red grapefruit & pineapple), lighter floral-lemony tones, and then piny resin that opens up into a dank, resinous bitterness in the finish. This is awesome, really, really excellent. And there is a distinctively “lager” tone in the malt character that comes out toward the end, kind of a mildly skunky vapor that melds with the dry, crackery malt tone. Hard to describe and pretty subtle, but it’s a classic characteristic to me, and it’s there.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Moderate carbonation that foams modestly and tingles toward the end, but the body is medium-weight and very oily—but still finishes very dry. Very good feel.

Overall (4.5): Overall, I’d say this beer kinda kicks ass. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a lager this much since I was about seven deep during my sophomore year, and that was for entirely different reasons. It brings the hops in a very clear, balanced way: it’s not BLINDINGLY bitter, but has plenty of hop strength and character, enough to give lots of hop bombs a run for their money, flavor-wise. And the composition of the hop profile is excellent. As for the malt, it’s very well-done and balanced just right—bready, crackery, not sweet by any means, but solid and well-defined. And finally, it’s clearly a lager—a fantastic one. That fact that you can get 4-packs of 0.5l bottles of this for about $11 is almost criminal. If you see it, buy it and drink as soon as you can. Damn.

fmccormi, Oct 15, 2012
Photo of donkeyrunner
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

donkeyrunner, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of DocJitsu
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

DocJitsu, Jan 30, 2013
Photo of GameFreac
4.54/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first IPA/lager? Weird style. Never even heard of it.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful golden orange/yellow color with a finger of white head.

Smell: Smells of citrusy hops, tropical fruits, and lager yeast.

Taste - Taste is amazing. Tropical fruits, citrus, and the aftertaste of a lager. So weird, yet so good.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is perfect.

Overall: One of the best beers I've ever had.

GameFreac, Dec 03, 2012
Photo of ehammond1
4.51/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle (2013)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, brooklynbrews!

Clear golden rod with a very persistent, creamy, eggshell-colored head. A gorgeous lager. Fairly sticky with nice, regular, lined lacing down the glass.

Nice blast of pine and fallen pine needles along with citrus juice and zest. This is a showcase of hops, and is really something quite special, especially for an American pale lager. Mild, bready malt bill, but this is definitely all about the pungent hops. Given this blind, I'd guess this was an IPA, without a doubt.

The flavors follow the aroma. Pine hop flavors, citrus zest, and moderate bitterness combine for an incredibly drinkable, but especially hoppy lager. Clean, crisp, and discernable flavors. Fantastic, and the flavor actually surpasses the aroma.

Medium to near full-bodied, especially for the style. Medium to high carbonation, but crisp and especially drinkable.

Fantastic. Perhaps the best iteration of this style I've ever tasted.

ehammond1, Jul 25, 2013
Photo of MCain04
4.51/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle from BostonRyan, thanks bro. No bottling date, this IPL was poured into my Bell's Tulip glass. Very first IPL, looking forward to this!

A: A tad darker than straw yellow, opaque, big 2+ finger eggshell-white head with moderate retention and good lacing.

S: Delightfully floral hops with a strong lemon and citrus nose. Some orange and grapefruit. Best-smelling lager I've had yet.

T: Follows the nose well. The hop presence is comprable to, if not better than, some of the better IPAs out there. Not exceptionally bitter (65 IBUs) but definitely bitter enough.

M: Clean and crisp, the epitome of the lager mouthfeel. Almost perfect. Not as dry as you might expect on the finish, but decently dry.

O: Really enjoyed this. Wish I could stock my fridge with this beer this summer. I hope to get to drink it again... either that or that my favorite local breweries (looking at you, Pipeworks) would start perfecting their own IPLs. Great beer!

MCain04, Mar 09, 2013
Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 1,868 ratings.