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Hoponius Union - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Hoponius UnionHoponius Union

Educational use only; do not reuse.

331 Reviews

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Reviews: 331
Hads: 2,380
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 22.7%
Wants: 356
Gots: 411 | 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: 331 | Hads: 2,380
Photo of plaid75
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Prohibition Pig, Waterbury, VT.

Poured a shiny brass hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured piney, resinous hops and a grainy pale malt.

The taste consisted of waves of balmy pine and grapefruit with a clean, tempering pale malt.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style.

Overall a tasty hop forward lager.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Went to Boston over the weekend and got to try this at The Publick House.

A: Light copper color with a thin white head.

S: Lots of grapefruit with some soft bready malt, lemon peel, sage and some mango. Smells pretty fantastic.

T: Lots of grapefruit and pine upfront with a light but sturdy biscuity malt backbone. Finish brings a touch of pine resin, but finishes very smooth and clean. This beer is fantastic. Why can't we get this in San Diego? Why???

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%

Pours a straw yellow with a head that trails the glass. The scent is full of pine from the hops. The taste was fantastic with a focus on the hops, but with a nice balance with the malt to create an exceptionally clean finish. Great focus and execution of the style. Loved it right away.

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Photo of Rippeddisc
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Flown in from east coast by my sister :) Born on 05/13 opened 7/22/13

A - Nice golden color...darker larger. No real head...thin, maybe a bit sticky

S - Crisp, clean citrus. Bubble gum? Like a hoppy lager :P

T/M - Maybe the lightest hoppy beer I've ever had. Obviously not a thick mouthfeel like an ale. But hoppy...very easy to drink. Impressed.

O - Grab one. Drink it. Rinse and repeat.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy golden, one finger fluffy white head, with nice strips of carbonation. Looks like a lager indeed, but not entirely.
Great smell! Nice balance of citrusy green hops (tropical notes too) and caramel biscuity malts, like in a Munich helles. Hops are aromatic, not overwhelming. Should be great.
Okay, so, the malts are light, with some caramel and biscuit notes, and not as robust as an ale would be. Still, rich, but rather "fluffy", like boiled grains. Sweet hoppy fruitiness, with sweet oranges and tangerines, mild grapefruit, tropical lychee and pineapple, big floral notes and also prickly spicy hops. Great green leafy finish, with pine, mild bitterness.
Light body, but not watery, actually very very smooth, again, "fluffy". Dry finish with a green fresh hoppy aftertaste. Also, 6.7? Where?!
Overall, feels like a more crisp American IPA, with a German malt base and perfectly balanced hops. Extremely drinkable (watch out for the abv) and tasty.

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Photo of jakecattleco
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle marked mfg1150607 at Lower Depths. Wow, really impressed, more so than with Mass Rising. Great aroma, bursting flavor and solid mouthfeel. Would definitely drink this often if available in my locale!

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

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains floral hops, fruity citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out with a nice burst of grassy hops bitterness followed by some citrus and caramel sweetness. Then there is some breadiness from lager yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character to create a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, decent kick, very good variation of style, this is an excellent beer with plenty of flavor and substance to make it worth pounding down for a whole evening.

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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.

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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.

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

Purchased at Trader Joe's, poured into a 4-inch snifter

Hazy, golden; head that dissipates quickly; not much lace

Very hoppy; sweet, milky

Citrus, hops, crisp

Very carbonated at first- surfs on the tongue; a little oily

Quite good

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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!

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

Finally a reason to use my half liter pilsner glass.

Light golden pour, terrifically clear. Obligatory fluffy white head on top.

Dank, citrusy hop aroma hits before the pour is done. Definitely some major American hopping going on in here. I can smell a resiny bouquet drifting somewhere between lemon zest and pine trees. Absolutely no input from the malt.

First sip is a hop explosion on my taste buds. Fresh and incredibly crisp, the hops take center stage. The hop flavor is sharp and bright - there is a lot of piney dankness going on here. I double check the description that reads "tropical" but there is nothing tropical about this, all pine trees like simcoe hops with a touch of citrus.

Then as I adjust to the bitterness I can tell what makes this an IPL and not an IPA - total lack of yeasty esters that I normally take for granted. Its like pulling aside a curtain and seeing the wizard of water behind. Normally I can't tell much about the water used to brew, but this beer has a mineral hardness to it with a slight touch of salt. It seems to stiffen up the hop bitterness and accentuate it.

Clean, delicious and refershing. Love the idea of an IPL. It's almost like performing without a safety next because there is no fruity ale yeast esters to cover up any inbalances. Great beer and would buy again.

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

500ml bottle. Doesn't seem to have a bottled on date, but I know that it's fresh (think it was bottled 2 weeks ago).

Appearance: Free pour yields a 1.5 inch frothy white head that dissipates quickly leaving some bubbly streaks of lacing. Pours an almost translucent orange-y yellow. Spotty lacing.

Smell: Potent hops of a high end IPA, with notes of mango, lemon, melon, maybe some grapefruit. West coast American hops all the way. Stays satisfying for the life of the glass.

When you make a beer with an obscene amount of hops, you're going for an aroma like this.

Taste: Wow, what the nose delivers in hops, the taste delivers in malt. What a malt character; so many different notes of cereal grains, breadiness, etc. A tutorial on how many different, delicious flavors can be extracted from pale malt.

There's hops here too. Up front it's resiny with some lemony hops with tropical fruit highlights, melon-like hops (some Summit maybe?) in the middle underscoring the dominant malt flavor, with more lemony hops tinging the bready aftertaste. Highish perceived bitterness, works well.

So good. One of those, "if you don't appreciate how good this is--whether the particular hop flavors are to your liking or not--you need to reevaluate your thoughts on beer, or check your palate or something."

Mouthfeel: Light side of medium bodied. Moderate to high carbonation. Crisp feel with a dryish finish.

Overall: Damn, this is a great beer. Jack's Abby is now emphatically on my radar. You don't make something like this without serious brewing skills.

If my friend can get me fresh 4packs, this beer is going to be a Summer staple in my fridge.

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Photo of CHADMC3
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden straw body beneath the fluffy, pure white head that very patiently dissolves to leave a scattered sticky lacing.

Tremendous fresh citrus and pine hop aromas waft from the glass with compliments of sweet pineapple and grass.

The palate is equally hoppy and packed with pungent flavors of pine and sweet citrus hops. The hops are explosive on the palate and absolutely fantastic and the more I enjoy it the more the pine flavors come forward.

Medium in both body and carbonation with a sharp drying finish and ever present hops throughout.

Can't say I've ever had a beer quite like this. The flavor and aroma are tremendous.

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Photo of 80x2HopHead
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

pours a more or less opaque golden hue with a generous frothy head. Smells strongly of citrussy hops- orangey, floraly and mildly piney notes- west coast inspired I assume. Defiantly pick up on the yeasty lager components here. Citrus hops hit first while the piney notes come in the background, not an overly bitter hop profile and finishes with a clean and refreshing lager characteristic. Mild alcohol presence, carbonation is on point and an overall very clean IPL. On the whole this is a very well crafted IPL that certainly makes me want to come back for more.

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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.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep golden body with just a hint of amber. Mostly transparent, but a slight haze to it. Big, foamy, frothy white head that leaves a mess of sticky lacing behind.

S- Herbal hops with some citrus and tropical fruit undertones. Slight hint of toasted bread is there too, just behind the hops.

T- Very nice hop flavors come through first, with the herbal characteristics there, followed by zesty citrus and hints of mango and tropical fruit flavors. The toasty malt comes through enough to balance the big bitter hops.

M- Medium bodied, with a lot of stickiness to it. Medium carbonation and easy to drink.

O- A tremendous hoppy lager. Big, bitter hop goodness with a toasted malt body.

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

This beer pours a beautiful light copper color, with a nice two fingers of white head. The head evaporated pretty quickly, and the remaining surface had a nice glossy sheen.

Smell is awesomely hoppy, very sweet and floral. Its a big, beautiful hop aroma with hints of citrus.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, feels more substantial than a typical ale.

Taste is big- hoppy and bitter, but not over the top. It's clearly unbalanced towards the hops, and this is a great thing. It's very bright and crisp, with a touch of citrus, and a hint of spice. The Citra, Amarillo, and Centennial hops create a truly unique hop profile that is big on taste and surprisingly light on the bitter.

I loved this beer. Its huge on hop smell and taste, and very modest on the bitter side. There is something to be said for locally brewed beer that is made with great skill, quality ingredients, and an adventurous brewer.

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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?

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Photo of chugalug06
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great clarity in the yellow hued brew. Light, fluffy, foamy, white head. Moderate lacing.

Centennial hopped. Citrus hits with a nice bang. Cantaloupe, pineapple, bready, ricey... yum.

Light and refreshing, yet unrefined, in a good way. Dry finish kicks you with a wallop of bitterness. Heavy carbonation sightly distracts from the high points of the brew. Citrus is sweet with pleasant, refreshing, bitterness.

Ah, yes. Perfect for IPA day.. I guess it is an IPL, but whose counting?? Refreshing for a hot summer day. A (near) perfect example of an IPL. Great style, becoming one of my favorite. Highly recommended.

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

500ml bottle into a tulip

A: Pours a clear golden yellow with a nice big white head that fades to a ring leaving tons of lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is akin to a big IPA rather than a Lager but it smells amazing. There are a ton of hops in the form of tropical fruits and a bit of pine as well as some nice malty and grain aromas as well.

T: The taste doesn't disappoint either. Big flavors of tropical fruits and pine along with sweet malt and grains. This is a super hoppy yet very balanced beer. The finish is not overly bitter like an IPA but rather very smooth like a lager should be. It's very impressive to get the best of both worlds here.

M: The feel is crisp yet creamy from the carbonation.

O: I was not expecting much as this was an extra in a trade but it blew my mind. Crazy good and highly recommended.

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

Pretty orange pour with a fluffy white head.

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

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

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Photo of dar482
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in an extremely clear light reddish amber color with a fluffy white head with lacing.

The aroma has tropical of mango, tangerine and orange peel, grapefruit, some spicy pine needles, very hoppy. Lots of fruit. A bit of a bready malt. A wonderful West Coast fruity aroma.

The flavor is extremely hoppy with that tropical and citrus of grapefruit and lemon peel in the front. A bit of a light bready malt. Then onto a very spicy and grapefruit peel finish. There’s some Earth and green vegetable flavor in the finish as well as that lager, slightly metallic, note. Tons of grapefruit peel that continues on and on.

The beer is super refreshing, drinkable, and clean, but also so hoppy.

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Photo of gonzo000
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a. Hazy sunrise oragne in color once settled with a two inch head. Head thins, but remains through out the life of the beer. Lacing on the glass.

s. Citrus and hoppy pine. A bit faint.

t. Fruity - pineapple, peach, orange - on the front. The back end is all pine. Hopped up with a touch of bitter in the very finish.

m. Silky smooth with excellent carbonation

o. Outstanding all around. Excellent beer that I will revisit often.

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Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 331 ratings.