Hoponius Union - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Hoponius UnionHoponius Union

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

315 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 315
Hads: 2,319
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 6.86%
Wants: 351
Gots: 385 | 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: 315 | Hads: 2,319
Photo of popery
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a nice bright gold with a big puffy head, a light cream color. Lots of lacing, very good retention, in case you're curious. The aroma is quite hoppy. Big on bright citrus with a little tropical fruit in the mix. Nice floral note, as well. Sugary, doughy malt underneath all of those hops. Taste is similar. Lots of hop flavor. It pretty much drinks like an IPA. It's just a bit cleaner for better and worse. The hops start with sweet floral and citrus flavors but get a bit bland in the finish. It's just not quite as juicy as I'd like. Nice dry finish, otherwise. Light mouthfeel with a little bit of hop oiliness. Very good beer. (637 characters)

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed out of a 12 oz brown bottle courtesy of fellow BA SammyJaxxx. One I've been curious about, so this will be fun. Bottle looks like it might be marked with a Julian date, but doesn't indicate whether it is a bottling date or freshness date. Since it says 340 13 (Dec 6th, 2013), I'm going to go out on a limb and deduce that it's a bottling date. Poured into a 16 oz pilsner glass.

Appearance - Body is a sunny yellow hay/straw color with faint and isolated traces of carbonation bubbles drifting up to the top of the glass, where a three finger rocky head of off-white awaits. After a minute or so, the foam begins to recede, leaving a giraffe-like pattern of thick lacing along the sides of the glass and a one-finger head that remains throughout most of the rest of my enjoyment of the brew.

Smell - Faint, but fresh/bright smelling hop aroma, like grass, garden greens and maybe a little bit of floral undertone, like clover. Alongside the ethereal hop aroma is a nice water cracker component, light and crisp--present but unobtrusive. It's strange somehow the hop presence manages to be at the forefront, like one would expect for an IPA, but doesn't leave the realm of the crisp and clean element you expect from a pale lager.

Taste - Picks up where the excellent aroma left off. First, an opening of herbal bitterness with floral undertones. Some faint citric elements as well, like tangelo, but the grain and malt are definitely on display. Light toasted white bread and fresh-baked crackers give balance to the brighter hop elements.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied and crisp, moderate-to-high levels of carbonation. Slightly prickly feel, with ample effervescence.

Overall, a wonderful experience for my first Jack's Abby beer. Of course, I'm a bit of a hop addict, so my opinion is skewed, but I think I'm being fair when I say that this doesn't lose sight of the fact that it is not an IPA. It retains the bready, crisp characteristics that you expect from the style. From what I've heard, these guys know their way around lagering, and based on this first example, I'm inclined to agree. (2,105 characters)

Photo of Phillip13
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A very find lager. It has as much hop flavor with just the right amount of a bitter finish as any lager out there. You won't be disappointed with this beer. (156 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Amazing extra from bramsdell (cheers buddy!) enjoyed from a beer hunter taster glass.

a - brew pours transparent honey yellow with a generous frothy head that hung out for a while and as it dissipated, it left big frothy chunks of lacing. lots of visible carbonation dance to the surface.

s - nose is a fair amount of hopping layered over some nice earthy malt lager. great citric notes on a lager is a welcome addition.

t - really nice. definitely a lager, but with all them hops gives the impression of a pale ale with the earthy undertones. the hops bring to life a style i'm not normally wild about. biscuity with a subtley bitter finish.

m - nice medium bodied brew with a good fullness to the profile and feel.

o - super enjoyable and refreshing brew. not usually a big fan of a lager, but this beer, i could drink all of the time. very well suited for the warm weather. (882 characters)

Photo of utopiajane
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a true amber gold with bright clarity and bubbles streaming up from the bottom. The head is soft, white and falls slowly enough to leave a ring and slippery lace. Nose is strong and earthy lager yeast that has been splashed with sunny hop citrus. There's a touch of pine and grapefruit but nothing as strong as an IPA. The body of the beer is smooth and the earthy yeast seems to give it texture. It has ample carbonation but those bubbles do not bite you. The citrus is flower like. The grapefruit is soft and so is the pine. The light malt is perfectly unobtrusive but carries this beer expertly with a light grain in the aftertaste. It's caressed by a gentle bitter but even that is restrained. Smart and poised.

This beer kept the quality of a lager and added just the right amount of hops to show them off a little but not get carried away. Extremely food friendly with just a hint of sweetness. This beer is uncomplicated by the hops and is quite engaging. (969 characters)

Photo of snilsen13
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Honestly, there's some weird hype about this beer. It was better back when they bottled in pints, or maybe it was just better before they increased the supply? Now, this beer is always on the shelves. I don't choose to buy it anymore. I put this at the same level as say, SN Torpedo. Both are good, perhaps great, but there a lots of options at this level.

Also, I just tried to the SN 2015 spring beer camp. It's just like this beer. So, I was inspired to add this review when I reviewed it. Neither is better than the other, honestly. These two beers are like clones. (581 characters)

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Shiny golden body with a touch of chill haze. Four fingers of creamy white micro bubbles. Good drippy lace.

Citrus aroma with a touch of fresh bread.

Solid deep semi-sweet malt foundation. Juicy fruit. Solid hop bite at the swallow. Cleaner finish than an IPA, but not quite pilsnerish.

Medium mouthfeel with a bit of prickliness.

A damn good hoppy lager, in a class with Victory Prima Pils. (397 characters)

Photo of Omnium
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours a nice clear gold 2 fingers of soapy white head, mild lacing.
S - Grassy, and piney aroma, a touch of light citrus, and lager kinda traits, some bready malt.
T - Lots of pine and grass as far as the hops goes, a mild bitterness up front then smooths out to that crisp mellow lager taste.
M - Clean, smooth, refreshing, light bitterness on the palate.
O - Well it really is that good, something you could definitely drink a few of, I think there's also some great examples of the style already out there, but this one is popular for a reason. (575 characters)

Photo of MusicaleMike
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

OK, well this is clearly not an American Pale Lager, but I guess we all know that. I also know that India Pale Lager is not a recognized "style" quite yet, but will review the beer with that intention in mind. I am sure the brewer would probably put this more towards the IPA category than the APL category.

Served in a pilsner glass. Bright golden body. Very nice head formation! Really solid and consistent bubbles, all the same size. Very good retention. Pretty amazing and even though this is my first "IPL" I could say with some confidence that this beer has a really outstanding appearance. It fails to garner a 5 though for the hazy body.

Aroma is quite similar to a true west-coast IPA. Bready malt lay underneath a blanket of citrus hops with notes of honeysuckle and candied oranges.

Up front, there is a big, impressive flavor of blood orange with a nice, spicy mid-palate, and a bit of doughy malt in the finish. The beer has a moderate body with plenty of solid carbonation throughout the glass. Carbonation is spot on, and right where I would want it for a "lager/IPA" hybrid. There is a longer, residual bitterness as well.

OK, it's hard to really determine what I feel about this beer in relation to any others of its kind, but I will say that my first impression is that this is a very solid beer that carries the torch well in the IPA category. There isn't much that I would consider "delicate" about this beer, and so any of the qualities I would be looking for in a pale lager are essentially hidden. That said, I enjoyed this beer and would certainly try it again. (1,590 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours out a nice darker yellow beer with good clarity, 1" of white head with pretty solid retention, especially for a hoppy beer.

Aroma was obviously a very hoppy lager. You got both, in good supply: Simcoe hops, lager yeast. Has an herbal component to the aroma.

Taste, good snap and bite from the culmination of the yeast, Simcoe hops and mild/light body of the beer. Plenty bitter, but not a one trick pony, it kicks down some grapefruit (probably Cascade) with the Simcoe bitterness, and of course, the lager yeast is well intentioned and complimentary with this brew. It doesn't have a tropical fruit component to the hop flavor in the mouthfeel, its definitely more in the grapefruit and pine realm.

Carbonation is high, but appropriate for style. I was impressed with SA IPL, and this beer takes that up another notch. Clean, crisp and hoppy, super mild bready malt does its job.

Wouldn't hesitate to drink this over and over again. Not quite humulus lager, but better than SA IPL. I'm really liking this IPL trend. . . (1,032 characters)

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

A - Hazy yeast filled golden body with a massive ice cream looking white head. Retention is killing me because I want to take a sip. Lots of lace down the glass.

S- Damn, west coast hops smelling on par wit most great IPAs but thesis an IPL. Tropical fruit and citrus blow up upon opening with notes of peach, mango, lemon and pineapple.

T- this is like sculpin lager to me. Fresh tropical fruits once again with a blend of peach, mango, orange and lemon zest. Very light malt and yeast presence backing up this hoppy lager.

MF- Creamy body with high carbonation stinging the palate. Somewhat silky and a clean bitterness on the palate.

Another satisfying jacks abby lager. Great west coast hop profile and very drinkable. (727 characters)

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

Bottle courtesy of cbeer88, thanks again!

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

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

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

Mouthfeel is smooth with plenty of body and nice carbonation.

Overall, a very tasty lager. Very refreshing and super drinkable, would be a treat on a warm day. (526 characters)

Photo of Duff27
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Straw Colored body with a good lasting head oner. Spotty lacing.

S- The hops are out of this world.

T- Very tasty, hop, easy going down.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Over carbonation fits here.

D/O- I'm not sure how true to style this is but damn it's tasty. Thanks 4DAloveofSTOUT. (281 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Loosely bubbled white head pours low with ok retention and lace. Medium orange gold body.

S - Nice bright pine and woody hop cone nose.

T - Opens with green plant flavors. Very herbal. Smooth white bread and light caramel center. Lemon and pine bitters balance the backend.

M - Smooth, medium-full frame with nice carbonation.

O - A great session beer; smooth, full flavored, well balanced, easy drinking. (414 characters)

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

500ml bottle with no date.

Pours hazy gold with a dense white head of a half inch. A partial skim coat on the surface with dotted lacework throughout the glass.

Aromatics are a floral blend of tropical fruit and a trace of husky malt. Peach, mango, pear, and melons. Not leaping out of the glass as a great IIPA would but very nice for what it is.

Light to medium bodied with a crisp mouthfeel. Light and quaffable.

Bright, juicy, citrus-laden hops start the palate. Plenty of plump tropical goodness with barely a trace of bitterness. A bit pf pine is in the mix this time along with mangos, peachs, tangerines.

Finishes with a lingering smooth bitterness, tropical hops, and a trace of honey-drizzeled biscuits.

Great beer! Not to compare to others, but I look at this beer as sort of a Heady Topper Jr. Similar hopping and flavor, just not as big in any aspect. (870 characters)

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #68 (Spetember 2012):

LOOK: Golden, slight haze, billowy white foam head

SMELL: Resiny, herbal, grassy hops, biscuity malts

TASTE: Medium-bodied, smooth, creamy, fruity, tropical, citrusy, resiny, leafy, bitter, dry, grainy, crackery finish

West coast IPA meets east coast lagering (fermented cold and matured before packaging) and local dehulled spelt. The result is quite unique. All the fruitiness of an ale, the hop bite of an IPA and mellowness of a lager. The best of many worlds. Hands-down one the best hop-centric offerings to hail from the east coast in recent years, and a lager to boot.

STYLE: India Pale Lager
ABV: 6.7%
AVAILABILITY: Year-round (695 characters)

Photo of claspada
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear light golden color with a rather large, fluffy white head and some spotty lacing as the foam recedes.

Aromas begin quite dank and hoppy for any lager I hace ever had. It starts with some tropical fruits with a bit of citrus and additional pine resin. In the background as it warms there is some light toasty, crackery maltiness.

The tastes directly follow the nose but in reverse with some light crackery maltiness that adds the smallest amount of malt sweetness before the citrus and pine hop flavors kick into gear. Some grasyy hop flavors as well which linger along with the pine resin flavors.

The mouthfeel is my only complaint as with many lagers, finish seemed slightly stripped and finishes a bit too abruptly for my liking. Carbonation is perfect to style.

Overall this is one of the most flavorful lagers I have ever had to date and clearly well crafted and the recipe must have been tweaked many times to arrive at such a great, hihgly drinkable balance. High marks for this one. (1,009 characters)

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

MFG 03/24/2015

Pours a clear gold crowned with a tight, creamy head. Juicy hop aroma...grapefruit, orange pulp, spicy grass, and leafy herbs over some cereal grain. Nose is more raw than the flavor. Taste brings that crunchy grain note a little closer to the surface, but it's all about the hops. Floral, citrusy, spicy, and leafy hops with some sweetness holding it together. Finish is oily and resinous. Medium-light feeling and delightfully crisp. A pretty damn good hop bomb of a lager. Love the switch to 12oz bottles too. (535 characters)

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

Bottle opened on 4.21.13
Dated 03.25.2013

A - Pours a hazy medium orange with a two inch cream-colored head with good retention and lacing.

S - Hoppy pine and orange citrus.

T - Lots of pine and bitter orange peel. I would have guessed it was an IPA. Good stuff.

D - Good carbonation with a light body.

O - Finally a lager with good ipa qualities. This one lived up to the hype for me. (390 characters)

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

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

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

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

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

O-a great lager beer with nice IPA characteristics and good balance, great drinking beer (339 characters)

Photo of HattedClassic
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

The beer pours a nice white and foamy head that dissipates quickly. The head is white. The beer itself is a clear orange with some brown notes. The beer smell has a strong hoppy smell with malt sweetness taking the edge off of some of it. The hops are a nice orange citrus, which mixes well with the bready sweetness from the malts. The beer taste is similar to the smell with a strong hoppy note but very little of the malt present in the smell. The hop still a strong citrus taste to it. The mouthfeel is fairly smooth to the point where it is slightly creamy.Carbonation. Medium bodied but still fels light. Overall, a very good lager and worth getting. I enjoyed greatly and most definitely lives up to the hype. (716 characters)

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I originally had a 4 oz sample at the brewery, but I liked it so much that I got a growler.

64 oz growler poured into a pint glass at cellar temperature.

L – Pale amber color with a 2-finger frothy cream-colored head. Great retention and nice lacing. Clear with good carbonation.

S – Bready and caramel malt with a wonderful bouquet of hops with grapefruit, mango, pineapple, peach, and some pine notes.

T – Starts off sweet with bready and grainy pilsner malts, some caramel, and some tropical fruits with mostly pineapple flavors. Hop bitterness builds at the finish with mostly grapefruit notes.

F – Light-to-medium-bodied with good carbonation, a clean and mouth-coating feel, and bitter and slightly dry finish. Bitter citrus hop flavors linger.

O – This is a really nice lager. It’s crazy how these guys get so much flavor in these beers. You’d never think that they’re lagers. I’m not trying to badmouth lagers; it’s just that ales tend to have more complex flavor arrangements than lagers. Not so with Jack’s Abby. A major plus with these beers is that they still have the nice clean, refreshing feel of a lager with the vast range of flavors of an ale. Really tasty and drinkable beer. (1,222 characters)

Photo of RobbDogg
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Golden straw with a quarter inch head and good lacing. Some grain and malt on the nose. The flavor is of citrus, notably orange, and the presence of hops. Good carbonation, and mild bitterness. I am not generally a lager drinker, but this is good stuff. We'll balanced and wonderfully crafted, as would be expected from Jack's Abby. (332 characters)

Photo of Scotchboy
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first review from a trade with Adam (thanks man!)...500ml bottle poured into my Jackie O's tulip...been wanting to find this one for awhile....

A: Beautiful golden orange, first half of the bottle is fairly clear, chill haze, hefty white head lacing.

S: I get elements of Pliny right off the bat, definitely West Coast in its hop profile...sweet pine, tropical fruit, orange, and herbal undertone with a slight touch of malt...floral too, and a bit pungent.

T: Pine, tropical fruitiness, grapefruit rind, nice bitterness...good hop character front to back on this one, with undertones of bready malt and light hints of crisp lager yeast.

MF: Smooth, bitter body, lighter to medium mouthfeel, moderately dry finish.

O: This is a really solid hoppy beer and definitely the best lager I've ever had. (804 characters)

Photo of Duhast500
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sierra Nevada Celebration pint glass.

The color is a yellow gold with a small amount of haze and a finger of foamy white head with little lacing on the glass.

The smell is hoppy but not knock you over hoppy as a orange aroma comes out to greet you. Along with some hop aroma there is some sweet pilsner malts that has a bit of a biscuit aroma.

The taste is hoppy and gives a bit of bitterness with orange rind and earthy, leafy greens. There is a touch of tangerine, passion fruit and even some lemon-like flavor for a moment. The malts then steer into more biscuit flavor and some saltine flavor is there before bitterness is rained down over the backend.

The feel of this beer is light and is quit drinkable. This is really smooth with ever the smallest bump in the road of bitterness. This makes a good early spring beer. (862 characters)

Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 315 ratings.