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Hoponius Union - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Hoponius UnionHoponius Union

Educational use only; do not reuse.

333 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 333
Hads: 2,402
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 22.7%
Wants: 358
Gots: 423 | 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:
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hoponius Union Alström Bros
Reviews: 333 | Hads: 2,402
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%

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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.

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Photo of Justin82
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz into a pint glass

Look: Hazy orange, half inch foamy head, a lil lacing

Smell: slight citrus. Herbal and grassy notes

Taste: Much like the smell. Not really getting the citrus, but still herbal and grassy. Finishes dry and bitter

Feel: Really smooth. Nice carbonation

Overall: Really enjoyable. I usually tend to go for juicier ipas but this ipl hit the spot. Just a really tasty well balanced beer. Feel like this one begs to be sessioned. Would definitely get this again

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

Jack's Abby "Hoponius Union"
12 oz. brown glass bottle, "MFG1458032415"
$1.92 @ Weis Market, Conshohocken, PA

I mean it in the best way when I say that the smell and taste of this reminds me of home-brew - the best home brew, of course. It's got that bright, lively, "real ale" character to it. Onward...

Appearance: Its golden-orange body is hazy, and perhaps even cloudy, but given that it's unfiltered one can hardly complain (and that also most likely explains why it tastes so fresh to me!). Its antique-white head rises up majestically, and then slowly settles down into a thick rocky cap. As you might expect the lacing is quite nice as well.

Aroma: Spicy, woody, earthy, floral, citrusy, and even a bit tropical.

Flavor: For the most part the hops remain the same, over a slightly sweet malt base that's distinctly grainy with a very soft edge of golden caramel to it, and perhaps a light touch of toastiness as well - it's cracker-like and biscuity, but there's more going on than just that... I can't quite put my finger on it, but it's pleasant. As I think about it, I'm wondering how much the graininess is adding to the woody and earthy notes in the aroma (?). It's nicely balanced with the hops and malt meshing together, and with the lightly sweet note of maltiness balanced by a solid (but not bold or brash) bitterness. It's odd, this is a lager, made with American hops, and yet it seems very English in nature to me - I've recently returned from a week-long pub crawl in Liverpool, and I can totally imagine finding this on tap from one of their up & coming craft breweries.

Mouthfeel: Initially slightly zesty but then remarkably smooth and velvety. Medium bodied and lightly oily.

Overall: Really quite brilliant! I found it enticing, and then compelling, and finally, really quite satiating and relaxing. For me this is the kind of beer that I want to sit down with at the end of the night with a good book after I've had something a little more basic. It's good enough that it can be the last beer of the evening because unless you're going to go for a barleywine or something like that, there's really nothing that can follow it. Worth seeking out!

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of jbadge24
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I think I had the wrong beer before I tasted this but it really came around. Color is correct, but a little clear. Smell wasn't great, even after I got through half of it.

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Photo of sleuthdog
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into GI tulip stem

Pour: Honey orange color and cloudy look. The head was a solid 2 fingers of fluffy, soft looking white with both some small and medium bubbles within. The lacing left behind is something to behold as it clings to the glass from the top to the surface of the beer. A sparse soft pillow is left on the surface.

Smell: If I didn't read the label of this beer as being a Pale Lager I would have said this is a great smelling IPA or pale ale with big hops. A big hop forward smelling beer with pine, grapefruit and some grassy notes. Upon subsequent sniffs I get some more of the citrus with orange and pineapple.

Taste: A fairly bitter forward beer with an astringent quality but in a good way. There is an initial hit of bready notes but that is quite fleeting as the hoppy bitterness takes hold right away. Grapefruit rind with big pine taste and bitterness throughout. The finish is very bitter and dry and the burps are even bitter.

Mouthfeel: Light body and very drinkable even with the high level of bitterness. A bit thin but that is only because I am comparing this to an IPA and I have to continue to remind myself that this is not and IPA. Crisp and refreshing and would make one hell of a hot summer beer.

Overall: Really enjoyed this beer and would love to be able to get some of this to enjoy on a hot, humid summer day here in Chicago.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to portia99 for this one (it was an extra!), really looking forward to it. Pours a light copper color with very high clarity - only a very, very mild haze that forms dead center. Foamy white head begins to form some chunking lacing and legging right off the bat.

The nose is heavily hoppy with a solid malt backbone - if the first whiff is any indication, this beer will be balanced very well. Some lemon zest, pineapple, and bitter citrus peel couple nicely with light and leafy pines and wet hops. A touch of cracker-like sweetness from the malt brings the aroma together nicely.

The first thing that hits the palate when taking a sip is a helping of wet, juicy, pine-like hops; grassy, floral, and slightly pungent. Light resin starts to come out as the sweet malts work their way into the mix, helping to balance and offset. Some mild fruitiness extracts itself from the hop bill; pineapple, grapefruit peels, herbal lemon zest.

The hoppy flavors mostly fade by the time the beers has left your mouth and all that's left is the aftertaste, but a light, assertive bitterness remains along with some sweet bread, butter, and cracker malt flavors that give the excellent balance I was expecting from the aroma. As the brew goes on and gets warmer, I'm tasting some light white pepper spices come out from the hops, and maybe even some faint onion flavors. The body is medium and slick with a surprisingly dry and crisp finish.

Wow! Very solid brew here. It doesn't really exhibit the normal characteristics you'd expect from a lager, mainly because the identifiable yeast flavors are mostly covered up by the hops. You could easily mistake this beer as an IPA. The only real tell-tale sign is the dry, crispiness in the end. Nevertheless, this one shows exceptional balance and great execution for a very drinkable, hoppy-ass brew.

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Photo of papat444
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle, MFG 12.02.13.

Mildly hazy body the color of honey. Thick head, tiny patchwork of lacing leaves an imprint. Creamy gobs remain in the glass. Glorious resiny hops with slices of fresh fruit in the aroma. Flavor is geared more to the fruit side of hops, juicy and has a mineral flavor in the back. Bitterness is sustained yet present. Digging almost everything these guys are doing.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So I guess this brew is an APL or an IPL... either way it seems to be an "Ale" inspired lager. Thanks to cbeer88 for sending this one my way. Appearance is slightly hazy and orange. Fluffy white head forms and retains nicely, heavy lacing left behind. The aroma features lemon, earthy, pine, and grass. Very hoppy with notes of cracker underneath. The taste starts with a touch of malty graininess followed by a touch of sweetness. Then comes a wave of hoppy bitterness in the form of grass and pine. It finishes off with more cracker and bread notes. Very nice range of flavors here with good balance. Mouthfeel is moderate with appropriate carbonation. Overall, this is a lager I could get in to. Definitely one to try for the hop heads out there.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour at the bottle share hosted by Adam Fine Wine & Liquor held at Sophie’s Place in Redondo Beach, CA.

Pours a hazy light orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, citrus zest, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with a fresh hop flavor and a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of mnrider
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Hazy dark golden color. Nice large white head. Lacing is good and sticky.

S: Herbal hops. Grass. More Hops. Malts are biscuity. Some tropical flavors pop up.

T/M: Bitter hops but smooth. Tropical and herbal. Bitter again. The malts are pretty strong and lager like. Medium bodied. The finish is a little dry with a linger of bitter hops.

O: Outstanding! Love the mixture of IPA hops and Lager malts. Easy to drink. Great entry from Jack's Abby.


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Photo of jbertsch
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Really enjoyed this one. Had it on tap at The Gaff in Waltham.

The bartender's pour gave me a very tiny head. Not sure if that's representative of a typical pour of this beer. Nice lacing.

Wonderful hoppy aroma of stinky hops. Stink in a good way, the way you'd enjoy stinky cheese (at least I do). Kinda smelled like feet, but still floral. I love it.

It definitely has a hoppy flavor that matches the aroma. It didn't give me a citrus-hop profile. What I felt like I was tasting were the actual leafs of the hops, and their oils. The malt profile is biscuit like and really takes second stage to the hops.

Mouthfeel was just fine, not flat or too carbonated. The hop oils make it a little sticky.

Overall I loved it. Clean, refreshing, yet totally flavorful. Full of hops but doesn't overwhelm either. Went great with fried pickle chips.

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Photo of Tmyhre802
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Surprisingly my first taste of Hoponius and I certainly wasn't disappointed. This is a beautiful looking beer in it's color. Not the hoppiest smell I was hoping for so it may not have been the freshest bottle. The Mouthfeel was a little too much of a bite but that's just being nit-picky. Overall really loved this brew!

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Photo of Beric
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Bottle into tulip
Served: 20 October 2014

Appearance: Pours a clear orange-ish yellow with a soapy white head that slowly dies and leaves behind appreciable lacing.

Smell: Absolutely amazing- an incredible floral and citrus bouquet that is full, rounded, and complex. The beer has a strong welcoming aroma as soon as the top is cracked. At the same time, there are still some of the more evident lager subtleties, such as that distinctive lager 'edge' which is present.

Taste: Again, much like the nose, but I find that this beer, unlike Jabby Brau, preserves more of a lager's integrity, as there are clear notes of lager 'edginess' and 'biscuitiness' in the beer. The flavor is dominated by the sweet floral hops, but rides on a nice, medium bodied lager backbone. Imagine a sweeter, much hoppier Dortmunder for how the malt is in this one.

Feel: Crisp and effervesent.

Overall: A marvelous beer, and one in a category all of its own. I'd like to see Jack's Abby be able to preserve the lager subtleties but add solid hop flavor in a low ABV offering, such as a traditional south-west German Pils or other hoppier-than-usual lager styles. However, for now, if I want a hoppy beer that's crisper than an ale, I'll gladly reach for a sixer of this stuff. Would highly recommend.

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Photo of Brenden
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The color is short of verging into orange, but it's pretty far down the yellow spectrum. It holds a mild haze for a while that eventually clears up completely, leaving a bright and glassy brew. The off-white head begins just about one finger tall and holds well, thick and rocky. Lacing is webbed and quite consistent.
The aroma shows off all the fruity sweetness of the flavor with the drying counter also found. It rests on a semi-dry malts base and shows the hops nicely. There is quite a bit of citrus along with the sweeter element, and has maybe some stemmy bitterness underneath.
The flavor's where it really picks up. It's hoppy, balanced and complex with lots of depth. The sweeter fruits notes lie up front from beginning to finish, carrying with the plenty of citrus and showing the biscuit and dough-like malts. The hops are oily and fresh, with lemon, leaf and some resin staying strong while allowing a little herb to show and grass to finish it out with the sweetness before stemmy dry bitterness finishes it.
Sweeetness doesn't keep the dry nature of this beer from showing in the feel one bit. If anything, it only starts sweet and ends quite dry. Crispness kicks the whole time off a soft, strong carbonation that creates lots of smoothness.

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Photo of davey101
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into a SA perfect pint. Just showed up on shelves again so fairly fresh.

A - Pours a very clear golden amber body. Massive amount of sudsy foam. Clinging and sticky with excellent retention.

S - Piney and bitter grapefruit, floral grass, and cereal grain. Very IPA like, subdued but excellent.

T - Bitter 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 - Jacks's Abby knows lagers and this is the best one I've tried from them yet. Takes the best elements of an Indian pale ale and a pale lager to create an incredibly delicious and sessionable beer.

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Photo of Mikecap
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a deep copper from a 500 ml bottle into my IPA glass. Two-finger white head that dissipates fairly quickly, decent lacing on the glass.

Smell: Citrus fruits, piney and resinous hops, with some earthy notes. Pick up some grapefruit, and overall a not overpowering aroma.

Taste: Somewhat hoppy but not overly so, certainly on the lower threshold of IPA in my opinion. I can pick up the grapefruit that I sense in the aroma, and this is slightly sweet and not overly malty.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth and not too bitter. Goes down very easily with the right amount of carbonation for the style. Very smooth with a nice creaminess.

Overall: This is a great beer by Jack's Abby. Interesting yet not overly complex and certainly one of their best, but everything they make is pretty solid. Definitely worth seeking out. Also a great brewery and great people, get out there if you can.

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Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 333 ratings.