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Hoponius Union - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Hoponius UnionHoponius Union

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

323 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 323
Hads: 2,340
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 6.86%
Wants: 350
Gots: 401 | 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: 323 | Hads: 2,340
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 WunderLlama
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a glass boot

Solid , thick foamy four finger head . Pillows of white foam. Good lacings on the glass. Orange yellow liquid with slight but steady carbonation .

Aroma of citrus and grapefruit.

Hoppy beer with strong , sharp bitter finish. Medium mouthfeel with nice carbonation.

India Pale Lager which is indeed a "wicked hoppy lager." Good IPL loaded with citrusy hops. (393 characters)

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. (641 characters)

Photo of Joe_Grizzly
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

my first I.P.L

I got a 4 pack of this for $12

the bottles threw me for a loop they are pints and very well made could be used as a weapon if need be

I also like the artwork on it like a medieval crest

has a nice carbonation and mouth feel I drank it super cold

had a nice pungent bitterness to it

the aftertaste was like a top notch D.I.P.A but with a different twang to it because it was a LAGER

def a winner in my book nice and smooth and the A.B.V % isn't ridiculous so you can have 2 or 3

that's all I got if you can get it and like IPA's it's worth the purchase (575 characters)

Photo of 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 BurgeoningBrewhead
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
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! (787 characters)

Photo of nataku00
3.82/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a clear golden color with a finger of off white head of mostly small bubbles. Plenty of sticky thick lacing as the head dissipated.

Nose is mostly citrus and floral hops, biscuit malts.

Floral and herbal flavors along with some bitter citrus peel. Just a slight malt presence, biscuit and caramel. Finish is clean and dry, with some light citrus flavor lingering.

Light body and well carbonated. An interesting beer, but I feel this bottle might have been past its prime. (521 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.81/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

this india pale lager style is really taking off, and this is one of the better examples, but I hate to say like I always do, that humulus from the bruery set the bar impossibly high for other brewers. this is excellent, until you have a humulus. it pours a nice radiant orange color with an inch of fading white fluff. a nose of crisp clean pine family hops, with a pronounced bitter close. lager yeast is evident upon the first sip, its dry but not at snappy as some. it lets the cereal grains come through a lot to balance the hops, which have a sort of punctuated citrus and pine bitterness back and forth going on. the beer would be better if it didn't come across so filling. bigger malt base than necessary here I think, fuller than most lagers, but its carbonated well and the bitter finish is quite dry, encouraging quick consumption. overall a great beer, but underwhelming in some ways, especially when put up against the gold standard for the genre. (961 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

8/15/2013

Bottle from gn0sis, thanks! Poured into a snifter. The beer is burnished golden orange with two fingers of soapy white froth. Lots of lacing clings to the glass. The nose is clean with a pleasantly bright hop fruitiness that's dripping with tangerine, mango, passion fruit, and orange redolence. Warming brings out herbal and floral character with a touch of spiciness. Malt presents no sweetness and brings to mind saltine cracker and maybe a touch of biscuit. The flavor catches your attention immediately with a firm but gentle bitterness that's accompanied by orange pith and flesh, grapefruit, herbal and floral notes, and a light mango presence. There's less hop fruitiness in the flavor than in the nose, with the herbal and citrus pith being more dominant. The finish is clean, bitter, and quite dry, with a hint of alcohol. Excellent stuff. I'd drink this often if it were fresh and available around here. (925 characters)

Photo of scotorum
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Sierra Nevada IPA glass.

a: Clear dark gold with an inch and a half white heat which dissipated to rocky and then even surface foam and patterned lacing.

s: Spice and resin.

t: Pine and spice hops forward over a tasty medium malt base. Bitterness lingers in the mouth of an otherwise dry finish.

m: Light to moderate.

o: A very easy drinking IPL, tasty and refreshing. Eminently sippable and sessionable. (448 characters)

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. (398 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to cbeer88 for this!

Pouts a somewhat clear, somewhat lighter orange color with a beige finger of head. Dissipates to a frothy foam. Aroma has lots of floral, grassy and pungent grapefruit. Malt profile is mild. Tastes of juicy grapefruit, mango, orange, floral hops and grassy, herbal hops. Lighter sweetness, touches of caramel. Body is light, oil, slick, crisp, and down right beautiful...lager body, IPA boldness. Drinks like a charm, overall excellent! (465 characters)

Photo of Benish
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 5-06-2-13. Smelled tropical fruits after removing bottle cap. Poured into pint glass. The beer had a clear orange golden color. Carbonation present all over glass. Not much presentation of the head, was about an inch thick but broke down quickly.

Aroma was primarily tropical fruits and floral notes. It seemed a little too faint, would prefer it more upfront.

Flavor was mostly tropical fruits - can't really pick out particular fruits on this one. It starts out pleasantly sweet and finished bitter. It's perfectly balance. As the beer started to return to room temperature, the delectable sweetness of the malt started to build up. It has a light bodied mouthfeel and oddly has this subtle tingly sensation in the mouth. Very good mouthfeel.

Overall it's a solid beer. Telling the difference from this lager and the IPA's would not be an easy task for me. I'm happy to try this at least once. Unfortunately this beer was not fresh as I hoped it would be. This is a great beer but I wonder how it would taste if it was less than 30 days old. (1,057 characters)

Photo of MNishCT77
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16.9 oz. bottle acquired in a trade (thanks, Greg Radawich!), unknown bottling date but gifted at NHC2013 at the end of 6/13, poured into my DFH tulip glass, drank 8/3/13 over an hour.

A: 3/3 - straw yellow-golden coloration, impressive clarity for a IPA/L (can both see or read through), white rocky head on pouring persists throughout drinking as a half-finger lacing, moderate alcohol legs for an IPA/L; probably my favorite aspect of this beer

S: 9/12 - I had a bottle immediately on trading and recall the hop aroma being more impressive but this still stands; like the 2nd Anniversary Lager, there is lots of grapefruit, orange/tangerine mixed with a grassy/floral quality ....some alcohol and malt notes are also present but the hops are front and center as would be expected; I detracted several points because, after drinking the IPL, the aroma unfortunately isn't as overwhelmingly good

T: 15/20 - on the anterior tongue, there's a mild bitterness (IBU 65) but the hop flavors, like in the 2nd Anniversary Lager, predominate as would be expected...mostly citrus fruit with some floral arrangements; in the middle of the mouth, the bready/biscuity flavors really kick in, which is surprising for the style and renders it closer to an IPL for me; the alcohol is present in the taste but not overwhelming, and I picking up very little yeast characteristics from the clean lager strain

M: 4/5 - moderate bodied with thick hop oils coating the tongue, don't taste the 6.7%; moderate carbonation for style/ABV and moderate alcohol legs

O: 9/10 - a really nice flagship beer from one of the best up-and-coming breweries on the East Coast; the hop aroma and flavors to really shine through, which is especially impressive because this bottle is at least one month old; most of my gripes derive from the malt character being too present, but, again, cheers, Jack and co., for creasing one of the best flagship IPA/Ls that I know

TOTAL = 40/50 (1,949 characters)

Photo of peensteen
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Liam for this!

Lightly hazed blonde, 1.5 fingers of white head, some lace as well. Smell is full of tropical fruits and citrus, grapefruit, pineapple and oprange, a persistant grainy malt, but quite hte hefty hop bill here. Taste is of fruity citrusy hops, grapefruit and orange, fishihes with a bit of crisp larger malt, bitterness throughout and felt in the cheeks, heavily hopped. Lightly carbonated, medium feel and oily on the back of the pallate. An incredible lager here, would gladly revisit this again, great drinkability. (542 characters)

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Very excited to try the much talked about Hoponius Union that many think is one of the best beers in the world. Props to the Apt's again for coming back from a road trip with some more outstanding beers.

A- Pours a vibrant, modestly hazy gold. A strong pour leads to a 1.5 finger, thick, foamy head with superb lacing. I decided to go with a DFH ipa glass. Wasn't confident in my glassware choice given that I don't come across a lager-ipa hybrid every day.

S- Citrus fruits with melons, tangerine and mangos. Despite the hop level, the lager yeast still comes through. Sweet, yet musty.

T- Unlike any lager I've had before. Hops abound. Citrus smelled with a touch of tobacco leaf. The middle portion when the malt takes over is just outstanding. It hits that wonderful medium and level of balance that I wish lasted for days. Dry, bitter finish that flirts with astringency without going there.

M- Outstanding feel on this lager. Super dry. Zero alcohol warmth. Coats the mouth nicely.

O- I can certainly see the hype. Undoubtedly one of the best lagers I have had to date. It doesn't fit the standard lager profile, but that doesn't keep it from being an outstanding brew.

$5.99 for 500 ml bottle. (1,208 characters)

Photo of VictorWisc
4.61/5  rDev +9%
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. (1,989 characters)

Photo of ZethOfTheNorth
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dated 5/24. My first Hoponius experience.

A: Orange/yellow. A finger of nice bright head that leaves generous lacing.

S: Fruit cocktail. Mango/peach/grapefruit, all quite light. Smell is clearly that of an IPA, but not a super aggressive one.

T: This is two months old and I'm thinking the tropical hops have faded significantly. Bittering hops steal the show; this is drinking like a bitter bomb with soft peach notes to round it out. Nice, but likely not what it could/should be.

M: Exceptionally dry, crisp, and clean.

O: Clearly from the other reviewers. this is great when fresh. With two months on it, it's something a little less than great. (657 characters)

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This sucker better be damn good considering that Raul had seats at Fenway, six rows behind the on deck circle, but the game got postponed. And lucky enough for Raul - and the people around him - it was pretty damn good.

Airy, light, and crisp (kind of like Raul likes his hina's). Airy, light, and crisp... (308 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
4.51/5  rDev +6.6%
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. (968 characters)

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. (393 characters)

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

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

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

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

The body is light to medium

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

Photo of Flounder57
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

16.9 oz beer was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a minimal head that reduced to nothing. It is a copper color with great clarity and bubbles seen coming up through the glass.

Smell: Piney, citrus, resiny, and tropical hops. Bready and sweet pale malts in there too. Interesting.

Taste: Super hop bomb here. Malts are second in the taste with lingering chalky bitterness in the end. Bitterness eventually mellows out after a while.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, crisp, full bodied, low to medium carbonation, a little chewy, and some lingering bitterness.

Overall: Pretty solid IPL from another local brewery. I remember trying Wormtown's and was very surprised and interested with it. Good to see another local brewery bring this style up a notch. (764 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
3.94/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is transparent amber with a lot of fluffy white head and some large bubbles. Nose is light, clean and fresh. Some grain, a touch doughy, strong hop punch, tropical fruits light, grassy and herbal. Taste is the same, well attenuated, clean grain notes, a touch doughy, with a strong hop punch. More tropical fruit, grapefruit, grassy hop behind, and light bitterness with a dry well carbonated finish and lighter body. (422 characters)

Photo of MacQ32
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a rich golden color with a nice finger of dense caramel head, nice retention and lacing.

S - citrusy dank hop bitterness, nice bready malt backbone. Smells like sweet pot. phenomenal smell

T - citrusy semi-dry hops, bready caramel malts, super refreshing slightly dry aftertaste - simple but well done.

M - refreshing and not too light, decent carbonation. Nice drinker

O - best lager I've ever had by far. Balances fantastic flavor and mildness very well (470 characters)

Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.