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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: 359
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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Photo of mclynch
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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

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

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Photo of jdhowe
4.19/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500mL bottle courtesy of JOSHMAN, 6 May 2013 bottling date.

A: Pours a cloudy golden color, almost like an IPA, with a finger of fluffy white head that quickly recedes to a thin bubbly layer. If I didn't know better, I'd guess this was an IPA from the appearance. Very nice looking, though. Plentiful lacing remains on the sides of the glass.

S: Sweet citrus covering up a slightly bready pale malt backbone. Here a little bit of the lager character emerges, but really it's the hops that are most prevalent. Lots of citrus and a little pine gives a crisp and sweet aroma to the beer.

T/M: A medium body laden with citrus character that dominates the palate, with underlying bread and cracker flavor to the malt. The finish is drying, again belying its lager roots, but also strong with bitter hop character. A perfect amount of carbonation makes this beer a joy to drink. Alcohol is not evident anywhere.

O: A very nice beer. The lager base is complemented quite well by the plentiful hopping, but it remains central to the character of this beer. A strongly bitter lager, to be sure, but retaining a lot of the drinkability of the style. Definitely a beer I'd be happy to have again at some point.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep golden clear body. Small head. Wisps and some lacing.

Smell - Pine hops. Musty. Faint grapefruit. Slight sweetness to the pale malt.

Taste - Brighter citrus, but still has a lot of pine and resin. Bitterness builds quickly, faster than the sweetness. Finishes dry and bitter.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy and medium carbonation. Moderately bitter.

Overall - Not as good as it warmed. Better cold. Good all around.

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Photo of Kinsman
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fills the glass with a beautiful bright copper which is crowned nicely by a dense white head. Resinous lace rings the glass as it goes down.

Hops invite you right in with powerful grapefruit notes and a nice punch of piney goodness. All hops all the time on the nose... who said lagers were suppose to malty anyway?

Juicy citrus makes for quite a refreshing sip. Pleasantly bitter without ruining your palate. Some Cascadian pine notes in there as well. Little room left for the malt to come through.

Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I'd like as I prefer my hoppy beer to have some substance to them but this certainly nothing to be too picky about. Refreshing and highly drinkable. I'd challenge any BA to correctly identify this as a lager in a blind taste test.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with my brother.
Pours a fairly clear deep golden color with a decent sized creamy white head that dissipates rather quickly. Aromas of sweet bready malty with hint of spice and fruit with a light spicy earthy hop aroma to round it all out. The flavor holds a creamy bready malty taste with lots of spicy earthy hops to balance it out. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick almost sweet mouthfeel. Another great brew from Jack's, but not one I would seek out again.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.77/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

If the American IPA style is supposed to celebrate the highest hop rates possible and the lowest malt influence that's capable, then why are we fussing with anything other than a the crisp and clean base Lager style? Wouldn't Lager allow for a more dominant showcase of hop character over that of more characterful ale?

That just may be the inspiration that's used for Jack's Abby Hoponius Union. Upon the first glimpse, its off-bright appearance is golden and with the most modest of haze due to evident dry hopping. A frothy head of stark-white foam sits atop the beer in stubborn fashion, lacing with well defined concentric rings at each drink.

The sharp scent of those papery hop cones resonate to the nose with fresh-cut grass, slivers of grapefruit peel, bitter orange, and leafy character. Trailing deep in the recesses are the cracker-like malt structures that only support the hops in timidly supportive role. And like dry IPA, the hops command the taste with a bright botanical notion of dried citrus peel, mulled herbs and grasses, leaf, and lemongrass. Its terse sweetness never rivals the hops but give the most timid support necessary. Dry bread and crackers dissolve on the tongue at middle palate and allows the dry hop flavor to trample over the late palate and aftertaste.

Light bodied, the taste buds and trigemental sense searches for caramel sweetness or a heartier malt impression, but there are none- the beer carries the dry and sensible mouthfeel of German lagers, except they are covered up by the sharper and more acidic hop dryness. Lightly resinous on the palate, the hops trail into mild alcohol warmth and an echo of lightly kilned barley.

It's easy to become seduced by thinking of this beer as a hoppy lager. But the counterpart could be taken too- that this is an IPA with quivering support and exposed hop-derived astringency.

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Photo of tbryan5
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Rudzud for sending this one to me in a trade.

Poured from the bottle into a pilsner glass. It's a clear golden straw color with a minimal head that dissipates quickly and leaves BEAUTIFUL lacing on the glass. Love the smell: fresh hops intermingled with a combination of citrus and pine. If you can believe it, this brew tastes better than it smells. The hops come on slowly, peak just as you swallow and linger for just a bit longer enticing you to take another sip. Simply fantastic. It has a above average carbonation and coats the mouth but isn't very slick.

I loved this one. Heard a lot about it and am glad I was lucky enough to finally get to try it!

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Photo of jbaker67
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy, bubbly golden-orange with a large lasting frothy off-white head. Some lacing on the glass. Really nice aroma is fruity and hoppy, with lots of citrus hops and tropical fruit along with beady malt and some herbal and floral notes. Flavor is just as nice, lots of citrusy hops and plenty fruity, with citrus and tropical fruit and a long moderate bitter finish.

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Photo of Skwalk47
3.64/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours translucent copper with a large white head that dissipates quickly.

Hops, pine, almost soapy aroma.

Taste is similar with lots of hops but not much on the fruity or citrus spectrum.

Really nice mouthfeel with moderate to high carbonation and a slightly resiny texture.

Overall, pretty good. The bottle was about 5 weeks old so perhaps that reduced some of the haziness/fruity notes that others have mentioned.

Surprised that they would dissipate so quickly.

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Photo of dheacck11
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A little stuffed up, so my senses may be a little clouded...

Pour is a lovely golden hay color with hints of melon and orange. Thick foamy head, 1 finger, soft and white. Lingers.

Nose is mostly some soft citrusy hops. Little bit of pine. Nothing too prominent.

Taste is interesting. Nice, juicy citrus hops up front, get a little grapefruit sense. This follows with a dry malty lager flavor, which rather refreshing. Seems to have a finish with a bit of dry hop.

Feel is medium thin as befitting it's name.

Maybe it's my sinuses. maybe it's the beer. It's good, I'm just not feeling incredible with this. Maybe I just want it to be an IPA too much, and I'm trying to make it something it's not...

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Photo of flagmantho
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I had this beer on-tap in a pint glass at Stone's Public House in Ashland, MA.

Appearance: medium golden hue with a bit of haze and a moderate effervescence. Head is a finger of creamy eggshell foam with a nice chunky lace. Good!

Smell: lightly malty with a big grapefruit aroma. Not over the top but very enticing.

Taste: the hops are definitely the story here with a big grapefruit/pine/tropical character. Malt and sweetness are just enough to balance the surprisingly smooth, moderate bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a great and well integrated carbonation and delightful creaminess. Wonderful!

Overall: tasty, refreshing and wonderfully creamy. Bam!

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Photo of Keginator70
3.71/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Chose a pilsner glass. A pleasant nose full of piney hops with hints of thyme. Medium head sticks around and compliments the golden opaque liquid.
Up front moderate bitterness followed by an atypical lager malt taste. No grassy or grainy sweetness here but nothing unpleasant.
Really hard to define this one. A very good but not great selection on a hot Summer's day. I think it would go well some spicy sea fare. It's so-so with sharp cheddar cheese.
On it's own it's much better than Jack Brau by a mile and but not in the class as say Victory Prima Pils.

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Photo of BobZ
3.99/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 oz Bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Deep amber/orange with an initial 1/2" head that disappears quickly leaving only a ring, nice lacing.

Smell: A well balanced pine & citrus hoppy aroma, quite pleasant. You also get some malty sweetness beneath the hop profile.

Taste: Really clean and well balanced hoppy flavor, right at the right combination of pine and grapefruit. The bready malt flavors come through at the end.

Mouthfeel: Very nice body, again well balanced and clean on the finish.

Overall: An extremely enjoyable hoppy lager, one of the best offerings I've had from Jack's Abby.

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Photo of JMScowcroft
4.62/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jack's Abby Brewing - Hoponius Union

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bottle shared by starrdogg, thanks Matt!

A- Pours a clear golden color, topped with some white head, leaves spotty lacing.

S- Nice mix of bready yeast, citrusy hops, pine, slight onion, some grass and malty sweetness. Smells very nice.

T- Fruity, citrus and tropical, a bit of pine, the hops are really great. The malts are light and bready. Really tasty stuff.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth feel, finishes dry.

O- A great hoppy lager, I could drink this stuff all the time.

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