Hoponius Union - Jack's Abby Brewing

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Hoponius UnionHoponius Union

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

315 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 315
Hads: 2,321
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 6.86%
Wants: 350
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: 2,321
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)

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

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

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

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

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

O- A tremendous hoppy lager. Big, bitter hop goodness with a toasted malt body. (690 characters)

Photo of alaimoa
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured fresh from brewey and cold into a glass. Golden with semi rushing bubbles a spotty off white legs. Smell strong citrus and floral accented by a bit if earthiness. Taste and feel impressive at first getting a pleasant grapefruit and line leading into a the lager profile which is a bit hard to explain but almost a toasted bread which probably is the yeast or spelt? Overall feel, depth are outstanding with a unique flavor profile. Welcome change from the regular apa/IPA (485 characters)

Photo of Roguer
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice 1 finger, snow white head with great retention. Brew is a lively pale golden straw color, nearly transparent. Nice lacing.

Classic IPA aroma, with big notes of citrus and pine. Noticeable dose of caramel and pale malts. Biscuity.

Flavor follows the aroma in stronger proportion. Very, very sweet and hoppy: tropical fruit (mango), wildflower honey, light citrus peel, pine resin, and pepper. Thick but not strong bread notes, especially on the back-end.

Refreshing and lively mouthfeel, a little thicker than a single IPA would come across. Each sip easily has me looking for the next.

This is a very tasty brew. It comes across as a single IPA, but with a thicker, smoother mouthfeel. Very hoppy, but not unnecessarily so. I like this beer across the board. (775 characters)

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

poured from a bottle into a tulip shaped glass. Appearance is great, big head, golden-copper lagerish color, minimal lacing. Smell is good-ish, Lagers never smell as good as ales IMO. Plenty o' bubbles, great taste. Nice and fruity, no bitterness, very drinkable. I really like this beer, it might be better then their Mass Rising. (331 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.6/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to mjg0725 for sending me my first taste of Jack's Abby...& based on the contents of that big box, this one won't be my last. 12 oz. bottle with interestingly styled graphics.

The pour is golden, very clear, with visible carbonation. Nose slips you some lager tongue: bread that's fortified with iron shavings. Crackery. The hops are subdued to the point of being demure, citrus, pine, but both dominated by the yeast.

Hoponius Union grows on me as it warms: cold, this ain't nothin' much. Warmed, the hops in the title appear like magic, & interesting magic at that. The citrus is soft, out of focus, all the edges rubbed away by the lager yeast. Intensely dry. Bitterness arrives with mayhem on its mind, & rises with the temperature. Dash of Crystal Light, grapefruit, lemongrass, light spicing. Slick & easy to drink.

Don't approach this one cold: some small talk, gentle cradling, & the warmth of your breath will be required before you get what you want. Namely, a good beer. (994 characters)

Photo of koutkid41
3.94/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

A: Small head, copper in color with great clarity.

S: Piney, citrus, resiny, and tropical hops. Very fruity, kinda like a kid cocktail. Sweetness coming trough.

T: Bitterness comes trough right away. Fruity up from and the malts come in with bready notes with lingering chalky bitterness in the end. Bitterness eventually mellows out after a while. Pretty subdued flavor.

M: Smooth, crisp, medium bodied, love the dryness.

O: Pretty solid IPL. Really loved the aroma but the flavor was subdued and mostly tasted malt profile and bitterness of the hops. (556 characters)

Photo of Florida9
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Clear darker shade of gold in color. Forms a huge, fluffy, white head. Excellent retention and lots and lots of lacing on the way down.

S: Neither bad nor good. Really nothing much there. Maybe a blend of grassy and citrus hops. Was expecting more.

T: Well, apparently the taste is packing everything the aroma was missing. Light and crisp with some pale malt and biscuit malt notes. Maybe a little pilsner malt in the mix. Moderate sweetness plays well with the citrus-centric hops. Orange, tangerine, and just a little bit of tropical passionfruit. Long finish.

M: Lighter bodied. Very smooth. Moderate bitterness is felt mostly after the swallow. Medium carbonation.

O: This is a very nice beer. Hoppy, but sessionable by my standards. Would have liked to have experienced more hops on the nose. Not sure on the price of this one as I received it as an extra in a trade, but if I had access to this one, I could see these being a very respectable go-to beer. (972 characters)

Photo of ExtraStout
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. poured into a pint tumbler. Big creamy 1 finger head, lots of lacing, crystal clear pale yellow golden color. Nose had fresh hops, resins, hops oils, bit musty, some fresh citrus fruit and grapefruit, almost no lager or malts.

Taste explodes with fresh citrus hops, grapefruit and tropical fruits, light hop resins and musty fresh hop oils, a bit oily, then some light lager fruits and light pale malts, some sweet toasty malts. Light sweet honey like flavor. The it gets very bitter and slightly astringent, the hops way overpower the lager flavors and gets a bit overly on the finish, dry and very bitter finish with lingering fresh hops and citrus, light pine as well, and has a sticky almost creamy feel.

I'm an IPA guy, not a Lager guy, but bumping the IBU's to 65 seemed to work real well. I would choose this over many standard IPA's out there. (860 characters)

Photo of Boto
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Draught @ Noho Brewfest: This one pours a clear golden color. There was a small white head on it. The nose is good: piney and citrus hops. The taste is good also. IT has a pretty good hop bite. Pine and resinous hops dominate the flavor. Medium bodied. This tastes really good and is easy to drink. (298 characters)

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. (407 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.99/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hoponius Union has such a well polished golden tone it could fit in at Europe's most majestic cathedrals (probably museums too). It has a bright and angelic aura with pristine clarity, calm bubbles and a thin white head that appears to be soft as fleece. An immaculate appearance.

The effects of lagering are most appreciated in the mouthfeel; while this process removes a lot of the fruity esters that are by-products of fermentation, it's not always obvious from smell alone whether a beer is a lager or an ale. In this case it's even more difficult because of the abundance of hoppy citric and tropical fruit flavours and the fact that much of its 6.7% alcohol can be detected. The smart money would be on ale.

Of course, you'd be wrong. While this recipe uses the same zestful varieties of American hops as an IPA, it is in fact fermented at a cold temperature (as opposed to warm) and aged ("lagered") for an extended period. Why does this matter? Well, it has evidently led to a 'smoother' beer, one with a tighter and cleaner flavour profile (think of it as a song played with minimal distortion, or hearing that song through speakers that have minimal static).

Otherwise, however, I am inclined to say it doesn't matter much (after all, some people prefer loads of distortion). This beer offers much the same biscuity, lightly nutty maltiness and toasted bread flavours, as well as all the mango, grapefruit, lychee, and tangerine one could ask for in any hoppy beer. There's plenty of tree resin, bubblegum, and citric acidity too - IBUs aren't affected by lagering. It makes no difference to hops what temperature you ferment at.

Indeed, the only difference between Hoponius Union and a West-Coast IPA - aside from the fact that it's brewed in Massachusetts - is that it's been lagered. This offering only further reinforces my opinion that people (beer educators specifically) put far too much emphasis on the 'lager vs. ale' comparison; there's obviously so many more important factors that distinguish a beer. (2,028 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 dar482
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

The beer is super refreshing, drinkable, and clean, but also so hoppy. (703 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Orange/gold and clear with a short, dense off-white cap. Thick lacing and great head retention. Fresh hop aroma, lots of citrus, grapefruit, pith, slight pineapple. Really well constructed, with citrus hops throughout but mild malt up front and tropical/spicy notes in the bitter finish. Moderate carbonation, on the creamy side while still retaining some crispness, nice texture. I really enjoyed this beer. Bright hops all the way through yet still refined and refreshing. (474 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 Ego
3.87/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

growldog from olivers in albany ny

eyes...
all white head with a little audible sizzle, golden straw with a bent towards the orange hue, infrequent cargo of carbonation transports from the bottom of the glass, nice lacing on the glass as this dissapears

nose...
nice piney / fresh cone aroma, not as much as some wet hop types but in that vein, some malt sweetness lies underneath but mostly this is just lovely hops with a definite tip of the old hop hat to pine

taste etc...
the sweetness was more pronounced than I would have thought, it really checks in the bitterness, it has a nice bite of both carbonation and initial blast of bitter mixed together that mellows out along the malts leaving just a subtle hint of the hops in the background, this
is not some overly complex puzzle to orally solve, it is pretty straight forward but solid in all categories, this just drinks so damn well

verdict?
a touch too sweet to go nuts for my personal taste but there is not much wrong with this beer. solid in all fazes of the game, I definitely would have this on tap if I saw it (unless there was something ungodly on the other tap(s)) (1,137 characters)

Photo of Guess2814
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'm drinking on this beer as I'm writing this message.. This nice golden look with a nice hoppy lager smell.. The taste is unbelievable .. Soon as you open the bottle you can smell the fresh IPL hoppy smell.. Leaves a nice taste on on tongue.. Jack Abby's continues to create classic beers.. Cheers!!!! (302 characters)

Photo of Etan
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz.

A: Pours a pleasant clearish orange-gol with a nice white head.

S: Beautiful citrusy hop aroma. Grapefruit, sweet tangerine, a bit of sticky pineapple, grass, hint of grain behind.

T: Taste brings robust grassy bitterness, mild tobacco leaf, a hint of orange peel, doughy grain.

M: Light-bodied with light carbonation.

O: A nice IPL. (344 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 06 Nov 2013, consumed 08 Dec. I picked this up at Julio's.

In my Sam Adams perfect pint, this is a brilliantly clear golden amber with a large, dense, frothy, white head with excellent retention and lacing. The nose is beautifully hoppy. Dusty, doughy malt character is present, but really, this is all about the hops. Tropical, pungent, fruity, citrusy and just outrageously aromatic, this is truly awesome. Clean lager fermentation allows this to be entirely about the hops, and the blend of grapefruit and navel oranges is extremely refreshing.

The palate opens with a clean, quenching bitterness, mildly resiny and extremely citrusy, with orange zest, orange juice and grapefruit present by the bucketful. A mild pine sap bitterness is present as well. The mid-palate brings out the hop flavor, the blend of floral citrus and a little bit of grass. Malt character is minimal, with just a little bit of a burnt sugar/ toffee/honey sweetness present, pairing really well with the citrus hops. With the classic lager smoothness/slickness on the palate, this beer is ridiculously clean and has a nice, biting bitterness on the finish. Medium-light in body with moderate carbonation, this beer is excellent on the palate. Very highly recommended. In the pantheon of IPLs, there aren't many that better this. (1,316 characters)

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

Extra in a trade originating from the other site. Thanks bostonbeans. Have had a growing appreciation for lagers, so a lager influenced by the brewing of IPAs sounds great.

A- Poured into a tulip glass. Poured fairly aggressively and the pour yielded an awesome 3 finger head that was white as snow. Great retention on the head as well as great lacing as the head dissipates. This beer has a wonderful pale golden color and ring after ring of lacing is left on the glass. Beautiful beer.

S- Definitely biscuity malts. But there are also notes of pine, lemongrass, and citrus aplenty. This is a very well-balanced nose, and I love what the "fusion" of the styles results in when done right.

T- Matches the nose quite well. Dominated by the biscuity and bready malt, as expected of a lager, but it's followed by the citrusy, bitter hops as well. Not a ton of bitterness, but the presence of bittering hops is evident. A slight sweetness finishes off this beer once it has warmed some. Quite enjoyable.

M- Not as heavy of a body as most lagers have. The fruity and piney notes perhaps make this a lighter beer. Fairly high on the carbonation. Very dry on the finish. Really solid. Me likey.

O- I'm impressed with this beer. Wish I had ready access to it as I really enjoyed it and think it'd also be a good beer for my dad. He enjoys craft, but most times when I let him try an IPA he smacks his lips, wrinkles his nose, and says, "Grapefruit juice." All in all, really well done beer. (1,488 characters)

Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours with about a fingers worth of head, the beer itself is slightly hazy and opaque and a distinct yellow color.

The nose is very malty-biscuity. The hop aroma is faily muted, there is some slight hop spiciness up front, but it is very subdued.

The taste is fairly malty up front and this fades to a quite back-of-palate hop bitterness. This bitterness lingers for quite awhile.

This is a pretty interesting beer. It has some good hop bitterness but doesn't have much going on in the hop aromatics department, most of the hop notes here are from bitterness (lots of kettle hops).

This is a pretty decent beer, I don't have much experience with craft lagers but this is pretty tasty. That said, I definitely prefer ales to Lagers. (745 characters)

Photo of tbeckett
3.34/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Had this on tap at Reservoir in Waterbury. From notes.

A - Golden, bright pour. One finger of white head on top with minimal spotty lace and no retention.

S - Grass, hops, honey.

T - Nice hops, grassy, some light spice, honey.

M - Good carbonation, light to medium body, not enough bitterness.

O/D - OK. A decent craft lager, but way less hops than I was expecting. Wouldn't revisit it, but a nice take on the style. (421 characters)

Photo of jvillefan
3.92/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A: It has a beautiful orange amber body with a thin off white lacy head.

S: Very bready with fruits. There is a biscuit aroma with apples and pine mixed in. Very potent aroma. Exactly what you would expect from a hoppy lager.

T: Very good but the balance is not there. Very strong lager flavor with even more powerful hop flavors of pine and apple.

M: Good body but could be a little thicker and excellent carbonation.

O: Very good hoppy lager. Not the best out there but still in my top five lagers. (504 characters)

Photo of CloudStrife
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a slightly hazy pale golden with a white head. Can see an average amount of visible carbonation in the body. Leaves some spots of lacing on the glass.

S: Nice dose of hops in this one, really pulls off that west coast hop aroma that is normally reserved for IPA's. Has a great toasted malt background. Bit of sweetness from both the hops and malts.

T: Flavor is great on this one, really shines as both a lager and a hoppy brew. Great toasty bready quality along with that character lager yeast. Hops add solid bitterness mid sip to even things out. Lingers into the aftertaste with roasty malts.

M: Has a medium to full body with a nectar like mouthfeel. Moderate to low carbonation, bit sticky on the finish.

Overall I'm real impressed with this one and will be going back for more. Really blurs the ale / lager line. Packs some serious flavor. (897 characters)

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