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

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

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

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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 breadwinner
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

IPL is a pretty hit-or-miss style for me, but I think Hoponius does it as well as any, adding a nice, grassy dry hop element to a basic lager. Some spice in the hops on the palate too, perhaps a wee bit of booze, but mostly just a razor clean lager yeast note alongside those spicy hops. Not a beer that takes well to sessioning, IMO, because of its sharpness, but a tasty drink nonetheless.

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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 predikit
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

Pours a clouded copper with a foamy white head that lasts nearly forever. Leaves clumps and globs of lacing behind. I'm almost convinced that if you lowered the beer level without disturbing the head it would stick behind completely intact.

Smells of citrus, grassy grapefruit.

Slight fruity taste, follows the nose here, slightly over hopped, not complex otherwise. Hint of mango. I dislike hoppy brews, but this is balanced well.

Medium body, medium-high carbonation. Alcohol is hidden very well.

For a hoppy brew I'm not too turned off by it.

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Photo of ZebraCakez
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

A great beer, indeed. Pours with a nice, foamy head. The aroma is not too strong, that of hops and fruit (lemons), maybe a slight malt kick. The taste is just an absolutely perfect example of a smooth, hoppy pale ale that hits all the right notes and strongly resembles the nose. Hops on the initial impact, and a nice citrus finish. The malt is present, but the 6.7%ABV certainly is not. This is the kind of thing that can open a mindless sud-water drinker to a world of well balanced, fantastic craft alternatives. Nothing too crazy, a good beer for almost any situation.

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

Pours into a pokal an orange tinged medium golden with a sticky full one finger bone white head atop.Tropical fruits all over the place in the nose along with light toasted cereal grain.Grainy feel with some dry toasted malt underneath tropical fruit-like hops that linger in the finish.Seems mush small er than 6.7%,one of the more hopped up lagers I have had.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%

Pours a straw yellow with a head that trails the glass. The scent is full of pine from the hops. The taste was fantastic with a focus on the hops, but with a nice balance with the malt to create an exceptionally clean finish. Great focus and execution of the style. Loved it right away.

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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 BMMillsy
3.89/5  rDev -8%

Bottle as an extra in trade. Thanks! Pours hazy golden colored with a one finger white head. Aroma is grassy hops, tropical fruit, lager yeast sweet aromas. Flavor is sweet tropical fruits, pineapples, grapefruits, mango, some honey sweetness, lightly crisp grassy pine, but not particularly bitter. Smooth body, medium plus heaviness especially for the style, with medium plus carbonation. Crisp finish and easy drinking. Very nice.

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Photo of PSU_Mike
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a slightly hazy burnt straw color with a 1 finger white head. Low carb and nice lacing on the edges.

FIrst smell is lemon, a hint of grass, a little subdued but still pleasant.

Lemon is main flavor. It's pleasantly hoppy but not a blast in the face. A touch of grass on the finish.

The finish is spot on. Crisp, clean, and refreshing. A little puckering lemon on the sides of the tongue though which I could do without.

Very enjoyable and easily crushed. I'm a fan and believer in Jack's Abby.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Hazy and almost no head, as to be expected with a beer full of hop oils. Smells fairly mild for a beer billed as an "india" whosawhatsit. Hoppy for sure, but nothing compared to heady west coast style IPA I grew accustomed to in Denver. The flavor was another story. The malt starts things off pretty mildly, with predictable toasty sweetness, but hops quickly take over. Body is there, as is a gentle carbonation level. I feel like I'd be more comfortable with a blast of soapy pilsy or grassy german hops, but the american hops coupled with lagered malt cleanliness is unique and singular to this beer. It is unusual and not unenjoyable, especially after years of "moar hopz" west coast beers. Think of a fresh bottle of Urquell poured half and half with a Smuttynose IPA. Bizarre but delicious. It's really good, but I'd still opt for SNPA or Bells Two Hearted Ale since they're easier to get and world class outstanding beers. If I saw this one in the same cooler, I'd definitely grab it for a change of pace, but I fail to see it as anything really out of the ordinary in terms of flavor.

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Photo of illpass78
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%

400 ml (13.5 oz) on draft, served in a mason jar, at Sweet Cheeks in Boston.

Appearance: Pours a very slightly cloudy straw yellow with a one-finger white head that displays good retention. Nice lacing on the way down.

Aroma: This beer smells of grapefruit, lemon, pine, grass, hops and some faint bonus citrus. Inviting and fairly complex.

Mouthfeel: Nice balance. Perfect body for the style.

Taste: This beer hits you with a big, bold grapefruit flavor up front and finishes with dry, bitter hops. I like this a lot. It strikes me as an IPA/lager hybrid. Good stuff. The grassiness and lemon bite are in there, too. A fine beer.

Overall: This is one of those beers I got tired of hearing about and tried in part so I could say the hype is wrong. Well, I failed. This is a really excellent beer - one to seek out, worth sipping and enjoying, but also the right balance for cookouts and outdoor goings-on.

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Photo of TangTKE402
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

A: Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Dark khaki on the inside with a golden edge. A nice 1.5-finger head dissipated to a thin film and left little lacing. Semi-hazy in texture.

S: Light aromas of grass, with a malty sweetness to balance it out. It has a "wet" aroma that sets it apart, with notes of dark berries, vanilla bean, grass, and. Touch of flowers.

T: Hoppy up-front, with the malt backbone to carries it through. The swallow is bitter, but it doesn't linger. Notes of sediment, dirt, grass clippings, toasted malts, and oat nut bread dominate.

M: Chewy but mot heavy, with a slightly bitter afterfeel that sits in your jaw.

O: For the style, there really is nothing like it. Those who purchased it thinking it was a standard IPA didn't read carefully enough, and shouldn't hold that against it. An IPL done well is a rare thing, and this is the prime example.

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Photo of SteveB24
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- color is a bright gold. Carbonation within the beer is invisible, beer pours a moderate amount of white, thin head that settles into spotty lacing.

Smell-Mildly fruity, Resin, grass, faintest yeast.

Taste- Upfront is Resin, mild fruit, (maybe melon?), Slightly citrusy, slightly floral, toasty, yeasty notes.

Mouthfeel Light/ medium body, medium/ high carbonation, crisp, slightly dry in the end.

overall- excellent beer, satisfies on many levels, tasty, refreshing, satisfying, this could easily become a go to for me

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Photo of fscottkey
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A: Clear light amber color. I got a 1 finger head of white bubbles. The head leaves decent lacing on the sides. The bottle has a easy to read manufactured date 6/16/14. It also lists the IBUs 65 and ABV 6.7%. I love when it is easy to find and read.

S: Some sweet smells along with the piney presence of hops.

T: The taste confuses my brain. It is simultaneously bitter and sweet at the front. I keep taking sips and keep getting that result. There is a taste of mild citrus zest and spiciness. The hops are on the finish making it somewhat dry.

M: Slightly dry and moderately carbonated.

O: This is an interesting twist on a lager or IPA. The sweetness helps balance the hops - but they are still there to enrich the experience. There is no sense of alcohol at all. This is an enjoyable beer and I will seek out more from Jack's Abbey.

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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 far333
3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Crystal clear straw/apricot colored with an off-white head that settles out to a 1/4 inch cap that settles slowly. Aroma of citrusy hops, some florals, and pine, notes of biscuit malt.

Big, hoppy flavor upfront, floral, citrus, melon, mint, pine, finishes tingly pine with a it of a hard edge. Some honey malt rises up, but hops dominate, with herbal and spicy notes lingering.

Full mouthfeel, semi-slick, finishes tingly. Good beer.

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

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

A - No head, quickly disappears, golden-honey color.

S - Citrus hop aroma.

T - Citrus hops up front, clean and a little dry finish.

M - Fairly carbonated. A little dry, not filling or heavy or bitter. Crisp.

I'm sick so it probably affects my tastes considering how much the aroma of this beer is supposed to be really great. It's crisp and easy to drink but the taste doesn't hit too hard.

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

Glass Used: Nonic

Appearance: Golden honey hue, and a finger of fast evaporating foam.

Smell: Citrusy and hoppy; I also get whiffs of papaya sweetness.

Taste: Citrus hop note, followed immediately by grapefruit and lemon zest. Sweet grain dances around in the middle and back. Finishes with a slight bittering hop bite.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation; dry finish

Overall: A pretty tasty treat from Jack's Abby. I really liked how well the hop and citrus flavors melded and flowed across the tongue. Wish I had regular access to this beer. Definitely recommend.

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Photo of RLBeauregard
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

By now everyone knows the quality brewing going on with lagers at Jack's Abby, and the locally sourced ingredients fueling their beers. Hoponius Union has a nice bite at the beginning, but mellows out with subtle sweet flavors resembling grapefruit mixed with almost a nutmeg richness. It's easy to drink 2-3 of these at a sitting. A nice substantial taste, but not overly filling. One of my favorite beers of all time.

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Photo of TWStandley
4.82/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the bottle into my HF wine glass.

Appeared a beautiful golden-orange color with a two finger fluffy white head that dissipated.

Smell is awesome - juicy with citrus fruits and a bit of melon.

Taste is incredible. Juicy oranges and grapefruits.

Mouthfeel is beautifully crisp - just the right amount of hop bitterness on the finish. Carbonation is spot on.

Overall an amazing beer, one that I am happy to have regular access to.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bottle backlog here at Chez Woody is not entirely of my doing. Sometimes, people bring me beer as though I need more and then I become overwhelmed by it all. This is one of those instances. The Great Bottle Eradication of 2014 continues in earnest and unabated!

From the bottle: "Jack's Abby Brewing's goal is to create truy remarkable beer that combines the strict standards of traditional German brewing with the innovative approach of American craft brewers. We specialize in lagers, which take longer to brew than ales but yield exceptionally rich flavors and smooth, crisp taste."; "All Jack's Abby lagers are unfiltered and unpasteurized. Sediment in the bottle is normal."; "Hoponius Union 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 long 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 sourced ingredients."

I made a solemn promise to The Old Lady last summer that if a beer in any way indicates that it is bottle-conditioned, I would treat it as gently as I would her. The fact that she would beat my ass within an inch of my life if I ever mistreated her notwithstanding, I went with a VERY gentle pour. I have said before, she is as tough as nails, which is part of the attraction for me. I got a brief skim of bone-white head across the top of the beer before it faded into mere wisps. Color was a sunshine-yellow (SRM = 4) with just the faintest of haze visible in the glass. I promise you, I was extremely gentle, but there may have been something in suspension. Nose smelled deeply of citrus-grapefruit rind hops. Wow! As a lifelong Pennsylvanian, I know the difficulty behind making a Lager and to make one that comes off with this level of hoppiness is just amazing. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium. The taste was all hops and for a hophead, that was just fine by me. I cannot say that I would have identified it as a lager of any stripe, but perhaps that is part of the mystique. I do know that the light, spritzy mouthfeel made it very easy to drink on a Summer day, where an AIPA might have been more to handle. The finish was extremely dry and I really had a tough time believing that this was a lager. I had put the remainder of what was left in the bottle back in the reefer to settle and when I went to pour some more into the glass, I noticed that the haze had cleared! Impressive. Warming, I got some of the honey notes that I always think of as characteristic of well-made lagers, but the hops continued to carry the day.

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Photo of coriswrasse
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

two bottles poured into 4 maple syrup glasses.
bottle dates both 6/24
very little head or residual lacing.
excellent hop floral smell.
great carbonation.
overall taste is nice and simple hoppy.
golden straw.
smooth for this abv (6.7%)
a little too lageresque for me but it is very nice. would recommend for a nice hot afternoon. (it's 93 here now).

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