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Hoponius Union - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Hoponius UnionHoponius Union

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

337 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 337
Hads: 2,439
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 22.7%
Wants: 372
Gots: 444 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing
Massachusetts, United States | website

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: 337 | Hads: 2,439
Photo of Duhast500
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sierra Nevada Celebration pint glass.

The color is a yellow gold with a small amount of haze and a finger of foamy white head with little lacing on the glass.

The smell is hoppy but not knock you over hoppy as a orange aroma comes out to greet you. Along with some hop aroma there is some sweet pilsner malts that has a bit of a biscuit aroma.

The taste is hoppy and gives a bit of bitterness with orange rind and earthy, leafy greens. There is a touch of tangerine, passion fruit and even some lemon-like flavor for a moment. The malts then steer into more biscuit flavor and some saltine flavor is there before bitterness is rained down over the backend.

The feel of this beer is light and is quit drinkable. This is really smooth with ever the smallest bump in the road of bitterness. This makes a good early spring beer.

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Photo of 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.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great appearance for something so hoppy and rarely done. Ample clarity, dat full one inch of white head, small bubbles. A darker gold color. Good, solid hoppy aroma, simcoe for the most part I'd guess.

I like the way the yeast is there to really let you know this is a lager, pairs with the mild dry malt train on this one. Simcoe continues to seem like the driving force flavor wise for the hops. Leans pine and grapefruit instead of the tropical fruit rage. Carbonated like a yellow lager, i.e. high. This is a solid beer, I'd bang at $5 a bottle quite often.

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Photo of taez555
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beers pours a crystal clear bright golden tan body with a very mildly off-white head.

Nose is extreme, in your face, resin and citric hops. I just picked up a growler from the brewery about 2 hours ago, and the smell from this fresh hops are sublime.

Taste is medium bodied with an immediate huge citric hop resin, grapefruit, orange, lemon, citric hop attack. Loads of rich malts, but very smooth (probably thanks to the lager yeast). That's really what does it I think, it's got all the flavors of a big IPA, but goes down smooth like crisp lager. A perfect combo. Bitterness isn't overpowering at all. It's bitter, but really well balanced and in check. The smooth caramel malt flavor has a chance to shine through despite the hops. You can clearly taste the two parts of this beer. Ends with a nice lingering hop resin bitterness and flavor.

I know this beer is a lager, but... come on.... this beer is a pure resin IPA (sans the ale yeast). Kudos to Jack's Abby for showing the world that not all Lager's need be boring macro land. This beer easily holds it's own the best California resin/citric IPA's. If JA takes off, this will be their flagship brew.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look - golden color with a great lasting white head
Smell - citrus hop smell with a little toasty bread
Taste - incredible citrus herbal taste. I'm not sure what herbs are in there but it's very interesting and good.
Feel - medium body with lots of carbonation
Overall - I really like this beer! Great citrus pale lager!

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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.

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Photo of jakecattleco
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle marked mfg1150607 at Lower Depths. Wow, really impressed, more so than with Mass Rising. Great aroma, bursting flavor and solid mouthfeel. Would definitely drink this often if available in my locale!

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Photo of SawDog505
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass, bottled on 2/12/13 FRESH! Pours a light orange, with a fluffy white head, that leaves plenty of lacing. Smell is earthy hops, citrus, cut grass, lemon, and hints of biscuit. The taste is similar, starts subtle with a grapefruit and lemon bittering finish. Body is almost medium, plenty of life, a little dry, and easy drinking. This is a nice beer and different than most.

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Photo of gonzo000
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a. Hazy sunrise oragne in color once settled with a two inch head. Head thins, but remains through out the life of the beer. Lacing on the glass.

s. Citrus and hoppy pine. A bit faint.

t. Fruity - pineapple, peach, orange - on the front. The back end is all pine. Hopped up with a touch of bitter in the very finish.

m. Silky smooth with excellent carbonation

o. Outstanding all around. Excellent beer that I will revisit often.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to ILOVESTOUTS, poured into a Hill Farmstead glass.

Pour: Nearly clear orange with two fingers of white, super sticky head. Leaves incredible lacing, and the head forms a nice film.

Smell: A definite lager aroma hits at first, but then is crushed by a huge pine and citrus profile. Big lemon and limes. Some light breadyiness tries to balance, but only barely.

Taste: Again, lager bready hits first, but the hops hijack the taste in an instant. Huge pine, and some clean citrus. A little bit of doughy breadyness it, but only just. Finishes bitter with pine.

Mouthfeel: It's a lager, so naturally, this is amazingly drinkable. The hop profile reminds me of Sculpin. Nice bitterness, and very refreshing.

Overall: This is a beer I would choose over most IPAs. Just fantastic.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.99/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a narrow pint glass: color is opaque copper, somewhat dense looking, head is off white, fine bubbles with dense cover and lacing left on the glass.

Smell is extremely enticing: light malt toastiness quickly followed by the well balanced floral and fruity hops, there not overpowering but more sharp than a typical pale lager to warm you up for the sharper flavor.

Taste is less malty in terms of toastingess but a little sweeter than the aroma, light malt flavor (pilsen) is overtaken by the hop bitterness, hops seem less pronounced in terms of flavor than bittering quality. Subtle hop flavors include light citrus and grass.

Mouthfeel is definitely where this beer finds its India roots, lighter malt flavor of the pilsen malt is slightly overmatched by the hops (not in a bad way). Hops linger in a pleasant way on the tongue, not too drying and leaving just the right presence to identify this as more IPL than Kellerbier.

Overall, a great beer, seemingly simple in formulation but the subtleties of hop schedule, fermentation and aging come through in the finished product.

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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.

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Photo of Treebs
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle served in a Southern Tier tulip. Thanks to eorwar for the share.

A: Pours a clear golden yellow color with a fluffy white head forming on the pour. It recedes slowly to thin ring. Some splotchy lace is left down the glass.

S: Lager yeast profile with a light hoppiness to it. Subtle pale malts in the periphery.

T: Has a nice hoppy greenness to it with a mild citrus backing. Lager yeast profile with some sweet pale malts, but a nice hoppy bitterness cuts in at the end.

M: Very light bodied with a medium high carbonation level. Super easy drinking. Lightly bitter finish.

O: This was solid, but it was definitely hyped up in my head as being the best lager in the world. While it was very easy drinking and I would have again, I wouldn't put it in the upper echelon.

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Photo of Gatch
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wooow. This beer is fantastic. You must drink this.

A: Clear, golden-yellow with a white, fizzy, soapy head. Sticky lace and a bit of retention.

S: Massive tropical, fruity, piney, resiny hops. Up there with some of the best IPA's I've put my nose to.

T: Incredibly smooth, delicious, and refreshing hops that contain flavors such as mango, fresh pineapple, and other crisp, sweet fruit. Lightly roasted, sweet malt is there in the finish. Well balanced but the hops shine and put this over the top.

M: Can't beat the fresh hop flavors, the smooth feel, and the refreshing qualities. Drinkability is absurd.

O: Clearly one of the best of the style but just a great beer overall. Well done Jack's Abby. This is superb!

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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 chugalug06
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great clarity in the yellow hued brew. Light, fluffy, foamy, white head. Moderate lacing.

Centennial hopped. Citrus hits with a nice bang. Cantaloupe, pineapple, bready, ricey... yum.

Light and refreshing, yet unrefined, in a good way. Dry finish kicks you with a wallop of bitterness. Heavy carbonation sightly distracts from the high points of the brew. Citrus is sweet with pleasant, refreshing, bitterness.

Ah, yes. Perfect for IPA day.. I guess it is an IPL, but whose counting?? Refreshing for a hot summer day. A (near) perfect example of an IPL. Great style, becoming one of my favorite. Highly recommended.

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Photo of kevanb
3.86/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle poured into a stemless wine glass. Bottled 2/25/2013 and enjoyed on 3/13/2013.

The beer pours a soft copper color, slight chill haze, with a finger high soapy white head that has nice retention and leaves a great network of sticky lacing. The aroma is very fruit forward, notes of mango, grapefruit and tangerine with some wildflower tucked in there that finishes with a big dose of sweet, pale cereal grain. The the flavors much less impactful, mango and grapefruit lead the way before some light sweet floral notes bring out a lot malty sweetness brings out a bit of an unpleasant clash between the hops and malt. The body is a bit thin yet very lively, watery at times on the tongue with a redeeming creamy finish.

Verdict: A nice hoppy lager from Jack's Abby, but not the hop monster I expected it to be. I definitely enjoyed the bottle and if it was a local beer to me, I could see this being in my fridge regularly as an every day drinker.

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

Beer is clear and bright amber in color with a soapy-hop oily looking white head. Smells like sweet citrus, fresh grains, apples, passionfruit, peppery, and leafy. Taste is along the same lines. Very juicy, dank hop cones... Also very drinkable and delightfully balanced. Yes.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first review from a trade with Adam (thanks man!)...500ml bottle poured into my Jackie O's tulip...been wanting to find this one for awhile....

A: Beautiful golden orange, first half of the bottle is fairly clear, chill haze, hefty white head lacing.

S: I get elements of Pliny right off the bat, definitely West Coast in its hop profile...sweet pine, tropical fruit, orange, and herbal undertone with a slight touch of malt...floral too, and a bit pungent.

T: Pine, tropical fruitiness, grapefruit rind, nice bitterness...good hop character front to back on this one, with undertones of bready malt and light hints of crisp lager yeast.

MF: Smooth, bitter body, lighter to medium mouthfeel, moderately dry finish.

O: This is a really solid hoppy beer and definitely the best lager I've ever had.

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

This is an India Pale Lager, as that isn't a usable style on BA Dortmunder seemed the closest for this dry, hoppy lightly malty lager. Albeit one hopped with American hops. The only other choice would really be American IPA.

Pours a dark gold, crystal clear with a puffy two finger stark white head.

Citrusy, Centennial hop like aroma.

Citrus, cracker, nicely bitter, with mango, peach. American IPA hops, but the cleanness of a lager.

Medium bodied for the style, light overall. Finishes dry. Dangerously drinkable as the almost 7% ABV sneaks up on you.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks angrybabboon! Poured into a pokal glass from a 500ml bottle. Bottling date is "02/25/2013." A bit old by now, but should be fine.

Pours a pale golden (amber when not in the light) complete with a great amount of carbonation and a good 2 finger of head that fills to the top of the pokal. The bubbles floating in this thing are very champagne-like, and keep the head in a strong, thickened shape. Lacing abounds at the rims of the glass. There's a bit of a hazy color to this, which ranges from the pale amber to slightly golden color at the bottom - and the trickery is unique, as in the light it just looks like a standard clear American lager. However, this isn't (in the words of Stone), "tasteless fizzy yellow beer." I can tell that this is going to be much heartier based on the appearance. Pretty much transcends the style at hand.

The aroma consists of big grapefruit, orange rind notes, combined with a grainy sweetness that is slightly toasted and robust. The hop resins are definitely alive here, even in a bottle this old. Slightly caramelized, in fact, although there is an underlying breadiness that serves as a solid backbone to the hops - which, strictly speaking, are the complete priority here. Smells like any great IPA I've had - and the hops in particular are earthy, pungent, slightly astringent, but filled with lots of mineral qualities and fruity notes. Super zesty but soothing, and at the same time, near identical to any solid hoppy ale I've had to date.

This is awesome! Sure this is a lager? Well, my senses are definitely telling me that it is, as the taste is quite crisp and smoothened out from the lack of extra breadiness found in ales. However, while the cracked, golden yet slightly toasty grains do peer in, I'm faced with a strong combination of earthy, near soil-ridden citrus bitterness, combined with a tinge of sweetness from the alcohol, and vibrant, chewy carbonation. The finish is slightly boozy, but resembles a floral, orange and pine laden bouquet of flavors. There's a touch of graininess and crisp cracker flavor, but the hops are the ones winning the battle here. And, as the bottle states, only 65 IBUs?? How? This is just as citrusy as many monstrous DIPAs, yet not nearly as astringent. Finish is quite dry, however, but still laden with the hop oils.

What a fantastic beer! I would love to try it fresher, as I could only imagine what the hop profile does then. The fact that this is a lager makes this a far crisper and easier to drink beer than its hoppy counterparts, and as a result really sets a standard for making more delicious hoppy and flavorful lagers in the country. I seriously want to see more beers like these - preferably out West. A world class lager!

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Photo of Pahn
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle. Doesn't seem to have a bottled on date, but I know that it's fresh (think it was bottled 2 weeks ago).

Appearance: Free pour yields a 1.5 inch frothy white head that dissipates quickly leaving some bubbly streaks of lacing. Pours an almost translucent orange-y yellow. Spotty lacing.

Smell: Potent hops of a high end IPA, with notes of mango, lemon, melon, maybe some grapefruit. West coast American hops all the way. Stays satisfying for the life of the glass.

When you make a beer with an obscene amount of hops, you're going for an aroma like this.

Taste: Wow, what the nose delivers in hops, the taste delivers in malt. What a malt character; so many different notes of cereal grains, breadiness, etc. A tutorial on how many different, delicious flavors can be extracted from pale malt.

There's hops here too. Up front it's resiny with some lemony hops with tropical fruit highlights, melon-like hops (some Summit maybe?) in the middle underscoring the dominant malt flavor, with more lemony hops tinging the bready aftertaste. Highish perceived bitterness, works well.

So good. One of those, "if you don't appreciate how good this is--whether the particular hop flavors are to your liking or not--you need to reevaluate your thoughts on beer, or check your palate or something."

Mouthfeel: Light side of medium bodied. Moderate to high carbonation. Crisp feel with a dryish finish.

Overall: Damn, this is a great beer. Jack's Abby is now emphatically on my radar. You don't make something like this without serious brewing skills.

If my friend can get me fresh 4packs, this beer is going to be a Summer staple in my fridge.

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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.

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Photo of dasenebler
3.44/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jack's Abby Hoponious Union
12/14/12
.5L bottled 10/31/12

Golden amber with brilliant clarity. Tightly-bubbled, effervescent head. (4)

Aroma is somewhat restrained hop-wise. I get some grass and tropical fruit, but it's muted and uninteresting overall. (3)

Flavor is exceptionally clean, with a firm herbal bitterness. There's really not a whole lot going on here other than hops and slightly biscuit malts. Subtle notes of orange and mango. Mouthfeel is medium-light, but the carbonation seems large-bubbled and not very smooth. Dry and very drinkable on the whole. (3.5, 3.5)

I feel like this level of crispness and refreshment can be found in a top-fermented IPA. There's really nothing exclusive or interesting about this beer being an "IPL". I enjoy it, it's well-made, but at the end of the day, I reach for a lager when I feel like drinking something more traditionally German or Czech. When I want hops, I reach for a local, dry-hopped ale that can be consumed within weeks after fermentation, not months. If I lived in Framingham, I'd get growlers of this beer and be slightly confused, but pleasantly drunk. (3.5)

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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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Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 337 ratings.