Hoponius Union | Jack's Abby Brewing

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
347 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
347
Ratings:
2,512
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
22.93%
 
 
Wants:
374
Gots:
491
For Trade:
14
Hoponius UnionHoponius Union
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by mschofield on 08-07-2011

User Reviews
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Reviews: 347 | Ratings: 2,512
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 utopiajane
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a true amber gold with bright clarity and bubbles streaming up from the bottom. The head is soft, white and falls slowly enough to leave a ring and slippery lace. Nose is strong and earthy lager yeast that has been splashed with sunny hop citrus. There's a touch of pine and grapefruit but nothing as strong as an IPA. The body of the beer is smooth and the earthy yeast seems to give it texture. It has ample carbonation but those bubbles do not bite you. The citrus is flower like. The grapefruit is soft and so is the pine. The light malt is perfectly unobtrusive but carries this beer expertly with a light grain in the aftertaste. It's caressed by a gentle bitter but even that is restrained. Smart and poised.

This beer kept the quality of a lager and added just the right amount of hops to show them off a little but not get carried away. Extremely food friendly with just a hint of sweetness. This beer is uncomplicated by the hops and is quite engaging.

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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 kawilliams81
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle into a Half Acre tulip.

A- pours a bright honey color with a 2" white head. Big clumps and blotches of lacing remain on the glass.

S- straw, lemon, grapefruit, light honey and some grassy notes.

T- light malts, tart lemon, grapefruit, bitter pine.

M- light body and medium carbonation. Very dry and acidic.

O- good beer, but very bitter which makes it more dry than I would like. Leans more towards bitter pine, grassy notes than the citrus.

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Photo of starrdogg
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to AutumnBeerLove for giving me a whole bunch of these.

Pours a clear yellow-orange with a medium white head. Smell is a nice mix of citrus hops combined with a more traditional lager aroma - very interesting, but doesn't stand out. The flavor, however, is a different story. The blend of hops here is absolutely incredible, and the lager base really supports it so much better than I could have expected. It's a great citrus hops flavor, and I would never know it's a lager flavor-wise, as it tastes more like something along the lines of Zombie Dust. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this beer is incredibly impressive, quite unlike anything I've ever had before. The best hoppy lager I've had.

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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 Mikecap
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a deep copper from a 500 ml bottle into my IPA glass. Two-finger white head that dissipates fairly quickly, decent lacing on the glass.

Smell: Citrus fruits, piney and resinous hops, with some earthy notes. Pick up some grapefruit, and overall a not overpowering aroma.

Taste: Somewhat hoppy but not overly so, certainly on the lower threshold of IPA in my opinion. I can pick up the grapefruit that I sense in the aroma, and this is slightly sweet and not overly malty.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth and not too bitter. Goes down very easily with the right amount of carbonation for the style. Very smooth with a nice creaminess.

Overall: This is a great beer by Jack's Abby. Interesting yet not overly complex and certainly one of their best, but everything they make is pretty solid. Definitely worth seeking out. Also a great brewery and great people, get out there if you can.

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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 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 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 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.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 azdback
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Spaten tumbler. A golden, orange color that is clear and full of tiny carbonation bubbles that lead to a huge four fingers of creamy and bright white head.

Smell is a tropical brightness and some bread or earth.

Taste is bright, sweet and delicious. Pine, mango, yellow grapefruit and some bread.

Mouth is a bit thin but okay for a lager. Carbonation is on the spritzy side and the finish is medium and on the dry side.

Overall I really enjoyed this, my only review of a Lager yet. The brewers up in the North East sure take brewing to a new level. Best Lager I've had.

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Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 347 ratings.