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Hoponius Union | Jack's Abby Brewing

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
374 Reviews
Hoponius UnionHoponius Union
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing
Massachusetts, United States
jacksabbybrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
374
Ratings:
2,646
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
22.46%
 
 
Wants:
379
Gots:
553
For Trade:
13
User Reviews
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Reviews: 374 | Ratings: 2,646
Photo of drea0695
4.77/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a freshly filled, co2 purged, capped on foam growler into a standard pint glass

This beer is delicious. The hop aroma is out of the park but it doesn't slap you around with bitterness. I really think it's very balanced. It's definitely highly drinkable and the ABV sneaks up on you for sure. It easily holds it's own against any IPA out there.

It just smells so good! In a way the hop profile reminds of Sierra Nevada celebration.

If you're around the Framingham area stop in and try this one (and their other offerings) plus the guys are super friendly.

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

Hands-down awesome beer. It has some mouthfeel, you'd expect it to be overly bitter, but it's crazy smooth and balanced. The color is beautiful, there's a slight haze from it not being filtered, smell is fruity and hoppy, and the taste is balanced. If you can get your hands on this, try it.

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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 AllDayAdams
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is very tasty! I love fact how they made this beer so earthy and a hint of citrus. The smell to me almost has a weed smell. awesome beer, and good buy.

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Photo of tzieser
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

enjoyed on-tap at the pour farm tavern in new bedford.

a: clear golden color with a fluffy white head that sticks to the sides of the glass for a long time

s: strong hop aroma...notes of citrus and pine. the nose very similar to a west coast IPA

t: loads of hop flavor, with notes of citrus and tropical fruits with a light pine bitterness. finishes dry and clean. very drinkable. the lager yeast makes this more drinkable than any hop bomb i've ever had.

m: smooth mouthfeel.

so glad to see a lager with that citrusy west coast hop flavor. huge marks for creativity. well worth seeking out.

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

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

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

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Photo of Veejuh
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Really great beer

Pours beautiful gold with coppery hues and slightly cloudy appearance. Very nice look.

Smell is pretty potent and hits you with piney smells with a hint of sweet grass. Very inviting.

Upon first sip smell and taste merge with the creamy slick and oily mouthfeel to produce a wonderful sensation.

Taste is too complex to put into words yet makes perfect sense. Hop level is perfect for the malts and the effects of the yeast and lagerization blend it so nicely. Hops -> malts -> crisp sweetness where the whole thing just sails along like the santa maria through buttery golden clouds of mashed potatoes.

I mean wow, this is the ipl that all others wish they were. Absolutely fantastic and a must try.

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Photo of TWStandley
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | 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 datalager
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Wow, I'm really digging the beer! Drinking it right now. I'd say it reminds me of a top level IPA with a smoother finish. There is a ton of circus and pine hop aroma, plenty of bite, and a lingering aftertaste. But the mouthfeel and swallow is decidedly more oily than dry. There are also notes of nuttiness and herb (oregano...rosemary???) in the whiff as it warms. This is a super dynamic beer. There is one other really hoppy lager that I have had (Stoudt's Smooth Hoperator, also quite good), and I think the "lager" quality of this style has it's place in a world of IPAs.

At any rate, call this beer world class, because that is what it is.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

16.9oz/500ml/.5l bottle served in a glass beer mug.

L - lightly hazed orange/copper color with a white head that thinned to a layer leaving some decent lacing behind.

S - citrus and tropical fruits with a malty backbone.

T - citrus hops upfront with a dry and bitter finish.

F - medium bodied, crisp and refreshing, easy to drink.

O - it's a great example of a IPL, a style I wish more breweries would tinker with.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Ljudsignal for this neat extra!

Poured .5L bottle into pilsener glass; looks like an IPA. Golden-amber in color with lively carbonation and a lovely thick fluffy white head that fades slowly leaving lots of lacing. Definitely smells like an IPA; floral and fruity hops with some citrus rind, and only a slight hint of lager yeast smell underneath. Taste is citrusy hops that quickly come to a bitter pinch, overtop of a crisp lager mouthfeel and some slight malt hiding beneath the bitterness in the aftertaste.
Overall, a very cool beer. The second "IPL" I've had, and this one is the better of the two. Lots of great hop flavor, with a good dose of bitterness; couple that with the lager maltiness, and this reminds me of a super-hoppy version of an English IPA. Delicious!

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Photo of SteveBrew
4.62/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L - Pale/strawlike in color. Nice lacing and a super-clear look tells me that this is a good lager.
S - Nice mild hop presence-stone fruit, citrus, some very light maltiness
T - Very incredible experience. This was a true integration of the hop profile from a west coast IPA, with the very light body of an American pale lager. No esters that I could detect--the hops ran the show.
F - Perhaps the mouthfeel was the most fun part of the beer. Quaffable and lighter than air, the hops seemed to dance off my tongue. A slight sticky flavor persisted on the roof of my mouth, but nothing like a proper IPA. Finish was actually a bit quenching rather than dry.
O - What an unique experience. This beer was so much fun to enjoy. I could easily have a couple and still stand up straight. Would pair nicely with a burger and fries.

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

Jack's Abby Brewing - Hoponius Union

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.62/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a sunset orange color. Illuminating and pretty. Body is very clear. Bubbles rise in pillars. Head is very attractive. Head retains very well and is bright white. Sudsy head leaves lacing squiggles along the glass.

S-Whoa! This beer absolutely wreaks. Incredible amounts of grapefruit and orange. Tropical fruits and resiny pine notes. All this hoppiness mixes very well with the noticeable Lager yeast. Kinda blown away by the nose.

T-This hybrid matches up with some of the better IPAs I have had. This is extravagantly hopped and delicious. Grapefruit and citrus for days. Apricot and mango and even a bit of pineapple. The malt is sturdy enough but is still submerged under the waves of citrus and pine. This is very, very tasty.

M-Great feel here. Crisp but has some really nice resinous qualities. Light enough to imbibe very steadily. Has the feel of a beautifully crafted IPA but still displays the bright bubbles of a Lager.

O/D-Absolutely love this beer. It is so unique but does not sacrifice incredible flavor in order to stand out as a uniquely crafted brew. Shockingly hoppy. Also, a half-liter bottle comes in at $2.50. What an absolute steal. Jack's Abby is amazing. This beer really made me happy.

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Photo of VictorWisc
4.61/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Started out with a well chilled bottle that warmed as I went along. Poured into a tall sample glass (multiple pourings).

Pours light to medium amber, clear, with substantial cream-colored uneven head. Recedes fairly quickly, but with good lacing, almost no collar. No visible carbonation.

When the bottle was opened, the room filled with tropical hops aroma. When poured, the aroma changed toward the piny, bitter end. Some spice on the nose, but mostly camelia, mango and ... malt. Definitely did not expect malt on the nose, but it was clearly there. Caramel malt notes, almost approaching fresh butter and vanilla. Overall, an interesting balance of aromas, approaching those of a complex DIPA.

Taste followed the aroma. Not sure if hops faded, but I've had a bottle before and it seemed more bitter. Oddly enough, no such issues with tropical notes--sweet citrus, mango, hints of green tea. Can't really place the spice flavor, but a hint of nutmeg with roasted malt notes as it opens. Caramel malt notes in the finish along with returning sweet citrus that lingers before leaving a clear pine residue.

Body clearly reflects malt that I noticed when first opened the bottle. Although dry and fairly crisp, it feels a bit heavy on the tongue, coating it and allowing the flavors to linger in the mouth. So I'll go with medium body. Moderate but robust carbonation. Alcohol is not particularly noticeable--certainly less so than with Victory Prima Pils and Headwaters PA, which are both lower ABV, but Victory's house style is a bit boozier than most. Still, noticeable buzz after finishing a full 1/2 liter of HU (at 6.7%).

A surprising IPL that drinks like IPA but at lower temperature. Very well balanced beer that should grace every hophead's list. I'm lucky enough to have local distribution, but I have little doubt this brand will go national before the next presidential elections. The entire lineup is quite good, with HU and Framnghammer clearly the most popular entries.

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Photo of standardcherry
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very clear orange/golden color with a nice big white head.
S: Smells super hoppy. Floral, tangerine, tropical fruits, slight grassiness; lots of peach and mango. Light toasted sweetness from the malts.
T: This beer is very juicy and tropical. Floral, orange, mango, tangerine, peaches. A bit of honey and a slight sweetness from the malts to balance it out. Finishes bitter and a bit piney. The difference between this and an IPA is that the finish here is drier and more crisp, which leaves you wanting more! The bitter aftertaste does not linger as long either.
M: Light bodied with medium carbonation. Mouthfeel is crazy good, so smooth, crisp and refreshing. I could drink this all day.
O: Another home-run from Jack's Abby. I would take this beer over most IPAs out there.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler shared by Thorpe.

Pours a clear golden amber with a thin white head, quickly fading to a thin collar and no lace. Clean, dry aroma with a subtle hop bite, mildly fruity, with light yeast. Medium thick body with soft carbonation and a bready, biscuit finish. Slight fruity sweetness from a strong hop bitterness. Not quite a real dortmunder, but an expectional lager/IPA hybrid. Really enjoyed this.

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Photo of Jmc181
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have several IPAs that I love but this beer is a real treat. It's got a great flavor profile and I find it slightly creamier than the IPAs I typically enjoy. Every time I have one I'm pleasantly surprised, and I'm now buying it by the case at my local Costco. This is a truly delicious beer that I often recommend.

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Photo of Joel
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

When was the last time you had an IPL (India Pale Lager)? O<. when was the last time you had an IPL from a cask?

Jack's Abbey showed great confidence in this Lager by serving it from the cask. I had this last Saturday night at Bukowski's Tavern in Boston. So what is wrong with this Lager? Very little. At first sight I was a bit surprised at the over one finder of head. Also it didn't look like a full pint. I was also surprised at the warm serving temp. I would guess that would have been in the 55-60F range. How many beers are there that would taste good at this temp?

I could picture the different hops dancing around in my mouth in harmony. These hops went together quite well. Citrusy as noted and not bitter. The smoothness of the lager made me want to drink this fast, but the flavor made me want to savor it.

I make my own homebrew and this is a well balanced beer.

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Photo of Damian
4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank on tap at the The Publick House & Monk's Cell, Brookline, MA
Served in a pint glass

Nearly clear, golden-amber appearance. The liquid was topped by a small, flimsy white head. A thin blanket of streaky lacing coated the top inch of the glass.

The aroma was exceptional. Peach, apricot and nectarine notes dominated the nose. Tropical fruits came through strong as well. Mango and pineapple were most noticeable. Touch of citrus. Some caramel malt sweetness trailed in the background.

The flavor profile was remarkably hoppy and complex. Similar to the nose in many ways except perhaps more crisp and bitter. Caramel malts came through on the front end before the hops took over. Lots of candied citrus peel. Hints of mango. Spicy in the center with notes of peaches. The finish was piney and resiny. Quite dry and bitter. Overall, the beer was well balanced and drinkable.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied and pillowy soft. Super smooth and creamy with a fine bubbled, moderate effervescence.

The boys at Jack's Abby have redefined what a lager can be. This beer competes with (and beats) many of the best IPAs in the country. I cannot wait to see what these guys come up with next.

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Photo of CO-Bloom
4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hmmm, I think there is something special about these hoppy lagers or IPL's. Loved Sierra Nevada's hoppy lager and I would say this takes it to the next level (although I love SN's take). Fruity, citrusy hops on the bready crisp body of a lager. What's not to love? Clear orange hue with very little white head. Smells like grapefruit, orange peel, and fruity hops on a sweet malty base. Taste follows nose, delicious citrus hops (citra, mosaic?) on a crisp bready malt base. A lager base might present hops better and more uninhibited - bold statement, with minimal information but I like what I have had so far.

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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 fmccormi
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Straight pour from 16.9oz/0.5l/1 pint 0.9oz/500ml pry-off bottle to a tall Ommegang flute; no freshness or bottling date visible, but this was purchased about 9 days ago (Friday, 10/5) at Julio’s in Westborough, MA. Store attendant told me it was very fresh as he pulled it straight from a box as it was being restocked on the shelves, so I think it’s safe to assume it’s essentially as fresh as it’s going to get.

Appearance (4.5): Just about four fingers of cream-colored head, dying down to a chunk rim around the edge of the glass, leaving lots of pretty, lacy rings on the sides. The body is a hazy, glowing, orange-gold color, and just gorgeous.

Smell (5.0): Holy passionfruit and pineapple Batman, you son of a bitch. Moderate dank undertones, slightly resinous, and dominated by that sweet, juicy citrus. Papaya. Drool. Grapfruit, both pith and flesh. Understated but very nice and warm, bready malt character underneath that is not dominated by but in no way distracts from the hops. Not sure I can ask for much else.

Taste (4.5): Quick flash of grassy bitterness, followed by a solid, very dry, well-formed bready-biscuity kind of character, classic pilsner malt style. And then comes layers of hop flavor: sweet citrus (red grapefruit & pineapple), lighter floral-lemony tones, and then piny resin that opens up into a dank, resinous bitterness in the finish. This is awesome, really, really excellent. And there is a distinctively “lager” tone in the malt character that comes out toward the end, kind of a mildly skunky vapor that melds with the dry, crackery malt tone. Hard to describe and pretty subtle, but it’s a classic characteristic to me, and it’s there.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Moderate carbonation that foams modestly and tingles toward the end, but the body is medium-weight and very oily—but still finishes very dry. Very good feel.

Overall (4.5): Overall, I’d say this beer kinda kicks ass. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a lager this much since I was about seven deep during my sophomore year, and that was for entirely different reasons. It brings the hops in a very clear, balanced way: it’s not BLINDINGLY bitter, but has plenty of hop strength and character, enough to give lots of hop bombs a run for their money, flavor-wise. And the composition of the hop profile is excellent. As for the malt, it’s very well-done and balanced just right—bready, crackery, not sweet by any means, but solid and well-defined. And finally, it’s clearly a lager—a fantastic one. That fact that you can get 4-packs of 0.5l bottles of this for about $11 is almost criminal. If you see it, buy it and drink as soon as you can. Damn.

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Photo of BigCheese
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

.5L Bottle, 1 week old!!!

A: Pours a cloudy/hazy light orange/yellow, big white frothy head. Head dies quick, not much lacing, could be a kinda dirty glass.

S: wow, Grapefruit & Tropical hops right of the bat, some hay/grassy bready maltiness too.

T: Citrus, Grapefruit rind, pineapple, hop oil and pine cones initially, then a hit of some light bready maltiness, some wet fresh grass, toasted malts, lemons, honey, finishes with a clean crisp herbal bitterness. Starts off like an ale, finishes like a lager.

M: Definitely a lager in body. Clean, highly carbonated, rich body, very smooth creamy/oily mouthful, light crisp finish. Great drinker.

O: Great brew, I believe the hype. Has the hoppyness of a big west coast ipa. Great body, complex, very "bright" tasting. Never had a lager quite like it. Get some fresh!

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Photo of woosterbill
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

500ml bottle into a 668 tulip.

A: Clear pale amber body under a dense finger of off-white head. Good retention, light lace. Nice.

S: Cannabis aromas waft out of the bottle as soon as it's opened, but in the glass I'm getting more grapefruit and underripe mango. Amazing, especially for the style.

T: Citrusy hops up front, transitioning into pine midway through and ending up with crisp minerality and powerful bitterness. Mild fruitiness on the aftertaste. Great.

M: Light-to-medium body with moderate, creamy carbonation. Terrific.

O: Awesome beer, by far the best of its style I've ever had. Until the crisp lager finish you really wouldn't know this was anything other than a dank west coast hop bomb IPA. And it's a great deal, too. If I lived in MA, this would be a regular in my beer fridge.

Cheers!

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Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
4.23 out of 5 based on 2,646 ratings.
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