Hoponius Union | Jack's Abby Brewing

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
382 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:
382
Ratings:
2,685
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
8.51%
 
 
Wants:
381
Gots:
579
For Trade:
13
User Reviews
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Reviews: 382 | Ratings: 2,685
Photo of popery
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a nice bright gold with a big puffy head, a light cream color. Lots of lacing, very good retention, in case you're curious. The aroma is quite hoppy. Big on bright citrus with a little tropical fruit in the mix. Nice floral note, as well. Sugary, doughy malt underneath all of those hops. Taste is similar. Lots of hop flavor. It pretty much drinks like an IPA. It's just a bit cleaner for better and worse. The hops start with sweet floral and citrus flavors but get a bit bland in the finish. It's just not quite as juicy as I'd like. Nice dry finish, otherwise. Light mouthfeel with a little bit of hop oiliness. Very good beer.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, poured into a tulip

A- pours a hazy golden-yellow color with a small creamy white head that forms a thin layer floating on top, and lasts long after the pour

S- tropical fruity hops up front with notes of passionfruit and mango, some grassy and pine notes follow, complemented by clean lager yeast

T- deep tropical fruit flavors give a sweet and almost tangy flavor of mango and guava, some fresh grassy notes along with orange zest follow, clear lager yeast adds a crisp and refreshing finish, with some toasted malt linger

M- medium body with medium prickly carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and crisp finish

O- the drinkability of a lager with the juicy tropical fruit notes of a west coast IPA, very good

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Photo of 11-52_4hops
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is little different and a pleasant surprise. Dark honey color that matches a sweet honey, florals, malty nose. Taste is equal parts malt and bitter hops -- very nice balance. Light to medium body. Refreshing. Outstanding brew.

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Photo of drtth
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a lightly hazed golden orange color with a 3/4" ivory head that recedes visibly to leave rings of lacing with some large patches and some legs clinging to the sides of the glass. The surface is coated with a thin layer of foam and a thicker island of foam here and there. Sipping creates arches of lacing along with large and small patches of leggy lacing.

The aromas include some strong components of orange and grapefruit zest backed up by some grassy character with the malt way in the background.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose with the grapefruit zest in charge, some grassy character, some bitterness that is all supported by a malt backbone that adds just a touch of sweetness that softens but never overrides or conceals any of the hop flavors or the bitterness.

The mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied and slightly creamy with the gentle persistent carbonation. The finish begins as the initial burst of citric bitterness begins to fade a bit. The orange, and grapefruit flavors begin to fade followed by the malt and sweetness leaving the bitterness to slide a way on its own leaving only a bit of bitterness throughout to fade into the dry ending that invites another sip.

Another very well made beer from Jack's Abby and one I'd be happy to have again. As an example of a west coast take on IPAs/IPLs this has the strengths of the focus on the hope but doesn't have that tongue rasping bitterness that can actually sometimes be painful.

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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 Phillip13
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A very find lager. It has as much hop flavor with just the right amount of a bitter finish as any lager out there. You won't be disappointed with this beer.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Amazing extra from bramsdell (cheers buddy!) enjoyed from a beer hunter taster glass.

a - brew pours transparent honey yellow with a generous frothy head that hung out for a while and as it dissipated, it left big frothy chunks of lacing. lots of visible carbonation dance to the surface.

s - nose is a fair amount of hopping layered over some nice earthy malt lager. great citric notes on a lager is a welcome addition.

t - really nice. definitely a lager, but with all them hops gives the impression of a pale ale with the earthy undertones. the hops bring to life a style i'm not normally wild about. biscuity with a subtley bitter finish.

m - nice medium bodied brew with a good fullness to the profile and feel.

o - super enjoyable and refreshing brew. not usually a big fan of a lager, but this beer, i could drink all of the time. very well suited for the warm weather.

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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 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 RonfromJersey
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Shiny golden body with a touch of chill haze. Four fingers of creamy white micro bubbles. Good drippy lace.

Citrus aroma with a touch of fresh bread.

Solid deep semi-sweet malt foundation. Juicy fruit. Solid hop bite at the swallow. Cleaner finish than an IPA, but not quite pilsnerish.

Medium mouthfeel with a bit of prickliness.

A damn good hoppy lager, in a class with Victory Prima Pils.

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Photo of Omnium
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours a nice clear gold 2 fingers of soapy white head, mild lacing.
S - Grassy, and piney aroma, a touch of light citrus, and lager kinda traits, some bready malt.
T - Lots of pine and grass as far as the hops goes, a mild bitterness up front then smooths out to that crisp mellow lager taste.
M - Clean, smooth, refreshing, light bitterness on the palate.
O - Well it really is that good, something you could definitely drink a few of, I think there's also some great examples of the style already out there, but this one is popular for a reason.

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Photo of MusicaleMike
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

OK, well this is clearly not an American Pale Lager, but I guess we all know that. I also know that India Pale Lager is not a recognized "style" quite yet, but will review the beer with that intention in mind. I am sure the brewer would probably put this more towards the IPA category than the APL category.

Served in a pilsner glass. Bright golden body. Very nice head formation! Really solid and consistent bubbles, all the same size. Very good retention. Pretty amazing and even though this is my first "IPL" I could say with some confidence that this beer has a really outstanding appearance. It fails to garner a 5 though for the hazy body.

Aroma is quite similar to a true west-coast IPA. Bready malt lay underneath a blanket of citrus hops with notes of honeysuckle and candied oranges.

Up front, there is a big, impressive flavor of blood orange with a nice, spicy mid-palate, and a bit of doughy malt in the finish. The beer has a moderate body with plenty of solid carbonation throughout the glass. Carbonation is spot on, and right where I would want it for a "lager/IPA" hybrid. There is a longer, residual bitterness as well.

OK, it's hard to really determine what I feel about this beer in relation to any others of its kind, but I will say that my first impression is that this is a very solid beer that carries the torch well in the IPA category. There isn't much that I would consider "delicate" about this beer, and so any of the qualities I would be looking for in a pale lager are essentially hidden. That said, I enjoyed this beer and would certainly try it again.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours out a nice darker yellow beer with good clarity, 1" of white head with pretty solid retention, especially for a hoppy beer.

Aroma was obviously a very hoppy lager. You got both, in good supply: Simcoe hops, lager yeast. Has an herbal component to the aroma.

Taste, good snap and bite from the culmination of the yeast, Simcoe hops and mild/light body of the beer. Plenty bitter, but not a one trick pony, it kicks down some grapefruit (probably Cascade) with the Simcoe bitterness, and of course, the lager yeast is well intentioned and complimentary with this brew. It doesn't have a tropical fruit component to the hop flavor in the mouthfeel, its definitely more in the grapefruit and pine realm.

Carbonation is high, but appropriate for style. I was impressed with SA IPL, and this beer takes that up another notch. Clean, crisp and hoppy, super mild bready malt does its job.

Wouldn't hesitate to drink this over and over again. Not quite humulus lager, but better than SA IPL. I'm really liking this IPL trend. . .

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Photo of cbutova
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy yeast filled golden body with a massive ice cream looking white head. Retention is killing me because I want to take a sip. Lots of lace down the glass.

S- Damn, west coast hops smelling on par wit most great IPAs but thesis an IPL. Tropical fruit and citrus blow up upon opening with notes of peach, mango, lemon and pineapple.

T- this is like sculpin lager to me. Fresh tropical fruits once again with a blend of peach, mango, orange and lemon zest. Very light malt and yeast presence backing up this hoppy lager.

MF- Creamy body with high carbonation stinging the palate. Somewhat silky and a clean bitterness on the palate.

Another satisfying jacks abby lager. Great west coast hop profile and very drinkable.

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Photo of flexabull
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of cbeer88, thanks again!

Pours a bright and slightly hazy gold color with a huge white head.

Aromas are very nice. Notes of hard candies, sugary citrus, floral hop cones and crackers.

Taste is light and hoppy. Crackers, bread dough, and light creamy sweetness up front. Finish is snappy and crisp with bitter grapefruit, and mineral bitterness.

Mouthfeel is smooth with plenty of body and nice carbonation.

Overall, a very tasty lager. Very refreshing and super drinkable, would be a treat on a warm day.

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Photo of Duff27
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Straw Colored body with a good lasting head oner. Spotty lacing.

S- The hops are out of this world.

T- Very tasty, hop, easy going down.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Over carbonation fits here.

D/O- I'm not sure how true to style this is but damn it's tasty. Thanks 4DAloveofSTOUT.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Loosely bubbled white head pours low with ok retention and lace. Medium orange gold body.

S - Nice bright pine and woody hop cone nose.

T - Opens with green plant flavors. Very herbal. Smooth white bread and light caramel center. Lemon and pine bitters balance the backend.

M - Smooth, medium-full frame with nice carbonation.

O - A great session beer; smooth, full flavored, well balanced, easy drinking.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle with no date.

Pours hazy gold with a dense white head of a half inch. A partial skim coat on the surface with dotted lacework throughout the glass.

Aromatics are a floral blend of tropical fruit and a trace of husky malt. Peach, mango, pear, and melons. Not leaping out of the glass as a great IIPA would but very nice for what it is.

Light to medium bodied with a crisp mouthfeel. Light and quaffable.

Bright, juicy, citrus-laden hops start the palate. Plenty of plump tropical goodness with barely a trace of bitterness. A bit pf pine is in the mix this time along with mangos, peachs, tangerines.

Finishes with a lingering smooth bitterness, tropical hops, and a trace of honey-drizzeled biscuits.

Great beer! Not to compare to others, but I look at this beer as sort of a Heady Topper Jr. Similar hopping and flavor, just not as big in any aspect.

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Photo of raiderandbeerfan
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Darker yellow, clarity is way up there, full on 1" of head, amazing retention for a beer so hoppy.

Aroma delivered on the simcoe hops, the yeast was present, good to smell in a lager, cool mix.

Taste, big bite and snap from all the lager yeast, simcoes and whatnot. Plenty bitter, but multidimensional. Some c hops. No tropical component to the hop flavors, this is cleaner than that. High carbonation, but not bothersome. Bready.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #68 (Spetember 2012):

LOOK: Golden, slight haze, billowy white foam head

SMELL: Resiny, herbal, grassy hops, biscuity malts

TASTE: Medium-bodied, smooth, creamy, fruity, tropical, citrusy, resiny, leafy, bitter, dry, grainy, crackery finish

West coast IPA meets east coast lagering (fermented cold and matured before packaging) and local dehulled spelt. The result is quite unique. All the fruitiness of an ale, the hop bite of an IPA and mellowness of a lager. The best of many worlds. Hands-down one the best hop-centric offerings to hail from the east coast in recent years, and a lager to boot.

STYLE: India Pale Lager
ABV: 6.7%
AVAILABILITY: Year-round

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Photo of claspada
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear light golden color with a rather large, fluffy white head and some spotty lacing as the foam recedes.

Aromas begin quite dank and hoppy for any lager I hace ever had. It starts with some tropical fruits with a bit of citrus and additional pine resin. In the background as it warms there is some light toasty, crackery maltiness.

The tastes directly follow the nose but in reverse with some light crackery maltiness that adds the smallest amount of malt sweetness before the citrus and pine hop flavors kick into gear. Some grasyy hop flavors as well which linger along with the pine resin flavors.

The mouthfeel is my only complaint as with many lagers, finish seemed slightly stripped and finishes a bit too abruptly for my liking. Carbonation is perfect to style.

Overall this is one of the most flavorful lagers I have ever had to date and clearly well crafted and the recipe must have been tweaked many times to arrive at such a great, hihgly drinkable balance. High marks for this one.

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Photo of Justin82
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz into a pint glass

Look: Hazy orange, half inch foamy head, a lil lacing

Smell: slight citrus. Herbal and grassy notes

Taste: Much like the smell. Not really getting the citrus, but still herbal and grassy. Finishes dry and bitter

Feel: Really smooth. Nice carbonation

Overall: Really enjoyable. I usually tend to go for juicier ipas but this ipl hit the spot. Just a really tasty well balanced beer. Feel like this one begs to be sessioned. Would definitely get this again

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Photo of CNoj012
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a hazy golden orange with a one finger off white head that sticks around quite a while and leaves thin hanging chunks of lacing.

The smell is awesome! Bright, citrusy, tropical and juicy. Smells like an IPA with a touch of toasted malt and lager yeast.

The taste is quite a bit more balanced. Starts off fruity and juicy, but transitions into a bready dry finish.

Feel is light, juicy and slightly resinous, but finishes dry.

Overall a very very good beer. One of the best pale lagers I've had.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Jack's Abby "Hoponius Union"
12 oz. brown glass bottle, "MFG1458032415"
$1.92 @ Weis Market, Conshohocken, PA

I mean it in the best way when I say that the smell and taste of this reminds me of home-brew - the best home brew, of course. It's got that bright, lively, "real ale" character to it. Onward...

Appearance: Its golden-orange body is hazy, and perhaps even cloudy, but given that it's unfiltered one can hardly complain (and that also most likely explains why it tastes so fresh to me!). Its antique-white head rises up majestically, and then slowly settles down into a thick rocky cap. As you might expect the lacing is quite nice as well.

Aroma: Spicy, woody, earthy, floral, citrusy, and even a bit tropical.

Flavor: For the most part the hops remain the same, over a slightly sweet malt base that's distinctly grainy with a very soft edge of golden caramel to it, and perhaps a light touch of toastiness as well - it's cracker-like and biscuity, but there's more going on than just that... I can't quite put my finger on it, but it's pleasant. As I think about it, I'm wondering how much the graininess is adding to the woody and earthy notes in the aroma (?). It's nicely balanced with the hops and malt meshing together, and with the lightly sweet note of maltiness balanced by a solid (but not bold or brash) bitterness. It's odd, this is a lager, made with American hops, and yet it seems very English in nature to me - I've recently returned from a week-long pub crawl in Liverpool, and I can totally imagine finding this on tap from one of their up & coming craft breweries.

Mouthfeel: Initially slightly zesty but then remarkably smooth and velvety. Medium bodied and lightly oily.

Overall: Really quite brilliant! I found it enticing, and then compelling, and finally, really quite satiating and relaxing. For me this is the kind of beer that I want to sit down with at the end of the night with a good book after I've had something a little more basic. It's good enough that it can be the last beer of the evening because unless you're going to go for a barleywine or something like that, there's really nothing that can follow it. Worth seeking out!

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Photo of wedge
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

MFG 03/24/2015

Pours a clear gold crowned with a tight, creamy head. Juicy hop aroma...grapefruit, orange pulp, spicy grass, and leafy herbs over some cereal grain. Nose is more raw than the flavor. Taste brings that crunchy grain note a little closer to the surface, but it's all about the hops. Floral, citrusy, spicy, and leafy hops with some sweetness holding it together. Finish is oily and resinous. Medium-light feeling and delightfully crisp. A pretty damn good hop bomb of a lager. Love the switch to 12oz bottles too.

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Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
4.23 out of 5 based on 2,685 ratings.
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