Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Hoponius Union | Jack's Abby Brewing

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 374 | Ratings: 2,646
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!

 2,180 characters

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

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains floral hops, fruity citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out with a nice burst of grassy hops bitterness followed by some citrus and caramel sweetness. Then there is some breadiness from lager yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character to create a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, decent kick, very good variation of style, this is an excellent beer with plenty of flavor and substance to make it worth pounding down for a whole evening.

 844 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.46/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Reservoir, Waterbury, VT.

Clear golden pour, with a nice, thick, foamy cap of white head; nice retention and some patchy lacing on the glass. Aroma was very light, notes of herbal hops, and biscuity malt sweetness. The taste was mostly sweet up front, biscuity malts, toffee, fruit punch, giving way to toasted grains, and a lightly bitter, herbal hop finish. Light-medium body, moderate carbonation, pretty easily drinkable. Overall decent, especially for a lager, but still probably not something I'd go for again.

 531 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy golden, one finger fluffy white head, with nice strips of carbonation. Looks like a lager indeed, but not entirely.
Great smell! Nice balance of citrusy green hops (tropical notes too) and caramel biscuity malts, like in a Munich helles. Hops are aromatic, not overwhelming. Should be great.
Okay, so, the malts are light, with some caramel and biscuit notes, and not as robust as an ale would be. Still, rich, but rather "fluffy", like boiled grains. Sweet hoppy fruitiness, with sweet oranges and tangerines, mild grapefruit, tropical lychee and pineapple, big floral notes and also prickly spicy hops. Great green leafy finish, with pine, mild bitterness.
Light body, but not watery, actually very very smooth, again, "fluffy". Dry finish with a green fresh hoppy aftertaste. Also, 6.7? Where?!
Overall, feels like a more crisp American IPA, with a German malt base and perfectly balanced hops. Extremely drinkable (watch out for the abv) and tasty.

 963 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden in color with a white head. A very nice citrus hop aroma and plenty of floral notes to go with it. There are some pine notes to it as well as a light grass note. Very little in terms of malt. The palate is on the dry side with a lot of hop flavor to it. Citrus fruit and peel, lots of floral notes, pine, and a hint of grass. Just a bit of biscuit and cracker malt flavor. Very well done.

 395 characters

Photo of smcolw
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, golden color. Clear. Excellent chunky lace from the modest head.

Fresh, but quite strong, grapefruit like hop smell. Very similar to a hoppy pale ale.

This is a very smooth lager with a strong hop bite, which takes this beer out of the style. Nevertheless, this is an exceptionally easy-to-drink beer. The aftertaste Is a long lasting bite of bittering hop. The body is rich for a lager, but the carbonation provides decent balance.

 443 characters

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

Had on tap at Picco in Boston. Review from notes.

A: Served in a pint glass, the beer was orange in color with a small white head that formed a nice cap on top. Moderate lacing, but very sticky.

S: Nice and citrusy! Some orange, orange rind, a little bit of pine, and some floral hops.

T: Again, more citrus with more pine than in the aroma. Some grapefruit, orange, and orange rind with a bit of grassy hops as well. A little bit of pale lager malt

M: Medium bodied, extremely crisp and drinks very smooth like a lager. No sign of the abv whatsoever, could drink this beer all day long.

O: Loved it, very impressed. Had been hoping to try this beer for sometime and jumped at the chance when I saw it on tap and was not disappointed.

 742 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 08/17/12 notes. Had this on tap at a bar right outside of Boston. Served in a pint glass.

a - Pours a clear amber color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks pretty good.

s - Smells of citrus hops, pine hops, fruity malts, floral hops, and light biscuit. Very nice and hoppy, almost like an IPA. Very nice nose.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, resin, pine hops, tropical fruits, grapefruit, fruity malts, floral hops, and light herbal notes. Even more fruit and hops than the nose; outstanding taste.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Light bitterness but not much at all. Very easy to drink; feel like I could definitely have a few of these.

o - Overall I thought this was a fantastic hoppy lager. I've been pretty impressed with their beers and this might be the best one I've had so far. Tons of hops and fruit in the nose and taste, and pretty easy to drink for 6.7% ABV. Would love to have it again.

 947 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike.

The beer is clear and golden hued with a small head that leaves sparse lacing on the tulip. Lots of fresh hop character in both the nose and taste. This drinks much more like an IPA than a German lager. And while this beer is tasty, it does lack the distinctive characteristics of a Dortmunder lager. The body is light and the finish is dry, offering a hint of lager yeast. Overall, a tasty brew. Easy to drink and flavorful, just don't expect an authentic example of the style. I would definitely have this again.

 557 characters

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

Today is Sa, 30 July 2016 & The CANQuest (tm) is in high gear, CANticipating tonight's Daikaiju blow out at Tellus360!

From the CAN: "Wicked Hoppy"; "Tropical Citrus Aroma"; "Locally Sourced Ingredients";
"Unfiltered/Unpasteurized".

The Crack! & inverted Glug was, once again, a highlight of my day. I got two-plus fingers of dense, rocky, tawny head as a result & the party was rolling! Color was a beautiful Golden-Amber (SRM = > 5, < 7) with NE-quality clarity. Cue a visit from The Gelt Gang (Midas, Croesus & Mammon), all squabbling & clamoring for a taste. The nose had the honeysuckle scent of a good, clean lager along with a slightly minty, fairly citrusy tang. Mmmmm. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was entirely hoppy & I would have sworn that I was drinking an AIPA. Lots of citrus, but clearly held in check by the malt. Man, this is good. Finish was clean & crisp, almost like an super-hopped Czech Pils. I am just going to fill a cooler with all of their stuff and head to the beach.

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

From the bottle: "Jack's Abby Brewing's goal is to create truy remarkable beer that combines the strict standards of traditional German brewing with the innovative approach of American craft brewers. We specialize in lagers, which take longer to brew than ales but yield exceptionally rich flavors and smooth, crisp taste."; "All Jack's Abby lagers are unfiltered and unpasteurized. Sediment in the bottle is normal."; "Hoponius Union harmoniously combines lager yeast fermentation and West Coast IPA hops. Our India style Pale Lager is like a traditional IPA but with a twist - it's fermented cold and aged for long periods. A blend of classic American hops creates a huge tropical fruit and citrusy hop aroma. A dry finish accentuates the pleasant bitterness and hop profile. Hoponius Union uses locally sourced ingredients."

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

 3,731 characters

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

I was caught completely off guard in finding this beer. Thankfully the place I went to brings stuff over from the east side of the state. Really excited to try this one.

Nice citrus tones. Really smooth beer. Hops bring all the suave and none of the abrasive character. Love it. I would drink this all day and all night. Great beer.

 333 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep golden clear body. Small head. Wisps and some lacing.

Smell - Pine hops. Musty. Faint grapefruit. Slight sweetness to the pale malt.

Taste - Brighter citrus, but still has a lot of pine and resin. Bitterness builds quickly, faster than the sweetness. Finishes dry and bitter.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy and medium carbonation. Moderately bitter.

Overall - Not as good as it warmed. Better cold. Good all around.

 470 characters

Photo of stakem
3.82/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into a snifter. The brew appears a clear orange with a finger of white frothy. Patchy legs of lace stick to the glass and the cap displays decent retaining powers.

The aroma is tropical with hop character. Somewhat herbal with pine, rind and pulp to zest of something like oranges or grapefruit. A mild inclsuion of supporting fruity alcohol.

The taste is surprisingly toasty with bready malt. Considering the aroma, I was expecting a hoppy assault right upfront but instead its quite grainy. Toffee mixes with sulfur and a bit of a cheesy hop flavor mixed with herbs towards the back.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is earthy herbal and cheesy with plenty of bitterness and a veggie hop flavoring. I would have this again if the opportunity presented itself.

 813 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with my brother.
Pours a fairly clear deep golden color with a decent sized creamy white head that dissipates rather quickly. Aromas of sweet bready malty with hint of spice and fruit with a light spicy earthy hop aroma to round it all out. The flavor holds a creamy bready malty taste with lots of spicy earthy hops to balance it out. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick almost sweet mouthfeel. Another great brew from Jack's, but not one I would seek out again.

 503 characters

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

Pours very clear and light, nice head but the body just looks like a lager, nothing extraordinary.

Smells very floral and citrusy, definitely reminiscent of a west coast IPA.

Tastes a lot like Pliny! Grapefruit type citrus, strong hops but not overwhelmingly bitter, some floral notes, very slight sweetness but definitely hop forward. Like a somewhat less interesting and complex Pliny but still very good.

Very drinkable, nice crisp mouthfeel.

8.0/10

 456 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle at Smoke & Barrel as part of the first DC bottle share/tasting. Sample pour into a large snifter glass. From notes.

A pale orange amber body, with faint very light tan off white bubbles. Minor head produced but quite thick bubbles for a collar that is left.

Nose is quite hop forward, and I guess expected. A good airy light citrus hop front, with a mild malt presence. Clean, surprisingly smells like a solid IPA. Kind of jarring but real impressive.

Palate hits with a thick pine resin, and a good mild sense of sweetness. Like a solid lager it finishes quite cleanly, almost like as if an IPA were missing something. Malt backbone seems to be missing a little but it's sort of something you don't seem to care about on this first sip. No sweetness or heat present either, or sugar rush.

Overall, a real memorable and impressive take on a style, worth trying again. Quite enjoyable would love to have more of this.

 943 characters

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.

 414 characters

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

Thanks to AutumnBeerLove for making the trek to pick up this growler. Served in a Surly Darkness glass.

A - A finger of white foam settles to a near-complete cap, thick collar, and stray splotches of lace. Transparent golden body.

S - Massive aromatic hops here - very floral, with orange blossoms, pine, faint herbs, and a faint chive note I sometimes get from Citra hops. Some nebulous sugary malts in the background.

T - Taste is a bit less sweet, with more pine and a more bread-heavy malt character. Plenty of pine and citrus hop flavor, with mid-level bitterness and a crisp, clean lager finish.

M - Pleasant moderate carbonation, medium body, smooth texture, and no alcohol presence. Dry finish with a bit of residual oily hop texture. Easy to drink in large quantities.

D - It's a slightly smaller Humulus Lager. I'd never heard of Jack's Abby but this beer is for real. We obliterated the growler in record time. I would order this all the time if it was local.

 975 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap and served in a tumbler pint, the beer is a slightly hazed, steadily carbonated, copper-golden coloring with a low profile, thin, off-white filmy coating. Aromas of resiny hops, with basil and hemp characteristics, as well as a slight peppering. Flavors are hop forward, with that heavy pepper/basil combo blasting the tastebuds. Light toasted backbone supports the hops presence, and the beer is light bodied and smooth in mouth. Great cling along the glass as you go. The aftertaste is light and bitter, with a slight floral highlight. Resiny, bitter finish, with the clean feel typical of a lager. Very tasty.

 626 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

Pours near clear early, then clouded by the last pour, fluffy and light eggshell head

Mild nose with a hint of hops

Hops up front here, with a hit of lime on the back of the throat. Aggressive hops all over this one. Crisp, citric, tasty and quite dry.

Well worth a try

 288 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Thorpe, at the time of this review, this is the #2 beer on the "Top Beers - Dortmunder / Export Lager" list on beeradvocate.com.

Beer is yellow with a mild haze, wispy white head, minimal lacing.

Aroma is quite hoppy, sweet, fruity hops, a mild yeast presence.

Beer is light in body and a little sweet, moderately bitter on the finish and quite hoppy in the midpalate. I really like this beer very good. I'd have a lot more of this if available to me.

 462 characters

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.

 281 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to portia99 for this brew.

Poured into a Squatters True Pint glass a very nice cloudy dark golden yellow color, very nice carbonation, with a nice one-finger white creamy head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is hoppy, malty, with a nice citrus note. The taste is hoppy, nice little touch of malts, and some citrus notes. Medium body, with a nice slightly dry/bitter finish. Overall a very nice brew. Thanks Bill!

 449 characters

Photo of tone77
3.99/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A bottled beer? From woodychandler? Yes, it's true. And what a bottle to come through with, many thanks. Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a deep golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of hops, citrus. Taste is smooth and refreshing. I could drink these all day long. Some solid hops, malts, citrus, well done. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a high quality beer.

 389 characters

Photo of plaid75
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Prohibition Pig, Waterbury, VT.

Poured a shiny brass hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured piney, resinous hops and a grainy pale malt.

The taste consisted of waves of balmy pine and grapefruit with a clean, tempering pale malt.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style.

Overall a tasty hop forward lager.

 398 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe