Hoponius Union | Jack's Abby Brewing

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
377 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:
377
Ratings:
2,666
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
8.51%
 
 
Wants:
384
Gots:
565
For Trade:
13
User Reviews
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Reviews: 377 | Ratings: 2,666
Photo of DenverHopHead
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz can with a canned on date of 9/8/16; into a pint glass.
Appearance- dark gold, evident sediment if you look hard enough and some carbonation bubbles. Head is medium thick, but quickly reduces to a thin, white layer. Lacing is decent.
Smell - faint tropical and citrus notes, but only hints. Some pale malts are also detectable.
Taste - citrus flavors are much more noticeable here, I'm getting grapefruit!
Feel - reminds of a fuller session IPA; bitter from start to finish with no watered down feel!
Overall - really good beer, though hop aromas are a little weak for me, but that's really the only thing that prevents an outstanding score for me.

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Photo of BigGold
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at the new "Cheers," Quincy Market, Boston, Mass., on draft into a faceted mug. Would say this "IPL" is a great example of what lagers can be, except it confirms I had (have) no idea what can be done with lagers. Whatever, find this beer. It may or may not open your eyes (like mine), but you will almost certainly enjoy the experience.

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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 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 PSU_Mike
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a slightly hazy burnt straw color with a 1 finger white head. Low carb and nice lacing on the edges.

FIrst smell is lemon, a hint of grass, a little subdued but still pleasant.

Lemon is main flavor. It's pleasantly hoppy but not a blast in the face. A touch of grass on the finish.

The finish is spot on. Crisp, clean, and refreshing. A little puckering lemon on the sides of the tongue though which I could do without.

Very enjoyable and easily crushed. I'm a fan and believer in Jack's Abby.

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Photo of Hendry
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle into a pilsner glass. Looks like a lager, yellowish and crystal clear. Lively carbonation.

Aroma: lager? Well, just a bit of breadiness in there. Nose similar to a moderately hopped IPA, light lemon-grapefruit citrus aroma, and I emphasize LIGHT. The aromas are subtle and faint, not jumping out at you.

Flavors start out light and subtly citrus, and quickly fade to a yeasty fresh lager vibe, crackery.
The bitter aftertaste from the hops is long lasting and pleasant..

Mouthfeel is on the light side of medium, flavors coat the middle of the palate mostly,not much on the tip or back.

Lines are blurred when it comes to traditional styles these days, and crossover beers seem to be emerging all the time. Somehow this lager bridges the gap to hopville, and is an enjoyable change of pace, but I'm not completely floored either. Worthy of trying for both IPA fans and lager fans, I'm not getting the world class ratings on this one: good but not incredible.

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Photo of lic217
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Light orange, crystal clear, long lasting head and lacing
Smell: Hops, mostly citrus, a touch of tropical,pine, and spicy
Taste: Starts wet end bitter and a touch dry, taste citrus/piney hops and a touch of bready malt
Feel: Moderately carbonated, not thick or thin, leaves a resiny like coating
Overall: Well done, enjoyable beer

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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 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 nataku00
3.82/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a clear golden color with a finger of off white head of mostly small bubbles. Plenty of sticky thick lacing as the head dissipated.

Nose is mostly citrus and floral hops, biscuit malts.

Floral and herbal flavors along with some bitter citrus peel. Just a slight malt presence, biscuit and caramel. Finish is clean and dry, with some light citrus flavor lingering.

Light body and well carbonated. An interesting beer, but I feel this bottle might have been past its prime.

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Photo of Prager62
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at The Barrel in Estes Park Colorado on 10/02/16 and served in a nonic pint glass.

Look- A clean transparent dark gold with a finger of creamy white foam. It slowly settles leaving some lacing. Tiny bubbles waft up to the surface like any good lager.

Smell- Fruity, floral and spicy. A little yeast comes out in back.

Taste- Wonder floral flavor up front, followed by some passionfruit and mild perfume. A dose of bready malt in the finish.

Feel- Creamy and slick to start with a crisp dry finish.

Overall- This is without a doubt one of the best hopped up lagers I've had. A wonderful balance of floral/fruity hops and a thick malt backbone. This is a must try for the style.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

IPL is a pretty hit-or-miss style for me, but I think Hoponius does it as well as any, adding a nice, grassy dry hop element to a basic lager. Some spice in the hops on the palate too, perhaps a wee bit of booze, but mostly just a razor clean lager yeast note alongside those spicy hops. Not a beer that takes well to sessioning, IMO, because of its sharpness, but a tasty drink nonetheless.

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

Reviewed from a can (poured into a pint glass) purchased at Good Beer on 9th street in Manhattan.
So I tasted this, thinking to myself, "this is pretty good. I like this." Then I looked at the style parameters and saw this was in the same category as Michelob and said Oh Crap. I get the scores. This tastes like an India Pale ale, but it's lagered. Usually I only get that sort of effect with some Imperial pilsners that have a bit more alcohol in them. That being said, this is a pretty high alcohol content American pale lager. It's pretty impressive to get this kind of flavor out of the kind of brewing process used. I'm a fan.

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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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Photo of Jacobob10
3.92/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap at Hops N Scotch in Brookline, MA.

Appearance: Yellow color, clear body, with a small white head. Sparse lacing on the glass. Good head retention.

Smell: Heavy hop aroma. Citrus and grass. No malt presence.

Taste: Citrus plays interestingly off of the light biscuit malts. Light bodied, a little too light for such a hoppy beer.

Mouthfeel: Thin textured, dry aftertaste with lively carbonation.

Overall: The lager flavor mixed with the strong hop profile doesn't completely work for me. It's a good beer and very unique, but maybe a little too much on the dry side. I wasn't in the mood for a second one. Glad I got to try this on-tap, regardless.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bottled 5-06-2-13. Smelled tropical fruits after removing bottle cap. Poured into pint glass. The beer had a clear orange golden color. Carbonation present all over glass. Not much presentation of the head, was about an inch thick but broke down quickly.

Aroma was primarily tropical fruits and floral notes. It seemed a little too faint, would prefer it more upfront.

Flavor was mostly tropical fruits - can't really pick out particular fruits on this one. It starts out pleasantly sweet and finished bitter. It's perfectly balance. As the beer started to return to room temperature, the delectable sweetness of the malt started to build up. It has a light bodied mouthfeel and oddly has this subtle tingly sensation in the mouth. Very good mouthfeel.

Overall it's a solid beer. Telling the difference from this lager and the IPA's would not be an easy task for me. I'm happy to try this at least once. Unfortunately this beer was not fresh as I hoped it would be. This is a great beer but I wonder how it would taste if it was less than 30 days old.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16 oz bottle into a snifter. Lucky enough to scoop up the last 4 pack at Yankee Spirits in Attleboro, MA.

A- Pours a slightly hazy, golden body with a thick fluffy white head that reduces slowly to some bubbles sitting on the top of the beer. Leaves uniform lacing.

S- Citrus, grapefruit, tangerines, honey, caramel malt, slight breadyness. Subtle but delicious aromas.

T- Starts off juicy, citrusy and tropical, progressing into a sweeter lager with caramel and honey notes, ends every so slightly bitter and piney. Unlike an IPA of the same flavor profile, these notes are more subdued, not as sticky, and leave less of hoppy aftertaste.

M- Super light, smooth, and refreshing. Definitely has the drinkability of a lager.

An excellent representation of an uncommon style. All hopheads should seek this one out. Comparable to an IPA but less aromatic and a little more modestly flavored, yet extremely delicious.

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Photo of fitzy84
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at Plan B Burger Bar in Springfield, MA.

The beer poured with an amber-orange appearance with a little bit of haze and a medium head. Wonderful aromas of citrus mixed with grassy and hop notes. The taste was this great balance of bittersweet flavors. Not as hoppy as an IPA with just the right combination of hops with citrus, like lemon and orange, and bready flavors. This flavoring was complimented by a crisp and refreshing mouthfeel, giving the drink a great body. Overall, this was a great discovery.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of 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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Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
4.23 out of 5 based on 2,666 ratings.
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