Hoponius Union | Jack's Abby Brewing

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
365 Reviews
Hoponius UnionHoponius Union
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This lager harmoniously combines lager yeast fermentation and west coast IPA hops. Our India style Pale Lager is like a traditional IPA but with a twist - it’s fermented cold and aged for extended periods. A blend of classic American hops creates a huge tropical fruit and citrusy hop aroma. A dry finish accentuates the pleasant bitterness and hop profile. Hoponius Union uses locally grown dehulled spelt from MA.

65 IBU

Added by mschofield on 08-07-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
365
Ratings:
2,610
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
22.46%
 
 
Wants:
379
Gots:
540
For Trade:
13
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 365 | Ratings: 2,610
Photo of orcrist_cleaver
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Has color more characteristic of an APA or IPA. Pours an orange-amber with a frothy white head. Smell is very muted to my nose, but then again that's the irony with IPLs as the coldet serving temp kinda defeats the purpose. Gains a nice fleshy mango aroma as it warms Grassy, citrusy, resiny hop taste. Gtapefruit, jackfruit, bitter melon, passionfruit. Definitely had a crisp, dry feel that accentuates citrus florals than any tropical sweetness.

 451 characters

Photo of horshack7
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: With a very white and fluffy two fingered head. Underneath is a clear and very golden beer.

Aroma: Lots of grapefruit notes and some piney bits in this lager. Light buttery biscuit.

Taste: Mostly on the citrus hoppy side quite alot of grapefruit and piney bits. Light dry mouthfeel with some crispness. Biscuit notes round it out.

Notes: It's drinkable and the citrus notes add a good touch. Cheers.

 414 characters

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

This sucker better be damn good considering that Raul had seats at Fenway, six rows behind the on deck circle, but the game got postponed. And lucky enough for Raul - and the people around him - it was pretty damn good.

Airy, light, and crisp (kind of like Raul likes his hina's). Airy, light, and crisp...

 308 characters

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle 6,7% Abv.
Served chilled in an over sized wine glass.
No bottle date visible.

Thanks to gn0sis for this amazing extra!

Appearance: Hoponius (I think this will have to be the name of my next cat) pours a lightly hazed, bright golden-orange, while a standard pour yields a massive, creamy, off white head. The head lasts fantastically and leaves thick clumps of lacing clinging to the glass as it slowly recedes.

Smell: Mmmm, this smells amazing - Eric must have grabbed this one directly off of the bottling line as the nose is still bursting with hops! Fruity hops dominate the first few sniffs, with notes of orange, lemon, tangerine, paw-paw and traces of mango, pineapple and granadilla. As the beer begins to open up, herbal, resinous and floral hop characters also become apparent. The combination of the floral character and the sweet citrus yields a distinct orange blossom aroma. As the beer approaches room temperature, some underlying biscuity malt is noted.

Taste: Delicious, absolutely delicious. The flavour offers big leafy/herbal and resinous hop flavours upfront, with added notes of grapefruit peel, sweet citrus (orange and lemon), floral notes (orange blossom again) and tropical fruits (pineapple). The finish is quite bitter and displays a wonderful crispness that only a lager yeast can deliver.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, with a medium-high level of fairly smooth carbonation.

Overall: Hoponius is the first India pale lager I have had and it was absolutely fantastic. The crispness derived from the lager yeast certainly make this one of the most refreshing beers around. It was 40 degrees Celsius today and this just hit the spot - I would kill for this to be my summer staple.

 1,727 characters

Photo of TheElectricOne
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a JA glass.

Appearance: Deep golden yellow, with a thick frothy head. Lots and lots of little bubbles rising from the center and sticking on the inside of the glass. Head dissipated somewhat quickly, but lacing was sticky and sudsy.

Smell: Bready and yeasty, but with a much more prevalent citrus aroma than any other lager I've tried.

Taste: Slightly malt, with bitter, resinous hop profile. Plenty of tangerine/orangy citrus throughout, with a dry, bitter finish.

Feel: Creamy, with a velvety, crisp medium body. Easy drinking at 6.7%.

Overall: An excellent, easily drinkable yet heavy lager. Can't wait till JA starts distributing in Rhode Island liquor stores, because this lager will vault to the top of the list for any lager purchases I'll make. Yummy!

 796 characters

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!

 823 characters

Photo of DrinkingDrake
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Going into the Metrowest area anyways why not stop by a brand new brewery. Crystal clear and a vibrant yellow/gold. Big bubbly head about two-three fingers high. Nose is fresh, floral hops. Smells like I just cracked open a bag of whole flower (cascade?) hops. Light grainy malt background but that is dominated by the hops. Flavor is just like the nose. Grains are popping out more crackers and biscuit but then the hops just wash over all of it. Fresh flowery hops and a lot of lemon/lime A sweet tartness but overall it light and crisp, very refreshing. They called it a India Pale Lager at the brewery.

 606 characters

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%

Pours a straw yellow with a head that trails the glass. The scent is full of pine from the hops. The taste was fantastic with a focus on the hops, but with a nice balance with the malt to create an exceptionally clean finish. Great focus and execution of the style. Loved it right away.

 286 characters

Photo of Kinsman
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fills the glass with a beautiful bright copper which is crowned nicely by a dense white head. Resinous lace rings the glass as it goes down.

Hops invite you right in with powerful grapefruit notes and a nice punch of piney goodness. All hops all the time on the nose... who said lagers were suppose to malty anyway?

Juicy citrus makes for quite a refreshing sip. Pleasantly bitter without ruining your palate. Some Cascadian pine notes in there as well. Little room left for the malt to come through.

Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I'd like as I prefer my hoppy beer to have some substance to them but this certainly nothing to be too picky about. Refreshing and highly drinkable. I'd challenge any BA to correctly identify this as a lager in a blind taste test.

 767 characters

Photo of MCain04
4.51/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle from BostonRyan, thanks bro. No bottling date, this IPL was poured into my Bell's Tulip glass. Very first IPL, looking forward to this!

A: A tad darker than straw yellow, opaque, big 2+ finger eggshell-white head with moderate retention and good lacing.

S: Delightfully floral hops with a strong lemon and citrus nose. Some orange and grapefruit. Best-smelling lager I've had yet.

T: Follows the nose well. The hop presence is comprable to, if not better than, some of the better IPAs out there. Not exceptionally bitter (65 IBUs) but definitely bitter enough.

M: Clean and crisp, the epitome of the lager mouthfeel. Almost perfect. Not as dry as you might expect on the finish, but decently dry.

O: Really enjoyed this. Wish I could stock my fridge with this beer this summer. I hope to get to drink it again... either that or that my favorite local breweries (looking at you, Pipeworks) would start perfecting their own IPLs. Great beer!

 959 characters

Photo of fscottkey
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A: Clear light amber color. I got a 1 finger head of white bubbles. The head leaves decent lacing on the sides. The bottle has a easy to read manufactured date 6/16/14. It also lists the IBUs 65 and ABV 6.7%. I love when it is easy to find and read.

S: Some sweet smells along with the piney presence of hops.

T: The taste confuses my brain. It is simultaneously bitter and sweet at the front. I keep taking sips and keep getting that result. There is a taste of mild citrus zest and spiciness. The hops are on the finish making it somewhat dry.

M: Slightly dry and moderately carbonated.

O: This is an interesting twist on a lager or IPA. The sweetness helps balance the hops - but they are still there to enrich the experience. There is no sense of alcohol at all. This is an enjoyable beer and I will seek out more from Jack's Abbey.

 843 characters

Photo of tviz33
3.89/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle in to a Duvel tulip.

A- Absolutely clear golden body with 1.5" of fluffy white head that sticks around for a few minutes.

S- This smells like, well, a hoppy lager. Just what I expected.

T- The hop flavor is there but comes to an abrupt hault and finishes smooth and malty. I could probably drink this all day.

M- Medium body and medium amount of carbonation

O- Quite a good beer. A wonderful melding of styles.

 428 characters

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

16.9 oz Bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Deep amber/orange with an initial 1/2" head that disappears quickly leaving only a ring, nice lacing.

Smell: A well balanced pine & citrus hoppy aroma, quite pleasant. You also get some malty sweetness beneath the hop profile.

Taste: Really clean and well balanced hoppy flavor, right at the right combination of pine and grapefruit. The bready malt flavors come through at the end.

Mouthfeel: Very nice body, again well balanced and clean on the finish.

Overall: An extremely enjoyable hoppy lager, one of the best offerings I've had from Jack's Abby.

 611 characters

Photo of stella77artois
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle poured into wine glass.

A - Pours a yellow amber, with a 1" head. A fair amount of carbonation noted, as well as a slight haze.

S - Lot's of bitter hops up front, and a bit of dankness. Earthy smells from the hops, as well as a good amount of grapefruit. Also a tiny bit of yeast. Nice smelling beer, just wish I could detect a bit more of the fruity notes advertised.

T - Probably the most interesting American Pale Lager I've ever had. Essentially because this beer is an IPA with lager yeast. Lot's of hops up front - dirt/earthy notes, very bitter in a pleasant way. Also noted grapefruit and a bitter flowery taste. Unlike their 2nd Anniversary Lager, which is very hoppy yep clean and crisp like a lager, this beer wasn't so crisp. Very much IPA. Not a bad thing in any means!

F - Dry finish. Lot's of carbonation which I liked. Very prickly on the tongue and throat. Again, not crisp like a lager. This is very IPA-like to me.

O - A very good beer. I just didn't find any lager qualities. I absolutely love Jack Abby's 2nd Anniversary Lager, as it combines lots and lots of quality hops with the clean and crisp finish of a lager. This tastes more like an IPA to me. A very good one actually. Great tasting beer which I will certainly try again, but I was disappointed in not finding that lager crispness. Still highly recommended.

 1,358 characters

Photo of illpass78
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%

400 ml (13.5 oz) on draft, served in a mason jar, at Sweet Cheeks in Boston.

Appearance: Pours a very slightly cloudy straw yellow with a one-finger white head that displays good retention. Nice lacing on the way down.

Aroma: This beer smells of grapefruit, lemon, pine, grass, hops and some faint bonus citrus. Inviting and fairly complex.

Mouthfeel: Nice balance. Perfect body for the style.

Taste: This beer hits you with a big, bold grapefruit flavor up front and finishes with dry, bitter hops. I like this a lot. It strikes me as an IPA/lager hybrid. Good stuff. The grassiness and lemon bite are in there, too. A fine beer.

Overall: This is one of those beers I got tired of hearing about and tried in part so I could say the hype is wrong. Well, I failed. This is a really excellent beer - one to seek out, worth sipping and enjoying, but also the right balance for cookouts and outdoor goings-on.

 910 characters

Photo of HopBomb515
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep golden with a touch of orange and an off white head that fades quick but laces well. Tropical, citrus, zesty, melon, lemon and a touch of pine. Hops
up front tropical and zesty citrus with a light biscuity underpinning. Medium feel that is creamy in feel but finishes crisp, refreshing and clean. Another great beer from this brewery. They are changing my opinion on what lagers can be.

 396 characters

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a .5 liter bottle into a pilsener- pours a beautiful and clear golden copper color, visibly effervescent, with less than a finger of head, but good retention and lacing.

Nose is nothing but hops- sharp pine-y resin along with a little grapefruit burst. Also a little pale malt in the background.

Taste is consistent- hoppiest lager you'll ever have. Bold hop bitterness throughout; pale malt up front, but quickly overtaken by sharp pine. Finishes pretty dry and stays a while.

Mouthfeel is also great- light, crisp body with moderate to full carbonation. Exceptional brew from an exceptional brewery. Get it if you see it!

 639 characters

Photo of MNishCT77
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16.9 oz. bottle acquired in a trade (thanks, Greg Radawich!), unknown bottling date but gifted at NHC2013 at the end of 6/13, poured into my DFH tulip glass, drank 8/3/13 over an hour.

A: 3/3 - straw yellow-golden coloration, impressive clarity for a IPA/L (can both see or read through), white rocky head on pouring persists throughout drinking as a half-finger lacing, moderate alcohol legs for an IPA/L; probably my favorite aspect of this beer

S: 9/12 - I had a bottle immediately on trading and recall the hop aroma being more impressive but this still stands; like the 2nd Anniversary Lager, there is lots of grapefruit, orange/tangerine mixed with a grassy/floral quality ....some alcohol and malt notes are also present but the hops are front and center as would be expected; I detracted several points because, after drinking the IPL, the aroma unfortunately isn't as overwhelmingly good

T: 15/20 - on the anterior tongue, there's a mild bitterness (IBU 65) but the hop flavors, like in the 2nd Anniversary Lager, predominate as would be expected...mostly citrus fruit with some floral arrangements; in the middle of the mouth, the bready/biscuity flavors really kick in, which is surprising for the style and renders it closer to an IPL for me; the alcohol is present in the taste but not overwhelming, and I picking up very little yeast characteristics from the clean lager strain

M: 4/5 - moderate bodied with thick hop oils coating the tongue, don't taste the 6.7%; moderate carbonation for style/ABV and moderate alcohol legs

O: 9/10 - a really nice flagship beer from one of the best up-and-coming breweries on the East Coast; the hop aroma and flavors to really shine through, which is especially impressive because this bottle is at least one month old; most of my gripes derive from the malt character being too present, but, again, cheers, Jack and co., for creasing one of the best flagship IPA/Ls that I know

TOTAL = 40/50

 1,949 characters

Photo of wingman14
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark yellow with a frothy white head that sticks around for awhile. The smell is dominated by the hops, subtle citrus in there as well. The flavor starts slightly bitter up front with huge hops following. The flavor finishes bitter and sticks around through the aftertaste. A solid flavor that doesn't have many complexities and doesn't change much. A nice medium mouthfeel, almost heavy, like chewing on hops. This is a solid IPA, definitely like sucking on some hops. There isn't much more to this beer than that, but that is ok because it is done well.

 563 characters

Photo of NotAlcoholicJustAHobby
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L-Pours golden with a modest 1cm white head. Lacing is spotty but lasting.
S-A large citrus presence let you know the beer is well hopped.
T- The beer is smooth. The citrus hop flavor lasts throughout the brew. Not complex, but delicious.
F-The beer has a medium mouthfeel with light carbonation. The beer coats the tongue and the flavor lingers. This is a very good thing.
O-This is the kind of beer that says "hops are amazing". It doesn't try to get tricky. It takes one thing and trys to showcase it with greatness. I will be revisiting this beer many times in the future.

 576 characters

Photo of mnrider
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Hazy dark golden color. Nice large white head. Lacing is good and sticky.

S: Herbal hops. Grass. More Hops. Malts are biscuity. Some tropical flavors pop up.

T/M: Bitter hops but smooth. Tropical and herbal. Bitter again. The malts are pretty strong and lager like. Medium bodied. The finish is a little dry with a linger of bitter hops.

O: Outstanding! Love the mixture of IPA hops and Lager malts. Easy to drink. Great entry from Jack's Abby.

Cheers!!!

 463 characters

Photo of Maxwell
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a beautiful and lagery yellow with slight amber and golding, while appearing very clean in the body with a huge rocky white head that appears creamy and soft on top and leaves sticky patches of splattering lacing on the sides of the glass. Carbonation is steady but not torrential, and this beer looks nice and clean with the just the slightest hint of haze appearing in the beer. On the nose, this beer is everything you would want it to be; big and resiny, with a smell that just begs for the nose to be shoved in it. Sticky pine melds with faint lemon citrus, mango, passion fruit, big grassy notes, and a faint light hint of sweet biscuit bread. The beer has a great smell, and is probably the best lager I have ever smelled. On the taste, the beer is superb. It begins surprisingly malty with grassy and cereal notes before opening into biscuity malts and then big bitter hits and snuggles into the cavities of your mouth. Grass is huge in the hop flavor, providing perfect balance to creamy malts which linger in the sides of your mouth, even as the bitter bites. Pine and citrus also are present in the hops and provide lovely flavors reminiscent of a West Coast IPA. The mouthfeel is clean and slightly crisp with just the right amount of bitters to kiss the tongue even as the beer takes on a creamy feel as it caresses your mouth. The mouth is left dry and bitter on the roof of the mouth and on the tongue while slight trickles of saliva run on along the sides of the mouth. Overall, this beer is superb. A new style perfectly created. I have been hearing so many calls for an India Pale Lager from so many people in the craft beer world that I just figured it wasn’t doable, and yet here Hoponius Union sits as just that. IPA lovers should try this beer, lager lovers should try this beer, and everyone should try this beer! It is superb, and represents the perfect union and balance between hops, malts, and the clean-beer-feel that lager yeast creates. Just like this country is the perfect union of all that other stuff! Try this beer!

 2,067 characters

Photo of JamesShoemaker
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into my snifter. Glad to see Jack's Abby in New York! Bottle dated 10/21/13, twenty one days old.

A - very good looking brew, nice and light, translucent, oranges, yellows, and reds. Foam on the forced pour dissipates quickly.

S - big nose on the pour, but out of the glass it's a little weaker. Nice hop profile, bittersweet and sticky, honey and sugary. There's a little pine, but a lot more citrus. It's a nice scent, but it gets points off for being too weak.

T - bitterer than expected from the smell. The bitterness comes right at the front and then fades into sweetness. There's not much pine, mostly citrus, but the fruity characteristics get lost in the malt.

M - this is definitely not an IPA. The IPL is a little weaker in the nose and, especially, the taste. It's bitter going down, but not something you couldn't easily drink.

O - a tasty beer, and probably the best Jack's Abby I've had (of the four I've tried). It's got a nice hop profile and isn't overwhelming at all. A little bitter for my taste, but, objectively, very good.

 1,072 characters

Photo of tekstr1der
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Hazy dark golden pour with minimal white head. Aroma is dank and fruity of the tropical variety, still allowing some bready malt through. Flavor is the same with a good punch of tropical fruits dominating a malty backbone. Finish is smoother than expected. Smooth sipping throughout. Very well done.

 299 characters

Photo of rorykanderson
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wonderful hop aroma, crisp body with a distinct lager finish. Unique take on the expected IPA experience. Obviously - whether or not you like lagers will determine how much you will enjoy the overall taste, especially the end when the malt comes on strongest and lingers after the glass is put down.

 299 characters

Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
4.23 out of 5 based on 2,610 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
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!