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Hoponius Union | Jack's Abby Brewing

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368 Reviews
Hoponius UnionHoponius Union

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

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

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Reviews: 368 | Ratings: 2,627
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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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

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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.

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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 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!

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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.

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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.

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

Hoponius Union has such a well polished golden tone it could fit in at Europe's most majestic cathedrals (probably museums too). It has a bright and angelic aura with pristine clarity, calm bubbles and a thin white head that appears to be soft as fleece. An immaculate appearance.

The effects of lagering are most appreciated in the mouthfeel; while this process removes a lot of the fruity esters that are by-products of fermentation, it's not always obvious from smell alone whether a beer is a lager or an ale. In this case it's even more difficult because of the abundance of hoppy citric and tropical fruit flavours and the fact that much of its 6.7% alcohol can be detected. The smart money would be on ale.

Of course, you'd be wrong. While this recipe uses the same zestful varieties of American hops as an IPA, it is in fact fermented at a cold temperature (as opposed to warm) and aged ("lagered") for an extended period. Why does this matter? Well, it has evidently led to a 'smoother' beer, one with a tighter and cleaner flavour profile (think of it as a song played with minimal distortion, or hearing that song through speakers that have minimal static).

Otherwise, however, I am inclined to say it doesn't matter much (after all, some people prefer loads of distortion). This beer offers much the same biscuity, lightly nutty maltiness and toasted bread flavours, as well as all the mango, grapefruit, lychee, and tangerine one could ask for in any hoppy beer. There's plenty of tree resin, bubblegum, and citric acidity too - IBUs aren't affected by lagering. It makes no difference to hops what temperature you ferment at.

Indeed, the only difference between Hoponius Union and a West-Coast IPA - aside from the fact that it's brewed in Massachusetts - is that it's been lagered. This offering only further reinforces my opinion that people (beer educators specifically) put far too much emphasis on the 'lager vs. ale' comparison; there's obviously so many more important factors that distinguish a beer.

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

Growler shared by Thorpe.

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

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

I had this beer on-tap in a pint glass at Stone's Public House in Ashland, MA.

Appearance: medium golden hue with a bit of haze and a moderate effervescence. Head is a finger of creamy eggshell foam with a nice chunky lace. Good!

Smell: lightly malty with a big grapefruit aroma. Not over the top but very enticing.

Taste: the hops are definitely the story here with a big grapefruit/pine/tropical character. Malt and sweetness are just enough to balance the surprisingly smooth, moderate bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a great and well integrated carbonation and delightful creaminess. Wonderful!

Overall: tasty, refreshing and wonderfully creamy. Bam!

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle purchased at Acme Bar and Pizza in Rochester, NY and consumed in a tulip.

Pours a brilliant, hazy orange. Small head, visible carbonation. Nice looking lager.

Smells include citrus zest, pine, and sweet malts.

Tastes incredible. Tons of citrus goodness, along with some earthy dank herbal hop tastes as well. Malt sweetness shines through as well. Insanely drinkable. Crisp finish probably due to the lagering.

Nice mouthfeel. Light to medium bodied, keeps it very drinkable.

A classic IPL, and the benchmark for the style, IMO.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


Bottle from gn0sis, thanks! Poured into a snifter. The beer is burnished golden orange with two fingers of soapy white froth. Lots of lacing clings to the glass. The nose is clean with a pleasantly bright hop fruitiness that's dripping with tangerine, mango, passion fruit, and orange redolence. Warming brings out herbal and floral character with a touch of spiciness. Malt presents no sweetness and brings to mind saltine cracker and maybe a touch of biscuit. The flavor catches your attention immediately with a firm but gentle bitterness that's accompanied by orange pith and flesh, grapefruit, herbal and floral notes, and a light mango presence. There's less hop fruitiness in the flavor than in the nose, with the herbal and citrus pith being more dominant. The finish is clean, bitter, and quite dry, with a hint of alcohol. Excellent stuff. I'd drink this often if it were fresh and available around here.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From the 25 fl. oz. bottle mfg: 05-06-2013. Sampled on July 16, 2013.

It looks pretty decent with an amber-bronze pour with a good white head that lingers throughout and leaves delicate lacing on the glass. Good clarity.

The aroma is of earthy hops, biscuit malts, herbs, grass, citrus, and mild sweetness. Really enticing.

The body is light to medium

The taste has a generous pale malt and herbal start and the earthy hops sneak up quickly at the finish leaving a semi-lingering finish. Citrus notes too. Dry and biscuity at the end. Nicely done.

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Photo of dar482
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in an extremely clear light reddish amber color with a fluffy white head with lacing.

The aroma has tropical of mango, tangerine and orange peel, grapefruit, some spicy pine needles, very hoppy. Lots of fruit. A bit of a bready malt. A wonderful West Coast fruity aroma.

The flavor is extremely hoppy with that tropical and citrus of grapefruit and lemon peel in the front. A bit of a light bready malt. Then onto a very spicy and grapefruit peel finish. There’s some Earth and green vegetable flavor in the finish as well as that lager, slightly metallic, note. Tons of grapefruit peel that continues on and on.

The beer is super refreshing, drinkable, and clean, but also so hoppy.

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Photo of rudzud
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the armsby abbey.

A - Poured into a standard pint glass a crystal clear golden hue with a seamy one finger head that recedes to leave nice side lacing.

S - Nice hop notes up front. Definitely resembles a nice ipa with hop bitterness and a light malt sweetness.

T - Very nice lightly sweet bitter hops with a smooth malt finish. Quite bitter throughout.

M - Fairly nice mouthfeel. Bitter and dry but crisp and refreshing.

O - Overall I Enjoyed this beer. A very nice hoppy beer with a good crisp bitter finish.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.19/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

-spiegelau ipa glass. ipl.

A: Hazy princeton orange coloring with a creamy, froth head of one inch, dirty bone white, with a solid retention rate that only adds to the lasting visual. Moderately paced glass consuming effervesce, lasting coverage, decent coverage rate on the vessel.

S: Nice wiff of dry pineapple-orange, good level of awareness. Some fresh green melon sneaks in along with wet citrusy notes. Crisp pale malts lets the hopping speak for itself with some tropical nature, very clean. Deep down some fresh apple-pear yeastiness comes to light. Good complexity for an ipl, duration is good, awareness is generous, whats not to like.

T: Citrus, semi-dry, followed by a grassy hopping. Solid level of bitterness, light flowery piney-orange, dry whole grains with a decent lingering after fade of citrus-grass on the swallow that is lightly dry and begs for the next sip. Crisp lager like flavor, generous american wet coast hop addition with a strong level of hoppiness well balanced with malt aspect.

M: Crisp and tight mouthful, bubbly and sharp, just like a good lager should be. Medium bodied with a touch of creamy nature.

O: Overall beautiful presentation with a well lasting capping only leads to a lasting impression. Lightly cloudy orange coloring with a crisp carbonation rate dances in the glass with healthy hop loads, cleanly brewed, with a lingering dry hopping afterwards that certainly won't dissappoint even the most stubborn of hop heads. Citrusy fade. Had this after a 90+ day mowing the lawn and this hit the spot perfectly, to bad he didn't bring along more friends, only had one. Clean lager brewed with american hop influence just as the label claims is spot on. 6.7% feels more mid 5ish. 6 pack worthy. Hop levels worthy of mid entry ipa status with a cleanly brewed background makes this a must try per style (pale lager). There is a lot to say about this beer, it starts with the the brewery's focus on one style (lagers). Nice to see other states outside pennsylvania focusing on this underappreciated german style and bringing some respectability with an american twist and influence. Rated as an american pale lager.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy, bubbly golden-orange with a large lasting frothy off-white head. Some lacing on the glass. Really nice aroma is fruity and hoppy, with lots of citrus hops and tropical fruit along with beady malt and some herbal and floral notes. Flavor is just as nice, lots of citrusy hops and plenty fruity, with citrus and tropical fruit and a long moderate bitter finish.

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

A: Poured into an imperial pint glass. Clear golden with a respectable, head of fine foam. Some lacing, but not a lot.

S: Floral and spicy aroma. Very fresh smelling. Reminds me of a good English style pale.

T: Clean, smooth, and balanced; with solid, but not overwhelming, bitterness on the finish. Leaves a lingering flavor of biscuit malt. A blend of piney and floral hops.

M: Medium-high carbonation. Medium-light carbonation.

O: Very impressed with this. This is my first beer from Jacks Abby and I'm really happy to have gotten to try it. One of the most interesting "yellow fizzy" beers I've had.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Immortale25
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales teku glass. Bottleneck says 041615.

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains well before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of sheer surface foam. Not-so-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Mild grassy hop aroma that's a bit fumy.

T- Definitely more on the earthy side as far as the hop profile's concerned. Nice mild bitterness with a bit of sweet malt flavor. Goes down so easy but is still very interesting due to the enhanced hoppiness. Slightly fruity aftertaste with a clean finish that resets the palate for more sips.

M- Crisp and somewhat sharp with medium carbonation and a lightish body.

O- I'm rating this higher than I would if this were an IPA because, if I'm reviewing to style, this is the best American Pale Lager I've ever had.

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

Many, many thanks to Cyser for sending this one!

A - Pours a medium gold color that's crystal clear, very minimal head that's thin, yet even across the top, and really no carbonation to speak of in the tulip glass.

S - Spice, pungent, tropical fruit and pine with a little bit of grainy character, but not much.

T - Some sweet caramel biscuit malt hits initially and then sticks around while citrus and pine bitterness come crashing in over the top. The blend superb, even , and leaves a lingering pine citrus lingering aftertaste. The hop character is almost oily in nature...superb.

M - Thick body for a lager and very smooth.

O - Shhh, this lager thinks it's an IPA (don't tell it). I haven't had a lager this hoppy since fresh Southern Tier Krampus. Never heard of this brewer before and I'm already looking forward to next year's batch. Very unique and dialed in for the hoppy IPA heads. Very well done!

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Photo of DrJay
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Orange/gold and clear with a short, dense off-white cap. Thick lacing and great head retention. Fresh hop aroma, lots of citrus, grapefruit, pith, slight pineapple. Really well constructed, with citrus hops throughout but mild malt up front and tropical/spicy notes in the bitter finish. Moderate carbonation, on the creamy side while still retaining some crispness, nice texture. I really enjoyed this beer. Bright hops all the way through yet still refined and refreshing.

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Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
4.23 out of 5 based on 2,627 ratings.
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