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:
385
Gots:
565
For Trade:
13
User Reviews
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Reviews: 377 | Ratings: 2,666
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 Damian
4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank on tap at the The Publick House & Monk's Cell, Brookline, MA
Served in a pint glass

Nearly clear, golden-amber appearance. The liquid was topped by a small, flimsy white head. A thin blanket of streaky lacing coated the top inch of the glass.

The aroma was exceptional. Peach, apricot and nectarine notes dominated the nose. Tropical fruits came through strong as well. Mango and pineapple were most noticeable. Touch of citrus. Some caramel malt sweetness trailed in the background.

The flavor profile was remarkably hoppy and complex. Similar to the nose in many ways except perhaps more crisp and bitter. Caramel malts came through on the front end before the hops took over. Lots of candied citrus peel. Hints of mango. Spicy in the center with notes of peaches. The finish was piney and resiny. Quite dry and bitter. Overall, the beer was well balanced and drinkable.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied and pillowy soft. Super smooth and creamy with a fine bubbled, moderate effervescence.

The boys at Jack's Abby have redefined what a lager can be. This beer competes with (and beats) many of the best IPAs in the country. I cannot wait to see what these guys come up with next.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Reagan1984 for getting this growler out my way. Served in a mug since I've packed all my lager glassware pre-move.

Pours a clear light golden color with a nice white head and some spotty lacing as it goes down. Thin collar throughout. The nose brings some nice tropical fruits with a bit of citrus and resin there as well. The flavor profile is along the same line and is really fantastic. Beautiful fruits and a nice hoppiness throughout. Moderate bitterness throughout and a dry finish. Body is fairly light. Finish is fantastic. This is a very, very impressive beer.

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

This was poured for me at Jacks Abby, and I brought this growler home and poured a chimay goblet full of Hoponius Union.

I'd say this is in the Dortmunder Export style, but with the distinct hoppiness of an IPA. Unlike any in the Dortmund style due to its unusual amount of hoppiness.

The look:
Hoponius had a nice one finger of head, which was light and creamy-looking. Almost fluffy. Light golden color and small bubbles rising.

The sniff:
Super floral, grapefruity, zesty, and pine aromas. The amarillo hops are evident in the bouquet.

The taste:
Hit hard by the crisp floral bitterness, again, very floral, sharp and bitter at first, followed by light sweetness. Mouthfeel, very soft and creamy. Carbonation is mild. So well balanced, the blend of hops creates a complex world of flavors that are not overwhelming, though the dominant flavor seems to come from the Amarillo hops.

The finish:
Chewy pine resin with clean floral finish. Makes me want to drink another. A very fine beer.

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

I received this as an extra from Gogriz (thanks Cody!). It was an unlabeled 12oz bottle, filled expressly for him (not distributed). Talk about a cool extra!

It pours a clear light copper color with a few fingers of frothy foam. The aroma is really hoppy for a lager. In fact I recently tried an Indian Pale Lager and it didn't smell quite as hoppy as this beer. Simcoe I believe, resiny with a splash of cat urine.

It tastes as good as it smells, and its actually pretty hard to tell its a lager. A touch of initial sweetness turns into a manageable bitterness in the aftertaste. Very well constructed, this was smooth and flavorful. I could definitely go for a whole lot more of this beer, surprised I never heard of it before. I'll have to try to stop here sometime in the future!

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Photo of morebeergood
3.92/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Stone's Public House in Ashland. Served in a standard pint glass. Bright yellow color. Nice white head. Good amount of carbonation. Great hop aroma for a lager. Taste was surprisingly good. Well balanced hop flavor, but not overboard. Amazing they can pack that much hop taste into a lager. Mouthfeel was smooth but crisp. This is a really great beer, and it's easily their best offering I have had to date.

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

Appearance - pours a one finger pillowy head, nice lacing down the glass. Not a ton but enough down the side.

Crystal clear golden amber color.

Smell - this is the best thing. Tons of hops smell, citric or pine smell. Your olfactories will be in overdrive as you smell this beer. I think it is simeco hops.

Taste mouthfeel - as a lager this beer is super clean. The hops you smell are the typical over the top hops. With an 65 IBU this beer doesn't kill your palate.

Overall - this is the signature beer of Jack's Abby, you have to try it.

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

@ Bukowski's, Boston

Deep honey color with a fluffy bunny head. Foam sticks to the glass and creates the silhouette of a brontosaurus.

Smells like a fresh bag o' hops. Grassy and citrus. Taste, again, is akin to a bag o' grassy and citrus hops. I believe the term "hop juice" would not be inappropriate. Silky, Al Green smooth mouthfeel.

Never heard of Jack's Abbey until the bartender told me. Had a great time at Bukowski's, me, Jack's Abbey and a live Santana recording.

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Photo of taez555
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beers pours a crystal clear bright golden tan body with a very mildly off-white head.

Nose is extreme, in your face, resin and citric hops. I just picked up a growler from the brewery about 2 hours ago, and the smell from this fresh hops are sublime.

Taste is medium bodied with an immediate huge citric hop resin, grapefruit, orange, lemon, citric hop attack. Loads of rich malts, but very smooth (probably thanks to the lager yeast). That's really what does it I think, it's got all the flavors of a big IPA, but goes down smooth like crisp lager. A perfect combo. Bitterness isn't overpowering at all. It's bitter, but really well balanced and in check. The smooth caramel malt flavor has a chance to shine through despite the hops. You can clearly taste the two parts of this beer. Ends with a nice lingering hop resin bitterness and flavor.

I know this beer is a lager, but... come on.... this beer is a pure resin IPA (sans the ale yeast). Kudos to Jack's Abby for showing the world that not all Lager's need be boring macro land. This beer easily holds it's own the best California resin/citric IPA's. If JA takes off, this will be their flagship brew.

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Photo of amphion1065
3.35/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Meadhall, served in a branded pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a hazy, rich shade of caramel. A nice, tight one-finger head of white foam forms.

Pretty serious pine resin in the aroma. The hop presense is very robust, and that piney character is quite evident. A little bit of underlying sweetness in the nose, but it's mostly about that hop stickiness.

The taste isn't quite the aroma's equal. I was quite surprised by the sweetness throughout the taste - there's a very strong malt backbone, but unfortunately with the hop profile it comes off as a little faded. I was left wondering just how old this keg was.

The mouthfeel only bolstered my suspicions about the age of this beer. Undercarbonated, almost to the point of feeling dead, this seemed a little thin and watery.

Jack's Abby is doing some great things, but this beer - and more specifically, this pint - was just OK. I hope to try a growler of this soon, and with any luck drink a more representative sample.

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

Every once in a while you pick a beer off a list with no idea what to expect. This was one of those times and boy did it pay off well. I had never heard of or tried an India Pale Lager, but I was intrigued.

A: Pours a clear gold with soft pillowy head.
S: Huge hop aromas - citrus, tropical fruits, apricot, resin running the show.

T: Stiff malt backbone. Beautifully balanced, crisp, drinkable. Very similar to an IPA in taste but actually a lager. Flavor follows- solid hop profile showing lots of citrus and pine notes.

M: Mild bitterness throughout. Body has enough weight to carry the hops without lending too much sweetness.

Very good beer, an entirely worthwhile east-cost hoppy brew.

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Photo of jbertsch
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Really enjoyed this one. Had it on tap at The Gaff in Waltham.

The bartender's pour gave me a very tiny head. Not sure if that's representative of a typical pour of this beer. Nice lacing.

Wonderful hoppy aroma of stinky hops. Stink in a good way, the way you'd enjoy stinky cheese (at least I do). Kinda smelled like feet, but still floral. I love it.

It definitely has a hoppy flavor that matches the aroma. It didn't give me a citrus-hop profile. What I felt like I was tasting were the actual leafs of the hops, and their oils. The malt profile is biscuit like and really takes second stage to the hops.

Mouthfeel was just fine, not flat or too carbonated. The hop oils make it a little sticky.

Overall I loved it. Clean, refreshing, yet totally flavorful. Full of hops but doesn't overwhelm either. Went great with fried pickle chips.

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Photo of jneiswender
4.79/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Had this beer on tap at the brewery in Framingham. Served in a 4oz tasting glass, cool.

A-white head and a gold pale body.

S-nice and profound citrus and pine scent. Very clean.

T-wonderful flavor. pine resin and fruity citrus. Just enough malt. Lager yeast provides the clean medium for the hops.

M-medium to light

D-Just an awesome beer. So clean and yet so flavorful. I would not only drink this again but I would seek it out.

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

This beer pours a beautiful light copper color, with a nice two fingers of white head. The head evaporated pretty quickly, and the remaining surface had a nice glossy sheen.

Smell is awesomely hoppy, very sweet and floral. Its a big, beautiful hop aroma with hints of citrus.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, feels more substantial than a typical ale.

Taste is big- hoppy and bitter, but not over the top. It's clearly unbalanced towards the hops, and this is a great thing. It's very bright and crisp, with a touch of citrus, and a hint of spice. The Citra, Amarillo, and Centennial hops create a truly unique hop profile that is big on taste and surprisingly light on the bitter.

I loved this beer. Its huge on hop smell and taste, and very modest on the bitter side. There is something to be said for locally brewed beer that is made with great skill, quality ingredients, and an adventurous brewer.

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

When was the last time you had an IPL (India Pale Lager)? O<. when was the last time you had an IPL from a cask?

Jack's Abbey showed great confidence in this Lager by serving it from the cask. I had this last Saturday night at Bukowski's Tavern in Boston. So what is wrong with this Lager? Very little. At first sight I was a bit surprised at the over one finder of head. Also it didn't look like a full pint. I was also surprised at the warm serving temp. I would guess that would have been in the 55-60F range. How many beers are there that would taste good at this temp?

I could picture the different hops dancing around in my mouth in harmony. These hops went together quite well. Citrusy as noted and not bitter. The smoothness of the lager made me want to drink this fast, but the flavor made me want to savor it.

I make my own homebrew and this is a well balanced beer.

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

Been looking forward to trying beer from this new brewery - happened upon it at the Union Brewhouse recently.

Looks like a lager should, then the smell hits you with the hops. Really fresh scent. Great balance, finishes a bit dry. Each sip makes you want to have the next. I could drink this beer all the time.

This beer runs rings around Prima Pils IMO. Seek it out.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a couple of pints at “The Other Side” before the Sox game. Never heard of the brewery or beer before an d figured it was worth a try. Really enjoyed it quite a bit. It was described as a highly hopped lager to me and frankly, that was correct.
The beer was a bright and the color of brass. Single strands of carbonation streamed to the surface. A finger of delicate fluffy head sat atop the beer and settled fairly quickly to a ring of foam. A touch of lace.
Bright hoppy aroma which was very nice. Citrus and grass led the charge here.
Really nice flavor and feel. Bright/fresh and refreshing. Light toasted malt, some light grape and a mix of light citrus and some green grass notes.
Light body with a little extra punch from the aggressive hopping. Refreshing and sessionable.
I like this beer quite a bit. Additionally, I know learn the brewery is in Framingham. Since this is the next town to where I live, I am quite excited. I’ll be looking to try more of their beers. Definitely seek this out.

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Photo of iflah45
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted this at the Mass Brewers fest and finally made it over to Framingham for a growler.

Pours a crystal clear golden reddish color with a seafoam 2 finger head that recedes quickly.

The nose is NUTZ, absoultely sublime. It reminds me of heady topper with tones of fresh bursting citrus and grassy earthy tones in the background. Tangerine, orange, peach etc. I asked at the brewery and they said that they dry hop and use a hop back method. The hops used are citra, centennial, and amarillo. AWESOME!

The taste follows the nose with loads of fresh citrus, peach, melon, pear....but not so much of the bitter piney finish of most ipa's (guess this is the tagline of an India Pale Lager!?!?)

Mouthfeel is very crisp and dry, yet a bit more resinous and oily than a normal pale lager. Quite interesting.

Overall, easily the best, most well rounded beer currently offered by jack's abby. I have a feeling that this one is the favorite of the brewer himself. It seems very well crafted and I can imagine the recipe was tinkered with for many many homebrew batches before we tasted it. Cannot wait for their wet hop lager coming out soon!!!

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

Growler split with one of my coworkers. Thanks for this one mschofield!

I let this sit for a little over a week in my fridge after the cross country journey. I wasn't sure how it would end up but it was delicious.

Pours a vibrant ruby red that has a slightly off white head perched atop it. Good lacing is left behind on my glass.

Smell is of pine and a ton of citrus fruits. I'll get really nerdy and claim Simcoe in here? I feel like the cat piss characteristic is slightly present, but it's the kind of piss we like.

Taste is very dry and fruity. Big notes of peach, plum, pear and a great hop punch in the finish.

The mouthfeel is extremely creamy with low carbonation and a very satisfying dryness on the end.

This was a nice treat from a brewery I had no clue existed.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Golden body with a fluffy white head. Good retention. Really nice appearance.

Lots of grassy and citrusy hops in the aroma. Smells really fresh and well dry hopped. I feel like I'm picking out a lot Cascade maybe.

Taste is moderately bitter for an IPA-like beer. Good balance between hop flavor and bitterness and a very well attenuated but has a lightly sweet malt backbone. The lagering leaves the beer very crisp and refreshing. Grapefruit pith and grassy hops are prominent.

Not an overly hoppy beer for what it's supposed to be. My rating is sort of a balance between rating it a hoppy lager and an IPA, I guess. It's really an IPA at heart. I doubt many people would think it was a lager if they didn't know. It came out pretty rad. If rated like an IPA, I think I would have to say it's missing that extra level of depth in hop flavor that the big West Coast style ones have. Nevertheless, I will be filling up my growler every time I hit up the Natick mall for some fresh kicks.

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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.

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Photo of jlindros
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at Armsby Abbey

Big creamy 1 finger head, lots of lacing, crystal clear pale yellow golden color.

Nose had fresh hops, resins, hops oils, bit musty, some fresh citrus fruit and grapefruit, almost no lager or malts.

Taste explodes with fresh citrus hops, grapefruit and tropical fruits, light hop resins and musty fresh hop oils, a bit oily, then some light lager fruits and light pale malts, some sweet toasty malts. Light sweet honey like flavor. The it gets very bitter and slightly astringent, the hops way overpower the lager flavors and gets a bit overly on the finish, dry and very bitter finish with lingering fresh hops and citrus, light pine as well, and has a weird sticky almost creamy feel.

Moth is med bodied, decent carb.

Overall good, great hop flavors but overpowers the nice lager underneath, and a weird finish as well as a bit astringent.

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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 drea0695
4.77/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a freshly filled, co2 purged, capped on foam growler into a standard pint glass

This beer is delicious. The hop aroma is out of the park but it doesn't slap you around with bitterness. I really think it's very balanced. It's definitely highly drinkable and the ABV sneaks up on you for sure. It easily holds it's own against any IPA out there.

It just smells so good! In a way the hop profile reminds of Sierra Nevada celebration.

If you're around the Framingham area stop in and try this one (and their other offerings) plus the guys are super friendly.

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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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