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Hoponius Union | Jack's Abby Brewing

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
374 Reviews
Hoponius UnionHoponius Union
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Year-round

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

65 IBU

Added by mschofield on 08-07-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
374
Ratings:
2,647
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
22.46%
 
 
Wants:
379
Gots:
553
For Trade:
13
User Reviews
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Reviews: 374 | Ratings: 2,647
Photo of scottfrie
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle into SN tulip pint glass. Thanks again SneezyAchew.

A: Pours a clear deep golden color with a huge, very oily, and dense off-white head that slowly faded into a very thick film. A complex network of sticky lacing was left down the glass. Impressive. Certainly looks well hopped.
S: Very bright smelling with dominant notes of floral and citrus hops. Light notes of bitter orange peel and tangerines come through. Lightly bready lager smells as well.
T: Hops follow the nose with a blast of floral and bitter citrus peel to my palate. Crisp lager yeast and bready malts come through after the hops subside, but the finish is full of lemon zest and pie crust.
M: Pretty full bodied actually with a rather slick and chewy mouthfeel and very smooth and mellow carbonation.
O: I’m loving this brewery. This beer takes lager to a whole new level. Definitely a lager ipa, and freaking great at that. Definitely check this out. Thanks again, Michael.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A fairly clear, golden colored body. A good two+ fingers of soapy head cling to the glass as it recedes to a thin layer. Big sip marks.

Smells like a west coast IPA. Light cracker and toasted flavors from the malt. Clean. Tropical fruit over top with an underlying spiciness.

Juicy oranges and grapefruit up front with some cracker-like malt through the middle. A little bit of toasted biscuits before the spelt pulls it back and adds a little crisp spice. The finish is a blend of tropical fruit bitterness and dryness.

On the lighter side of medium with a smooth feel. Dry and bitter finish, but never overpowering.

This is not your dad's APL. An interesting blend of styles that works. The crisp lager flavors compliment the hops. Dry, crisp low end with juicy tropical up top. This is a winner for sure.

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Photo of gunpwdr
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nose: Pine sap, grapefruit notes buttressed by hints of flowers, wood spice, mango, and durian... all of which have a sweet, gummy candy-like quality. Palate: Citrusy, pine sap, hoppy notes along with a touch of brown sugar dominate the attack. Toast, citrus, and bitter hops dominate the mid-palate and give way to a grapefruit-bitter finish and a touch of malty sweetness.

This brew profiles very much like an IPA but categorization aside, the hops are the main event and in this regard, this beer kicks ass. At the outset (and probably 5-10 degrees too cold), the finish was a little thin and lacking body. As I write this, the finish has filled out more and the maltiness balances things out very nicely. Delicious.

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Photo of BostonHops
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

500ml bottle served in a snifter.

pours a clear gold tone with a frothy 1 and 1/2" white head that fades at a moderate rate into a lasting cap; some lacing. of the aromatic hoppy bouquet offered by the nose, tropical and citrus hops stand out first and foremost for me; some secondary notes of grassy and pine hoppiness and a hint of malt.

flavor follows the aroma with a medley of hops - citric/tropical showcased with some more subtle pine and grassy characters, flanked by a subtle toasted/biscuity malt element. bitter hoppy bite persists through the finish. very tasty. medium bodied on the palate with average carbonation.

overall a slam dunk keeper in my book. flavorful and bold yet light enough that having a few in a row won't put you down for the count. such a drinkable brew - unquestionably one of the best lagers i've ever had.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pub-style pint glass.

Appearance
Golden with 2+ fingers of creamy white head. Good clarity with wisps of cloudy yeastiness floating about. Light carbonation.

Nose
Dank greens, pine sap, pineapple, mango, and candied citrus.

Taste
Dank greens, pine sap, and wintergreen. Lighter notes of candied orange, grapefruit zest, pineapple, and mango. The smooth malt backbone comes in at the end with ample notes of bread and caramel.

Mouthfeel
Medium bodied, clean, smooth, juicy, and refreshing with a modestly light bitterness.

Overall
Hot damn! Dank and juicy. Big hop flavors balanced by a clean bready maltiness. I see more of these in my future.

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Photo of kculrich
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Cold 12 oz. bottle, hard-poured into a room temperature nonic - a creamy, sticky, 2-finger head over hazy bright orange beer. Smell is all hops, pine trees and pineapples. T: a sturdy malt chassis overlaid with tropical fruit, grassy, slightly bitter hops. I don't get the citrus at all. F: creamy smooth, dry, modestly carbonated.
This is what my refrigerator is full of.

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Photo of brentk56
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The clear golden liquid arrives capped by a fluffy head that leaves copious amounts of lace behind

Smell: Citrusy and floral

Taste: The malt bill of this beer provides a base for the floral and citrusy hops to strut their stuff; grapefruit and tangerine flavors abound with just a slight oniony character; a bit of a lagery twang in the finish reminds you that this is not just another IPA, though I am not sure I would have picked up on it had I not known this was a lager

Mouthfeel: Medium body with the crisp carbonation often found in lagers of this genre

Overall: Just when I thought I had tried just about anything, along comes this twist on a lager that is just a superb drinker - lives up to the hype

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Photo of tbryan5
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Rudzud for sending this one to me in a trade.

Poured from the bottle into a pilsner glass. It's a clear golden straw color with a minimal head that dissipates quickly and leaves BEAUTIFUL lacing on the glass. Love the smell: fresh hops intermingled with a combination of citrus and pine. If you can believe it, this brew tastes better than it smells. The hops come on slowly, peak just as you swallow and linger for just a bit longer enticing you to take another sip. Simply fantastic. It has a above average carbonation and coats the mouth but isn't very slick.

I loved this one. Heard a lot about it and am glad I was lucky enough to finally get to try it!

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

huge thanks to lalaloveyou for this extra from a recent trade! Thanks Lauren!

reviewed from notes on 6/15/12.

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: brilliant and clear yellow bodied beer with 2 fingers of white head.

Smell: Big hops profile. Grassy, herbal, and citrus, tropical fruit, floral and little bit of pine notes round out the nose.

Taste: Mild sweetness from malts and a little more prevanent hop profile, but nicely balanced. Malts are light by taste of biscuit, carmel, and saltine crackers. The hops are really grassy and citrusy. Pine and grapefruit linger in the back. Its got just a hint of yeast noted in the beer as well.

Mouthfeel: light bodied beer with a moderate carbonation. Super refreshing, super drinkable, and really crisp, yet remaining creamy. The hops leave a little bit of oily feel as well.

Overall: I will be seeking out this style during the warm weather months! I am really impressed by this East Coast Brewery. Great beer!

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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!

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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...

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Photo of Dools9
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a pilsner glass. Four pack says bottled on Aug. 28 2012 on side. Reviewed Sept. 21 2012. About 24 days old.

A: Slightly hazy, golden orange, nice three finger frothy white head. Lots of carbonation streaming up. Excellent retention and the lacing is just amazing.

S: Blend of pine, fresh grapefruit peel and bitter lemon and orange rind. There's also some slight earth and bready, pale malt hiding in the back. Very nice aroma.

T: Bitter grapefruit and lemon peel combines with light citrusy tropical fruit and a distant bready, biscuity sweetness. Finishes very clean and very dry.

M: Light medium, smooth and very crisp and refreshing, after all it is a lager and its super drinkable especially considering the 6.7% abv. Hops linger with each sip. Wish I had found this over the summer as it would make an excellent warm weather brew.

O: Hot damn, this puts all other lagers to shame. An excellent twist on the style, its like if an IPA bred with a Pale Lager, this would be its super offspring. All you lager haters out there, this will change your mind, I'm most certain. Cheers to 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 GonzoHomebrewer
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When Jack's opened, I was excited at the thought of a brewery just minutes away from this new place in MA I call home. I tried hoponius and fell in love. I made it my mission to make sure the restaurant I work for put Jack's on tap for two reasons: 1) This beer is amazing and people need to try it. 2) I wanted an awesome beer for my shift drink

The restaurant was smart and listened to me. I drink plenty of this on tap, but decided I'd buy a 4pk and review it in bottle.

A- Pours a wonderful burnt, rusty orange with a lovely frothy head. Also laces wonderfully on the glass as well, looks about as good as it can get for an "ipa"

S- Its like someone made a potpourri of Pine needles and lemon rind. Smells great

T- Fantastic! The citrus notes are a little more prominent here than in the nose. There are some signs of malt, but it doesn't even bother to really push the hops aside, they're just along for the ride. I feel as though the lagering process must help in showcasing the hops. delicious

M- This is what surprised me. Its not unusual for a brewery who hasn't been bottling very long to not quite get the magic that is their beer on tap right away, but Jacks succeeds here. Just enough carbonation to make the hob bite linger a bit, but not so much that it detracts from the drinkability. very nice.

O- This is one of my favorite beers. If you're looking for Heady and get disappointed in the chase, BM me and I'll send you this for locals. Instead of buying the world a coke, I'd buy it an Hoponius Union.

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Photo of stonermouse
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First review of a Jack's Abby brew, although I've had or sampled a few now. I'm excited to see the bottles turning up everywhere.

Appearance was suprisingly cloudy, more like an IPA than what you'd expect from a lager. Although these guys are defying expectations regularly, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised here. Color is straw yellow and fairly typical.

The smell is muted, yet sweet and lemony. Very clean and pleasant.

The taste is unusual, but an absolute home run of flavors. A lager base is just brilliant for these IPA flavors. It's kind of like taking the bun off of a burger, and just savoring the meat and cheese and all of it's juiciness. Juicy lemon flavor throughout, cut with some mild melon flavors to even it out. Everything is just pure and clean, as one would hope.

The mouthfeel isn't as clean as you might expect from a lager, but I enjoyed the sticky hop resins that I was still tasting and burping up an hour later. They are quite sneaky because of how mellow and clean the taste is.

Wow all around. This beer is clean, tasty, and full of flavor, but not so overpowering that you couldn't session a couple of them. And the best part, the pint bottle runs 2.95 at my local. 2.95 for a spectacular, local craft! These guys are a bit under the radar right now, but not for long. Get in now so you can say you were there when...

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Photo of cjgiant
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Hard for me to rate this, because for a lager, it's a great IPA. I rated down slightly for this because I'm not sure how this fits in a "newer" style of IPL.

A: slightly translucent golden-brown with a bunch of sustaining head
S: wonderful floral and citrus notes (I'm guessing Citra hops). A scent to be expected from IPAs, but rated at 5 due to the lager aspect, right or wrong)
T: reminds me of a session IPA, which is mostly what I'd expect. Taste follows nose pretty well (honey, orange) but has a slight crispness to it (that also seems to "weaken" it). There is a mild spice bite in the transition to the end taste, lightly peppery.
M: not a lot, but not expected. Light pine in a finish the reminds me of Czech pils. The carbonation does seem to fade quickly, however.
O: I thoroughly enjoyed this beer, and tried to compensate for some lower individual marks in this category. I will say that it is lager-like in one sense: it loses a bit of a appeal as it warms.

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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 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.

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Photo of Brad007
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a bright golden color with a frothy white head into my glass. I've heard great things about this brewery and I'm glad we can finally get their offerings.

Hops mix with sweet spelt in the nose. Floral, grassy and there's also some citrus. The label doesn't say which hops.

Wow. Hops with a decent citrus/cut-grass edge mellow out in the middle to expose the sweet, rich buttery malt underneath.

Very clean and it retains most of those flavors at the back. An added bonus would be a citrus tweak right before the edge of the throat.

I gotta hand it to Jack's Abbey here. The only other "hoppy lager" I've sampled is Sam Adams Double Agent IPL. This is much cleaner, much tastier and more to my liking. I'll be buying more in the near future!

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Photo of CheezyBlaster
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Jack's Abby review number 4 in 1 week.

This smells like a beautifully stinky, all business, mid-profile, hoppy American ale. American. A kiss of funk with full-on punchy, but light, malt I can't place. Touch of smoky cheese. Wow. Dry roasted peanuts in the distance.

Bites big and juicy in the front. Has that pungent (well, pungent "taste") right up the malty middle. Sort of cheesy, nutty, grainy. Trails out with a familiar, but pleasant, and mild grapefruit pith . . . that brings you back for more. There is a LOT going on in the taste and feel that I am inadequate at sketching out here. Slick and wildly drinkable. Just great. I can't believe I've had 5 beers, from a place I've never tried, and I've absolutely loved 4 of them. These guys are hitting hard!! More Jack's Abby!

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Photo of Lorwhal
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

What a classic Mass brew. Awesome golden yellow with a delicious evergreen forest floor pine and citrus smell. Crisp. Delicious. So fresh and so clean (clean).

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Photo of Joe_Grizzly
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

my first I.P.L

I got a 4 pack of this for $12

the bottles threw me for a loop they are pints and very well made could be used as a weapon if need be

I also like the artwork on it like a medieval crest

has a nice carbonation and mouth feel I drank it super cold

had a nice pungent bitterness to it

the aftertaste was like a top notch D.I.P.A but with a different twang to it because it was a LAGER

def a winner in my book nice and smooth and the A.B.V % isn't ridiculous so you can have 2 or 3

that's all I got if you can get it and like IPA's it's worth the purchase

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Photo of Kendo
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from the growler into a pint glass. Body is clear light amber that appears more dark golden when backlit. Lots of visible carbonation, with a bunch of slow-rising big bubbles that fortify the 1-finger whitish head.

S: Citrusy and floral hops. Quite pleasant, though not the smack-in-the-face experience of some of the hoppier American-style IPAs.

T: This is tasty. After a modest malt foundation (lightly biscuity), the citrusy hops dominate. Think grapefruit pith and peel and a nice floral/herbal taste as well; pine needles come to mind at times as well. Finishes bitter but clean, with a lingering minerally, citrus bitterness on the palate.

M: Quite creamy in feel; call it light-to-medium in heft. Carbonation is active but fine, accentuating that creaminess.

O: This is good stuff. It's going down real fast.

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Photo of AdamF625
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- golden and transparent with a fluffy white head

S- citrus and pine

T- suttle grapefruit and pine hop flavors with a nice bitterness

M- thin body that's carbonated well.

O- crisp and dry, a well hopped lager. This is my staple local everyday drinker for sure.

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Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
4.23 out of 5 based on 2,647 ratings.
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