Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Hoponius Union | Jack's Abby Brewing

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
356 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:
356
Ratings:
2,571
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
22.7%
 
 
Wants:
380
Gots:
527
For Trade:
13
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 356 | Ratings: 2,571
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.

 973 characters

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.

 675 characters

Photo of Flounder57
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

16.9 oz beer was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a minimal head that reduced to nothing. It is a copper color with great clarity and bubbles seen coming up through the glass.

Smell: Piney, citrus, resiny, and tropical hops. Bready and sweet pale malts in there too. Interesting.

Taste: Super hop bomb here. Malts are second in the taste with lingering chalky bitterness in the end. Bitterness eventually mellows out after a while.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, crisp, full bodied, low to medium carbonation, a little chewy, and some lingering bitterness.

Overall: Pretty solid IPL from another local brewery. I remember trying Wormtown's and was very surprised and interested with it. Good to see another local brewery bring this style up a notch.

 764 characters

Photo of MacQ32
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a rich golden color with a nice finger of dense caramel head, nice retention and lacing.

S - citrusy dank hop bitterness, nice bready malt backbone. Smells like sweet pot. phenomenal smell

T - citrusy semi-dry hops, bready caramel malts, super refreshing slightly dry aftertaste - simple but well done.

M - refreshing and not too light, decent carbonation. Nice drinker

O - best lager I've ever had by far. Balances fantastic flavor and mildness very well

 470 characters

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 02.12.2013

A: Pours a golden orange color with a little more than a fingers worth of head that has great retention

S: Extremely hoppy, with huge notes of citrus and light pine. Very fruity as well. Malts barely come through

T: Again, very hoppy. More of a fruitiness come through than just general citrus hops, with light pine and peppery spice notes as well. The malt does a nice job backing up the hops, much more so than in the nose. Finishes crisp and lightly bitter

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: An impressively hoppy lager with huge aromas of citrus and a crisp, balanced taste. Great price point to boot. More than worthy of a purchase

 671 characters

Photo of Sean9689
3.61/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Extra'd but forget who sent this to me...

A - Pours a yellow/orange color, white frothy head, sticky lace.

S - Really hoppy, resin, citrus, light malts, caramel. A lot more hoppy then I was expecting, that's for sure. IPL or IPA or DIPA or whatever, this beer has lots of hops.

T - Similar to the nose. Lots of hops with a small amount of sweet malty notes. Not nearly as good as Humulus Lager, IMO. Too hoppy to even put lager in the the style name. Alcohol is noticeable for 6.7%, which detracts from this beer. Finish is super-hoppy bitterness.

M - Medium body, good carbonation, oily bitter finish.

O - Not my cup 'o tea. Just too hoppy and over-the-top to enjoy much of. I opened a Pliny the Elder directly after this and it seemed to be more balanced and enjoyable then this beer, which says a lot to me right there.

 827 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, poured into a tulip

A- pours a hazy golden-yellow color with a small creamy white head that forms a thin layer floating on top, and lasts long after the pour

S- tropical fruity hops up front with notes of passionfruit and mango, some grassy and pine notes follow, complemented by clean lager yeast

T- deep tropical fruit flavors give a sweet and almost tangy flavor of mango and guava, some fresh grassy notes along with orange zest follow, clear lager yeast adds a crisp and refreshing finish, with some toasted malt linger

M- medium body with medium prickly carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and crisp finish

O- the drinkability of a lager with the juicy tropical fruit notes of a west coast IPA, very good

 732 characters

Photo of homebrew311
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So I guess this brew is an APL or an IPL... either way it seems to be an "Ale" inspired lager. Thanks to cbeer88 for sending this one my way. Appearance is slightly hazy and orange. Fluffy white head forms and retains nicely, heavy lacing left behind. The aroma features lemon, earthy, pine, and grass. Very hoppy with notes of cracker underneath. The taste starts with a touch of malty graininess followed by a touch of sweetness. Then comes a wave of hoppy bitterness in the form of grass and pine. It finishes off with more cracker and bread notes. Very nice range of flavors here with good balance. Mouthfeel is moderate with appropriate carbonation. Overall, this is a lager I could get in to. Definitely one to try for the hop heads out there.

 749 characters

Photo of ehammond1
4.51/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle (2013)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, brooklynbrews!

Clear golden rod with a very persistent, creamy, eggshell-colored head. A gorgeous lager. Fairly sticky with nice, regular, lined lacing down the glass.

Nice blast of pine and fallen pine needles along with citrus juice and zest. This is a showcase of hops, and is really something quite special, especially for an American pale lager. Mild, bready malt bill, but this is definitely all about the pungent hops. Given this blind, I'd guess this was an IPA, without a doubt.

The flavors follow the aroma. Pine hop flavors, citrus zest, and moderate bitterness combine for an incredibly drinkable, but especially hoppy lager. Clean, crisp, and discernable flavors. Fantastic, and the flavor actually surpasses the aroma.

Medium to near full-bodied, especially for the style. Medium to high carbonation, but crisp and especially drinkable.

Fantastic. Perhaps the best iteration of this style I've ever tasted.

 968 characters

Photo of siege06nd
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to billab914 for this one.

A. Mostly clear honey gold with two fingers of some of the prettiest head I've ever seen in a beer. Settling down to a half finger over time, the head, lacing, and beading remain consistent and impossibly tight. Suds absolutely blanket the sides of the glass.

S. More excellence. Big tropical mango and tangerine notes, some honey sweetness, and then a healthy dose of garden herbs and tall grass.

T. Mango, pineapple, underripe strawberry, earth, pine, thyme, crackers, rose petals.

M. Really nice. It starts big and tropical but then finishes with that classic, earthy, dry, and floral lager finish.

O. This is a really good Pale Lager. Very hoppy but incredibly well-balanced and has a very classic pilsner finish, with spice and grain providing a very crisp, refreshing experience. I love this beer and would make it a staple in my fridge were it available in my part of the country.

 932 characters

Photo of flexabull
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of cbeer88, thanks again!

Pours a bright and slightly hazy gold color with a huge white head.

Aromas are very nice. Notes of hard candies, sugary citrus, floral hop cones and crackers.

Taste is light and hoppy. Crackers, bread dough, and light creamy sweetness up front. Finish is snappy and crisp with bitter grapefruit, and mineral bitterness.

Mouthfeel is smooth with plenty of body and nice carbonation.

Overall, a very tasty lager. Very refreshing and super drinkable, would be a treat on a warm day.

 526 characters

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.

 478 characters

Photo of 57md
3.87/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light copper color with less than a finger of head. The nose is super piney and hoppy. The flavor seems flat compared to the nose. The finish has a nice dry quality for sure but I woudl not quite agree with the can that it is "Wicked Hoppy."

 252 characters

Photo of DIM
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

mfg date 10-07-13. Very fresh. Sweet.

a: Slightly hazy pale golden color; pours with a smallish semi-sticky white head.

s: Hop forward for sure, fresh lemon with hints of tropical fruit. Some mild caramel as well.

t: Hop forward and exremely flavorful without being a hop bomb. Lemon and pineapple juice hops dominate. There is a little caramel sweetness peeking through. Lingering mild pithy grapefruit.

m: Gentle carbonation and silky body.

o: I didn't see the date until after I bought it, 6 days after it was bottled! Great beer, if it was available locally I would drink a ton of this.

 595 characters

Photo of HattedClassic
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

The beer pours a nice white and foamy head that dissipates quickly. The head is white. The beer itself is a clear orange with some brown notes. The beer smell has a strong hoppy smell with malt sweetness taking the edge off of some of it. The hops are a nice orange citrus, which mixes well with the bready sweetness from the malts. The beer taste is similar to the smell with a strong hoppy note but very little of the malt present in the smell. The hop still a strong citrus taste to it. The mouthfeel is fairly smooth to the point where it is slightly creamy.Carbonation. Medium bodied but still fels light. Overall, a very good lager and worth getting. I enjoyed greatly and most definitely lives up to the hype.

 716 characters

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

I haven't had too many hopped up lagers and I've certainly been missing out. This one was apparently bottled recently.

The beer pours a deep honey amber with a solid inch of white fluffy head. It's a relatively clear beer (although some yeast is caked onto the bottom of the bottle) and the head does provide some nice lacing. Honestly, this beer looks and smells more like an IPA than any lager I've had, but its distinctly crisp taste has me leaning towards lager.
The nose is all citrusy hops (slightly tart like kumquats) with a touch of armpit B.O., cat piss and very subtle ethanol (after some warming). It's definitely got an interesting nose, but the hops do rein supreme. Drinking the beer is as expected; it's a clean, sweet, hoppy, drinkable beverage. The mouthfeel is just the right amount of bitterness with a lingering, dry finish that burns the lips.
This is an insanely good beer that lives up to my expectations and would be outstanding on tap. I would definitely try this beer again considering its reasonable price, local availability, and the unique style it offers.

 1,088 characters

Photo of JamesStreet
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottled 6/25/15 poured into snifter
This beer poured a orange-golden color with a moderate white head.. Amazing lace down the glass. Smell is of tropical fruit and citrus with a hint of cracker, breadiness. Taste has the fruitiness of the nose interplaying with the pilsener malt to balance out nicely. Feel is medium with moderate carb. Love me some hoppy lagers.

 369 characters

Photo of philbe311
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L - A finger's worth of crisp khaki colored froth... Modest retention gives way to a full lacing of mostly the same quality and character... The color is a pale copper... Loaded with moderate paced carbonation... A slight bit of lacing clings to the sides of the glass...

S - A pleasant aroma of fresh whole-coned hops... A rock solid malt base lays slightly beneath the surface... Rich bready malts... Cereal grains... A subtle caramel sweetness... Simple, straight-forward and quite effective...

T - The aroma was a wonderful indication of what to expect on the palate... Fresh hops to start... Then a wave of malty goodness comes... The hops rise to prominence again on the finish...

F - Medium bodied... Sturdy and crisp... Light to moderate carbonation... Turning about creamy and lush towards the end of each sip...

O - Quaffable, sessionable and refreshing... A real easy drinker... There are no "world class" characteristics about this brew, but everything works remarkably well together in a harmonious fashion where the total is greater than the sum of the parts... I could enjoy a couple of these a couple of these in a sitting without blinking...

 1,188 characters

Photo of macrosmatic
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to surge1311 for sending this one as an extra in our trade! Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Cigar City pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy gold, with medium visible carbonation and a half-finger of white head.

S: Grassy and resin hops, light cracker and less pilsner malt aroma. Essentially no sulfur character.

T: Resin, grapefruit rind, and bit grassy hops, light pilsner and cracker malts. Citrus rind bitterness in the hang - significant but not overly bitter.

M: Light but smooth body, low carbonation sensation, and almost no alcohol.

O: Pretty darn tasty, and it certainly makes a good argument against the "lagers are tasteless" crowd. Still, it wouldn't necessarily be a go-to for me in the face of other choices - there are a lot of readily available IPAs that are just plain better.

 823 characters

Photo of jvillefan
3.92/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A: It has a beautiful orange amber body with a thin off white lacy head.

S: Very bready with fruits. There is a biscuit aroma with apples and pine mixed in. Very potent aroma. Exactly what you would expect from a hoppy lager.

T: Very good but the balance is not there. Very strong lager flavor with even more powerful hop flavors of pine and apple.

M: Good body but could be a little thicker and excellent carbonation.

O: Very good hoppy lager. Not the best out there but still in my top five lagers.

 504 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Shiny golden body with a touch of chill haze. Four fingers of creamy white micro bubbles. Good drippy lace.

Citrus aroma with a touch of fresh bread.

Solid deep semi-sweet malt foundation. Juicy fruit. Solid hop bite at the swallow. Cleaner finish than an IPA, but not quite pilsnerish.

Medium mouthfeel with a bit of prickliness.

A damn good hoppy lager, in a class with Victory Prima Pils.

 397 characters

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.

 830 characters

Photo of Roguer
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice 1 finger, snow white head with great retention. Brew is a lively pale golden straw color, nearly transparent. Nice lacing.

Classic IPA aroma, with big notes of citrus and pine. Noticeable dose of caramel and pale malts. Biscuity.

Flavor follows the aroma in stronger proportion. Very, very sweet and hoppy: tropical fruit (mango), wildflower honey, light citrus peel, pine resin, and pepper. Thick but not strong bread notes, especially on the back-end.

Refreshing and lively mouthfeel, a little thicker than a single IPA would come across. Each sip easily has me looking for the next.

This is a very tasty brew. It comes across as a single IPA, but with a thicker, smoother mouthfeel. Very hoppy, but not unnecessarily so. I like this beer across the board.

 775 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle with no date.

Pours hazy gold with a dense white head of a half inch. A partial skim coat on the surface with dotted lacework throughout the glass.

Aromatics are a floral blend of tropical fruit and a trace of husky malt. Peach, mango, pear, and melons. Not leaping out of the glass as a great IIPA would but very nice for what it is.

Light to medium bodied with a crisp mouthfeel. Light and quaffable.

Bright, juicy, citrus-laden hops start the palate. Plenty of plump tropical goodness with barely a trace of bitterness. A bit pf pine is in the mix this time along with mangos, peachs, tangerines.

Finishes with a lingering smooth bitterness, tropical hops, and a trace of honey-drizzeled biscuits.

Great beer! Not to compare to others, but I look at this beer as sort of a Heady Topper Jr. Similar hopping and flavor, just not as big in any aspect.

 870 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1pt .9oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Crystal clear golden in color. Eggshell white head is fluffy and creamy looking. Head retention is great. Thin and jagged rings of lacing stick to the glass.

S: A burst of vibrant citrus is at the forefront of the nose. Tangerine and zesty lemon, lemon peel and grapefruit rind. Earthy and leafy hop scents accent the citrus. Clean grain and biscuit malt aromas underneath. A pungently hoppy nose with a distinctly clean lager character.

T: Hops assault the taste buds right off the bat. This one is more bitter than the nose suggests. Quick flashes of citrus fruits are brushed aside as a growing rind and pine resin bitterness clamps down on the palate. Leafy hop character comes through mid-palate. Garden herbs and green, oily tastes, along with tobacco and cigar. Malt starts out a touch sweet with hints of caramel, but quickly dries out and morphs into biscuit and cracker flavors. A slight yeasty taste is hard to pick out underneath all the hops. Citrus comes back to the forefront toward the finish with a hit of zesty lemon. The finish is dry, crisp, and clean, but leaves an oily, leafy hop bitterness clutching the tongue.

M: Medium bodied, very creamy and smooth. Well-rounded and filling in the mouth. Carbonation lifts it a little and adds a bit of a refreshing bite. Great.

O: This is the first beer I've had by Jack's Abby, and boy is it a winner. The use of the lager yeast here really puts the raw hop profile front and center, with no distractions. It's American hops as you've never tasted them before. A hop-head's delight, and a very interesting and most welcome change of pace.

 1,661 characters

Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 356 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe