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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 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.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours medium clear gold with a good foamy white head. Some lace.

Citric hop nose, with some good toasted malt.

Hops first, then the dried malt. The maltiness, and the lack of fruit, is made up for by juicy hops. Hops stay with you, and the bitterness works with a malt/citric finish.

Medium body, good carbonation.

I liked this alot, with the traditional style and the hoppy twist. Very drinkable for all seasons.

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

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours a nice clear gold 2 fingers of soapy white head, mild lacing.
S - Grassy, and piney aroma, a touch of light citrus, and lager kinda traits, some bready malt.
T - Lots of pine and grass as far as the hops goes, a mild bitterness up front then smooths out to that crisp mellow lager taste.
M - Clean, smooth, refreshing, light bitterness on the palate.
O - Well it really is that good, something you could definitely drink a few of, I think there's also some great examples of the style already out there, but this one is popular for a reason.

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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 PHBoiler
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bold yellow/orange body that is completely translucent with a crisp finger width white head. Good looking beer in the glass. Some pine and citrus on the nose. Aggressively hopped and quite bitter with a solid lager base. The lager base is my favorite part of this beer. Very well made with a great mouthfeel. The hopping is a bit too aggressively west coast for my taste. It is certainly interesting with the lager body though. Worth a try for west coast IPA fans indeed.

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

500mL bottle. Pours a hazy golden ornage color with an inch of thick, frothy head. Lots of lacing. Big hop aroma. Grassy and citrus hops. Slightly tropical as well; maybe mango. The taste is a bit more subdued than the aroma but its still hoppy. Grassy upfront with some citrus notes. Hints of the tropical fruits. Bitter, grassy finish. Orange peel aftertaste. Creamy, crisp mouthfeel. This tastes like a hopped up Lager. Overall, certainly worth having again.

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Photo of far333
3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Crystal clear straw/apricot colored with an off-white head that settles out to a 1/4 inch cap that settles slowly. Aroma of citrusy hops, some florals, and pine, notes of biscuit malt.

Big, hoppy flavor upfront, floral, citrus, melon, mint, pine, finishes tingly pine with a it of a hard edge. Some honey malt rises up, but hops dominate, with herbal and spicy notes lingering.

Full mouthfeel, semi-slick, finishes tingly. Good beer.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 Pint .9oz bottle from a 4-pack poured into 22oz glass. Bottled 4/23/12. I've been hearing a lot about this local brewery, finally decided to try some.

A- Pours a translucent yellowish golden, about a quarter finger of white frothy head that dissipates very fast, about average carbonation.

S- Sweet dry smell of hops, citrusy grapefruit, smells like you're typical west coast IPA.

T- Sweet and bitter hops, grapefruit, a little bit of lemon, still has a mix of a lager taste which makes it different then your typical IPA. A fairly dry, sweet, and a little bit bitter finish.

M- Medium bodied, smooth, well-balanced, low carbonation, carbonation/bitterness leaves a very slight unique tingle sensation on your palate, alcohol hard to detect.

O- This was definitely an interesting brew. A mix between a lager and an IPA. On the bottle label they say that they use lager yeast fermentation while the beer is cold and then age it with west coast IPA hops for extended periods of time. This definitely creates an unique flavor that is a mix in taste between your typical lager and a west Coast IPA. It smells just like your typical West Coast IPA and has the citrusy taste but also has the typical lager taste. At first I wasn't sure if I was too excited by the taste of this beer since it was a little bit different then I was expecting it to be, but it definitely grew on me and by the end I really enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend giving this beer a try and I'm sure you will enjoy it.

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Photo of Phigg1102
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

There's something very refreshing about Jacks Abbey, I love seeing lagers being presented to the craft beer scene in a big way. Hoppy lagers are a style that I can see quickly gaining traction in the American craft beer scene. The hop profile really shines through beside the clean lager yeast. Mouthfeel is crisp and light, and the beer finishes slightly sweet.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lots of hype around this brewery lately, definitely dig the bottles, emphasis on lagers, decent price, etc.

Pours pale orange, quite a bit of haze and dust in there. Big ol white head slowly settles to a finger or so, a little lace left.

Scent is, indeed, wicked hoppy. Lots of dank and earthy hops, grapefruit, lemon, some tropical, and a touch of cat pee for good measure.

Taste follows suit nicely - tropical fruit is more abundant with lots of peach, pineapple, citrus, lemon and all the good stuff, still a good amount of dank and earth. There is some toastiness in the finish but the lager part is pretty much lost here, this may as well be an IPA. But more well-rounded than the scent, and quite tasty I will admit.

Mouthfeel feels a little thin, but quite smooth and fine enough for the 4. Pretty easy drinking.

It is very enjoyable, but pretty much drinks like a good, tropical, danky IPA - not that there's anything wrong with that, but I do wish lager qualities were there more to spice things up.

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

Pours a cloudy gold with a foamy off white, almost tan head. Good retention.

Smells pretty juicy and like doughy bread.

Very citrusy. Mandarin orange, lemon, and grapefruit. A touch of mango, but a decent peppery spice kick. Lots of barley. A fresh baked sour dough like bread. Some floral/piney bitterness.

Resinous slick body that is pretty full for the abv. Very smooth and very clean.

An IPA in a lager body. A great beer.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

MFG 08.09.2013. Tulip glass.

A: Pours a pale straw color, brilliant clarity, with a finger of nice bright white head. Very good retention but minimal lacing.

S: Smooth, sweetish pale malt, and floral hops.

T: Light floral hops, nice supporting pale malt, finishing with mild to moderate lager yeast flavor with mild bitterness.

M: Super smooth, medium-light carbonation and body.

O: Nice stuff. Smooth, easy drinking with mild flavors.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz bottle. Poured into a DFH signature glass.

A: Pours a crystal clear pale, orange color. I initially got about a finger of bright white head. Lots of carbonation streaming off the bottom of the glass. There is a little bit of lacing.

S: Smells like a West Coast IPA! Lots of overripe peach grapefruit, and citrus. It's a very clean smell. Fruity hops and very light malt hidden behind it all.

T: You get those hops right at the front of the tongue. They aren't aggressively bitter like a strong IPA or DIPA but they're there. Mango, peach, grapefruit, etc. The middle of the mouth if much cleaner than an ale would be. Lighter on the malts. And the finish is much more crisp and clean than an ale. Mild on the bitterness.

M: Light leading to medium bodied. Nicely carbonated.

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Photo of stephens101
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fizzy and chill-hazed yellow-orange in color like a lager. The off-white froth is stagnant. Citrus hops feature prominently aromatically, like and IPA, but the lager yeast is noticed, veiled, and just behind. Tastes of citrus, lemon peel and grain. The hoppiness is subdued, as if it was stopped in mid-sentence while trying to make a very brilliant point. Mouth-feel is medium and the body is crisp with a bit of heat in the finish. While this one is pretty damn tasty, I'm left ambivalent, wondering if I would rather just have one or the other.

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

Consumed 3/28/13

Appearance: Clear, golden orange with some copper - more of a golden copper from a distance - pours with a nice, big off-white head - the nice fluff fades to a nice cap, leaves a ton of lacing

Smell: Nicely hoppy, and decidedly not an IPA - floral citrus - oranges and grapefruits, with some juiciness - some spiciness/grassiness that seems more typical for a lager - pale and caramel malts in the background, some more hints this is a lager - something that smells like sweet onion when it warms up

Taste: Yes, this is a hoppy lager - floral, lightly juicy orange, tangerine, and grapefruit - spicy and grassy, with a lager yeast finish - malts are pale and caramel - could almost pass for an IPA, with the exception of the yeast spiciness and the malt profile - very unique and flavorful, medium level of bitterness - earthy, grassy finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nicely carbonated, smooth, but the finish is a bit earthy and oily

Overall: About as great as a hoppy lager can get (?)

If I had to pick on this beer for one thing, I would comment on how it's rather odd how hard it tries not to be a lager. But it is. And it's tasty. The oily, earthy aftertaste kind of tires my tastebuds, but the bottle size is quite ideal. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of jakecattleco
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle marked mfg1150607 at Lower Depths. Wow, really impressed, more so than with Mass Rising. Great aroma, bursting flavor and solid mouthfeel. Would definitely drink this often if available in my locale!

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Photo of GJ40
3.84/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampled from a 500ml bottle purchased at Yankee Spirits in Swansea, MA.

A - Golden and crystal clear with a moderate creamy, white head. A steady rise of bubbles.

S - Floral and fruity hops with a nice lager crispness.

T - Nice floral and citrusy hops contrasted by a clean, crisp lager base. It was an interesting mix. They don't come together perfectly but it was interesting and enjoyable.

M - Silky with a moderate carbonation.

O - A good, interesting beer.

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Photo of ChrisL24481
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my first time trying any brew from Jack's Abby Brewery and, boy, I am glad it was a fresh Hoponius Union (bottled on January 7, 2013). Poured into a Boulder Beer Company Mojo IPA pint glass.

Appearance - It pours a nice golden-orange color with about a 2-3 finger off-white head. The head appears soft and dense with decent retention. It slowly dissipates until a thin layer remains. A bit of lacing sticks throughout the glass. A bit of carbonation throughout as well.

Smell - The hop characteristics stand out with the first sniff which is then followed by citrus and tropical flavors specifically orange, lemon and a bit of grapefruit.

Taste - A delicious beer to say the least! Great hop flavors with a hint of the citrus/tropical fruits that you pick up with the smell. There is somewhat of a dry/bitter finish, but still a great tasting beer.

Moutfeel - A light-to-medium bodied beer with a bit of carbonation. This definitely has the feel of a pale lager, but the taste of the IPA throughout. This is an easy to drink beer that would be perfect for a hot/summer day. I can't wait to have this one again.

Overall - This was one refreshing and delicious IPL. I love the fact that it has the smells/tastes of an IPA with light body of lager. This is a very drinkable beer with little bitterness on the back end from the hops. A great beer that I recommend to all and I can't wait to enjoy the remaining bottles from the 4-pack.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass, bottled on 2/12/13 FRESH! Pours a light orange, with a fluffy white head, that leaves plenty of lacing. Smell is earthy hops, citrus, cut grass, lemon, and hints of biscuit. The taste is similar, starts subtle with a grapefruit and lemon bittering finish. Body is almost medium, plenty of life, a little dry, and easy drinking. This is a nice beer and different than most.

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

16.9 fl oz brown bottle served in tumbler.

Slightly hazy pale straw with a hue of copper. Foamy, bright white head that clings to the tumbler's sides leaving a lot of sturdy lacing.

Fresh citrus and slightly sweet tropical fruit aromas; clean spices from the hops as well. Light biscuit-like toasted malt, just enough to provide a bit of a backbone for the hop character.

A lot going on in flavor, primarily from the hop character: fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, etc.), a pronounced spice: black pepper and pine, and bright tropical fruit (melon, lime). The wheat base is clean with just a touch of sweetness. The finish is dry with a lively, somewhat light bitterness followed by an aftertaste of lime, pine, and rosemary.

A light medium in body. Fresh, juicy, and clean on the palate. In a nutshell, extremely thirst-quenching.

A flavorful, hop-driven lager that is by no means boring. For beer, this may be the definition of refreshing.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark gold color, tower of off-white foam cap rising high.
Abundant, aromatic hop combo, fresh, whole come aroma, if you've ever had fresh whole cone hops, or pellets in your hand and taken a big whiff, you will know this aroma well. Earthy, dry tropical, tangy fruits and a subtle but effective sweet lager malt balance.slight sour/sweet funk thing too.
Flavor, oh man, the flavor....what a wonderful blend of hop flavors, much like the aroma, fresh and complex, earthy, tangy, sour then sweet. Balance of subtle sweet malt, lager funky yeast and awesome hop attack (not at all bitter). 65 ibu's is spot on for the IPL style.
Feel is fresh, crisp, medium bodied wet then dry finish.
Favorite IPL so far, this one screams QUality.

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Photo of gonzo000
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a. Hazy sunrise oragne in color once settled with a two inch head. Head thins, but remains through out the life of the beer. Lacing on the glass.

s. Citrus and hoppy pine. A bit faint.

t. Fruity - pineapple, peach, orange - on the front. The back end is all pine. Hopped up with a touch of bitter in the very finish.

m. Silky smooth with excellent carbonation

o. Outstanding all around. Excellent beer that I will revisit often.

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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 WillCarrera
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by starrdogg, thanks Matt!

A- Pours a clear golden color, topped with some white head, leaves spotty lacing.

S- Nice mix of bready yeast, citrusy hops, pine, slight onion, some grass and malty sweetness. Smells very nice.

T- Fruity, citrus and tropical, a bit of pine, the hops are really great. The malts are light and bready. Really tasty stuff.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth feel, finishes dry.

O- A great hoppy lager, I could drink this stuff all the time.

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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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