Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Hoponius Union | Jack's Abby Brewing

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 368 | Ratings: 2,626
Photo of tigg924
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at New World Tavern--Plymouth
Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, low carbonation, gold in color, clear

Smell: piney hops and light citrus hops

Taste: sweet caramel start followed by pine and citrus hops

Mouthfeel: sweetish start with big bitter middle and less bitter finish, moderate carbonation, light bodied

Overall: A nice and smooth lager. This one is a lot hoppier than others in the style. Better as a beer than for the style. A sipper that I will get again but one per sitting.

 519 characters

Photo of bylerteck
3.34/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Had this on tap at Reservoir in Waterbury. From notes.

A - Golden, bright pour. One finger of white head on top with minimal spotty lace and no retention.

S - Grass, hops, honey.

T - Nice hops, grassy, some light spice, honey.

M - Good carbonation, light to medium body, not enough bitterness.

O/D - OK. A decent craft lager, but way less hops than I was expecting. Wouldn't revisit it, but a nice take on the style.

 421 characters

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!

 965 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 06 Nov 2013, consumed 08 Dec. I picked this up at Julio's.

In my Sam Adams perfect pint, this is a brilliantly clear golden amber with a large, dense, frothy, white head with excellent retention and lacing. The nose is beautifully hoppy. Dusty, doughy malt character is present, but really, this is all about the hops. Tropical, pungent, fruity, citrusy and just outrageously aromatic, this is truly awesome. Clean lager fermentation allows this to be entirely about the hops, and the blend of grapefruit and navel oranges is extremely refreshing.

The palate opens with a clean, quenching bitterness, mildly resiny and extremely citrusy, with orange zest, orange juice and grapefruit present by the bucketful. A mild pine sap bitterness is present as well. The mid-palate brings out the hop flavor, the blend of floral citrus and a little bit of grass. Malt character is minimal, with just a little bit of a burnt sugar/ toffee/honey sweetness present, pairing really well with the citrus hops. With the classic lager smoothness/slickness on the palate, this beer is ridiculously clean and has a nice, biting bitterness on the finish. Medium-light in body with moderate carbonation, this beer is excellent on the palate. Very highly recommended. In the pantheon of IPLs, there aren't many that better this.

 1,316 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great appearance for something so hoppy and rarely done. Ample clarity, dat full one inch of white head, small bubbles. A darker gold color. Good, solid hoppy aroma, simcoe for the most part I'd guess.

I like the way the yeast is there to really let you know this is a lager, pairs with the mild dry malt train on this one. Simcoe continues to seem like the driving force flavor wise for the hops. Leans pine and grapefruit instead of the tropical fruit rage. Carbonated like a yellow lager, i.e. high. This is a solid beer, I'd bang at $5 a bottle quite often.

 575 characters

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.

 849 characters

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!

 753 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 4.21.13
Dated 03.25.2013

A - Pours a hazy medium orange with a two inch cream-colored head with good retention and lacing.

S - Hoppy pine and orange citrus.

T - Lots of pine and bitter orange peel. I would have guessed it was an IPA. Good stuff.

D - Good carbonation with a light body.

O - Finally a lager with good ipa qualities. This one lived up to the hype for me.

 390 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours out a nice darker yellow beer with good clarity, 1" of white head with pretty solid retention, especially for a hoppy beer.

Aroma was obviously a very hoppy lager. You got both, in good supply: Simcoe hops, lager yeast. Has an herbal component to the aroma.

Taste, good snap and bite from the culmination of the yeast, Simcoe hops and mild/light body of the beer. Plenty bitter, but not a one trick pony, it kicks down some grapefruit (probably Cascade) with the Simcoe bitterness, and of course, the lager yeast is well intentioned and complimentary with this brew. It doesn't have a tropical fruit component to the hop flavor in the mouthfeel, its definitely more in the grapefruit and pine realm.

Carbonation is high, but appropriate for style. I was impressed with SA IPL, and this beer takes that up another notch. Clean, crisp and hoppy, super mild bready malt does its job.

Wouldn't hesitate to drink this over and over again. Not quite humulus lager, but better than SA IPL. I'm really liking this IPL trend. . .

 1,032 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
3.96/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

on draft

light copper golden in color, white head. nice hoppy aroma - grass, citrus, pine mix. just a bit of bready malt flavor mixed in with the hoppiness. thinner bodied.

 176 characters

Photo of claspada
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear light golden color with a rather large, fluffy white head and some spotty lacing as the foam recedes.

Aromas begin quite dank and hoppy for any lager I hace ever had. It starts with some tropical fruits with a bit of citrus and additional pine resin. In the background as it warms there is some light toasty, crackery maltiness.

The tastes directly follow the nose but in reverse with some light crackery maltiness that adds the smallest amount of malt sweetness before the citrus and pine hop flavors kick into gear. Some grasyy hop flavors as well which linger along with the pine resin flavors.

The mouthfeel is my only complaint as with many lagers, finish seemed slightly stripped and finishes a bit too abruptly for my liking. Carbonation is perfect to style.

Overall this is one of the most flavorful lagers I have ever had to date and clearly well crafted and the recipe must have been tweaked many times to arrive at such a great, hihgly drinkable balance. High marks for this one.

 1,009 characters

Photo of Jwale73
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle served in a cervoise. Pours a semi-hazy straw gold with a bright white, creamy half inch head. Nose is clean, light and bright and expresses citrus zest, a slightly earthy character and a hint of tropical fruit. Taste consistent with nose with the addition of some hops bittering that lingers between quaffs. Mouthfeel is light and lively with a pleasant, palate cleansing acidity. Overall, I'm not sure if I can rate this beer to style as I think it is a bit more of an Americanized version of the style; nonetheless, this is an excellent and extremely drinkable brew. I see a trip to the brewery in my near future.

 629 characters

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

A - Hazy yeast filled golden body with a massive ice cream looking white head. Retention is killing me because I want to take a sip. Lots of lace down the glass.

S- Damn, west coast hops smelling on par wit most great IPAs but thesis an IPL. Tropical fruit and citrus blow up upon opening with notes of peach, mango, lemon and pineapple.

T- this is like sculpin lager to me. Fresh tropical fruits once again with a blend of peach, mango, orange and lemon zest. Very light malt and yeast presence backing up this hoppy lager.

MF- Creamy body with high carbonation stinging the palate. Somewhat silky and a clean bitterness on the palate.

Another satisfying jacks abby lager. Great west coast hop profile and very drinkable.

 727 characters

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!

 785 characters

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to celticfutbclub for this bottle...

A: Pours a nice translucent orange/yellow gold with one and a half fingers of pure white head. The foam settles fairly quickly, leaving a frothy ring along the edges of the glass. Good lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is light malt, yeast, pine and orange citrus hops.

T: It starts out light, sweet, and refreshing with a good bit of light malt and mild citrus hops. As it moves to the middle I get more citrus, some pine, and a helping of yeasty. The finish is hoppy bitters and yeast.

M: Light bodied beer. It's super refreshing to start, get really flavorful in the middle, and finishes bitter and wet. Smooth from start to finish, with some lingering hops on the back end.

O: Very nice beer. This is something that I would drink more of if it was available in my area. A great summer beer, but also something that you'd want all year round. Solid.

 904 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.6/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to mjg0725 for sending me my first taste of Jack's Abby...& based on the contents of that big box, this one won't be my last. 12 oz. bottle with interestingly styled graphics.

The pour is golden, very clear, with visible carbonation. Nose slips you some lager tongue: bread that's fortified with iron shavings. Crackery. The hops are subdued to the point of being demure, citrus, pine, but both dominated by the yeast.

Hoponius Union grows on me as it warms: cold, this ain't nothin' much. Warmed, the hops in the title appear like magic, & interesting magic at that. The citrus is soft, out of focus, all the edges rubbed away by the lager yeast. Intensely dry. Bitterness arrives with mayhem on its mind, & rises with the temperature. Dash of Crystal Light, grapefruit, lemongrass, light spicing. Slick & easy to drink.

Don't approach this one cold: some small talk, gentle cradling, & the warmth of your breath will be required before you get what you want. Namely, a good beer.

 994 characters

Photo of Resuin
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass. This was bottled 09/23/13 which is a couple days over a month ago.

Appearance: Pours a translucent, not very hazy, amber/gold and leaves a finger of white head which lingers a bit.

Smell: Delicious, piney hops right up front. Plenty of citrus comes as well. Amazing hop-forward smelling beer - all the best aromas of hops come out front and center.

Taste: Nice citrus hops hit the palate softly. The taste is much more subtle than the aroma, and this is a very easy drinking beer. Well balanced flavors. Malt accompanies the hops to even out the flavor. Finishes crisp and smooth.

Mouth-feel: Pretty well carbonated with a relatively light, crisp body. Well suited for the flavors.

Overall: The smell is just fantastic, and following that, this is a nice, easy drinking, balanced IPL. Very crisp and refreshing. Incredible value as well. Definitely recommend trying some of this.

 933 characters

Photo of papat444
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle, MFG 12.02.13.

Mildly hazy body the color of honey. Thick head, tiny patchwork of lacing leaves an imprint. Creamy gobs remain in the glass. Glorious resiny hops with slices of fresh fruit in the aroma. Flavor is geared more to the fruit side of hops, juicy and has a mineral flavor in the back. Bitterness is sustained yet present. Digging almost everything these guys are doing.

 407 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
3.94/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is transparent amber with a lot of fluffy white head and some large bubbles. Nose is light, clean and fresh. Some grain, a touch doughy, strong hop punch, tropical fruits light, grassy and herbal. Taste is the same, well attenuated, clean grain notes, a touch doughy, with a strong hop punch. More tropical fruit, grapefruit, grassy hop behind, and light bitterness with a dry well carbonated finish and lighter body.

 422 characters

Photo of mynie
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pretty orange pour with a fluffy white head.

Smells--like a hop-forward lager should--like raw hops, no esters or yeast or any of the other stuff I usually like to talk about but the beer denizens ignore. Taste very much the same, but thankfully the hop profile is as moderate as it is excellent, and so it does a fine enough job of balancing itself. Big nodes of grapefruit, passionfruit, and dried potpourri flowers. No super high alpha cat pee or pine nodes, though, since they'd probably be too much without any clear malt presence cutting into them.

Damn solid flagship APA (erm, APL); it stood its own against HF's phenomenal Citra.

 641 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
3.89/5  rDev -8%

Bottle as an extra in trade. Thanks! Pours hazy golden colored with a one finger white head. Aroma is grassy hops, tropical fruit, lager yeast sweet aromas. Flavor is sweet tropical fruits, pineapples, grapefruits, mango, some honey sweetness, lightly crisp grassy pine, but not particularly bitter. Smooth body, medium plus heaviness especially for the style, with medium plus carbonation. Crisp finish and easy drinking. Very nice.

 433 characters

Photo of Durge
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the chilled bottle into the big tumbler I see a clear, golden light amber colored lager with a decent but broken fluffy white head with healthy lacing. The aroma makes itself known quickly from a distance with a decidedly tart citrus hop and biscuit base. Very impressive and unlike any lager I've had the pleasure of knowing before (other than this same brew on tap). The flavor is such a pleasure with more of the same biscuit and citrus hop blend and maybe some rye grain and light grass ideas. It's peppery, tart and clean with a light but lively carbonation that offers an effervescent feel over a medium body. More grass and grapefruit lemon pours over the tongue with quite some bite, especially unheard of for a lager but as the label explains, this is simply a lagered IPA and the unique flavors are definitely successful and worth a try.

 852 characters

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

Amazing extra from bramsdell (cheers buddy!) enjoyed from a beer hunter taster glass.

a - brew pours transparent honey yellow with a generous frothy head that hung out for a while and as it dissipated, it left big frothy chunks of lacing. lots of visible carbonation dance to the surface.

s - nose is a fair amount of hopping layered over some nice earthy malt lager. great citric notes on a lager is a welcome addition.

t - really nice. definitely a lager, but with all them hops gives the impression of a pale ale with the earthy undertones. the hops bring to life a style i'm not normally wild about. biscuity with a subtley bitter finish.

m - nice medium bodied brew with a good fullness to the profile and feel.

o - super enjoyable and refreshing brew. not usually a big fan of a lager, but this beer, i could drink all of the time. very well suited for the warm weather.

 882 characters

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

Thanks to portia99 for this one (it was an extra!), really looking forward to it. Pours a light copper color with very high clarity - only a very, very mild haze that forms dead center. Foamy white head begins to form some chunking lacing and legging right off the bat.

The nose is heavily hoppy with a solid malt backbone - if the first whiff is any indication, this beer will be balanced very well. Some lemon zest, pineapple, and bitter citrus peel couple nicely with light and leafy pines and wet hops. A touch of cracker-like sweetness from the malt brings the aroma together nicely.

The first thing that hits the palate when taking a sip is a helping of wet, juicy, pine-like hops; grassy, floral, and slightly pungent. Light resin starts to come out as the sweet malts work their way into the mix, helping to balance and offset. Some mild fruitiness extracts itself from the hop bill; pineapple, grapefruit peels, herbal lemon zest.

The hoppy flavors mostly fade by the time the beers has left your mouth and all that's left is the aftertaste, but a light, assertive bitterness remains along with some sweet bread, butter, and cracker malt flavors that give the excellent balance I was expecting from the aroma. As the brew goes on and gets warmer, I'm tasting some light white pepper spices come out from the hops, and maybe even some faint onion flavors. The body is medium and slick with a surprisingly dry and crisp finish.

Wow! Very solid brew here. It doesn't really exhibit the normal characteristics you'd expect from a lager, mainly because the identifiable yeast flavors are mostly covered up by the hops. You could easily mistake this beer as an IPA. The only real tell-tale sign is the dry, crispiness in the end. Nevertheless, this one shows exceptional balance and great execution for a very drinkable, hoppy-ass brew.

 1,845 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.77/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Holy crap, good on the beer of the month club I got as a Christmas gift to come through with something like this! 12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a clearish golden color. The head is a finger high, and white in shade. Retention isn't the best, but the texture is soft enough. Plenty of lacing sticks to the glass. (3.5)

Smell: Well, it's just like a good west coast IPA...ONLY A LAGER! I get a decent amount of grapefruit, pine, flowers, melon, and a slight touch of sweet malt. Unfortunately, the nose seems somewhat dinky - what's here is good, there just isn't enough of it. A slightly disappointing nose, considering it's rated a 95 overall. (3.25)

Taste: This works FAR better. It starts off with some hoppy goodness: a mix of melon, mango, grapefruit, and pine. The finish is malty and slightly sweet yet not ridiculous. But the best part? IT'S DELICATE! It's one thing for a pilsner to be delicate - it's another thing entirely for a big IPL to have such softness. Its overall balance is utterly superb. Some of the notes blend together a bit too well, but this is a great-tasting lager otherwise. (4)

Mouthfeel: While it's crisp like any good lager should be, it's also a bit heavy. Luckily, it's very soft without being too flabby. Carbonation is actually gentle by lager standards. Drinkability isn't amazing, but it's a very nice beer to savor. (3.75)

Overall: The nose let me down, but the taste and feel work far better. I like how this uses its lager character to soften the edges of the typical IPA without blunting them excessively. I could conceivably drink this all day without chugging it moronically - nice to know the first beer I had from Jack's Abby was a winner! (4)

3.77/5: One of the better IPLs I've sampled

 1,753 characters

Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
4.23 out of 5 based on 2,626 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!