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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: 2,624
Photo of Brenden
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The color is short of verging into orange, but it's pretty far down the yellow spectrum. It holds a mild haze for a while that eventually clears up completely, leaving a bright and glassy brew. The off-white head begins just about one finger tall and holds well, thick and rocky. Lacing is webbed and quite consistent.
The aroma shows off all the fruity sweetness of the flavor with the drying counter also found. It rests on a semi-dry malts base and shows the hops nicely. There is quite a bit of citrus along with the sweeter element, and has maybe some stemmy bitterness underneath.
The flavor's where it really picks up. It's hoppy, balanced and complex with lots of depth. The sweeter fruits notes lie up front from beginning to finish, carrying with the plenty of citrus and showing the biscuit and dough-like malts. The hops are oily and fresh, with lemon, leaf and some resin staying strong while allowing a little herb to show and grass to finish it out with the sweetness before stemmy dry bitterness finishes it.
Sweeetness doesn't keep the dry nature of this beer from showing in the feel one bit. If anything, it only starts sweet and ends quite dry. Crispness kicks the whole time off a soft, strong carbonation that creates lots of smoothness.

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Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to MSquared2 for sharing this one during one of our random Sunday tastings! Served from bottle into Sweetwater 15th Anniversary snifter. Poured a pale golden yellow with a half finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, earth, earth hop, marijuana, fruit hop, and pine resin. The flavor was of sweet malt, earth, marijuana, pine, pine resin, earth hop, and spicy hop. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. There were quite a few different components going on in both the nose and flavor of this one that really kept me on my toes. With having a few brews from this brewery that night I can honestly say that they have aromas pinned down. With just a little more robustness this could definitely be a standout for the style. I suggest you get your hands on some of these or other brews from them if you get the chance. You won’t regret it.

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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 2beerdogs
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Again to @cartoonshop for turning me on to Jack's Abbey's lagers!!

Pours a beautiful straw meets sunlit honey. (bad poetic attempt) Rich frothy head forms with a medium pour. Like that thick, semi-solid foam you get blowing off during fermentation.

Nose: Hops burst out upon popping the seal. Wow, this is a lager, yet it really comes off like a strong APA or IPA in the esthers.

Hops are the main note to this beer, malt is in the backseat. But oh so pleasant. Piney, but not strongly so. Almost a dry earthiness meets a dry sweetness.

Mouth is light, dry and somewhat piney staying in the front of the mouth/tongue. Actually stays there for a while without being resiny or oily. Clean!

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Photo of popery
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a nice bright gold with a big puffy head, a light cream color. Lots of lacing, very good retention, in case you're curious. The aroma is quite hoppy. Big on bright citrus with a little tropical fruit in the mix. Nice floral note, as well. Sugary, doughy malt underneath all of those hops. Taste is similar. Lots of hop flavor. It pretty much drinks like an IPA. It's just a bit cleaner for better and worse. The hops start with sweet floral and citrus flavors but get a bit bland in the finish. It's just not quite as juicy as I'd like. Nice dry finish, otherwise. Light mouthfeel with a little bit of hop oiliness. Very good beer.

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

A: An almost perfectly clear light reddish-amber pour. Huge slightly off-white head. Fades very slowly, leaving huge swaths of lacing behind.

S: Huge hop aroma. Citrus, grapefruit and tropical fruit. Even some pine! Absolutely wonderful.

T: Grapefruit, oranges, mango, pineapple followed by a huge wave of pine. Big hop bomb. Only a hint of a bready malt following all of the hop flavors but it's enough to balance out the bitterness decently.

M: Medium bodied, crisp.

O: Great brew. It's like one of the best IPAs I can think of, but it has the smoothness and drinkability of a lager. It's the best of both worlds. Really tasty and goes down easy. What else could you ask for?

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased at Julio's for like $3.00. Poured from 500ml bottle into crooked stave tulip. My first Jacks Abby brew.
Pours a see through golden burnt rusty color with a finger of foamy head.
Aroma is simply amazing...I was not expecting this! Crazy cotton candy and pine hop aromas with a crisp lager clean finish. Taste is very similar...sweet candy and pine hop, some pineapple. There is a certain crispness and hearty mouthfeel - must be the lager; but works so well with the crazy hop presence. Its not bitter at all but has fantastic flavor. Great great brew!

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Photo of argock
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a Shaker pint at Sunset Grill (Boston, MA).

A: Straw yellow with creamy 1-2 finger off-white tightly bubbled head with good retention and copious lacing.

S: AMazing hops aroma of pineapple, mango, lemon, and pine resin with a lightly bready malt component. Reminds me a little bit of sweeter lemon shortbread but with the lemon and herbal hoppiness and fruitness magnified.

T: I liked the flavor with the blast of lemon and pineapple hoppiness carrying this beer. The malting is well done -- this is a beer brewed with care. The hops, while intense, do not overwhelm and match well with the lightly sweet and bready maltiness.

M: I didn't really enjoy the mouthfeel at all, and I think it detracts a lot from the enjoyment of this beer. I am not sure if it just an unhappy marriage of lighter body, high carbonation, and intense bitter hoppiness but this has an astringent rather than crisp quality.

O: Despite the disappointment of the mouthfeel, this is a fun beer to drink with big time hoppiness in a leaner package.

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

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #68 (Spetember 2012):

LOOK: Golden, slight haze, billowy white foam head

SMELL: Resiny, herbal, grassy hops, biscuity malts

TASTE: Medium-bodied, smooth, creamy, fruity, tropical, citrusy, resiny, leafy, bitter, dry, grainy, crackery finish

West coast IPA meets east coast lagering (fermented cold and matured before packaging) and local dehulled spelt. The result is quite unique. All the fruitiness of an ale, the hop bite of an IPA and mellowness of a lager. The best of many worlds. Hands-down one the best hop-centric offerings to hail from the east coast in recent years, and a lager to boot.

STYLE: India Pale Lager
ABV: 6.7%

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Photo of woosterbill
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

500ml bottle into a 668 tulip.

A: Clear pale amber body under a dense finger of off-white head. Good retention, light lace. Nice.

S: Cannabis aromas waft out of the bottle as soon as it's opened, but in the glass I'm getting more grapefruit and underripe mango. Amazing, especially for the style.

T: Citrusy hops up front, transitioning into pine midway through and ending up with crisp minerality and powerful bitterness. Mild fruitiness on the aftertaste. Great.

M: Light-to-medium body with moderate, creamy carbonation. Terrific.

O: Awesome beer, by far the best of its style I've ever had. Until the crisp lager finish you really wouldn't know this was anything other than a dank west coast hop bomb IPA. And it's a great deal, too. If I lived in MA, this would be a regular in my beer fridge.


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Photo of MDDMD
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-deep golden color with a big white head and good lacing

S-grapefruit, pine, light sweet malt, floral notes

T-grapefruit, tropical fruit, pine, malt, floral, nice bitter dry finish

F-light to medium body with moderate, carbonation, crisp and dry

O-a great lager beer with nice IPA characteristics and good balance, great drinking beer

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

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

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Photo of Bierman9
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 0.5l bottle, one of a 4-pack bought at Harringtons ($12.95). Seeing July out with a nice, hoppy lager...

Filled a nonic with a deep, rich, clear golden bier. Has plentiful carbo rising rapidly, with a creamy, fine off-white head up top. Lacing is decent as well. Aroma is quite rindy, along with some biscuity malt. Mouthfeel is solid, as Hoponius is a nice medium with only light prickle hitting the tongue.

Flavor has some grainy sweetness, though light. There's lots of citrus here, with a hint of tropicality, too. Mostly, though, it's piney, pithy, resiny hoppage hitting the palate. Has plenty of bitterness, but finishes dryly. Would personally like a tad more balancing sweetness, but this is solid nonetheless. Prosit!

4.03/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


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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 notchucknorris
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Went to Boston over the weekend and got to try this at The Publick House.

A: Light copper color with a thin white head.

S: Lots of grapefruit with some soft bready malt, lemon peel, sage and some mango. Smells pretty fantastic.

T: Lots of grapefruit and pine upfront with a light but sturdy biscuity malt backbone. Finish brings a touch of pine resin, but finishes very smooth and clean. This beer is fantastic. Why can't we get this in San Diego? Why???

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

MFG 03/24/2015

Pours a clear gold crowned with a tight, creamy head. Juicy hop aroma...grapefruit, orange pulp, spicy grass, and leafy herbs over some cereal grain. Nose is more raw than the flavor. Taste brings that crunchy grain note a little closer to the surface, but it's all about the hops. Floral, citrusy, spicy, and leafy hops with some sweetness holding it together. Finish is oily and resinous. Medium-light feeling and delightfully crisp. A pretty damn good hop bomb of a lager. Love the switch to 12oz bottles too.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 fl. oz. bottle
Served in a pilsner glass

A - It pours a golden amber color with about three inches of off-white head.

S - IPL's have a unique smell. This one has a citrus nose with a metallic note. It has a noble hops essence.

T - The taste is right in line with the smell. It has a strong citrus taste with a metallic bitterness on the finish. I noticed some bread/toast at the beginning, but the citrus overwhelms the malt after a few drinks.

M - It seems to have a little more body than the standard lager.

O - This is a great example of a good style of beer. I have only had a few IPL's and have enjoyed them all. I get an unusual flavor that I describe as metallic. That may not be the best descriptor. This is definitely worth buying a six pack of more.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1763rd Review on BA
Bottle to Speiglau Wheat Glass

Thanks to Jlindros and Rudzud for this one.

App- Into the glass, its that classic lager yellow with a bit of deep golds behind it. The small capped head receded fairly quickly but didnt leave a ton of bubbles behind it. Was a nice looking beer, just needed a bit more head and lace.

Smell- When I first smell this one its a bit more of a grainular hop note with a touch of pale hops. As it warmed a little bit more it takes on a bit more of a juicy hop note on the noise.

Taste- I enjoyed this beer. The crispness of the lager paired with a good dose of juicy and semi fruity pale malts and then go into a bit of a little bitter to balance out the flavors. Better when this was cold.

Mouth- A semi light body with a bit of a medium carbonation level behind it. A bit more hops on the residual flavor wouldve been nice but the lager notes with a bit of grain are really nice.

Drink- Im not a lager fan, but these hoppy lagers are really starting to do it for me.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to cbeer88 for this!

Pouts a somewhat clear, somewhat lighter orange color with a beige finger of head. Dissipates to a frothy foam. Aroma has lots of floral, grassy and pungent grapefruit. Malt profile is mild. Tastes of juicy grapefruit, mango, orange, floral hops and grassy, herbal hops. Lighter sweetness, touches of caramel. Body is light, oil, slick, crisp, and down right beautiful...lager body, IPA boldness. Drinks like a charm, overall excellent!

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

Thanks to Liam for this!

Lightly hazed blonde, 1.5 fingers of white head, some lace as well. Smell is full of tropical fruits and citrus, grapefruit, pineapple and oprange, a persistant grainy malt, but quite hte hefty hop bill here. Taste is of fruity citrusy hops, grapefruit and orange, fishihes with a bit of crisp larger malt, bitterness throughout and felt in the cheeks, heavily hopped. Lightly carbonated, medium feel and oily on the back of the pallate. An incredible lager here, would gladly revisit this again, great drinkability.

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Photo of Boto
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Draught @ Noho Brewfest: This one pours a clear golden color. There was a small white head on it. The nose is good: piney and citrus hops. The taste is good also. IT has a pretty good hop bite. Pine and resinous hops dominate the flavor. Medium bodied. This tastes really good and is easy to drink.

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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 stephenjmoore
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep golden body with just a hint of amber. Mostly transparent, but a slight haze to it. Big, foamy, frothy white head that leaves a mess of sticky lacing behind.

S- Herbal hops with some citrus and tropical fruit undertones. Slight hint of toasted bread is there too, just behind the hops.

T- Very nice hop flavors come through first, with the herbal characteristics there, followed by zesty citrus and hints of mango and tropical fruit flavors. The toasty malt comes through enough to balance the big bitter hops.

M- Medium bodied, with a lot of stickiness to it. Medium carbonation and easy to drink.

O- A tremendous hoppy lager. Big, bitter hop goodness with a toasted malt body.

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Photo of Florida9
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Clear darker shade of gold in color. Forms a huge, fluffy, white head. Excellent retention and lots and lots of lacing on the way down.

S: Neither bad nor good. Really nothing much there. Maybe a blend of grassy and citrus hops. Was expecting more.

T: Well, apparently the taste is packing everything the aroma was missing. Light and crisp with some pale malt and biscuit malt notes. Maybe a little pilsner malt in the mix. Moderate sweetness plays well with the citrus-centric hops. Orange, tangerine, and just a little bit of tropical passionfruit. Long finish.

M: Lighter bodied. Very smooth. Moderate bitterness is felt mostly after the swallow. Medium carbonation.

O: This is a very nice beer. Hoppy, but sessionable by my standards. Would have liked to have experienced more hops on the nose. Not sure on the price of this one as I received it as an extra in a trade, but if I had access to this one, I could see these being a very respectable go-to beer.

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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

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Hoponius Union from Jack's Abby Brewing
4.23 out of 5 based on 2,624 ratings.
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