Jabby Brau | Jack's Abby Brewing

very good
126 Reviews
Jabby BrauJabby Brau

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

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Deep golden in color, this low ABV lager balances Pilsner and Munich malt with an aromatic American hop aroma. This beer starts hoppy but finishes unexpectedly malty with very low bitterness. Impressively flavorful and drinkable for the lightest beer we brew. We dub this beer a "Session Lager," as we once again brew a lager in a beer style of its own. Uses local Soft Red Winter Wheat from Four Star Farms.

20 IBU

Added by jlindros on 01-15-2012

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Reviews: 126 | Ratings: 684
Photo of Longstaff
2.68/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I was jazzed to try their straight up lager they offer alongside their beer geek offerings as it will show me their lager brewing chops without smoke or hops covering anything up. Almost $10 for a four pack of half liter bottles prices this one just out of range as daily drinking beer, but good enough for occasional purchase.

Pours a deep yellow body with bone white head that quickly settled back to a thin film. Up front spicy aroma followed by the same in flavor. A weird rubbery flavor appears in the middle which of somewhat off putting but is short lived. Grassy and spicy hop flavor take over and dominate the profile. Bitteness seems a bit much against the characterless malt profile which detracts from its drinkability.

This wasn't horrible but kind of clunky and disjointed for a drinkable lager.

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Photo of justintcoons
2.91/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

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

Slightly hazy gold with 1 finger of white head.

Bread, cracker, and apple juice.

Apple juice, cracker, and honeydew melon. Light notes of bread and caramel.

Medium bodied, crisp, and clean with moderate carbonation.

A lot of apple juice notes but not much else. Simple and rather boring.

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Photo of jbertsch
3.02/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Gold in color with one finger of white head. When fresh, the aroma gives off a touch of leafy citric hops along side the very clean, dry malt. Faint corn. It's flavor is similar to the Aroma in that you notice notes of leafy hops up front which then gives way to slightly sweeter malts that taste fairly short and dry. Smooth, especially as it warmed up. Typically one might think a session lager works cold, almost like lawn mower beer, but the malt profile brings macros to mind when cold. When at room temperature, it's a bit more interesting and smoother. i just wish the malt backbone wasn't so generic. i wish it was either strictly a pils malt profile, or something a bit more malty (i really wish they had a full time pils in economical 6 packs). Overall, the hop notes are a real nice touch for a session brew like this, but when it isn't under 2 months old, it's a bit too boring characterless because after the hop touch, there isn't much else to get excited about. There are much better session beers out there.

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Photo of Hab11
3.11/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Tested with 3 Lions from a 12 oz. glass.

Appearance: look of apple juice with plenty of unfiltered goodness floating around. Lots of carbonation evident but the white head is quick to disappear.

Smell: Sour grapefruit smell with hints of lemon. Also has a proofed bread dough smell as well.

Taste: Not much to it really. Pretty balanced between hops and malt but not enough of either. Truthfully I think I get better overall flavor from a PBR. The yeasts do give some tang but again not enough. All that being said quite drinkable in quantity but not sure I'll go back to it.

Mouthfeel: Effervescent, light watery feel, a little bit like Pellegrino water. Doesn't feel like it will fill you up. No richness to it.

Overall: The smell was the best thing about this for me. If I wanted to get drunk I'd go for it but truthfully might go to other mass produced American Lagers. This beer isn't bad but definitely the Jack's Abbey I like the least so far. Although I haven't reviewed many I really like great lager's. this just isn't one.

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Photo of ThreeLions
3.28/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Hab11 and I both drank our own 12oz bottle.

Appearance: Very nice unfiltered look. Yeast held in suspension for a cloudy storm of a beer. Actually, the more I look at this in the light the more I'm impressed by it. Golden amber honey.

Smell: Light hop nose. Can't pick out the hop varieties but they are pleasant, if faint. After several minutes and a few sips I think I'm picking up very faint kiwi hops. Nice balance here.

Taste: Extremely sessionable. Flavorful but not overwhelming. Picking up faint...grapefruit? Doesn't give off the intense lager flavor profile. This starts off almost boring but with every sip gets better and better; a true session beer.

Mouthfeel: As a session beer one would expect it to have a light grain bill so as not to overwhelm. Jabby Brau hits this mark but on this occasion I'd prefer a 'fuller' beer. Not really sure how I feel about the mouth. It's just a little too watery for me.

Overall: Hmm. It's hard to rate this one. I think they really hit their mark with making a highly drinkable sessionable beer. I'd like to have more out of this beer but based on what they were going for I think they really did a great job. Light hop presence, small input from the lager yeast, moderate but light malts...how do I feel? This wouldn't be my first choice out of a random 100 beers but I think they accomplished what they were going for and for that I say kudos.

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Photo of dasenebler
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Jack's Abby Jabbybrau
17oz, no date.

Pours a chill-hazed pale gold. Fizzy head sticks around pretty well, decent lacing. (3.5)

Aroma is moderately hoppy. Leafy and a touch citrusy. Very clean, with some grainy malt in there. (3.5)

Flavor is light, with an earthy, leafy hop character. Not really a whole lot going on. Very clean, with lightly biscuity malts. Bitterness suggests more than 20IBU, but that just might be me. Mouthfeel is excellent, with near perfect medium carbonation and a lovely smoothness. (3, 4.5)

I've had a lot of experience with lagers, and while good, this beer really isn't very flavorful. The hops are muffled, and the malt character is dull. Clean, drinkable, and solid, as far as American lagers go. (3)

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Photo of kitch
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

A 12 fl oz bottle with no bottled on date and poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: It poured a slightly hazy golden colour with a light one finger white head that dissipates to a foamy layer with only very light lacing.

Aroma: Bready malts, pine and some light citrus orange peel, lemon and lime.

Taste: Grassy, honey and brown sugar sweetness, caramel and bready malts, corn and light hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, light bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall: I’m not normally a lager person, but Jack’s Abby are definitely changing my views and showing me what can actually be done with lagers. In this case, Jack’s Abby has produced another lager that would better most, but still falls a little flat.

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Photo of PeterIngemi
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from. .5 lt bottle into a tulip.

A: pours a very clean looking golden, when I pour the second half of the bottle in it added a little bit if haze.... Nice one finger white head dissapates nicley leaving little to no lacing.

S: like grains and bread. With a bit of floral/citrus hop in the background. Perhaps it is the wheat I smell and that's where I get the grainy breadiness from.

T: a bit of hops but I feel as though the grainy breadiness dominates the flavor much like it did the aroma.... Like the label says it starts with a light hippiness and then gets into the bready maltiness with a light bitter touch on the finish.

M: medium bodies with crisp carbonation... Well rounded, with a slight dry bitter finish. Very drinkable, as a session beer should be.

O: deffinatley not my favorite jacks Abby... I feel like this brew could use more hops and less malty breadiness... Really nothing spectacular.... It is flavorful for a session beer, I'm just not a huge fan of the flavor on display... Perhaps it's because I'm not that huge of a wheat beer fan... Or perhaps this is just not my thing. I am a little dissapointed.

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Photo of scotorum
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bought on sale with no visible bottling date. Age (the beer's and mine) may have affected this review.

Poured from the 16.9 oz. bottle into an Alchemist shaker pint.

a: Clear gold formed an inch thick white head which dissipated quickly to a thin foam surface film and some spotty lacing.

s: Light malt

t: Malt with some hop balance. Not particularly liking the slight wallpaper pastelike undertaste, but it is light enough for a lager and yes sessionable.

m: Light with quite a bit of carbonation feel, even though such is not very visible.

o: An ok lager. Darker in color and slightly tastier than the average mainstream lager. I would not go out of my way to buy this again. Still really liking Jack's Hoponius Union IPL and 2nd Anniversary DIPL though.

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Photo of Keginator70
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Deleted my previous review. Interested party over my shoulder.
Had to down grade my first review. Nice aroma and color. Balance of bitter and malt is very good,not great. Mouth feel is the issue- tastes dissipates too quickly and is watery. It's comparable to a taking a lick off a lollipop. There are better and cheaper IPL's and Imperial Pilsner's out there.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%

A: [3.50] Cloudy tan color. The beer has a 1 finger pure white head. The head has medium bubbles. The bottle lists the ABV (4.5%) and the IBU (20) but not a born on date.

S: [2.75] Grains and corn. The aroma is pretty subdued.

T: [3.50] Classic wheat beer taste. There are tastes of yeast, wheat and malts. This mellowed a bit as I moved on. The sweetness of the malts came out and the taste got much better.

M: [4.00] Crisp and clean. Medium carbonation. This would be great after working in the sun.

O: [3.50] I am not a fan of wheat beers. That is what this tasted like to me at first. It improved as I continued drinking. The taste got sweeter from the malts. I have really liked all of the Jack's Abby beers - but this one I would pass on. I am not a fan of the style. It seems solid - but it is not my cup of tea (beer).

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.42/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Clear golden. Not much of a head. Thin collar.

Smell - Mild citrus hop. Some pale malts and sweetness.

Taste - Grainy up front. Citrus hops. A little bit resiny. A bit of bitterness and a clean finish.

Mouthfeel - Light, grainy. Drinkable and mildly bitter.

Overall - Flavorful for a session lager, but not all that flavorful independently.

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Photo of mnrider
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Pale golden yellow. Small white head. Little retention.

S: Malts. Cereal grains. Not much else.

T/M: Quick hit of hops at first. Grassy grains. Cereal malts.
Sweet. Has a small wheat taste. Clean aftertaste. Light bodied.

O: Interesting lager. Typical malt and grain taste with a small
hop presence. Wheat comes in and shakes it up. Any beer with
the words "Session" on it will always be a little weaker in taste.
Still worth a try.


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Photo of Stevedore
3.51/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pitcher at State Park in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

A- Hazy pilsner-golden body, one finger white head with good retention, no lacing.

S- Pilsner malt, a touch of citrus hops, noble hops. Sweet bread. Not particularly strong.

F- Pilsner malt, noble hops. Not very bitter, not very complicated.

M- About the right amount of body; solidly medium and very drinkable. Sweet and dry pilsner malt finishes things off.

O- Super easy to drink, fairly flavourful for a pale malt. No off-flavours, enjoyable.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On Tap. Pours deep golden with white head. Aroma is of bready malt and citrusy hops. Body is medium and crisp. Citrusy, piney hops and bready malt fill the mouth. Finish is long and bitter. Nice, easy drinking lager.

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Photo of WunderLlama
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into beer stein

Golden yellow with tiny bubble streams floating up to a massive white three finger foam cap. Big, sticky lacings grab ahold as the suds subside.

Decent pine hoppy dominant aroma.

Light, watery, no bitterness, no aftertaste, no carbonation. Light mouthfeel.

Looks and smells good, taste is too light. You could chug a lug a lot of this beer without a heavy taste interfering with your quaffing.

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Photo of kevanb
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle poured into a small snifter

Pours a nice soft pale yellow straw color, lots of golden hues, fairly clear, but a bit of cloudiness. A really nice big white head sits atop the beer, recedes pretty quickly, but a lot of film rests on top and there is pretty decent lacing. Definitely sets the tone for a session beer, and on a warm day, looks ever so inviting. The aroma is okay, nice citrusy floral hops, simple cereal grain and kind of skunky malt aromas, a lot of sweetness as well. The flavors are pretty much identical, sweet biscuity malt, citrus forward hop flavors, mild earthy bitterness, finishes with a nice dryness, lots of hay, a bit metallic. The body is spot on, ample carbonation, nice bigger body for a lower abv beer, such a nice dry crisp refreshing finish.

Verdict: Pretty decent beer. Pale lagers, session beers and the like aren't really known for their exciting flavors or provocative creativity but this hits the spot on a hot day. Thanks to Rudzud for this extra!

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Photo of hagbergl
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed a glass of Jack's Abbey Jabby Brau on draft at Flatbreads in Somerville, MA, served in a pint glass. I've liked most of what I've had from Jack's Abbey. Let's see how this one is.

Appearance (3/5): Jabby Brau pours a clear golden-yellow hue with about one and a half finger head (regarding the head, if I were the one pouring this brew I would have given it a more vigorous pour to produce a bigger head, but I digress). Jabby Brau looks like many pale colored lagers, and that is no big knock on it--it just doesn't have a remarkable look to it, so I can't give it more than a 3.

Smell (3.5/5): this "session lager" smells of light, herbal hops and cracker-like grain. I smell a little grass and a hint of bread and bran cereal from the malt. The aroma is (predictably) not very strong, this being low alcohol, light lager fare. Now, I'm a fan of bold and in-your-face flavors, but for what it is, it's definitely above average. Subdued and mellow, yet pleasant.

Taste (4/5): Now this is more like it. While only a little above
average in the previous two categories, Jabby Brau kicks it up a notch in the taste category. The light hops hit first and leave behind a pleasant bitterness before giving way to a grainy, lightly bready finish. I think JA has found a good balance between hops and malt in a session beer, achieving a complexity and flavor profile that, in my mind, is impressive to see in a low ABV lager such as this. Definitely an overachiever. .

Mouthfeel (3.5/5): Jabby Brau possesses a moderate carbonation that compliments its light and mellow (somewhat hop-forward) flavor profile fairly well. The mouthfeel is smooth, clean, and clear and has that characteristic lager coolness to it. It also feels a little thin--perhaps a consequence of the style more than anything else. But it is what it is, as they say, and I can't give it more than a 3.5 for mouthfeel.

Overall (3.5/5): Jabby Brau is definitely decent beer; perhaps not my style, but I think the brewers achieved their goal of creating a light and accessible beer made for summer quaffing. You could definitely throw back a few of these in one sitting. To me, though, it's just not that interesting of a beer; while any beer geek can appreciate what it represents, few will love it.

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Photo of papat444
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle, MFG 11.08.13.

Huge head, easily 4 fingers; awesome color of liquid gold. Aroma is tropical fruit but the flavor doesn't follow suit as it has a more grainy flavor, next to no fruit and a strong mineral finish.

Easily beats most lagers in the drinkability category but i expected a bit more flavor coming from this brewer.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle opened on 5.19.13
Dated 03.14.13

A - Pours a clear, light orange with a 1/2 inch cream-colored head that fades away slowly.

S - Hoppy orange and some lager yeast.

T - Subtle hop citrus and a touch of orange and lager yeast finishes it off.

D - Good carbonation with a light body.

O - Light session lager with a touch of hop citrus.

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Photo of Hydraskull
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light and crisp. Taste borders on watery, but that's kind of what I was looking for by buying a session lager. Good for a hot summer day like today.

Very lightly hopped. The hop flavor is quickly overtaken by the malt. Good for a lager. Not what I usually drink but it definitely hits the spot today.

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Photo of ThomasMetal75
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- Hazy copper, orangey look. Reminds of an amber ale or an IPA. Head is soapy and fizzy. It's 3 fingers at first. Tiny bit rocky.

S- Citrusy hops and caramel malts. It also has a yeasty, biscuity, scent. In the background there is some sweetness. The ingredients smell very fresh. And that's what I get. It just smells clean and fresh overall. It even reminds me of a euro lager with a ton of hops shoved in it.

T- Just like with IPAs and double IPAs, your getting a citrus juicy hop quality (even at 22 IBUs). The citrus reminds me of oranges and grapefruits. Jack's Abby did a good job of making the hops present at 22 IBUs. I think it tastes hoppier than Harpoon IPA, but that's just me. Caramel malts too. Biscuity quality as well. I'm also noticing a light tartness and some lemony notes too. There is an underlining sweetness that is pleasant and not cloying at all. There is a little bit of a sour, drying quality towards the end. Right as it ends, you get a dry taste, with orange flesh and peel, and then it dries out in the mouth.

M- It's on the light side of medium, but it is straight up a medium bodied beer. It's very crisp, clean, and extremely refreshing.

Overall this is very nice. I think Jack's Abby is doing something different, but in the right direction, with this beer. I think a typical Bud Light, Miller Light, or Coors Light drinker could pick one of these up on occasion and be happy with it. I'm giving the beer a B+ and an 87/100. Nice lager with a good hop hick.

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Photo of bhblbagpiper
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The malt quality of this beer certainly shines through with strong bread and cereal taste with a slight sweetness. It has a nice light gold look with a bit of haze to it. The overall hop note was grassy. A nice lager.

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Photo of alaimoa
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

16oz bottle poured into a Sam glass
Pours a dark gold with limited head. Has a pilsner smell that I would say is biscuit upfront with earthy tones and has a very similar taste. Dry, not too bitter, light malt flavor, smooth drinker with a light to medium body and limited aftertaste.
Could drink a bunch of these

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Photo of MDDMD
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-clear golden color with a large white head and great lacing

S-grain, malt, hints of citrus and earthiness

T-biscuity malt, light grapefruit and pine, earthy notes, decent bitter hop finish

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

O-a decent session lager but lacks a little in flavor

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Jabby Brau from Jack's Abby Brewing
3.93 out of 5 based on 684 ratings.
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