Brewer: Jack’s Abby Craft: Hoponius Union ABV: 6.7% IBU: 65
This is my first experience with Jack’s Abby and you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Well, it’s a good thing that my first impression is wicked awesome! I must say I feel kinda weird saying that, being from the Philly area, but when (drinking) in Rome, right?
Hoponius Union is an IPL, or India Pale Lager. So Jack’s only crafts lagers. Let’s talk about that. There are only two kinds of beer – lagers and ales. It’s all about the yeast and the fermentation. Lagers are cold fermented – the yeast settle to the bottom and do their thing down there turning sugars into alcohol. Ales are fermented at slightly warmer temps – and the yeast hang out up top and convert those sugars. Lagering takes longer and is more labor intensive. The process creates beers that are drinkable and refreshing.
And then there are variations on the theme once you decide to lager – IPL being one of them. This craft is a Wicked Hoppy Lager, as it says on the bottle. It’s definitely easy to drink. It’s smooth, but refreshing. And the hoppy action is bitter and citrusy, which counters that smoothness well. At 6.7%, this is not quite a session beer. But it sure drinks like one. I could drink a few of these in a row no problem. But I’d probably start to feel it sooner than I’d like…
I’m impressed. Lagers are difficult to brew, let alone master. And when you decide to make your whole lineup lagers, you better know what you’re doing. Jack’s Abby certainly has mastered the craft. If you’re in the northeast, find yourself some lager from them. I’m looking forward to trying more of their crafts as soon as I can.
You may have noticed I started adding IBU to the blog. This is for reference and for those of you that are interested in that measure. IBU stands for International Bittering Unit. It’s just a way to measure the bitterness of a beer. The higher the number, the more bitter the craft. Some folks like to know how bitter the craft is before they try it. So it’ll be included from now on.
Rating: At least a six-pack