Last week I sang the praises of Hoponius Union, an "India pale lager" made by Jack's Abby Brewing of Framingham that until recently was available only on draft. Now, happily, it is also sold in bottles. But Hoponius Union isn't the only Jack's Abby beer to go into bottles. The brewer is now putting all of its year-round lagers in 500-milliliter bottles, along with some seasonals. Each retails for about $2.75 to $3.50.
Jabby Brau: Known as Jack's Abby's "session lager," this beer is only 4.5 percent alcohol. Sparkling golden with a huge foaming head that resembles meringue, it's highly carbonated with an aroma of tame hops and light grains. Mildly bitter with hops upfront, this is a perfect beer for a hot summer day.
Maibock Hurts Like Helles: A Munich Helles lager, this is Jabby Brau with more attitude and more alcohol (6.5 percent). Deep golden with an earthy aroma suggesting grapes and grains, it's a bit peppery with a bitter finish. It tastes darker than it looks.
Smoke & Dagger: Brewed with beechwood-smoked malt, Smoke & Dagger (5.8 percent alcohol) falls somewhere between a schwarzbier and a smoked porter, according to Jack's Abby. It tastes closer to the smoked porter. One might be tempted to call it a rauchbier, but that would be misleading, since it doesn't taste as smoky as it smells. Dark brown with a coffee head, it smells like barbecued ribs. But rather than tasting like a bonfire, there are pronounced notes of bittersweet chocolate.
Now comes word that Jack's Abby is bottling a summer beer called Leisure Time Lager, a wheat beer brewed with lemongrass, coriander, citrus peel, and chamomile. Bring it on.
About 99 Bottles