Tap This: Enter Jack’s Abby because he’s not going anywhere

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The craft beer market in NEPA just gained another phenomenal brewery as the wonderful Jack’s Abby Brewing from Framingham, Massachusetts has come to town and brought some of the best craft beers available.

The brewery garnered a number of awards since first opening their doors in 2011. The brewery set themselves apart from the pack by committing to brewing only one particular style of beer — lager.

Since its inception, the brewery made a commitment to brewing only lagers, but of course with a twist on the style. The brewery sums up their mission in one sentence: “To create truly distinctive lagers featuring locally grown ingredients, traditional German brewing standards and American innovation.”

This American innovation has led to the brewing of a number of interesting styles along with India Pale Lagers, a combination of the IPA with a lager fermentation and malt bill. The result is a crisp, clean beer with a smooth mouthfeel and wonderful hop presence.

Jack’s Abby brews some of the best IPLs. The brewery has a vast portfolio of great beer, but some great beers that must be enjoyed for the uninitiated are:

Hoponius Union: This 6.7 percent ABV IPL packs a great hop punch full of citrus and tropical fruit aromas and tastes backed by a wonderfully smooth and semi-sweet malt bill. The hops are very strong up front with a mid-palate of smooth and creamy malts that finishes bone dry. Hoponius Union is a beer that truly showcases how great the IPL style can be when brewed by a brewer with great ability.

Mass Rising: If you are looking for a bit more of a hop punch, look toward Mass Rising. This Double IPL weighs in at 8 percent ABV and 100 IBUs. It maintains great balance and a smooth mouthfeel. The hop aromas of pine and citrus dominate with subtle hints of oranges and lemon. Despite the high ABV and IBU count, this is a beer that is easy drinking and a must try for hopheads.

Smoke & Dagger: This is a beer that can be a bit difficult to pin down in style as it lies somewhere between a traditional schwarzbier and smoked porter. The addition of beechwood smoked malt along with a good deal of chocolate malt make for a beer that is delicious and very interesting. Notes of roasted grains, beechwood smoke and coffee accompany a full bodied and sweet chocolatey malt character. Fans of darker beers will want to try this one.

trIPL: This Triple IPL is available every three months, but the wait in between is so worth it. Tipping the scales at 10 percent ABV this is an IPL that defies and defines the style. A huge hop bomb of citrus, pine and tropical fruits shine through in a bed of bready, honey-like malts that adds depth and balance. There is not much of a hint of the high ABV. The medium-full mouthfeel is the only hint that this beer packs a punch, so sip and cherish this one.

Jack’s Abby has just begun hitting the NEPA market. More of their world class beer will come. Many of its beers are available at your favorite craft beer bar or six-pack shop, so grab whatever beers you can and welcome them with open arms and mouths.