From Framingham, MA, they are an “all lager” brewery, which seems unusual to me in the craft beer world.
Jack’s Abby only brews lagers—not ales. We not only love the taste of the lager, but also its rich history.
Founded in 2011 by three brothers, Jack, Eric, and Sam Hendler, Jack’s Abby has become a mainstay of the craft brewing scene in the Northeast and nationwide.
This is golden in the glass with no head to speak of. It’s very clear for wheat but then it’s lager rather than ale. It has a mild nose, hardly any, just a light maltiness and maybe a hint of yeast. The palette shows very dry cracker-malty with not much fruit or spice. It’s basically bland but quite sippable. 4.8% ABV 15 IBU
Pours golden amber with a good white head. The Strong citrus nose comes with pine and bread malt and just a hint of cat pee. It has an earthy hop flavor with malt and yeast underneath. It delivers a piney hop finish with caramel, and gets quite bitter way out on the end. This makes me think that an all lager brewery operates at a disadvantage when it comes to strong New World hops. They work much better with ale. 6.7 %ABV 65 IBU
“Triple India Style Lager,” it’s golden copper with moderate white head. The aroma is of citrusy hops–lots of hops–orange with bakery malt. Rich flavor brings dried orange peel and lots of malt, and a pretty full mouthfeel. Candy sugar with citrus hops linger on the long finish. They write: “our special warm hopping process help the Columbus, Chinook and Citra hops dominate, giving the beer a bitter back and a long, complex finish.” OK, so maybe New World hops *do* work with lager! 10.0% ABV
This is a rauchbier, a smoked beer, characterized by malt dried over an open flame. It’s dark chestnut, opaque with a brief tan head. Mild smoke on the nose with light sweetness and roasty malt. If there was such a thing as a good cigar it might have an aroma like this. The flavor is of lightly smoked bread over caramel with a hint of cardamom, quite smooth. The finish is long, lightly smoky, and sweet, with slight smoky bitterness replacing hop bitterness. It’s quite refreshing in cool weather but not a “by the pool” sort of refreshing. This is much milder than I expected of a rauchbier, and I like the restrained approach. 5.8% ABV, 25 IBU
Berliner Weiss (Berliner Style Lager)
I didn’t expect to like this since generally I don’t like sour beer. Hazy straw in the glass, basically with no head. It seems that Jack’s Abby doesn’t go for “heady” beer. The nose is faintly sour but I would think saison rather than too sour, and mild almost crackery malt. The flavor is slightly sour on first contact, then comes a surge of sourness. There’s malt bit it gets lost in the sour. The finish is refreshing rather than sour and at 3.5% this should be fine on hot summer days. The finish continues with a grapefruit or green apple pucker. I’m pleasantly surprised. It would not be my first choice but it’s much more than acceptable. 3.5% ABV, very little bitterness.
Let me finish with a shout out from one blog to another: http://jacksabbybrewing.com/blog/