With the ever-increasing number of craft breweries in the US there are now an incredible variety of beer styles available to the consumer. These styles range from traditional brews that mimic those produced in Europe for centuries to brand new styles that are unique to US craft beer. While I love a perfectly done traditional beer, there is something to be said for creativity. One brewery that has had significant success brewing both traditional and unique beers is Jack’s Abby of Framingham, MA. Jack’s Abby brews all lager style beers, which use colder fermenting yeast strains that result in lower levels of esters and “cleaner” flavor profiles. While Jack’s Abby creates many traditional German and Czech style lagers, they also have creative hop-forward and barrel aged beers. One of their most popular beers is Mass Rising, a light bodied, high alcohol, and very hop-forward lager beer. Mass Rising is named in honor of the Boston Tea Party. It was awarded a gold medal at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival in the Other Strong Lager category.
Jack’s Abby Mass Rising pours golden yellow with a solid and sustained white head. The beer is well carbonated, giving a pleasant bubbly sensation on the tongue. The first smell is an explosion of American hop aromas, with strong scents of pine and citrus. The hops also dominate the taste, with lemon, grapefruit, pine and earthy notes. There is a very subtle malt backbone, but this beer is clearly all about the hops. There is a ton of bitterness that lingers on the tongue, not surprising with 100 IBUs. Despite the bitterness the beer is crisp, clean and very easy to drink. This drinkability is a little dangerous since Mass Rising is 8.0% ABV. This beer is awesome, a great way to highlight everything that’s great about American hops in a light bodied and very drinkable lager. Hoppy Boston score: 5.0/5.
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