Crickets of the East Coast

Cricket Hill is a small microbrewery in Northern NJ. This past weekend at our most recent Beer Snob Bible Club Meeting, we had the pleasure of partaking in 3 of their great brews (out of Cricket Hill pint glasses provided by my father, one of our most active BSBC members). I once spoke with someone from the brewery at a tasting a few years back and was told that their primary goal was to be a “gateway brewery” that provided the drinkers of the big 3 American breweries an introduction to craft brewing. From our experience drinking Hopnotic IPA, Jersey Breakfast Summer Ale, and East Coast Lager, I believe they have met this goal and done so beautifully. Hopnotic was a nice drinkable IPA. The Jersey Summer Breakfast Ale (which will be covered sometime next week on this site) was solid. However, on a warm Summer day, East Coast Lager was the pick for me. Due to it being 1 of 7 beers we partook in, I did not have the opportunity to take any notes on East Coast Lager, but an extra bottle and a warm Sunday afternoon gave me the opportunity I needed.

Cricket Hill explains this brew as:

4.2% ABV

23 IBU’s

An easy drinking golden Bavarian Helles Lager with an excellent balance of crisp malt flavors and flowery hop finish. The aroma is as clean as the taste. With its gentle finish our East Coast Lager shows very well with light fare, but stands alone magnificently!

Great description… great beer… here is my take:

Drinkability

This is a perfectly drinkable beer. Goes down as easy as a Miller Lite, but actually has a taste. This is a great example of a Helles Lager: pale, light, and easy. Balanced hop and malt flavors go down easy, moderate body and good carbonation. A great beer for sitting poolside in the heat, but enough flavor that it’s not just a warm weather beer. This is the perfect gateway beer.

Predictability

This beer smells like it should and tastes like it should. It’s quite predictable, overall. That’s not a bad thing, especially when considering the overall mission of this brewery. As one could guess by the appearance, aroma, name, and packaging, this is your perfect lawn mower beer.

Affordability

You can spend what you’d spend on a beer by the big 3 and get this. That’s what makes it perfect as a gateway beer. A buck or two more for a six pack at worst, just as cheap at best… well worth the money.

Overall Enjoyability

As a friend told me, this looks and smell like beer. Without trying to get fancy in using beer terms, that is exactly right. This is good beer for the bad beer drinker, it has a bit more of a hopback than your typical macro and a bit more body, but nothing that will offend your buddy who drinks Busch or Coors. It’s the right choice for a hot day outside of to accompany a slice of pizza for dinner. I really enjoyed drinking this beer, it is proof that a simple, easy style can be just as good as an experimental big beer. Craft beer done right.

[rating:7/10]

A word about Cricket Hill beers…… Our beers are all designed as session beers that are as gentle in style as can be. They are full bodied beers that deliver classic flavors in the middle of your palate then fade away to nothing with no bitter aftertaste. We are not trying to make a statement, or blow you away with a hop or malt bomb, we are simply showing the world what great beer tastes like!

~ by thepaintedman on August 21, 2010.

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