Cricket Hill Brewing Company was founded by Rick Reed in Fairfield, N.J. in 2001 and began pumping out beers in earnest in 2002. They are one of New Jersey’s oldest craft breweries. One of their first beers, East Coast Lager, is up for review.
East Coast Lager pours a golden straw color with a little haze to it. There was a very thick, white, foamy head that stood over three fingers at its height. It was the kind of foam that you can almost call a solid. The aroma was pleasant and consisted of hops, barley, bread, and a little malt. There was also a floral note in there as well that I couldn’t quite place but was hiding in the background.
The first sip offered notes of bread, malt, and hops. The hops had a slightly earthy taste but the malts and bread flavors mellowed that earthiness into something refreshing. The brew is medium-bodied in the mouth with a fair amount of carbonation, enough to call it refreshing. The glass laced very nicely, enough to make a bride jealous.
This is a session beer. It has a nice flavor profile, enough to keep a dedicated beer drinker interested, while not overwhelming novice drinkers. It is just a solid offering that won’t knock your socks off but will leave you satisfied and maybe even telling yourself that you just had a nice beer. At 4.2% ABV you don’t have to worry about this brew sneaking up on you but it does have enough flavor to make you wonder how it can be so light on the alcohol. Overall, this is just a good beer that most folks should be able to enjoy.