Cricket Hill Small Batch – Abbey Cherry Tripel

On our way to Maine, we stopped at a craft beer bar for dinner that I had never been to. The food was pretty good, the service was good and they had some nice beers on tap. Since Val was driving, this was the first beer that I had from them. I haven’t reviewed that many beers from Cricket Hill (this is only my fifth one), so when I saw something from their “small batch” series, I wanted to give it a shot.


ABV: 8.9%

Style: Tripel

Trivia: This was released in July of 2015.

Random: The cat caught a mouse today. Val now wants to move because there was a mouse. She also wants to burn everything that the mouse touched.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head. It dissipated slowly and left slight lacing on the glass. The body was hazy orange in color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was filled with bright, golden fruit, specifically golden raisins. There was also some yeast that came through. What didn’t come through on the nose was cherry, and if it’s in the name, it should come through. Luckily, the taste did have a bit more cherry than the nose, but not much. I picked up notes of banana, clove, golden fruit and raisin. It had very light booze as well. The body was medium thickness with high carbonation. It had a long finish with yeast and clove. This was a nice beer, but it needed more cherry to live up to the name.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Cricket Hill Colonel Blides Cask Ale

I am insanely tired today. I had to go into work early today to help cover Dispatch and came home to mow the lawn and break in my new trimmer. The lawn looks much better and the trimmer is awesome. It’s the same brand as the mower and the battery lasts 40 minutes. It’s pretty light too and does a great job. Anyways, let’s get to the beer.


ABV: 5.5%

Style: English Bitter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “With subtle aromas of biscuit malts and tangerine, this British-style beer will accentuate the flavor of food and hence pair well with just about any cuisine. Drink cool, but not cold, to fully enjoy the flavor spectrum this beer has to offer.”

Random: The humidity was awful when I was mowing. I had to get right in the shower as soon as I was done.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated slowly. It really didn’t leave much lacing on top, but a crown did linger. The body was lightly hazy and orange with moderate carbonation. The nose was bready with lots of grain and earthy hops at the end. The taste had notes of grassy hops and grain. Caramel malt was present as well. It’s slightly bitter, but nothing overwhelming. The body was on the thicker side with light carbonation. It had a long, malty finish with toffee and caramel. For $1.60 a bottle (with the NJCB discount), this broke down to $.13 per ounce. That price is reasonable for a local brew, but this was just missing something. I just wasn’t feeling this beer.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Cricket Hill Jersey Summer Breakfast Ale

Local beer. It’s starting to be a big deal in New Jersey, which I think is really great. Cricket Hill is located in Fairfield, New Jersey (a couple of towns away from where I grew up) and has been around for awhile. I’ve sampled a handful of their beers and although I’m not trying to knock a local beer, I haven’t found the ones I’ve sampled from them all that special. I’m hoping this beer changes it…


ABV: 5.5%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our unfiltered Breakfast Ale is as fresh and full of flavor as a day down the shore! Fermented with Belgian ale yeast, this beer has a slightly tangy, fruity taste that pairs as well with bacon and eggs as it does with a back yard barbeque. Easy to drink with wonderful flavor, a combination that makes this beer a Summer favorite!”

Random: I really don’t missing living in North Jersey. There was always way too much traffic for me up there.

First of all, I think it’s odd to call a Belgian Pale Ale “Jersey Summer.” It’s not exactly the style that makes me think of the summer. Anyways, this brew poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, dark orange color with very little carbonation. The nose was definitely Belgian with some yeast, lemon and a dash of spice. The taste had lemon and clove. The yeast was more subdued on the taste than the nose. The body was watery with low carbonation, which didn’t help this beer at all. The finish was long and spicy with clove. I wanted to like this beer, but it was like drinking a diet Belgian Pale. The body needs to be a little bit thicker and the carbonation needs to be increased for this to be a repeat drinker. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Cricket Hill American Ale

This was my second brew of the day. I went to a steakhouse/bar in Northern Jersey that had at least 30 televisions. They also had about 15 taps, but most of them were filled with macros or Leinenkugels (and I’ve never found a beer of their that I actually enjoy). So, I went for the local brew on tap. I think I had a sampling of this one at the Philly Craft Beer Fest this year, and I don’t remember being overly impressed.

ABV: 5%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: This is one of the flagship beers of Cricket Hill and is available all year long. It’s also brewed in Fairfield, which is about 20 minutes from the house that I grew up in.

Random: According to BeerAdvocate, this is an American Pale Ale, but according to the Cricket Hill website, they classify it as an amber. I definitely would peg this more as an amber than a pale.

First of all, I would not have pegged this beer as a pale ale. I didn’t look up the style until after I drank it and came home. I would have pegged this more as an amber than anything, but what do I know? This poured a clear golden color with moderate visible carbonation. The head was a white color and dissipates quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The nose was really muted. A bit of grain and maybe some grass and floral notes. I definitely did not get the normal notes that I would expect from a pale ale. On the taste, it was more heavy than I would have thought (I was pretty much expecting something as light as a macro). The taste had a hint of bitterness to it, but not very hoppy. There really isn’t much to this beer, at least for me. After a few sips, I did get a bit of malt on the taste to follow up some of the mild bitterness. The finish was long with a bit of bitterness and hints of citrus. I didn’t detect any alcohol on the brew, which is to be expected from a Cricket Hill offering, since they advertise their specialty as session brews. But, this was definitely a crisp, easy drinker, just one that I thought was only alright.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Cricket Hill Nocturne

After a bit of a hiatus, I’m back. Due to being in school, I can’t promise daily posts, although the extras on the weekend should hopefully make up for this. I’ve also been drinking more wine, which is odd, as I don’t like it as much as beer, but a little change is always good. This beer was on tap at the growler station at Cranbury Buy Rite. Everything else that was on tap, I either have tried already or wasn’t all that interested in.

ABV: 4.5%

Style: American Amber/Red Lager

Trivia: According to the Cricket Hill website, “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!” So no crazy high ABVs here.

Random: I would think this beer is a little too dark to be classified under an amber or red lager, but maybe they had no other place to put it.

This beer poured out of the growler with a crazy amount of head. So, after drinking that one and pouring a decent one, I got two fingers of off white, fluffy brown head that left significant lacing. The body is a dark mahogany, almost black, but definitely clear. Due to the color, I couldn’t see any visible carbonation. On the nose, it was mostly roasted malts with a hint of caramel. There was also another sweet smell that I couldn’t really place. I also got some nuttiness. On the first sip, it’s definitely a malty lager. There is a decent amount of caramel with a hint of hazelnut. Everything that I got in the nose, I could get in the taste. The finish of the brew was much of the same, quick and malty. This would be a nice to beer to session if you’re looking for something with a little more body than a typical lager. I would have this again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0