Every time I’m looking around for some new beer to try and review for you here on The Brew Club, I try to keep the local beer scene in mind. Why? Well, as much as I dislike my home state of New Jersey, I do like the idea of supporting local brewers and trying out their beers now and then. Whatever state you live in – you should do that too once in awhile. Support you local brewery!
We’ve reviewed some Jersey beers here, including some from Flying Fish, River Horse and Ramstein – but ‘Jersey Summer Breakfast Ale’ is the first beer from the Cricket Hill Brewing Co that I’m having.
I can understand the ‘Jersey Summer’ part of the name, but ‘Breakfast Ale’? What’s that about? Dunno. You?
This beer is considered a Belgian Pale Ale and checks in at 5.5%ABV. It pours rather flatly into my glass, almost worrisome in its flatness. No carbonation, no head, nothing. Hmmm. Its a nice enough looking beer – a clear deep golden color, so aside from the lack of activity in the bubble department we’re on the right track.
The aroma reminded me of other Belgian Golden ales, like Duvel in a way. There was some spice, I’m guessing clove, and some mild sweetness like honey here but otherwise the beer was rather sparse. Hmmm.
The taste really reminded me of Duvel, except if you reduced everything about Duvel by about 50% (Duvel lite?). There were some spice in the flavor, again clove and a little bit of a peppery bite (not the veggie pepper type, the spice pepper type!) Not bad, but nothing that’s knocking my socks off either. I did find that the beer became a little better as it warmed up though.
So is it all bad? Normally I would say yes, this beer didn’t push any buttons for me in the looks (flat), the aroma (not much), the taste (little better) and the body being very water-like didn’t help things either. BUT, as I did buy a 6-pack from the local Whole Foods, I’ve decided that this will make a great working outside beer during the summertime.
It is light, it isn’t too bold and so I think it’ll be good for breaks while cutting the grass or building the random brick wall I tend to build in my spare time. In addition to that, its a really smooth drinker. I mean, you can really chug this beer if you wanted to due to the very low carbonation, but once I’m done with this batch it I’m not going to be getting any more.
So, I’ve tried another Jersey Brew, but unfortunately this one was mostly a let down for me. That doesn’t mean I’ve given up on Cricket Hill though.