Hot From The Kettle ™: Cricket Hill Brewery

by Melody Kettle

I have a confession: I’ve never consumed a beer. As per my own physco-analysis, I suppose my desire for beer was forever quelled by memories of undershirt clad Italian men, sitting on a patio in folding chairs, knocking off cans of Narragansett beer,  then summarily emptying the last few drops on the hot concrete, and crushing the can under their shoe.  There’s a strong olfactory component that accompanies my visual memory, something like the opposite of apple pie; I’ve never been able to shake it. Therefore, I’ve always considered myself to be beer-illiterate -  that was until my recent tour of Cricket Hill Brewery.

 Ingenuity and Entrepreneurship is often born of frustration, and for Rick Reed, owner of Cricket Hill, years of disappointment with the Buds, Millers, and Coors of the world led Rick to take matters into his own factory.  In 2001 Rick became a brewmaster.  He received federal licensure, and opened Cricket Hill Brewery in Fairfield, New Jersey.  Rick is every ounce as passionate and informative as any professional.  Today Cricket Hill produces nine different types of beers. Four are flagships beers, including  Cricket Hill American Ale, IPA (India Pale Ale) Hopnotic, the East Coast Lager, and Colonel Blides Cask Ale. Cricket Hill also produces reserve and seasonal beers, such as the Fall Festivus Ale, Maibok, Paymasters Porter Ale, Nocturne Dark Lager, and the award winning Jersey Summer Breakfast Ale.

 For a hopped up education on the life cycle of beer, a demonstration of proper head, and my first beer tasting, watch the video.

 Cricket Hill Beer is carried in New Jersey, Long Island, Pennsylvania, and Maine</a>. In Baristaville it can be found in the bottle and on tap at The Orange Squirrel, Fitzgerald's 1928, Cent*Anni Restaurant, Merchant House Tavern, Saint James Gate Publick House, Village Wine Shop, Charlie Brown's Steakhouse, Magnolias Wine & Liquor, Tierney's Tavern, and Egan & Sons.

If you want to go straight to the source, Cricket Hill Brewery is open every Friday night for a Tasting and Brewery Speech Tour.

 Do you drink Cricket Hill?  What’s your favorite brew?