Gritty McDuff's Brew Pub & Restaurant
Ratings: 46 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
4.78/5 rDev +22.6%
Located right on the main drag in Freeport, down the street from L.L.Bean, it's kind of hard to miss this place. The sign is easy to see, even in the rain.
The exterior kind of looks like a converted house. Wedgewood gray siding, with some exposed log wood. They have a patio in back, with a vaguely rustic feel about the whole place. There's a gift shop to the right of the entrance, with anything and everything Gritty's, including take home beer in 12oz, 22oz, and minikeg sizes. Walking inside, the interior is spacious, but homey. The first thing you smell is the sweet aroma of mash. A mix of a rustic new england inn, a family restaurant, and an english pub. The dining area is to the left of hostess area, and the bar area is to right. We opted for the bar.
The bar area is very tavern like, with a rustic, country feel. Communal bench seating lines the left hand wall, with a beautiful brass bar on the right. All kinds of Gritty's stuff line the back bar, with 6-7 taps of brewpub fresh Gritty's beer, plus two beer engines for your cask ale enjoyment. The brewing tanks are located through a window on the end of the room. The menus look like newspapers, with plenty of little articles about Gritty's, their beer, and the brewing process. Quaint and enchanting.
The service is just spectacular. We were fortunate enough to have Scott Berry manning the bar, where we sat, and he accomodated us an any way he could. Our pints were poured expertly, he offered suggestions on the menu selections, and even allowed me a taste from the bottle of Lagavulin as an apertif. I asked if they had any unused bottle labels for my collection, and he returned with a stack, plus Greg Sansone, the head brewer. Greg was equally pleasant and accomodating, chatting with me for a few moments about beer and graciously accepting my praise before getting back to work.
Both the food and the beer were top notch. The menu covers everything from pub fare to a few fancy gourmet dishes. Their best bitter from the cask is probably worth the 5 hours from CT alone, and the excellent lobster stew was just icing on the cake. All the beer is extremely fresh, clean and properly served at the right temperature. I guess if I had to complain it would be that the halloween ale wasn't on cask yet, and they didn't have their IPA out yet. Boo hoo. The prices were also great, and definitely affordable, considering the touristy area.
This is easily one of the best brewpubs I've been to, across the board.
10-01-2003 04:19:36 | More by UnionMade
4.63/5 rDev +18.7%
The other reviewers are spot on, so I'll try to be brief.
As you enter, you can go right or left. Right is the "Tap Room" and left is the "Dining Room." We entered the dining room and I'm not sure what the difference was. The tap room appeared to have a similar layout as the dining room. My only guess is that the tap room is smoking and the dining room is not.
Seating is on big picnic-table-like tables that could seat 6-8 on a side. The room is very large and has a beer hall atmosphere (I'm assuming because I've never been to a "real" beer hall). The menus are printed on newspaper quality paper, with tidbits about the history of the brewery on the side. The beer choices are printed on a laminated menu. On tap were Sebago Light, Best Brown, Best Bitter, Black Fly Stout, and Halloween Ale. They also had the Best Bitter and the Black Fly Stout on cask. Of course I had the 2 cask offerings, both of which were exquisite. I tried to show some of my dining companions the difference between their stout and my stout (cask) and I think I was fairly succesful.
The food seemed to be typical pub fare. I ordered the black jack chicken sandwich (blackened cajun style), which was very good. The shephard's pie looked very good also. The food seemed to be on the high side of average for a brewpub, but it definitely isn't the reason to go to Gritty's. You come here for the beer, that's clear.
The service was great, though it was late and there weren't many parties left so that should be expected. Still, our waitress was very friendly and attentive and was quick to provide refills when needed. No complaints.
There is a gift shop attached to the restaurant that apparently sells Gritty's merchandise plus 22 oz bombers. Unfortunately it was closed by the time we got there so I couldn't take any fresh beer home with me.
This is a must stop when visiting Freeport.
11-08-2004 20:45:00 | More by Hagbard
4.58/5 rDev +17.4%
Cool place with VERY friendly staff and tasty brews. Stopped in just before my 40th birthday on a recomendation from a B&B owner in the area and I must say I had a most pleasant experience-And, I had our 15 month old daughter with! Picked up some cool local stuff from the gift shop for friends back home after some good pub grub. Tried the fine Halloween ale and a black fly stout. The waitress suggested we mix the stout with a raspberry ale for dessert-nice! Don't miss it if in Freeport, a comfy cozy place to hang your hat!
10-14-2003 01:52:46 | More by moulefrite
4.5/5 rDev +15.4%
I am so pleased that Gritty's Freeport location is riding better rating numbers than the Portland location here at BA. My beering and pub friends must have something against the great no-ceilinged mall of Freeport, because they mock my preferring the Freeport Gritty's.
I'll tell you why I prefer it: less cramped feel, more pleasant staff, and outdoor deck for warmer days. Don't get me wrong. As a big fan of Bukowsi in Boston, I know that a punky beer bar has it's place in my heart. But I can't take Bukowski's attitude seriously, and I really feel like every single person at Gritty's Freeport is psyched to serve me, with all attendant questions.
And, even when the place is crowded, it's seat yourself. Near the TV? Wanna look through the windows down at the brewery? Want a bench instead of a chair? Outside? Your choice. Nice.
Gritty's beers are consistantly outstanding, concentrating on British and Irish styles. The food menu turned away from more British fare in the past 5 years: no more steak and kidney pie, no more ploughman's lunch (sigh.) But the barley-coated sandwiches, the artichoke dip, the meatloaf with spinach wrapped into the meat still kick the patookus of places that just slide the same frozen stuff out of the box come mealtime.
03-27-2003 10:57:48 | More by ecoboy
4.5/5 rDev +15.4%
A great little brewpub in Freeport. My advice is to let the women go shopping at all the Outlets a mile up the road and wait for them here. A warm, inviting brewpub witha nice atomsphere, great pub food at very reasobnable prices. The wait staff are very knowledgable about beers and the brewer is frequently available to sit down and have a beer with you and discuss his brewing philosophy. Always nice to see the brewing equipment prominently displayed too.
Beware though, in the summers it can get very crowded, and definitely avoid it the day of the Daytonna 500.
11-12-2009 18:13:51 | More by Katahdin
4.45/5 rDev +14.1%
Great destination spot or for just passers-by. Enjoyed by the locals and the 'Flatlanders' (the Out-of-state-folks).
Much larger than the Portland Gritty's. Very beer-hall-like atmosphere in a long building with large, long wooden tables. Two bars, copper glore. Big outdoor porch with big, open and green backyard. A few unobtrusive televisions. Complete with brewery and 'brewtique" for all your Gritty's needs. Our sever was great, even though he was also the barman. Everyone had fresh brews and plates and smiles on their faces.
Naturally, the beer is fantastic. Cask seasonals and the regular line-up. The food selection was good, although different from Portland's. More pizza (brick oven, I think), but a few less vegatarian options (the brewing-grain veggie burger was absent). Always great fish/seafood, the clam chowder was amazing.
Anyways, a great place that materializes Gritty's quality and style. Visit, then repeat. Cheers!
11-03-2002 11:31:00 | More by BillyBrew
4.33/5 rDev +11%
Wifeness and I stopped in here after a day of outlet shopping, as I am sure many folks do. Really cool vibe in here. "Seat yourself" meant we grabbed tables in the bar area. Long tables with benches that are meant to be shared with other parties. Beer decor on the walls along with various New England themed decorations. Windows at the end of the bar allow for viewing of the beer being made. Gritty's had 6 or 7 of their beers on tap, including their 21 IPA on cask, which I ordered. Wife ordered the stout. Both beers were excellent. A really good menu that includes Maine fare that you'd expect. Wife ordered a spicy haddock burrito. I ordered the twin lobster rolls. Damn was that food good. The service was attentive and friendly and made us feel welcomed there. The "pro shop", as I call it, had lots of t-shirts and three dollar bombers. You can't beat that!
Overall, Gritty's was a real nice dining experience and there is no doubt we'll be back. :)
10-15-2009 01:20:44 | More by mtbbaboon
4.33/5 rDev +11%
One of my favorite pubs. They have wide open dining areas w picnic bench type seating. A very family oriented place with a wide variety of fare from classic pub style foods to great seafood and some really great chowdah's! They always have an ale featured off cask which is always a cellar temp and wicked delicious. They have outside seating with a cool large grassy area for kids to play in. It's maybe a mile from downtown Freeport near the great shopping. Fantastic beer, food, and wait staff. Just a friendly place overall.
09-17-2009 13:55:35 | More by flanmedic51
4.33/5 rDev +11%
This is currently my #1 brewpub choice.
Weve made it a regular stop on any trip up 95 to Maine. The food is better than John Harvards but the price is much more reasonable, especially if you buy their specials. (Their stout for $3 a pint!)
My wife loves their food and lighter beers, theres never been a wait at the Freeport restaurant (Portland can be a wait sometimes), the food is great at a really good price, theres good outdoor seating, and a good variety of great beers. What more is there?
And you can always mosey through LL Bean to digest.
09-20-2006 12:42:36 | More by msolar
4.33/5 rDev +11%
after a long day of exciting shopping, and hearing "how does this look,honey?" it's nice to walk into a place where quality and relaxation is the name of the game.they have numerous beers on tap,each with there own qualities,and a very good menu.the service is good and very down home.this place has alot of tourists and locals,and i've aways found the locals very nice.the beer is very good,but the food is excellent.Now i can't wait to hear the words "honey, can we go to L.L.Bean?
p.s. you have got to try the fried chicken sandwich,yum yum.
09-09-2005 04:12:59 | More by jmz62565
Gritty McDuff's Brew Pub & Restaurant in Freeport, ME
88 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.