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Gritstone Premium Ale - Niagara Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Gritstone Premium AleGritstone Premium Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

29 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 29
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 13.68%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Niagara Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-25-2001)
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Ratings: 29 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Shaw:
Photo of Shaw


4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gritstone pours a beautiful dark amber color with a short head that disappears.

It has a nice malty smell without any hop aroma. The taste is quite malty, but smooths out at the end with little aftertaste. No noticable hops at all, but they must be in there to counter the malt in the swallow. Gritstone is a pleasing Canadian ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2003 21:31:01 | More by Shaw
More User Reviews:
Photo of Noelito76

New York

3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

01-25-2014 12:35:42 | More by Noelito76
Photo of DaPan

Ontario (Canada)

2.75/5  rDev -21.7%

02-13-2013 13:12:08 | More by DaPan
Photo of cratez

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Six-pack purchased from The Beer Store. Packaged on August 21st of this year, so still pretty fresh. 341ml bottle.

Pours a dark, golden amber with two fingers of frothy white head that mellows to a thick ring. Spotted lacing on the glass. Smell is sweet caramel malt, cereal grains, and mild, earthy hops. Taste is similar with toffee, caramel, and fig up front, some starchy and grainy malt flavours in the body, and a spicy but subdued hop bitterness to finish. Definitely an amber ale in the Canuck tradition, as the hops provide flavour and spice but are not as pronounced as American varieties. There's also a very subtle boozy taste that surprised me for a 5.5% beer. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium-bodied with a crisp, clean aftertaste.

Overall, a true session brew with a uniquely Canadian character. This beer falls somewhere in between an American Amber Ale and English Pale Ale, and yet it also reminds me of Creemore Springs Lager. Great balance between sweet malty flavours and earthy hop tang. I quaffed this in under 30 minutes and could easily drink it for the rest of the night. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2009 16:36:21 | More by cratez
Photo of Quej

Ontario (Canada)

2.28/5  rDev -35%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Light reddish brown with lots of fluffy white head, but no visible carbonation.
S - Very little smell, only hints of roasted malts and the peculiar whiff of garbage complete with coffee grounds and rotten fruit.
T - Some small tastes of caramel and burned barley. Slight bitterness and again the coppery taste of old pennies.
M - Quite tingly and rough and almost numbing.
D - The peculiar tastes make me almost curious enough to try it again. Almost.

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2008 22:22:53 | More by Quej
Photo of drinkininthewood

Ontario (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served from a brown 341ml twist off bottle into a pint glass.
Pkg on 01.23.07.

A- Pretty nice copper/amber color. Frothy head settles down and proceeds to lace nicely around the glass.

S- lots of roasted malts, hints of floral hops, bread, a little citrus.
Pretty nice.

T- Sweet but not too sweet. Nice roasted malts, some caramel, a little toffee, and the slightest hint of citrus with nice grassy hops to add some pretty good balance to the beer.

M- silky smooth, medium bodied, with excellent carbonation.

D- very good and would pair nicely with red meats.

Overall this is my first try at any of the Niagara Brewing Company beers.
I really enjoyed this beer and look forward to trying the lager sometime.
Worth a try for sure.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2007 21:53:20 | More by drinkininthewood
Photo of BrewSomerville

Ontario (Canada)

3.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

The aroma was mostly malty but it didn't punk the hops for it's lunch money.

It looks very enticing, with a nice lofty head and a beautiful dark red-ish brown colour. Ok head retention, and left some lace.

Flavour of roated malts. Some sweetness to it. Nice hop character, balances it out. Some citrus flavour.

Mouthfeel wasn't what I expected after looking at the head, size of bubbles, etc. I thought it was going to be more full bodied than it turned out to be.

Overall, I like it and I will drink it again...perhaps with some steak, yeah I think it would go well with a steak.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2007 19:01:14 | More by BrewSomerville
Photo of headlessparrot

Ontario (Canada)

2.98/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

After a pleasant experience with Niagara Brewing's superb lager, I decided to take a shot with their Gritstone Premium Ale, the "best ale in Canada" as voted by CBC Marketplace. I didn't find it to be quite that.

Pours from an industry standard bottle (with a neat foil cover) into my glass an unusual colour, somewhere between ruby-copper-orange-brown and just plain bright red. it's topped by two fingers of white-ish head - a little soapy looking - that dissapate after a few moments, but do leave considerably thick lacing and does still leave a ring of about one-half finger for most of the drink.

Smell is different, I think, and a little all over the place. Very grainy, first of all, with some citrus-grassy hopping that's gentle, but still a little off (in a manner that's difficult to describe). Some bready, biscuity malt follows, with perhaps caramal, dark fruits, and just a touch of dark chocolate. There's a weird tart/tangy 'zing' though that I don't know what to make of.

Taste is interesting and pretty good, but not so much so that I'll be returning to this ale again and again. Begins rather malty - biscuity, just a touch of caramal - and a touch sweet, but is quickly balanced by an indistinct hoppiness (grass? leaves?). A touch of dark fruit, but the whole flavour is tied together with a sour/tart yeastiness that is not particularly pleasant. Finishes rather dry (quite, quite dry) and faintly bitter, but the yeasty tang sits in your mouth and is just... unpleasant. It gets more unbearable as the beer warms, too.

Mouthfeel isn't great. Visible carbonation; this brew is definitely a touch overcarbonated, and the body itself is just too thick and gritty for a standard pale ale. Drinkability is also a little dissapointing. The thick, gritty body and the unusual tart-sour yeasty aftertaste makes more than (at most) two of these a dangerous prospect. Finishing even one feels a bit like a chore right now.

I admire NBC for trying to make a good Pale Ale, but this is not it. If they could figure out a way to subdue that really off flavour, I'd be pleased, because this is otherwise a rather good brew (malty, faintly hoppy, dark fruits), but as is, its worth little more than a quick try (and in my case, dismissal). Drinkable, and I wouldn't turn it down, but I probably won't buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2006 20:25:56 | More by headlessparrot
Photo of sulldaddy


3.18/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I split a bottle of this brew with Stopper. I am pouring at room temp into a pint glass. The beer is a bit of a gusher. Aroma is fruity green apple and a bit of tartness. Pours a clear amber with a huge beige frothy head that recedes to a sturdy surface layer. First sip reveals average body and fine fizzy carbonation. Flavor is sweet toffee and some green apple and caramel, generally sweet overall. The beer may not have aged well or been treated great, but I think it was still drinkable and not a total bomb.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2006 01:38:05 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of CAMRAhardliner

Ontario (Canada)

3.13/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I havent tried this since Moosehead took over NBC. Lets hope it hasnt suffered.

It pours a striking red color, very bright and lighter than I remember. The head is diminutive but leaves excellent lace swathes. The aroma is caramel, grains, some chocolate and a yeast tartness. The taste is malty, with dark fruit, chocolate, husky grains and light hop bitterness. In the background a tart, sourish slightly buttery yeast taste emerges. Ive noticed this in other Niagara beers. Off yeast flavors become more prominent as the beer warms. The mouthfeel is thick and almost soapy (I cant describe it, its a yeast thing).

This isnt that good of a beer. It looks great but the off yeast flavors (tart, almost cidery) really affect drinkability. Im not going to seek this out again. I remember it being pretty mediocre, I even remember the funky yeast.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2005 03:10:04 | More by CAMRAhardliner
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.23/5  rDev -8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Olde Angel INN in Niagra on the Lake,came to the table a deep amber with almost no head to speak of at all looked like it could have been flat.Big caramel malt aromas and biscuit not much hop presence maybe a slight herballness but its faint,flavors are also dominated byt biscuity malt and carmale with a touch of roastiness,hops nowhere really to be found.I could have swore I was drinking an amber/red ale but it is labeled a pale ale,hmm.

Serving type: on-tap

05-26-2005 23:46:45 | More by oberon
Photo of TerryW

Ontario (Canada)

3.03/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Nice deep amber colour with a good sized head. Head gives it up quickly, no lace to speak of.

Noticeable hops and malt in the aroma alongside a hint of spice, some graininess. Quite thin bodied, bit of a hop bite, not too much else. Better than your average micro but not especially remarkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2005 22:01:05 | More by TerryW
Photo of pootz

Ontario (Canada)

3.43/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Now that the Moosehead-run NF Brewey has Deleted Olde Jack ale and Reconfigured their Pale ale as a Conner's clone I thought I'd give Griststone a whirl.

Pours a red-copper with a decent cap, good lacing. light carbonation. Musty sweet malt aroma with citrus hop notes. Mouth feel is slick with the sweet biscuit malts dominating...a bit of smokey burnt treacle then a rather fast finish that becomes citrusy and bitter.

A good sturdy micro ale with its own character

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2005 21:53:20 | More by pootz
Photo of mattcrill


2.98/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Prince of Wales Hotel lounge in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

Appearance: brick red fading to copper edges. No distinct head to speak of but I think that has to due with the waiter's pour and not due to the actual beer itself. Still, thin and white but hard to truly assess so will give this beer the benefit of the doubt.

Smell: creamed corn and wheat bread. Disturbingly sweet. Not knowing much about this beer (and not getting any help from the wait staff) I figured this was some type of old ale or brown ale based on all the given characteristics.

Taste: Biscuity and malty. Pretty sweet with no hop presence AT ALL. Tastes like apple cider as it warms. It leaves a pronounced sweet aftertaste in the mouth.

Mouthfeel: watery and thin. The aftertaste sticks with you but doesn't do much for you when you are actually sipping on the beer.

Drinkability: Easily quaffable. Could have made this a session had I cared to.

Notes: APA? Are you kidding me? It was a decent beer but WAY off for the style. This beer was one dimensional and not very complex. It was all about malts. I haven't had many APA's but the ones I've had have not been malt monsters.

A confusing beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-16-2004 03:22:17 | More by mattcrill
Photo of baiser


4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep copper colour, on the brown side. Moderate head after a hard pour, but a nice and thin layer of foam sitting atop for the entire time.

Big aroma of sweet malt and floral hops. Taste was good. Great balance between a strong malt flavour with a dry bitterness at the back. Hops are spicy, oily and the best part of this beer. Similar to their pale ale, but better because of the hops. Also a biscuit, bready flavour. Crisp mouthfeel, a good session beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2004 18:41:40 | More by baiser
Photo of ecoboy

Rhode Island

4.1/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An opportunity for a rich malty pale (it's an amber pale, which to me implies that "less hop, more malt" thing that it's got in spades) is welcome in Canada where I got the sample.

An attack much like a brown with a big mouthful of sweet malt. Lighter than brown mouthfeel and more assertive alcohol presence than a brown though tags it as an amber pale. Malty aroma of sweet warm cake. Lots of flavor, and yet a dry finish. Rounder, palate-pleasing mouthfeelthan a basic amber pale. Balanced, with some subtle notes. Recommended for folks looking for something assertive in Ontario.

Serving type: on-tap

08-25-2004 16:45:15 | More by ecoboy
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Some aroma, lots of lacing, overall average. Malty bsicuit sweet but bitterness there too, in the finish. English style yes. Spicy hops, and that's the aroma. On-tap at Fort York Brew Fest 2004. Session ale? Would not buy a six-pack, but a decent microbrew.

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2004 22:32:03 | More by Sammy
Photo of DrJay


3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber colour with a thin off-white head. Spicy nose with a bit of caramel. Good body with medium to mild carbonation. Fruity flavour with some spiciness and malt sweetness. Hop bitterness at the end gives it a clean finish. Definitely an enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2004 00:02:45 | More by DrJay
Photo of RBorsato


4.45/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown with a low light brown head, low carbonation, and small floaters. Big malt aroma and flavor: toasty and roasty, Oktoberfest-ish with a chewy malt flavor that's very nice. Nutty and spicy with light fruitiness. Medium bodied and chewy rich finish.

A wonderful complex suprise ! A Dark Ale in my book; not a Pale Ale at all.

(11.5 oz / 341 ml)

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2004 21:22:46 | More by RBorsato
Photo of packetknife


3.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber, very still, very clear. Dense white head that held all the way down. Smells of burnt caramel or something like a riesen. Sweet on the tip of the tongue that is quickly overrun by a good light hoppiness. Progresses into a malty finish and aftertaste. Feels quirky/acidic and is quite drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2003 16:30:28 | More by packetknife
Photo of marburg


3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Quite literally crystal clear and amber-brown in color. Fairly miniscule head though quite light and textured. Not a terribly complex aroma. Malt, malt, and more malt. Tiny hints of caramel candies. A pretty straightforward English-style flavor, kind of nondescript, that leans heavily on the bready malts. Easy drinking but nothing that sparked even a single imaginative thought.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2003 02:11:14 | More by marburg
Photo of Gusler


3.05/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a scintillatingly clear mahogany color; the head modest in size, frothy in texture and a nice light tan color, as it dissipates the lace left behind forms a concealing sheet upon the glass. Nose is mostly malt, sweet, fresh and clean, pleasant enough as aroma's go, with the start malt laden and somewhat sweet, the top skeletal in feel. Finish has a minimal carbonation with the hops spicy and persistent till the somewhat bitter end. A drinkable beer, not a bad beer, not a good beer, I’d say average fits bill.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2003 00:55:07 | More by Gusler
Photo of BierManVA


3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a Pale Ale?

The smell and taste saved this beer for me. I was not impressed by any other atributes. Dead head, hoppy. Reddish brown in color.

One or two with the right meal may be just fine.

Wouldn't turn it down or hunt it out. This could be an excellent bier to cook with.


Serving type: bottle

08-03-2003 22:25:03 | More by BierManVA
Photo of Shiloh

Ontario (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very dark offering with a high and thick crown..has a lot of glass cling going for it..medium body and a yeasty scent..
The taste is refreshing , crisp and certainly leans towards the malts with a slight hoppy finish...
Not a session brew but a good choice for dining...

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2003 18:50:13 | More by Shiloh
Photo of Bcant


3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good amber color with a small head made of small white bubbles. Malty bouquet and a fairly sweet flavor but it leaves an after taste of mostly hops. Quite drinkable with a good flavor, Gritstone is a good sturdy ale but lakes the uniqueness or perfection of style to be a great ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2003 17:32:56 | More by Bcant
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Gritstone Premium Ale from Niagara Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 29 ratings.