1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Gritty McDuff's Best Bitter - Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Gritty McDuff's Best BitterGritty McDuff's Best Bitter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

158 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 158
Reviews: 115
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 12.88%
Wants: 5
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Best Bitter was the first beer we ever brewed, way back in 1988 at our Portland Brew Pub. This true English classic has been the anchor of our draft selection ever since.

Best Bitter is a copper-hued and well-balanced ale with real old world integrity. We use fine Yakima Golding hop flowers in the brewing of this beer for a fine dry finish that compliments the malty palate. The taste captures the freshness of a hand-drawn ale that goes right from the conditioning tank to your glass!

25 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-26-1999)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Gritty McDuff's Best Bitter Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 158 | Reviews: 115 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Initially a lot of staying power foam and good aroma of malt and hops. The initial taste was good, then harsh carbonation wore me down. Hops keeping malt in check, a serviceable bitter but not a great example. A tad of toast or butter on toast. More..ingredients.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2007 02:53:16 | More by Sammy
Photo of djrn2

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -17.8%

06-07-2013 00:47:37 | More by djrn2
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a amber/copper color with not much head to speak of,the aroma is of toasted malt and biscuity a nice sweeter aroma also seems to linger.Taste starts out malty crisp with some hoppy citrus tones that come in subtly to round out this beer pretty nicely.Would have liked to try this on cask.

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2003 23:05:00 | More by oberon
Photo of NeroFiddled


3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An authentic, solid bitterness backs Gritty's amber-colored Best Bitter. That's not always something you find in American versions of this basic and very straightforward English style.

Beyond the welcome bitterness, it's basic, gently biscuity and delicately caramelish malt and yeast character. Of course, utilizing the Ringwood strain, that yeasty character is quite pronounced with lots of diacetyl backed by a touch of yeasty 'woody-earthiness' and some mild fruitiness.

It's slightly overcarbonated for the style, but when poured at the proper temperature a lot of CO2 will be given off at the pour, leaving it with a smooth mouthfeel that combines with the medium-light body to make it remarkably drinkable. Additionally, it will not really form the proper head if it's poured right out of the fridge so let it warm up a little bit. And when enjoyed at cellar temperature it's really a very solid session ale!

The bottle I enjoyed had a new label from what's currently on the site, and it reads "Gritty's Best Bitter". It has the colored illustration of the bartender passing over a pint to a customer that I've seen before (probably on t-shirts as I haven't been to the brewpub in years). The label states that it's brewed & bottled in Portland, ME.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2008 17:01:56 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of nuts, caramel, roasted malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out malty with flavors of nuts and caramel. Then a good burst of hops comes in and provides a nice balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a nice session beer to drink for a long while.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2008 18:11:55 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a golden color with a thin white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a smooth pale and light crystal malt scent along with a nice bitter hop aroma. It's light with some caramel notes. The taste is decent. It has a crisp pale malt flavor with a hint of caramel in the finish. It's mildly bitter with a clean aftertaste. The mouthfeel is decent as well. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good drinker. I feel the CO2 is a little much for this style, but it goes down smooth nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2007 20:28:36 | More by WesWes
Photo of jlindros


3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask at brew pub

Light creamy head, sticky lacing, clear pale amber color.

Nose nice better earthy hops, light toasty sweet malts, copper malts, light herbal hops.

Taste bitter earthy hops, toasty semi sweet malts, reddish copper malts, fairly bitter rustic light herbal hops, bit gritty tasting. Finishes with a light fruity hop, gritty bitter flavors, dry, mostly clean finish.

Mouth is med bodied, gritty and abrasive, lower but decent for cask carb.

Overall pretty decent, nothing special but a nice bitter on cask, thankfully low on herbal hops.

Serving type: cask

05-02-2011 00:48:08 | More by jlindros
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

one of the better beers at grittys I though, which isn't saying a whole lot, but this classic bitter and amber style fusion worked out pretty well. pours a lighter amber color, flat though, like all beers I had here. smells like light English pale and crystal malts, with the same ale yeast as the others, and a pronounced English hop finish, which is this beers best feature. the taste is the same as the nose, lighter than it looks, sessionable more than any other beer they had. carbonation is severely lacking, as it has the texture of tap water. plenty of body for the style, maybe a nitro tap would liven this up, but it just sits there dead. still, one of grittys better beers, went well with the food, and didn't offend me like their ipa did, so that's a start.

Serving type: on-tap

08-18-2013 14:17:52 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of jwc215


3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by Sept. '07:

Pours light copper with a white head that quickly descends to a lasting, thin creamy cover.

The smell is of sweet grain, butter, mild Ringwood yeast, some hop fruitiness.

The taste is buttery and yeasty. Despite that, enough grainy malt with plenty of fruity/earthy English-type hop bitterness comes through to give it a taste fitting for the style. Sweet balanced by floral/earthy hop notes in the dry finish.

The body, which is rather thin at first, grows somewhat as it warms. A balanced flavor lingers.

The diacetyl and noticeable yeast detract a bit, but it's not a bad interpretation of the style at all. Better as it warms, but never quite enough to overcome minor irritants about it. Overall - decent.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2007 02:58:52 | More by jwc215
Photo of Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +9.6%

11-26-2011 23:56:40 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of smcolw


4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this beer at the Gritty's on Route 1 in Freeport, Maine.

Not much head, less lace. Dark amber in color, clear.

Good bitter aroma that is not overpowering to the malt background.

This is a very well-balanced beer and certainly refreshing after a day walking around Freeport. While bitterness is the main flavor, as expected in a Bitter. But I enjoy the subtle presence of the malt. The body is near perfect.

Perhaps it was because I was thirsty, but this was a very good beer for the moment--a hot summer day while I was thirsty.

Serving type: on-tap

07-29-2007 22:36:59 | More by smcolw
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper in color with a nice thick creamy head. Nice lacing develops during the drink. Carbonation level seems low through my eyes. The aroma was of caramel and piney hops. The flavor was straight forward, as caramel, orange peel, bread, and piney bitterness were mellow and not overpowering.

Mouthfeel was smooth with a hint of crispness at the start. The finish was lightly crisp. The caramel and bitterness lasted briefly on the tongue. Definite session beer at Gritty's brewpub as several of these can be quaffed.

Serving type: on-tap

07-07-2005 00:01:10 | More by Gavage
Photo of mendvicdog


3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

09-07-2012 20:25:46 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of tempest


3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A definate throw-back beer, but in the best sense. It tastes a little of caramel, then creamy and smooth, but there's a lingering bitterness that sneaks up on you. The hops are a bit odd for me, I can't tell if they're jujst grassy or hae been skunked. The flavor profile is a bit low, but this is a style that thrives in casks anyways. Reminds me of milder version of my local Syracuse Pale Ale but a little more delicate.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2007 05:30:48 | More by tempest
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 ouncer, with best enjoyed before dating. Pours a light clear amber, fairly active carbonation with bubbles continuing to rise to the top and a medium bubble head remaining. Some lacing left behind. Semi soapy, piney nose. Medium bodied, light balanced ale. Malt is soft and nutty, minor hops balance things out but dont exert themselves. Hint of butterscotch also noted. Not a very exciting style nor version here, but this one would do in a pinch as a sessioner.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2004 12:16:21 | More by Billolick
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a three-fingered cream head that quickly fades to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Crystal clear amber color. Light-medium carbonation and light-medium bodied. Slight hoppy nose. Flavor is sweet honey that fades to a light bitter finish. $1.75 for a 12oz bottle from Barb's Beer Emporium Concord, NH.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2008 23:12:13 | More by jdhilt
Photo of ppoitras


4.28/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

20ozer from an October trip up to the Freeport brewery, fridged since then. Classic label art with the Gritty's bartender.

Poured a coppery gold into an imperial pint glass, with a reasonable big-bubbled, albeit not terribly long lasting, head. Taste works well, with some maltiness, and then a nice well-rounded hops bite works its way around the palate. Excellent session-ability, and a great bitter all around.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2004 22:55:15 | More by ppoitras
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dirty gold with a sudsy micro-bubbly white head.

S: very clean with soft malt tones and a little smokey caramel.

T: very clean as well with a great bittering and a nice caramel sweetness and toffee hints. Earthy hop tones provide a pleasant light woodiness, along with with some light pine.

M: a little thin, smooth with a strong carbonation.

D: Good drinkability making for a good session style bitter.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2008 21:34:54 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of Latarnik

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

05-25-2014 02:34:15 | More by Latarnik
Photo of glid02


3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Bukowski’s in Cambridge.

Pours a slightly hazy dark amber color with a slightly off-white head that leaves decent lacing.

Smells of grainy caramel malts with good amounts of earthy and slightly leafy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Mildly dry caramel malts up front are joined quickly by leafy and light citrus hops that carry through to a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with smooth carbonation.

Overall there wasn’t a whole lot going on with this beer but that’s fair for the style. Worth a shot.

Serving type: on-tap

08-14-2011 21:09:26 | More by glid02
Photo of Gusler


3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep copper is the color of the beer as it sits in my glass with a head that is magnanimous in its size, frothy in its consistency. Malt dominates the slightly sweet and crisp nose. Begins somewhat sweet, the top is lean, the finish is benignly carbonated, the hops purposeful in their spiciness, droughty long lasting aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2002 07:54:00 | More by Gusler
Photo of Brad007


3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer pours a light brown/paleish color. Aroma is one of malt with some fruitiness and some detection of hops. Taste is different as there some bitterness up front that levels off with fruitiness at the back of the throat. Not too strong and seemingly smooth. There's some dryness in the finish. A fine example of a bitter and very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2007 04:59:41 | More by Brad007
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

2.8/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Served on cask and poured in a true pint, the beer is a clear, pale chestnut coloring with a light, foamy, frothy off-white head of about a half an inch. Aromas of rich toffee and caramel, with a slight roasting characteristic overall. Flavors are smooth, with toffee and butter sweetness, and a kiss of chocolate. Hops presence is extremely minimal, with only a hint of bitter at the tail end. The hops presence does build as you drink, but still a minority player on the palate. The body is very light, and there is a smooth and creamy texture that completely owes itself to the cask serving. The aftertaste is a slight linger of the toffee sweetness, with a slightly drying finish. Flavors and overall experience of the beer aren't bad, but there just seems to be an overall lackluster feel to it all. Palate seems watered down throughout, and nothing really jumps out at you.

Serving type: cask

02-16-2012 18:40:45 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of francisweizen


3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light golden amber with not much of a head on this fine cask pint of hand-pulled real ale. Aromas are subtle, but fresh grassy hops, and biscuity malts are prevalent if you look for them. The taste is more about the hops than the malts, but this still isn't one of the hoppier bitters that I have had. The malts are in good show too, but neither the malts or the hops take center stage. This brew is about balance and drinkability. Mouthfeel is cask goodness, smooth and light and oh-so-drinkable. not a bad UK beer from a Maine brewery.

Serving type: cask

04-14-2005 20:15:53 | More by francisweizen
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled in Jan. '09. Pours from a 12 fl. oz. bottle with an expiration date of May '09. The pour is a copper color with little ot no head and not a lot of lacing. However the aroma is a pleaasing mixture of malts and maybe something a little citrus like. I think its body is average to above average. The taste is kind if bitter or sour and it ends dry. This is one that I enjoy and drink it often.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2009 21:43:37 | More by puboflyons
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Gritty McDuff's Best Bitter from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 158 ratings.