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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.

162 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 162
Reviews: 115
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 12.64%
Wants: 5
Gots: 2 | 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
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Ratings: 162 | Reviews: 115 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ChadHanley

New Hampshire

3/5  rDev -17.6%

12-04-2011 01:48:07 | More by ChadHanley
Photo of Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +9.9%

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

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +9.9%

11-26-2011 03:28:30 | More by tpauer
Photo of bpfrush


3.75/5  rDev +3%

11-14-2011 20:42:33 | More by bpfrush
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a relatively clear copper with disappointing head for a hand pumped beer. Scent is lightly caramel and nutty, earthy and grassy hops with a presence from the yeast. Taste follows suit, quite light and in fact bitter, light caramel and nutty malts, earthy hops and a woodiness throughout. Thinner side of medium bodied, slightly over carbonated. Good bitter, meant to be light in flavor but lacks something in its construction.

Serving type: cask

10-10-2011 13:15:15 | More by rfgetz
Photo of glid02


3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
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 9InchNails

New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Off white frothy head that slowly disapates. Orange gold on the center with a orangy red center with a decent amount of bubbles.

Not much in the way of aroma. Faint grain and citrus hops with a yeasty smell. That's it.

I get a fruitiness with a little tang, also a flowery taste peeks through. Some bread in the background. Not a bad taste at all, it sure beats the smell. As it finishes, a little sour and slightly bitter.

Light body, light to medium carbonation. Although the dry taste, it doesn't really leave the mouth dry at all. Kind of refreshing while going down.

This is a pretty tasty brew. Some interesting flavors show what the aroma did not. I bet this would be mighty tasty on cask!

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2011 06:40:16 | More by 9InchNails
Photo of jlindros


3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
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 SirSketch


3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - An inch or two of solid, off-white head forms atop an orange brew. Fairly cloudy, but that may be because of the cold temperature.

S - Nutty, maple syrup, caramel malt aroma and signature English ale fruitiness. Nice, though I would prefer a bigger hop presence.

T - Huge malt flavor, much like the nose. Also, a bread dough and sweet wort flavor. Bitterness cuts through the sweetness nicely.

M/D - The mouthfeel is a little too thick, but otherwise nice. Not bad but not great, either.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2011 04:55:12 | More by SirSketch
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Beer purchased at Gritty's Freeport

Pours medium copper colour with a few inches of white foam. Sticky and laces. Soapy smell (?) little hop, malt. Soft clean light taste with a fading hop - better than the smell led me to believe. Light residual bitter finish. Caramel toffee notes.

Tasty, good drinker, sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2011 20:16:54 | More by KTCamm
Photo of morebeergood


3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Second beer of the night at the Portland location, served on cask for $4, which I thought was a good price. Served in a standard pint glass. Light brown in color, with minimal head. Very faint smell of malt. Taste was of very mellow hops. Mouthfeel from the cask made this beer extremely smooth and easy to drink. The temp, mouthfeel, and flavor all made this beer a great session beer. This is the kind of beer you can gulp. A great beer to end the night with as we watched the game.

Serving type: cask

05-24-2010 20:22:39 | More by morebeergood
Photo of Mistofminn


3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to rrheisler for sending this extra. Thanks Ryan.

Pours a brown tinted orange color coming out of the bomber. A nice, two finger light tan head is produced and fueled by a decent amount of carbonation. Retention and lacing are pretty good.

The nose is very malty, with lightly toasted malts and some sweet malts in the background. A significant spicey hop character comes out as it warms.

Tastes sweeter than the nose. Caramel malt dominates with the lightly toasted malt taking a back seat. Spicey hops again come out in the finish.

Medium in body, with a moderate carbonation. Smooth and creamy, goes down easy. Drinkability is pretty good, but nothing special.

Overall, I didn't have high hopes for this going in, but it was actually a pretty decent beer. Definitely average, but not a bad session Bitter.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2010 22:34:39 | More by Mistofminn
Photo of berley31

New Brunswick (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured on cask at the brewpub in Portland. Came with virtually no head at all... maybe just a thin film on top of the beer. However, there was still fair lacing left behind while drinking. Body is a dark amber color, and clear.

S: I don't really detect much here, to be honest. A slight bitterness, but that's all.

T: Decent flavor of moderate bitterness, with a dry finish. Nothing that's going to knock your socks off, however.

M: Medium-bodied and creamy, with soft carbonation.

D: It's fine, really... but, nothing that really makes you want to come racing back for another.

Serving type: cask

11-24-2009 21:08:54 | More by berley31
Photo of tigg924


3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: orange/brown in color, 1 inch head, moderate carbonation, clear

Smell: toasted malt and spices

Taste: honey, caramel, toasted malt, and hops throughout that are really present on the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: super smooth, sweet start with a moderately bitter finish, high carbonation, medium bodied

Drinkability: There is a nice malt and hop mix here. I could have three but not six. A nice above average bitter.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2009 15:35:32 | More by tigg924
Photo of tai4ji2x


4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

day 3 at NERAX 2009

classic, clear amber color. sudsy, off-white head, reduces to creamy wisps. dots of "lace" here and there.

grassy hop and hay aroma with metallic whiff. toasted caramel malt underneath, with touch of apple fruitiness.

taste: light apple and caramel upfront, with grentle grassy hop bitterness coming after for balance. apple esters underneath, with bready yeast note, all lingering together in the finish, with mineral hint.

light and smooth, touch of texture near the finish. gentle to moderate carbonation for lift and refreshment.

cask is definitely the way to have this beer. usually the bottles are just on the shelf for too long.

Serving type: cask

05-04-2009 10:28:12 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of Yeastcakes


3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving notes: Augustiner glass, cellar temp.
Aroma: Honey-like malt sweetness, no hops that I could detect.
Appearance: Two-fingers of head upon pour, quickly dissipating to a half-inch. Clear, light amber in color.
Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, medium carbonation.
Taste: Very light toasted notes, nice smooth balance of hops and malt. Very well balanced with no one flavor dominating.
Drinkability: Very drinkable session beer. I could easily drink a couple of these in a sitting.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2009 01:50:29 | More by Yeastcakes
Photo of thekevlarkid


3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Off their tap this beer was a hazy amber color. The head was khaki-colored, the retention decent, the lacing scattered. The aroma was subtle (yet again), a blend of crystal malt and some hoppy bitterness. The flavors were good, but unremarkable. Some malt sweetness at first, then pale malt and the bitterness towards the end. But for a "Best Bitter" it was awfully malty. Still the hoppy, crisp finish was on-point and it did strike me as rather well balanced. The mouthfeel was decent, the body medium and the carbonation pleasant enough helping it be sessionable. Not bad, but a little off-style.

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2009 02:25:04 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
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
Photo of dfillius


3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: 1/4 finger of just off-white head with good retention. Dark amber/copper colored liquid. Pretty and bright.

S: I kept catching tasty fruity whiffs as i was writing the appearance down. Sour banana? A bit of a caramelly and biscuity malt aroma. Faint sweet potato with butter aroma as well.

T: Buttery bread with a tang of hops. Metallic ghost comes in but doesn't overwhelm.

M: Decent, but off slightly. Metallic twinge in back.

D: Good, but off flavors distract.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2008 03:04:01 | More by dfillius
Photo of yesyouam

New York

3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Gritty's Best Bitter is a very sparkling and clear, shimmering amber ale with a big, dense, foamy off-white head that leaves some Coptic script on the glass. There are oily bubbles. It is a very grainy and sweet aroma: muscovado sugar and sunflower seed bread are in the nose. It is soft and medium bodied. The finish is a bit sharp and metallic. It tastes very fresh and a bit like... well... a diluted ESB. The flavor is smooth and a touch top-heavy. The aftertaste is quick, faint and a little green. It's hopped very appropriately. There is a diacetyl quality to it. It's a pretty non-descript session ale-- smooth and light.
(rated Jan 8, 2008)

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2008 15:09:31 | More by yesyouam
Photo of PonyBar

New York

4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer was poured into a 16oz mixing glass from a 22oz bomber bottle, using two pours to complete. A: Hazy, with an unfiltered light copper appearance. Solid head retention with a nice brewer's lace along the glass during drinking. S: No overpowering nose or aroma of mention. T: Excellent, in my opinion. My impression of a session beer. Not sure on the ABV, but highly drinkable. Slightly hoppy, with a lingering citrus and piney taste. A great gateway beer to bolder or bigger brews. M: Mouthful was full, but not overly. Easy to swallow. D: This is a drinkable beer in every sense of the word. Labeled a "Bitter", maybe closer to a lighter pale ale. All around an enjoyable beer. Twenty two ounces was a perfect amount for this review!!

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2008 06:50:21 | More by PonyBar
Photo of JayNH

New Hampshire

3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Cloudy, golden honey color. Not much of a head.

S- Hoppy but sweet and buttery.

T- A buttery malt with a grassy hop note. A little watery though.

M- smooth with moderate carbonation.

D- They go down easy...

A decent brew. Would make a decent session beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2008 21:14:00 | More by JayNH
Photo of jneiswender


4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Horseshoe Pub in Hudson MA.

A-Beige shaving cream head, autumn brown body.

S-light clover smell

T-full toast malt front, lick of resin hops at the end that has a very nice lingering effect.


D-seems like a great session beer. highly drinkable. has the balance that a good bitter should have.

Serving type: on-tap

11-26-2008 03:06:25 | More by jneiswender
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
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 albern


3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice dry English Bitter. It pours a clear golden, slightly amber color with almost no head, lacing, retention. The aroma is English hops, cracked grains, some maltiness in the backbone, also some huskiness. The taste is pretty buttery, perhaps a tad butterscotch, but clearly with English hops, a coarse graininess, a drying finish, a tad bit caramel malt. There is a slight saltiness in the finish. This is modestly carbonated, fairly light bodied, overall not too complex, but a good English Bitter and worth seeking out. L'Chaim.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2008 23:38:05 | More by albern
Gritty McDuff's Best Bitter from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 162 ratings.