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Gritty McDuff's Vacationland Summer Ale - Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Gritty McDuff's Vacationland Summer AleGritty McDuff's Vacationland Summer Ale

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98 Reviews

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Reviews: 98
Hads: 169
Avg: 3.37
pDev: 13.35%
Wants: 3
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-25-2003

You can't put summer in a bottle, but we may have come close! When the weather gets warm we roll out our summer seasonal, Vacationland Summer Ale. Vacationland is an Extra Special Golden Ale that's light in color but full-bodied, with a snappy hop finish. A bit of extra time in the conditioning tank rounds out and mellows the ale. We use generous portions of pale malt with just a touch of wheat malt to give VSA unique flavor that?s richer than most summer brews. Cascade leaf hops add a delicate and forward hop character as well. It's the perfect brew for all things summer.

22 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 98 | Hads: 169
Photo of assurbanipaul
4.05/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a bright clear amber with a medium white fluffy head. Aroma is light, mild spicy hops and some sweet lemon-lime citrus. Maybe even a hint of bubblegum.

Taste is mild, dry and citrusy. Malty background, mild hops, buttery, biscuity, finishes slightly sweet with a nice lime flavor. Surprising moderate depth for a simple summer seasonal without the typical knock-over-the-head lemony flavors.

Mouthfeel is light, delicate, very well done. Highly drinkable and very refreshing for an amber ale. In my neck of the woods, summer ales are usually golden beer-flavored lemonades and this is a welcome change from the old routine.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.03/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint glass from the bottle.

Foamy soapy head with lots of retention and off white. Body is a real nice true clear blonde amber with some rising slow carbonation. Looks great.

Bouquet is soft bready malts and sourdough sweetness. Smells a little like sour yeast.

Light bodied and soft malted grain and yeast in the palate. Fluffy and slight hint of crisp palate. Almost a hinting hop bitterness on the swallow.

This just might be an American Blonde ale I could get into, probably helps that I am on vacation right now drinking it which makes it even better (wink).

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Photo of HoorayBeer
4.02/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gritty's Vacationland was not a bad summer ale, a little different than the other standard summer ale's around here, but not much. Had a hoppy aroma, lots of hops coming through. Had a hoppy flavor of course, with a sweet aftertaste. I could not quite identify the aftertaste, maybe a maple flavor? With a smokey finish. Really quite interesting.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gritty's- Vacationland

A- Deep, clear golden orange with a huge biscuity head. Thick lacing down the glass.
S- Buttery caramel and toffee malt with citrus and bready grains.
T- Very buttery grainy malt, like an English Bitter, with nice sweet caramel and semi sweet lemon citrus. Touch of dry grassy straw hops.
M- Very smooth and buttery creamy. Nice sweet and slight citrusy bitter hop bite in the end.

Overall- Much better than I expected! Almost ESB'ish to me. Quite buttery and drinkable!

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

@ Gritty's Portland. On cask with extra Cascade dry hop. On vacation in Maine, it seemed appropriate.

I was told this was an "ESS-extra special summer." Ok. Clear brass color, nice white head. Not much for retention but lacey webbing aplenty.

Light, grassy citrus from the added Cascade over a buttery, biscuit malt. Summery English ESB meets American pale--certainly not a blonde. Taste is a similarly successful beneficiary of English-American union: buttery, biscuit with a vein of Cascade accompanied by light fruity esters. Hops provide a little spice in back to offset the casks light carbonation.

I have a feeling that this isn't as good without the cask and isn't as good without the added Cascade but I can only review the beer I got--and it was very good.

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Photo of GrittyMug345
4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber without a date, purchased at Down East Beverage in Portland, ME on 10/26/09, drank on 11/5/09. Poured into an imperial pint, a tight, creamy, white, three finger head forms over a light clear gold body bubbling with good carbonation, the heads hangs for quite a while. Light, zippy, malt and wheat nose, some limey citrus. The wheat is certainly noticeable right away, a nice malt presence as well, some citrus hops, a slightly bitter hop finish, makes me want more. Mouthfeel is light and creamy, good carbonation, dry finish. I think this is a very sessionable summer ale, not the best I have had but better than many, better than I remembered it being in the past, I will definately be trying this again next summer on tap and re-reviewing it.

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Photo of ColForbin
3.98/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vacationland Summer Ale is packaged in a 12oz bottle with no discernible date code. It pours an orange color with a fluffy white head. Darker than your typical summer seasonal. Aroma is wheaty with some slightly piney and citrusy hops as well. Very tasty, somewhat tangy, with a nice dry hoppy finish. Light-to-medium bodied, and very very drinkable. A great summer seasonal, I just wish I discovered it before the summer was nearly over!

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Photo of Brad007
3.95/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a typical pale color. Aroma has some spice with the usual hints of malt and fruitiness. Taste is somewhat different though. It's seemingly more bitter than Gritty's Pale Ale with some alcohol taste and fruitiness around the edges. I can't really detect much else. No citrus. Hmm. I would probably rate it above the Gritty's Pale Ale as it fits better with the style. Still a decent summer ale.

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Photo of Greenlabel
3.95/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've tried most of the current Summer Ales and find this to be one of the best in that category. Unlike many of the Summer Ales, it poured a light amber color rather than the more typical golden. Nice head. It also had more body and definitely more of a hoppier profile than I've come to expect in summer seasonals. The type of yeast usually associated with Gritty's products seemed to be much modified in this one.

If I'm in the mood for a Summer Ale, I'd turn to the Maine brewers for some of the better products within the category. Too bad most of them aren't sold in SW NH.

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Photo of villainchiwwin
3.91/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

poured from 12 oz. bottle
deep but bright golden hue that turns deep orange toward the center of the glass with lazily rising bubbles. thin head that quickly disappeared; no real lacing. floral nose, whiffs of malt and caramel, butter. taste matches smell - floral and malty with sweetness at first joined by a faint citrus note, with a mild hop bite to balance the finish. flavor seems to echo gritty's best bitter or brown ales, maybe because of shared malt content. conservative carbonation made for a smooth and silky mouthfeel that avoided becoming thin while remaining light enough in body to maintain a high level of quaffability. overall a but light but plenty of rich sweet flavor with enough hops to pin it down. this is a killer hot-day session beer!

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Photo of jmz62565
3.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours an amber gold with a medium tan head. The smell is pretty aromatic with a sweet malt and floral aroma. The taste is very hoppy,like an ESB, with some sweet malt that's very good. The m/f is light with a nice balance that makes this a very good summer beer that could be a session beer in the hot months. Cheers.

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Photo of plaid75
3.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a light copper hue with a finger and a half creamy white head. There was good retention and sticky lacing.

The smell featured a subtle sweet caramel malt with hints of soft flowery hops.

The taste was very well balanced and presented a light soft malt and floral, yet drying hop.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness with a very dry finish.

Overall a very nice, gentle APA that is very drinkable.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12 oz brown bottle.

This ale poured a clear, amber color with tall, off-white foam that clung to the glass and left lace. There was also a good, steady stready of carbonation from the bottom of the glass. The smell was malty with a touch of dry caramel. The taste was malty with a very light sweetness. There were some fruity and floral hops followed by hop bitterness in the finish. Well balanced overall. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy with medium body and medium carbonation. The finish was dry with a lingering mellow flavor. This was a nice, easy drinking ale. Perhaps it helped this beer to age quite a few months in my refrigerator before I got around to drinking it.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.85/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pretty nice beer. It's an orange color with a small to medium head. It has a floral, grassy aroma. The taste is sweet and malty, with some nice hoppiness. Good, assertive mouthfeel and very drinkable. Where I live in Maine, I think it's comparable in taste to Geary's Summer.

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Photo of ToasterChef
3.85/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a fridge chilled bottle into my Gritty's logo glass. The beer is very clear, with a golden orange color. There is a lot of carbonation rising to the top, as well as clinging to the sides of the glass. The head is a few fingers thick. It is off white and made up of small bubbles with a foam cap. The aroma has some pleasant grass-like and grainy malts. There is a bit of spice to the nose, maybe some lemon peel and coriander? The taste of Vacationland isn't very complex, but it fits the style very well. There is plenty of light malt, a kiss of sweetness and just a bit of bitterness on the back end. The flavor here is all about being as easy drinking as possible, and it accomplishes this very well. Also benefiting the drinkability are it's medium body and carbonation and low amount of coating. Every sip goes down well. It refreshes superbly. This is a fine summer ale, and worth picking up if you find yourself in Maine during the warmer months.

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.84/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Into a pint glass:

A: clear amber/blonde body with some slowly rising carbonation filling an exceptionally foamy, lumy white head with light spotty lacing, the head lasted for about three minutes, light rings were left in the wake as the beer went down

S: some breadiness, lemon and malts

T: bitter through previously mentioned flavors

M: light, sessionable, crisp, dry aftertaste and finish

O: I've had this numerous times and out of a bottle. This is good for the style and for me

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Photo of krantul
3.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gritty's comes through again. Summer Ales just aren't the kind of beers that knock your socks off, but this is already my favorite example of the style. It does everything you want a summer beer to do, without taxing your patience with too many orange peels or a bushel of lemongrass. I could happily purchase a case of this beer to have a summer ale on hand for whenever the mood (or weather) struck me, but it might not last too long.

Appearance - Vacationland pours a copper-golden hue, a mite bit darker than its peers in the style. The quantity of wheat in many summer beers often lends a cloudy haze, but this is beer is crystal clear. My pour resulted in a brief, fluffy head that quickly receded.

Smell - Nothing remarkable going on here, just a citrus, floral whiff. Pleasant enough and not overwhelming; some summers really shove a lemon wedge up your nose, but this isn't acrid.

Taste - Crisp (but not overwhelmingly bitter hops) stand out in the flavor. The malt character is pretty light but supplies a bit of sweet caramel to the taste. It's pretty clear that the citrus qualities of the beer are incidental to hops; there's no fruit being squeezed into this beer. Has a very nice wheat finish. Definitely wheat in here, but not a tremendous amount. Tastes very fresh.

Mouthfeel - It's fairly smooth and has a bit of a fuller body that one expects from a summer ale, but it's still relatively light. Carbonation is crisp enough for refreshment without turning Vacationland into beer soda.

Drinkability - Hey, this is an easy-drinking beer. I wouldn't complain if this were the only thing in the house, particularly on a balmy day. It goes down nicely and has enough beer character to keep you interested.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The brew is being sampled at room temp poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer pours clear gold like champagne and a fluffy bleached white head develops 2 inches even with a gentle pour.
Aroma is a mixture of white grapes, grassy hops, and a bit of bready yeast. Overall the nose is very mild.
First sip reveals the expected light body with very fine yet tingly carbonation that tickles my palate.
Flavor is briefly sweet fruit and general sugar, but rolls to a slightly bitey citrus rind hop finish. The hops are much bolder on the finish than expected and dry my mouth out considerably on each sip.
There is no hint of alcohol and I would guess its around 5%.
The beer is easy drinking and has a crisp hop bite on the finish to keep it interesting. Quite a nice experience and one that I would buy again for a hot day or just for some mild brew drinking.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.8/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

OK first of the the Gritty's I got from bennybrew
Comes in a 22oz brown bomber..with simple yet effective label.
The appearance is quite attractive a nice lazy pale orange with a tiny head that last no time at all
Nice aroma of hops mainlly smells fresh despite its long journey.
MMM I liked the taste of this beer..a nice pale ale indeed..nice semi-sweet roasted malts followed by an excellent hoppy bitterness that lasts a few seconds very well done.
very nice on the palate..i want to sip this pretty quick
A good drinkable American style Pale Ale..good for anytime in my opinion

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Photo of koopa
3.8/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber brought back from a recent road trip to Maine.

Appearance: Pours a tawny dirty honey with a 1 finger white crown that shows minimal retention and moderate lace.

Smell: Belgian yeast with a prominent orange note. Pretty nice actually but not what I was expecting.

Taste: Wow this one really falls flat compared to the nose. The brett and malt combine into a complete mess. Not to style in any way.

Mouthfeel: On the light side of medium bodied and a touch lacking in carbonation.

Drinkability: Flavor is the only thing holding this one back.

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Photo of kelticblood
3.76/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear gold in color.Poured an above average head that retained its thickness.More maltier than most Summer brews.Slight hop aroma and taste.Too much malt for a summer brew.I think a few of these in the hot sun and you'd be asking for water instead of another.Semi-crisp mouthfeel.Not too complex at all.Leaves a bitter after taste.Traces of white foamy lace clinging to the glass are noted.I did however find these to be quite drinkable.

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Photo of msolar
3.74/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm generally a stout-fan but this is one of the better summer brews I've had. It's quite light in color and body but when served cold makes a great summer beer. It has a bitter aftertaste but is fairly well balanced. Some citrus undertones. I'd certainly buy it when I see it and even have it on tap at the moment.

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Photo of Gavage
3.73/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought this would be fitting to have this as the first beer I had at Gritty's during my short vacation in Maine. Clear yellowish orange in color with a 1/2" head. The head reduces to a soft surface foam. Some mild lacing develops on the glass.

Aroma is of strong citrus which was a bit of a turn off. The taste was much better as mild malt, light bitterness, weak butter, and lemon zest produces a refreshing flavor.

Lighter in body, with a light crisp mouthfeel. Finish is mildly dry and relatively clean. Nicely drinakable.

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Photo of bjohnson
3.72/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an almost clear copper amberish color. Not much head and slight retention.
S: Fruity notes come through first. Mostly apricot, lemon, and grapefruit. Slight floral presence too. Slight malty background peaks through.
T/M: Carbonation blast up front followed by a bitter, dry finish. At first, the carbonation stings the tongue subdueing the flavor profile a tad. When the carbonation slows down a bit as it warms the flavors are allowed to breathe, making it more enjoyable. Floral and grassy hops can be noticed. Coating on the tongue after the intial sting. Good bitterness in the aftertaste.
D: This one would probably quench a thirst on a summers day. Worth a try. Smooth and easy drinking.

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Photo of DevilDogBeer
3.72/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Vacationland Summer Ale had a dark yellow color and large carbonation bubbles that formed a thin white head. The aroma was pleasant with slight herbal notes from the hops and no off smells. The taste was true to the style with a slight earthy bitterness and a clean finish. The beer had a substantial carbonation but did not put me off. The beer finished easy with no aftertaste. The mouthfeel was mostly dominated by the carbonation but did not seem thin. Vacationland Summer is definitely drinkable and at 4.9% would make a nice session beer on a sunny afternoon by the lake or the kiddie pool.

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Gritty McDuff's Vacationland Summer Ale from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.