Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

98 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 98
Hads: 169
Avg: 3.37
pDev: 13.35%
Wants: 3
Gots: 15 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Gritty McDuff's Vacationland Summer Ale Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 98 | Hads: 169
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

one of the least offensive beers on at grittys, a balanced light summer drink, but a bit watered down, and painfully undercarbonated. it boasts a clear golden color, but the lack of head or rising fizz makes me skeptical from the outset. notes of light wheat and pale malt caress the nose, but generic C hops in low doses and ale yeast ive met before greet me rudely. taste matches, generic as anything, light and crisp like a lager, but a little sweet and a little fruity like most summer ales. its drinkable enough with a nice light to medium body and a particular floral element that sits well, but the carbonation is woeful, way underdone, and the one factor that made all the beers at grittys underwhelming. its made heavy by the flatness, and resonates a lazy sort of frustrating carelessness toward fermentation. I wish they thought this through a little better because it has potential, but not a beer I would buy again. go for the food to grittys, not the beer.

 970 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.42/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a golden color beer with a light foamy head with minimal retention and no lacing. Aroma of medium sweet malt is somewhat boring. Taste is also somewhat bland with some light notes of medium sweet malt with no material notes of hops. This one is quaffable and refreshing but still too bland to be one of my summer beer.

 333 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

"Babies don't need a vacation, but I still see them at the beach. I'll go over to them and say, 'What are you doing here, you've never worked a day in your life!'"

--Stephen Wright

Bright orange with even brighter orange highlights. A somewhat vigorous pour produced three full fingers of suds that are somewhere between ecru and ivory in color. The head doesn't look to be melting fast and is doing a pretty decent job laying down thin, vertical streamers of lace.

The aroma has a cream ale-like vibe, which makes it more enjoyable than many American blondes. The Cascade and Saaz hops aren't appreciated, but that's what happens when they aren't added with a very heavy hand to begin with... and when the beer is being consumed about two weeks past the 'best by' date. Sorry, couldn't be helped.

It's easy to tell that Vacationland Summer Ale is better than average beer when fresh. It's barely so now, but the taste score is still honestly earned. There's much more flavor here (thanks to fruity ale yeast esters) than in any American or Euro pale lager that you'd care to name. Drinkability is definitely up there.

There's a modicum of toasted malt that is just prominent enough for my tastes. The hops provide a balancing bitterness and a little bit of orchard fruity flavor (apricot and lemon). Saaz might have been among my guesses if blinded to the hop bill. Cascade would not have been. It's nice to drink a blonde ale that has some character.

The mouthfeel barely hangs on to the above score (ABV kept firmly in mind). It comes close to wateriness on the finish and is saved by proper carbonation.

Gritty McDuff's Summerland Ale probably tastes better on a hot, humid July day than a cold December morning. That said, my taste buds know no season and recognize this as pretty good beer... for what it is. Not approved for vacationing babies. Thanks jwc215.

 1,873 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
2.88/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Thanks to papollo for this bottle!

Something about Gritty McDuff's conjures up images of some special reserve brew from The Simpsons. If only... Anyway, this guy pours a clear pale amber-straw topped by a half-finger of white foam. The nose is pretty faint, comprising flowers, chalk, and light wheat. ...I think that's what creeps into my 'strils, anyway. The taste holds notes of funky wheat, chalk, moss, and flowers, with a pervading orange-peel bitterness. Hm. The body is pretty light, with a very-light moderate carbonation and a kinda dry finish. Overall, I did not enjoy this beer. The flavors just don't come across as good to my 'buds, plain and simple.

 711 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.68/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Had a few beers from this brewery before and enjoyed them so time to dabble with their summer seasonal. Not too shabby I must say.. it's a nice crisp, golden/blonde ale. Nice refreshing hop bite to it (reminds me a lot of a kolsch) and light bodied so its super drinkable. Yeah it doesn't have an extreme flavor profile but it's well balanced, light and brewed for the right intent.. to imbibe on a hot summer day. Pretty solid summer brew.

 440 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.15/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of citrus, pale hops, light malts and some spice.

T: The taste starts with a bite of spice. Then there's a sweet citrus flavor that comes in and remains dominant. There's a mild hops presence and a thin malt character that have trouble balancing things out. The after-taste is slightly spicy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, light body, high carbonation, finish is clean.

D: A little tasty, goes down easy, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, it's a rather lackluster lighter beer that you could drink a lot of if it suits your taste, but there definitely many other lighter beers out there that are better than this one.

 855 characters

Photo of Jason
3.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz brown bomber, thanks to bennybrew!

Decent lacing on the glass, bright pale golden hue. Tight crispness deep with in the moderate body makes the mouth feel smooth. Smells and tastes a bit buttery from the yeast, the pale malt flavour provides a thin base of sweetness. Ample bitterness drops a metallic flavour on the palate. Lingering buttery flavour in the finish with some sweetness.

Tastes like a best bitter to me, I’d swear there is a good amount of wheat in there as well. Good drinking either way.

 517 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.58/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden in color, clear. Impressive head with good sticky lace

Light candy sugar smells--malty; strong caramel

Far more dry than the smell suggests. Some creaminess in the flavor. Strong dry hop is present in the swallow and the aftertaste. Full body for the style, high carbonation.

This brew is nearly lip-smacking in its dryness. Not complex, but is still interesting as a contrast to the typical "summer" offerings of wheat-ful, lemon flavored specialities. This would fit nicely in the Bitter category.

 515 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by Nov. 09 notched on label:

Pours deep golden with a fluffy white head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of grainy malt - "English"-like. There is a hint of citrus, some dough and butter. Smells like an English bitter, and not a bad one at that.

The taste is of sweet malt, some yeast (spicy) and butter. Butter stands out, a bit too much. It has an herbal, slightly metallic, slightly citric dry finish.

It is light-bodied (though not thin) with a pretty creamy texture and mild carbonation.

A pretty strong "house character" here. More of a summer version of an English bitter, IMO. A bit too buttery and not quite as refreshing as I would expect for a seasonal summer, but a decent brew on its own.

 708 characters

Photo of tdm168
2.96/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to my man Hoyt for bringing this back from Maine.

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear gold with a 1/4" head with great retention. Smells is hops and wheat similar to a german pilsner. Taste is mild hops and wheat; bitter and unbalanced; even a little sour in the finish (maybe yeast gone bad?). Mouthfeel is light with absolutely no carbonation.

I did not enjoy this beer at all. Given the sour taste I suspect it may have gone bad.

 458 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a nice gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a light, pale malt scent along with some fruity yeast esters and a bit of hops. The taste is decent. It has a very dry pale malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes bitter with a crip hop bite. The yeast provides a slightly fruity character. The mouthfeel is decent as well. It's a low/medium bodied beer with a bit too much carbonation for me. This is an average Summer ale. It's light and bitter, but too dry and carbonated.

 549 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.03/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I got this handed to me with a finger of foamy, bone-white head with decent retention. Color was a deep gold with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a slight hoppiness. Mouthfeel was medium with a mild hoppiness on the tongue. The finish left me with a lightly malty quality. My notes read: "I will be interested to see what style they are calling this. I'm guessing a pilsener." Wrong-O! Oh well, I never said that I was a style maven.

 430 characters

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).

 588 characters

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.

 536 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
2.52/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner, the beer is a super-bright maize coloring, vibrant but a little watery. It pours with a decent amount of fluffy white, airy head that stands around 2 inches and settles very slowly. Great cling along the glass as you go, the beer has toasted oats and honey sweet aromas. Some light spicing on the nose, too. Flavors are a bit light, but a smooth toasting hits first, with a slight sour malt character at the end. The aftertaste is watered down, also, with a limp malt sweetness. The finish is almost nondescript, with a watery and lacadasical honey sweetness, barely. Felt light water throughout. Meh.

 638 characters

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.

 416 characters

Photo of jdhilt
2.18/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a five finger off-white head that goes quickly, leaving traces of lace. Clear amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Hoppy nose. Flavor is balanced, but strong hops are in your face at finish with a lingering soapy, bitter aftertaste. $1.50 for a 12oz bottle from Capitol Convenience Concord, NH.

 313 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
2.95/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Orange pour with a frothy, ivory colored head of 1 finger statue. Good retention rate, and ample lace coverage of the glass. Spacious rise of medium sized carbonation bubbles.

S: Touch of sour orange peels, dry with some bread is very limiting on the nose.

T: Flavor was watery with some sour funk of orange peels on the first impression. The second and concurring sips faired a bit bette but was very linear in terms of the flavor progression. Bitter flowers, dry citrus with a light lingering bitterness of spicy hops follow the swallow. Spicy hops appear mid-palate with a base of sweet syrupy malt.

M: Light mouthful, a bit frothy, turns washy and foamy, sour orange funk, ok carbonation, not crisp, nor sharp.

O: Sits on the fence for me, a good blonde relies on its grainy, edgy flavor, this is a light smooth malt bill, some good points, others not so good here. A no brainer downer that comes more off as a tweener.

 934 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle with an expiration ndate of Nov 2013. Sampled on July 20, 2013.

It pours yellow to light amber with a short-lived white head.

The aroma is fairly malty, buiscuity, and has a melted butter ester to it.

The body is light to medium.

The taste has a biscuit malt and butter flavor up front and then there is a sharp but also mellow bitterness on the end. Pretty typical summer style brew.

 417 characters

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.

 399 characters

Photo of Gusler
3.1/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a transpicuous deep amber color, the head is portly in size, the texture frothy, the color an off white with a nice covering sheet of lace to conceal the glass. Nose is malt, lightly sweet, citrus crisp and a hint of orange peel, fresh and clean a real treat to the senses with a malt start, the top middling, the finish is ferine in its hop spiciness, crisply acidic, quite dry and a nice beer for a hot summer’s day.

 434 characters

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.

 285 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
3.69/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Pint glass with a very thin head.
I have to say there was almost no aroma only a slight grass, sweet smell if you looked for it.
Some very visible carbonation.

The beer appeared bright, and a clear golden color. A hint darker than the pilsner my wife enjoyed next to me. But in no way Amber or Copper.

This looks, smells and acts like a Kolsch, but I see it listed as an American Pale Ale. Honestly I don't get that.

There was surprisingly a large amount of lacing.

There was a crisp flavor that screamed Summer session beer. I really enjoyed the clean finish with slight bready aftertaste. Just enough subtle hop finish, but in no way a hoppy beer.
Very slight wheat taste as well. Not sure if there is any wheat in this brew.

I think it would be gauche to drink this before Memorial Day or after Labor Day.
(that's a joke)

Light mouth feel that leads to a very quaffable brew.

Nice for a light summer brew

 927 characters

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

 588 characters

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.

 697 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Gritty McDuff's Vacationland Summer Ale from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.