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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

147 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 147
Reviews: 97
rAvg: 3.35
pDev: 14.33%
Wants: 4
Gots: 4 | 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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-25-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 147 | Reviews: 97 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sinstaineddemon


3.4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - this summer ale pours a great coppery hue, with bubbly white half finger thick head, light amounts of carbonation are visible

S - hmm, aroma is an amalgamation of many subtle flavors, i can pick out lemony-citrus aromas, hops, and a grassy/hay type aroma

T - this beer tastes much bitterer than it smells, hoppier than i expected, very tasty

M - bitterness is a bit overbearing, could use a dash more of a citrus sweetness to balance it more, otherwise great

D - moderate, tasty but a bit too bitter

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2006 06:13:04 | More by sinstaineddemon
Photo of krantul


3.88/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2006 18:25:45 | More by krantul
Photo of lordofthewiens


3.88/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2006 22:45:39 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of HoorayBeer


4.03/5  rDev +20.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2005 12:47:07 | More by HoorayBeer
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-07-2005 00:11:28 | More by Gavage
Photo of villainchiwwin


3.95/5  rDev +17.9%
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!

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2005 12:23:28 | More by villainchiwwin
Photo of ybnorml

Rhode Island

3.3/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A clean orange/amber beer. Has a big off white headand just a little lace.. The aroma Is a light sweet butterscotch with a light spicey hop background and a hint of lemon. The butterscotch swetness hits your tongue first but is moved of quickly by a snap of hops bitterness with a hint of citrus in the background and a dry light finish. Good summer beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2005 21:36:51 | More by ybnorml
Photo of moulefrite


3.43/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a bright amber and sports a light coat of creamy white. Champagne like carbonation. Aromas are hoppy and somewhat fruity in a citrusy way. In the mouth the beer cleanses and scrubs with its ample bubbleage. Flavors favor hop and the beer is all around fairly light and simple. Just like the season I'd guess. Nothing serious here just a zippy pale ale that goes down easy and leaves a bitter tang as it trails off onto the gentle finish.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2004 00:51:01 | More by moulefrite
Photo of UncleJimbo


3.9/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2004 05:08:08 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of assurbanipaul


4.08/5  rDev +21.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2004 03:44:39 | More by assurbanipaul
Photo of longpondbeerman


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

Pours a clear honey amber with a medium fluffy white head. To the nose it is very citrusy--mostly lemon, some orange. The bread and butter taste dominates initially, and unfortunately there's not much follow through after that--maybe a little hoppines as it moves to a little bitter finish. A good, light brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2004 21:49:20 | More by longpondbeerman
Photo of yankeeheel


2.25/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. Pours a clear golden amber with a large white head. Lots of retention.

Smells slightly of caramel and a hint estery.

Scant amount of pale malt turns slightly bitter and the goes a little buttery, like 99% of their beers do. Bittering hops are not quite on. This seems like a very wayward brew.

Thin mouthfeel with little texture..

A pour out for me.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2004 00:38:30 | More by yankeeheel
Photo of Stimack

New York

3.13/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured to a golden yellow color with a small white head that had pretty good retention for it initial size. Seems to be a very carbonated brew! The aroma is very buttery and a little sweet. The taste follows the aromas with crispness and a little bite at the end. Over all it is not a bad brew, a very drinkable one. For a summer brew, I feel it is missing something. A lot of better choices available in the warm months that I would go for before this brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2004 01:18:04 | More by Stimack
Photo of ViveLaChouffe


3.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear,bright gold. Half-inch white head with lots of lace for the duration of the beer. Smells of light malt with a sweet grass smell. Smells like summer...

Taste is bitter at first. Light bitter hops with a light malt finish. Pretty basic light ale. Lightbodied with very little aftertaste. Quite drinkable though. Very good for a summer day but not that distinctive. Lots of summer ales in Maine that taste alot like this one.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2003 02:55:57 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of nixhecks

Rhode Island

3.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a sixer of these when I was up in vacation land and was not dissapointed. This poured a deep, clear orange color with a well-retaining, large, off-white head. The aroma was somewhat faint, mostly a floral hop bouquet with a slight piney smell. The taste was not much at first, but then left a sharp hop bitterness on the back of the tongue and an astringent quality in the aftertaste. It was pretty easy drinking although for a summer beer I did find it a little heavy. Not that it wasn't refreshing, I just immediately thought on my first sip that it belonged in the winter seasonals rather than summer. I liked it though, I was a good pale ale

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2003 21:21:40 | More by nixhecks
Photo of UnionMade


3.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deepish golden color, with a fat white head and lots of bubbles floating to the surface. Aroma is mildly hoppy, floral and a touch citric, with a faint whiff of estery maltiness. Flavor is very nice. I didn't know what to expect, and the label somehow reminded me of Elvis, who I hate. Thankfully, the beer is actually really good. Light bodied, hoppy and sharp. Nice and crisp for the summer. Plenty of effervescence, but toned down enough to allow the subtleties of the taste to come through. Balance is good, flavors are pronounced and clean. My idea of a summer beer. Thank God the wheat beer craze seems to be lessened from last year. I like it.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2003 22:11:22 | More by UnionMade
Photo of PatandDavid


2.55/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice pumpkin color, decent head. The smell is slightly stale.

Very malty! I'm also getting a slight metallic taste, and the finish is slightly bitter, with a touch of staleness (like cardboard).

Not the worst beer ever, but nothing to get excited about or rush out and buy again. They do other styles much better. Pat

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2003 16:23:52 | More by PatandDavid
Photo of kelticblood


3.75/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2003 07:43:20 | More by kelticblood
Photo of Jason


3.7/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2003 20:17:53 | More by Jason
Photo of Reidrover


3.83/5  rDev +14.3%
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

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2003 20:32:42 | More by Reidrover
Photo of Greenlabel

New Hampshire

3.98/5  rDev +18.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2003 22:11:08 | More by Greenlabel
Photo of Gusler


3.1/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2003 15:05:11 | More by Gusler
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Gritty McDuff's Vacationland Summer Ale from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.