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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.

159 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 159
Reviews: 98
rAvg: 3.35
pDev: 14.03%
Wants: 3
Gots: 9 | 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: 159 | Reviews: 98 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Boto
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draught @ Brewpub: This one poured a golden color. There was a small white head that leaves some lacing. Some floral, spicy and light citrus notes to the nose. Some malt sweetness also. Taste is a touch dry with a very light bitterness. Almost a medium body. Some malts, earthiness, slight spice. A decent summer brew.

Boto, Jul 26, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
4.03/5  rDev +20.3%
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).

smakawhat, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of mvanaskie13
3.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a standard pint glass: nice bright white, a half inch thick, it dissipates to a ring and clings feintly. Color is pale straw to gold, nicely transparent.

Smell is very grainy, no particular malt scent with a hop fruity and bitterness.

Taste is relatively clean, nice malt, grain flavor, not overly sweet or cloying, nice bitterness to finish it up, with hints of lemon.

Mouthfeel is very well done, clean flavors, nice bitterness to clean up malt, maybe a touch strong on the tongue but expected for a maltier blonde ale.

Overall, I like this brew very much, best out of the Gritty's I had leftover from our Maine trip, and a perfect beer to review on the hottest day of the year.

mvanaskie13, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A yellow/orange pour with a fluffy two finger head. A lot of carbonation. Grassy with subtle sour malts in the nose. There is also a layer of floral and lemon hop notes. Taste is biscuit and grassy earth hops. Lemony malt finish not too bitter. Crisp at first but there is something off about the finish. The lemon is sour and only slightly balanced with the malt.

DrinkingDrake, Jul 04, 2011
Photo of erosier
3.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L: Pours a golden yellow-orange color with a medium sized and medium bodied white colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down to a ring around the beer.
S: Smells of sweet toasted malts, some light citrus aromas, and a hint of something sweet at the end.
T: Tastes of sweet toasted malts, light citrus flavors, and a hint of hops at the end.
M: Crisp, refreshing, perfect amount of carbonation, light bodied, very drinkable.
D: Overall a very drinkable, session-able beer. Really nice mix of light flavors, light abv.

erosier, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of Genuine
3.4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into my Duvel Glass.

This beer poured a very nice, medium copper/blonde in color, with an off white head that dissipated quickly, left no lacing to be noticed.

The nose on this is delightful, wheat, some hints of citrus, maybe lemon, apples maybe.

Taste - This is where Gritty's is unique, their beers have this distinctive flavor profile that I can' quite put my finger on it. Although, this one reminds me a lot of their Halloween and Christmas Ale's...but with 1 or 2 slight variations. Definitely reminds me of the ESB style, rather than a blonde ale. Has some hop bite with a hint of buttery sweetness/sour that comes across the palate before the finish.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation is there, but not heavy, very light. Medium body for sure.

Overall - As being a fan of Gritty's, and what they produce, I liked this one, but like I said before, reminds me too much of their Halloween (huge favorite) and Christmas Ale's. Almost similiar flavor profile. I'll have to save one and compare them side to side in the fall. Great to try though.

Genuine, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of Skarod
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

had the left over from the wife making beer cheese soup. Yum!
decent overall a little buttery in taste and aroma for my tastes. I expected a little lighter color and mouth feel but overall easy to drink like a summer should be. For a similar price point I would prefer Geary's Summer ale.

Skarod, Jun 26, 2011
Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in Totowa since I never had it before it was one of the few Summer beers they had on the shelf that I had yet to try. I like Blonde Ales to a certain extent but this reminded me of a very sour Kolsch once I gave it a whiff and downed some. Like many, I was disappointed by this but it wasn't a total drain pour, as it grew on me just a bit during my drinking session.

Nice golden hue to the pour with a moderately decent head and no lacing to be seen. The aroma was that of butter, grape, and sour grass that was much stronger in the taste and mouthfeel. The balance was nice for this, even though there wasn't any carbonation, and it was only in the aftertaste that the sourness and the flavors inherent kicked up a notch. I was hoping for a bit of wheat or honey in here but it's not present and both would have brightened this beer enough to make it enjoyable to a mass audience.

Instead, this is a session beer that's not as easygoing as one would believe. This has an acquired taste to it but most people won't warm up to it. It's mellow but is too funky and almost has the feeling that it's slightly skunked. Take this for what it's worth - a warm-weather offering that's not a Lawnmower beer. Once in a while, I could see myself going for something like this.

JerzDevl2000, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
2.85/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

TMoney2591, Oct 28, 2010
Photo of SnowGoon99
2.78/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving type: bottle into a mixer glass.

Beer pours a very pale yellow with a generous amount of carbonation. Head forms and quickly dissipates. Aroma is typical of an American Blonde or Wheat ale. Fruitiness more than likely from American hops or possibly a high. Quite pleasing actually.

Taste was surpisingly awful. The aroma built up so much hope for a tasty beer. The aromas did not carry over into the taste at all. Tasted closer to an American Light Lager than it did to a Blonde ale or Wheat. Just not impressed at all. Mouthfeel did it no favors but didn't hurt it. Kinda just middle of the road. It was somewhat drinkable mostly due to the lower alcohol content but it's hard to see having a couple of these if they all taste like that.

Overall i would say do not buy this beer. I probably might even refuse it if offered for free. Usually i like Gritty's stuff but they definitely missed the mark on this one.

SnowGoon99, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of ExtraStout
3/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | 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.

ExtraStout, Sep 11, 2010
Photo of ToasterChef
3.88/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

ToasterChef, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of koopa
3.78/5  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.

koopa, Jul 02, 2010
Photo of donkeyrunner
4/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

donkeyrunner, Jun 06, 2010
Photo of silentjay
3.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a clear orange copper with a decent white head that retains ok and laces average.

smells of bready malts, some lemony fruitiness, some earthy hops some butter.

taste is of buttery bread and a tad of earthy and lemony hops. butter stands out the most, as this beer is much sweeter than the aroma indicates.

light bodied with a bit of carbonation but a slight oiliness left on the palate and a little lingering bitterness.

goes down ok. no terrible flavors here, but nothing that makes me want to come back for more. butter dominates the experience of this beer, though not terrible for a spring-time beer.

silentjay, May 31, 2010
Photo of Casey10
3.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have had this a bunch of times mostly on tap at the brewpub. This review is of the bottle. I find this to be above average.

A- a light hazy yellow light head som carbination.

S - a bit hefe like light strawlike smell.

T - A bit astringent perhaps the yeast. It not bad but mostly abit above average here.

m - has a bit of a bitter feel stays on the tounge for awhile.

D - Not bad its a nice beer for a hot day similar to a lawnmower type beer.

Casey10, May 29, 2010
Photo of Lukecook
3.43/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle poured into a pint glass

A- the color is golden straw that is crystal clear. 2 fingers of white head decent retention.

S- mostly grainy malt.

T- grainy malts and a suprising little hop presence that I did not detect in the smell.

M- a bit creamy, average carbonation.

D- Good beer, I don't think it will be my top summer beer but I would probaly buy again.

Lukecook, Apr 28, 2010
Photo of bishopdc0
3.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I've had this on draft and on bottle.

Golden Light in color, slightly cloudy (Unfiltered) Good head retention and some lacing. Wheat and citrus smell. Smooth initial mouth feel but becomes harsh on the tongue. Finishes with a slightly bitterness. Very light but has good flavor.

bishopdc0, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.55/5  rDev +6%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Dec 22, 2009
Photo of GrittyMug345
4/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

GrittyMug345, Nov 10, 2009
Photo of woodychandler
3.03/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

woodychandler, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of mdale13
3.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Golden yellow. Light white head from a tap into a pint glass at Gritty McDuff's in Freeport.

S- Hops, spice and barley.

T- Somewhat bitter. A slight buttery taste. Presence of hops.

M- Very smooth and sweet.

D- Goes down easy enough.

Other- Only average. Ive had better summer ales (from other Maine breweries no less) that taste much better.

mdale13, Aug 20, 2009
Photo of BostonBrewins
3.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep golden color with a thick white head.

S - Scents of hops and spice.

T - Much hoppier than I expected, particularly for a summer brew. Finishes with some mild bitterness, but not overwhelming. Crisp and refreshing.

M - Light Bodied with some mild carbonation.

D - Good summer session brew.

BostonBrewins, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of JimmieFrisbee
2.7/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a beautiful golden orange. Super clear, lots of little bubbles racing up the center of the glass. Exactly the body of the beer I want to be drinking on the first day above 90* this summer. Head is over-abundant, about seven fingers worth in a tall glass. I let it settle and poured more, yielding more perfectly white foam. Perhaps Im serving it just a bit too warm.

Smells of sweet pale malted barley. Maybe a vague dry fruitiness, but Im not sure.

Doesnt taste like anything special, it also has a certain flavor similar to what I find in my home-brewed beers. Not terribly crisp or refreshing, not overly flavorful. The flavor that is there I guess is just that of the pale malt, and maybe a little something reminiscent of perhaps banana from the yeast. Has a sort of almost dirty taste.

About the right amount of carbonation, could maybe use a little less. Could have been a little bit crisper, but maybe I didnt serve it quite cold enough. While not incredibly off-putting, I can think of plenty of beers Id rather have on a hot summer day vacationing.

JimmieFrisbee, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of bum732
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear straw yellow color, head dissipates very quickly. Smells of grassy and slightly floral malt, some citrus fruits, lavender? Tastes of grassy and grainy sweet malt followed by a fairly muted bitterness. Finishes fairly sweet with just a touch of metal. Fairly thin mouthfeel, has a decent crispness to it.

Not a bad beer, crisp and refreshing. Didn't enjoy the finish too much, leaves an undesirable dryness. Overall, decent.

bum732, Aug 07, 2009
Gritty McDuff's Vacationland Summer Ale from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 159 ratings.