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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.

145 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 145
Reviews: 97
rAvg: 3.35
pDev: 14.33%
Wants: 4
Gots: 3 | 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: 145 | Reviews: 97 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2010 04:36:26 | More by silentjay
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2010 01:21:40 | More by Casey10
Photo of Lukecook

New Brunswick (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2010 19:47:48 | More by Lukecook
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-27-2010 17:07:23 | More by bishopdc0
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2009 14:10:03 | More by BuckeyeNation
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2009 13:37:54 | More by GrittyMug345
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-31-2009 23:05:31 | More by woodychandler
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-20-2009 20:52:25 | More by mdale13
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2009 02:14:41 | More by BostonBrewins
Photo of JimmieFrisbee

Rhode Island

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2009 20:46:45 | More by JimmieFrisbee
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2009 01:48:40 | More by bum732
Photo of DevilDogBeer


3.75/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2009 22:55:34 | More by DevilDogBeer
Photo of jwc215


3.53/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2009 17:37:53 | More by jwc215
Photo of berley31

New Brunswick (Canada)

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

Poured with a fairly large, frothy white head, that diminished within a couple of minutes to a 1 cm size. Fair lacing in several spots on the glass. Clear body with a dark orange color. Aroma is of light yeast and doughy, with some butteriness as well. Light-bodied and thin-textured on the palate, with average carbonation. Average-lasting flavor of breadiness, again with some butter-taste to it... but it finishes lightly bitter. Overall, not a bad blonde that goes down easy during a hot day, even with the slight metallic bitterness at the end.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2009 21:08:40 | More by berley31
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +19.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2009 22:16:49 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of sholland119


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

A-Pours a clear gold with a white ring around the glass. No lacing.

S-Light malt, light citrus hops and diacetyl.

T-Moderate lemon flavor and sweet malt. Nice citrus finish.

M-Light bodied, moderate carbonation.

D-A decent blonde ale. I could drink this one with pleasure if this was all there was.


Serving type: bottle

07-05-2009 22:35:42 | More by sholland119
Photo of oriolesfan4


3.7/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2009 23:16:53 | More by oriolesfan4
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.13/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2008 22:48:49 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of Drew966


3.05/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Vacationland Summer Ale pours a hazy yellow with a white head from a brown twenty two ounce bottle. The aroma is a bit malty and it seems a bit citrusy. The flavor is also on the malty end of the spectrum, hops are minimal. Citrus flavors are present, but there is a buttery flavor that dominates. This one just doesn't do it for me.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2008 23:53:24 | More by Drew966
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.43/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2008 19:13:56 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of OtherShoe2


2.68/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep gold with a fizzy white head that was gone in an instant.

Smells a little of sweet straw -- faint.

This beer is all over the place for the wrong reasons -- not complexities, just unpleasantness. Has a nice bitter edge that blends with a little sweet fruit (light), maybe some sweet grain (light again), a little butter, and ugh, metal.

Carbonation and body allow this one to go down easy, but it might go down the drain easier. I finished it, but didn't dig it. This is a misfire from Gritty's.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2008 16:28:37 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of HopDerek


3.55/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear light amber color with 1 finger of foamy off-white head. Average retention leaves blotchy lacing. Smells of honey, citrus, spices, wheat, and grass. Tastes of orange, apricot, and lemon up front followed by honey, grain, and spices like coriander and clove. Finishes with some grassy dryness as well as bitter earth tones and metal. Medium light in body with good carbonation. Sweet and fruity but with an unbalanced dry and metallic bitterness in the finish. Refreshing and easy to drink, a good summertime brew that I'd like more if the finish wasn't so off from the rest of the flavors.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2008 14:45:07 | More by HopDerek
Photo of m1ked


3.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first crack at my CA-PA BIF booty. as well as my first Gritty.

A- Pours mostly clear dark gold. 1' large bubbled white head that slowly fades into a thin white layer and lingers. Visible stremers noted.

S- Not a whole lot for me to report here. Grainy, dry grass a little etoh.

T- Clean & crisp. Slight metallic bitterness, some cracker flavor a faint citrusfinish with touch of alcohol on the way out.

M- Light bodied beer with good carbonation. As stated above, clean & crisp.

D- This isn't complex and that's OK. It is a refreshing drink that I could session, especially on vacation.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2008 01:06:13 | More by m1ked
Photo of LunaChick


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

This is another one of those brews to help break your macro drinking buddies into better beer.
It pours a nice golden color with a decent head that leaves some nice lacing. Smells of malt and yeast, faint amounts of citrus. Taste is dry, slighly biscuit in the begining with soft fruitiness from the yeast. Nothing overpowering here. Nothing spectacular but overall decent. It fun, easy to drink because its medium-bodied and overall smooth in the mouth. This is one of those "hey try this" bottles that I crack open.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2008 20:13:57 | More by LunaChick
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.53/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2008 22:40:14 | More by WesWes
Gritty McDuff's Vacationland Summer Ale from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 145 ratings.