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Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Gritty McDuff's Brewing CompanyGritty McDuff's Brewing Company
BEER AVG
3.52/5
Based on:
18 Beers
1,077 Reviews
Place Score: 86
Reviews: 72
Visits: 130
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

396 Fore St
Portland, Maine, 04101-4026
United States
phone: (207) 772-BREW

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @grittys

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 72 | Visits: 130
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

So, Portland, and old port play. As long as Karl & Nance had to move absurdly out of our easy NY/CT reach, they might as well as given us this. I figure I can rattle the group of college friends nearly 20 years out for an excursion up north once a year or other, and I usually figure correctly. I'm allowed one record store, there'll be smokes and double espressos, and my obsession with a chicken sandwich to be dealt with...

12 seat copper topped telephone shaped bar off to the right. Brick wall barback holds booze on it's counter between 2 cut through where about a half dozen people can be served sitting on the backside of the bar from the next room. It's startling. Sitting at the bar, I thought the cut throughs were mirrored but my reflection there was not me. Mug club mugs above the barback wall & hooked above sprawling. Love the "stand here, no beer" signs at both ends of the bar. Wide plank floorings and the walls big brick with slight red & green trimmings, exposed ducts, rafter ceilings, and strung track spots. A single picnic table sits adjacent to the bar, plus a lone raised barrel table up front and 3 more to the rear in the large windows spying the alleyway below & marina beyond.

Rooms to both sides. The one just off the rear of the bar holds 2 picnic tables & 2 raised barrel tables. I've got to tell you, I'd swear this room was bigger and ran further forward. Red walls over wood slat lowers and a pressed tin ceiling with strung track spots. And then there's a larger room behind the bar, accessible via arched walk throughs fore & aft the bar itself. Side room holds 8 narrow beerhallish tables, a bar counter adjacent to the bar feed and another in the front windows. And I don't remember this room as always having been here. Maybe it's the drink.

Flatscreens in the corners, a big brewery mural up front, brewery logo prints, a mounted box offering brewery shwag, framed local reader poll awards, Rugby prints, pics of brick lined kettles, ski groups, Rugby teams, '90's holiday parties, mug club Olympics, & random crowd photos, and a Gritty's "early years '89-'90" collage. Someone mounted a large Tinkerbell made out of tinfoil on the ductwork above me, and I just spotted a World Series trophy in the next room crafted the same way.

They had their standard beers on and the seasonal Christmas Ale. Mostly a collection of English style brews, I started with the Best Brown to see if it was such. It's not, but it isn't a bad English Brown Ale; the Best Bitter, a better bitter than most anyway; and the Black Fly Stout, roasty, bitter dryness, I'm about the stout, yes, so I'll have another.

And food, and here's a surprise. I'll be having the Barley Coated Chicken Sandwich. It's crunchy goodness from Crazytown. It's my favorite goddamn sandwich since ever; I'd sell you to a caravan of angry gypsies for that sandwich at will. My friends have deemed my obsession with this sandwich as disturbing; I need new friends.

Service was somewhat spotty but in all fairness, they do have to carry the food up a flight of stairs to get it to you (think about putting in a dumbwaiter, folks). The food's good and the beers are always fresh. Still the best brewpub I've hit in Portland, but as Gritty's goes, I think Freeport is the better location.

***Revisit 6 years later before I start the new thing that could become the job I don't want. If I wasn't sure the layout of the place had changed, I most surely am now. Already chicken sandwiched up from having dropped into Freeport an hour or three ago, I'm really just looking for a beer. Or maybe two.

2 wood box towers on the bar, and a pair of casks just inside the far box. 4 House regulars (Best Bitter, Best Brown, Pub Style Pale Ale, Black Fly Stout), 2 seasonals (Irish Red on nitro & Scottish), 2 cask offerings (Best Bitter & Scottish), and a cider named Woodchuck. Started with the Irish Red as I hadn't seen it up north. Tasty, with a nice maltiness, and a cask the Scottish Ale, good maltiness there too, I do like.

Still Gritty's. (4,040 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of LeRose
3.49/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Stopped in for lunch on a Wednesday - not a lot of people in at the time until the raucous crowd from the BrewBus dropped in...

We were seated at a communal table that was located in a room away from the main bar area. Nice enough seating and the community feel was cool (without the brew bus gang). Our server was very pleasant and well-informed. The menu was a little confusing about what constituted a flight, but the waitress explained it clearly. Not much to question on the menu - it is pub grub.

There were nine beers in the flight, two duplicates on cask which was a nice way to compare and contrast those beers. The beer was mostly OK, but I though the stout was awful. The food was very good - nicely prepared fish sandwich and my wife said the fish tacos were tasty as well. Good onion rings.

More than the vibe (which to me includes the people) the place does have a nice ambience from all the brick - it's a pretty cool building and the downstairs/outside seating would have been nice on a much cooler day. It was mid-90 weather and the AC was welcome.

I'd like to try the Freeport location to compare. They are always packed and always seem to have something going on. It was nice to check it off, but it's no place I feel compelled to visit again. (1,268 characters)

Photo of mynie
2.99/5  rDev -20.9%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

I don't know how long they've been open, but Gritty's feels like a very, very oldschool brewpub. The beers are all English-style, served only slightly colder than room temperature, and the quality varies from "okay" to "the first batch of homebrew someone didn't fuck up entirely."

We stopped by around 11 PM on a Saturday. Everyone was friendly but the place was packed and very loud. There's some minor aesthetic signals toward Englishness, but the vibe was much closer to an American sports bar than a faux-English/Irish pub. That's fine if that's your thing--there were lots of early twenties kids there trying to mate with one another. But it's not my thing.

So, not really a great vibe, and not really great beer. Nothing about the place was horrid, but it doesn't really qualify as a beer geek destination in 2015. (831 characters)

Photo of Oleyomoleyo
4.34/5  rDev +14.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of LXIXME
3.93/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of mitch3114
4.19/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of Sludgeman
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of KLHBB
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 3.25 | service: 5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3

Fun place, great service. Quiet when I was there, but I can imagine this as a party place. Informal, old world pirate vibe. Beer and food are good enough, but the strength is in the brick and wood charm. (210 characters)

Photo of xtonytx
3.08/5  rDev -18.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Photo of 31Sam13
4.21/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of benzalman
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of psweendogg
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of misternebbie
4.46/5  rDev +18%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of OJT1993
4.04/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of dwoolley1
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Rons35
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of DrJGR629
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of illpass78
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of ivyman
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of mr-jj
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Liked the ambiance - kind of reminiscent of a European brown cafe with a lot of tables shared by strangers. Food was good, service was good, beer was just okay. (161 characters)

Photo of Reds76
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of KarlosT
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Food was ok to good, beers were poor.

Review of the beers:

Wow. Can't believe the high scores (especially for the McDuff's Halloween Ale).

Got a flight at the Gritty McDuff's in Portland ME:
Halloween Ale
Cask Best Bitter
Maine's Best IPA
Pub Style

All were exactly the same amber color, with the same head. The aroma was exactly the same, except for the Pub Style. I also had a pint of their Black Fly Stout, which fortunately did have a different color.

I iterated between their Halloween Ale, their IPA, and their Cask Bitter. All were exactly the same, except that the Cask Bitter was slightly warmer.

When I suggested to the waitress that the beers might have been mis-poured, she said that they were correct, that she was also a bartender, and that she could tell from the color of the pours.

Assuming what I drank was correct ...

I found the beer was watery, and it was as though they used poor quality water. All their beers had an off after-taste ... as though their was a Gritty McDuffs flavor they added to all their beers (including their stout)

Mouth feel was watery. And a little evervescent ... a slight bite from the c02. Interesting, even the cask best bitter had a slight CO2 bite to it.

Very sorry I went to this pub. Food was ok. But the beers were mediocre to poor.

Perhaps I did something to offend our waitress ?? (1,356 characters)

Photo of TheMaineBeerGuy
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of CAMay
4/5  rDev +5.8%

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Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company in Portland, ME
86 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.