Gritty McDuff's Best Bitter | Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company

BA SCORE
83
good
193 Ratings
THE BROS
78
okay
Read the review
Gritty McDuff's Best BitterGritty McDuff's Best Bitter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
Maine, United States
grittys.com

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Best Bitter was the first beer we ever brewed, way back in 1988 at our Portland Brew Pub. This true English classic has been the anchor of our draft selection ever since.

Best Bitter is a copper-hued and well-balanced ale with real old world integrity. We use fine Yakima Golding hop flowers in the brewing of this beer for a fine dry finish that compliments the malty palate. The taste captures the freshness of a hand-drawn ale that goes right from the conditioning tank to your glass!

25 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-26-1999

BEER STATS
Ratings:
193
Reviews:
115
Avg:
3.65
pDev:
12.33%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
10
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 193 |  Reviews: 115
Photo of Sammy
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Initially a lot of staying power foam and good aroma of malt and hops. The initial taste was good, then harsh carbonation wore me down. Hops keeping malt in check, a serviceable bitter but not a great example. A tad of toast or butter on toast. More..ingredients.

 263 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.42/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

one of the better beers at grittys I though, which isn't saying a whole lot, but this classic bitter and amber style fusion worked out pretty well. pours a lighter amber color, flat though, like all beers I had here. smells like light English pale and crystal malts, with the same ale yeast as the others, and a pronounced English hop finish, which is this beers best feature. the taste is the same as the nose, lighter than it looks, sessionable more than any other beer they had. carbonation is severely lacking, as it has the texture of tap water. plenty of body for the style, maybe a nitro tap would liven this up, but it just sits there dead. still, one of grittys better beers, went well with the food, and didn't offend me like their ipa did, so that's a start.

 769 characters

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.25/5  rDev -11%

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An authentic, solid bitterness backs Gritty's amber-colored Best Bitter. That's not always something you find in American versions of this basic and very straightforward English style.

Beyond the welcome bitterness, it's basic, gently biscuity and delicately caramelish malt and yeast character. Of course, utilizing the Ringwood strain, that yeasty character is quite pronounced with lots of diacetyl backed by a touch of yeasty 'woody-earthiness' and some mild fruitiness.

It's slightly overcarbonated for the style, but when poured at the proper temperature a lot of CO2 will be given off at the pour, leaving it with a smooth mouthfeel that combines with the medium-light body to make it remarkably drinkable. Additionally, it will not really form the proper head if it's poured right out of the fridge so let it warm up a little bit. And when enjoyed at cellar temperature it's really a very solid session ale!

The bottle I enjoyed had a new label from what's currently on the site, and it reads "Gritty's Best Bitter". It has the colored illustration of the bartender passing over a pint to a customer that I've seen before (probably on t-shirts as I haven't been to the brewpub in years). The label states that it's brewed & bottled in Portland, ME.

 1,261 characters

Photo of oberon
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a amber/copper color with not much head to speak of,the aroma is of toasted malt and biscuity a nice sweeter aroma also seems to linger.Taste starts out malty crisp with some hoppy citrus tones that come in subtly to round out this beer pretty nicely.Would have liked to try this on cask.

 294 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask at brew pub

Light creamy head, sticky lacing, clear pale amber color.

Nose nice better earthy hops, light toasty sweet malts, copper malts, light herbal hops.

Taste bitter earthy hops, toasty semi sweet malts, reddish copper malts, fairly bitter rustic light herbal hops, bit gritty tasting. Finishes with a light fruity hop, gritty bitter flavors, dry, mostly clean finish.

Mouth is med bodied, gritty and abrasive, lower but decent for cask carb.

Overall pretty decent, nothing special but a nice bitter on cask, thankfully low on herbal hops.

 555 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of nuts, caramel, roasted malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out malty with flavors of nuts and caramel. Then a good burst of hops comes in and provides a nice balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a nice session beer to drink for a long while.

 646 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of atrocity
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of smcolw
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this beer at the Gritty's on Route 1 in Freeport, Maine.

Not much head, less lace. Dark amber in color, clear.

Good bitter aroma that is not overpowering to the malt background.

This is a very well-balanced beer and certainly refreshing after a day walking around Freeport. While bitterness is the main flavor, as expected in a Bitter. But I enjoy the subtle presence of the malt. The body is near perfect.

Perhaps it was because I was thirsty, but this was a very good beer for the moment--a hot summer day while I was thirsty.

 546 characters

Photo of paulish
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.32/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of rolltide8425
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Billolick
3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 ouncer, with best enjoyed before dating. Pours a light clear amber, fairly active carbonation with bubbles continuing to rise to the top and a medium bubble head remaining. Some lacing left behind. Semi soapy, piney nose. Medium bodied, light balanced ale. Malt is soft and nutty, minor hops balance things out but dont exert themselves. Hint of butterscotch also noted. Not a very exciting style nor version here, but this one would do in a pinch as a sessioner.

 466 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by Sept. '07:

Pours light copper with a white head that quickly descends to a lasting, thin creamy cover.

The smell is of sweet grain, butter, mild Ringwood yeast, some hop fruitiness.

The taste is buttery and yeasty. Despite that, enough grainy malt with plenty of fruity/earthy English-type hop bitterness comes through to give it a taste fitting for the style. Sweet balanced by floral/earthy hop notes in the dry finish.

The body, which is rather thin at first, grows somewhat as it warms. A balanced flavor lingers.

The diacetyl and noticeable yeast detract a bit, but it's not a bad interpretation of the style at all. Better as it warms, but never quite enough to overcome minor irritants about it. Overall - decent.

 743 characters

Photo of Lare453
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of GarthDanielson
2.78/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Served on cask and poured in a true pint, the beer is a clear, pale chestnut coloring with a light, foamy, frothy off-white head of about a half an inch. Aromas of rich toffee and caramel, with a slight roasting characteristic overall. Flavors are smooth, with toffee and butter sweetness, and a kiss of chocolate. Hops presence is extremely minimal, with only a hint of bitter at the tail end. The hops presence does build as you drink, but still a minority player on the palate. The body is very light, and there is a smooth and creamy texture that completely owes itself to the cask serving. The aftertaste is a slight linger of the toffee sweetness, with a slightly drying finish. Flavors and overall experience of the beer aren't bad, but there just seems to be an overall lackluster feel to it all. Palate seems watered down throughout, and nothing really jumps out at you.

 879 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper in color with a nice thick creamy head. Nice lacing develops during the drink. Carbonation level seems low through my eyes. The aroma was of caramel and piney hops. The flavor was straight forward, as caramel, orange peel, bread, and piney bitterness were mellow and not overpowering.

Mouthfeel was smooth with a hint of crispness at the start. The finish was lightly crisp. The caramel and bitterness lasted briefly on the tongue. Definite session beer at Gritty's brewpub as several of these can be quaffed.

 526 characters

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of tempest
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A definate throw-back beer, but in the best sense. It tastes a little of caramel, then creamy and smooth, but there's a lingering bitterness that sneaks up on you. The hops are a bit odd for me, I can't tell if they're jujst grassy or hae been skunked. The flavor profile is a bit low, but this is a style that thrives in casks anyways. Reminds me of milder version of my local Syracuse Pale Ale but a little more delicate.

 423 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a golden color with a thin white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a smooth pale and light crystal malt scent along with a nice bitter hop aroma. It's light with some caramel notes. The taste is decent. It has a crisp pale malt flavor with a hint of caramel in the finish. It's mildly bitter with a clean aftertaste. The mouthfeel is decent as well. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good drinker. I feel the CO2 is a little much for this style, but it goes down smooth nonetheless.

 539 characters

Photo of puboflyons
4.29/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled in Jan. '09. Pours from a 12 fl. oz. bottle with an expiration date of May '09. The pour is a copper color with little ot no head and not a lot of lacing. However the aroma is a pleaasing mixture of malts and maybe something a little citrus like. I think its body is average to above average. The taste is kind if bitter or sour and it ends dry. This is one that I enjoy and drink it often.

 398 characters

Photo of Latarnik
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of jdhilt
3.31/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a three-fingered cream head that quickly fades to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Crystal clear amber color. Light-medium carbonation and light-medium bodied. Slight hoppy nose. Flavor is sweet honey that fades to a light bitter finish. $1.75 for a 12oz bottle from Barb's Beer Emporium Concord, NH.

 307 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Gritty McDuff's Best Bitter from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
3.65 out of 5 based on 193 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.