Gritty McDuff's Vacationland Summer Ale
Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company

Gritty McDuff's Vacationland Summer AleGritty McDuff's Vacationland Summer Ale
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American Blonde Ale
Ranked #663
Ranked #45,794
3.37 | pDev: 13.35%
Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Gritty McDuff's Vacationland Summer AleGritty McDuff's Vacationland Summer Ale
Notes: 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
Reviews: 100 | Ratings: 178
Photo of SnowGoon99
2.87/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

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Photo of ExtraStout
3/5  rDev -11%
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.

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Photo of ToasterChef
3.85/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

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Photo of koopa
3.8/5  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.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4/5  rDev +18.7%
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.

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Photo of silentjay
3.45/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of Casey10
3.33/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of Lukecook
3.41/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.68/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.55/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of GrittyMug345
4/5  rDev +18.7%
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.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.03/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

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Photo of mdale13
3.25/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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Photo of BostonBrewins
3.46/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of JimmieFrisbee
2.71/5  rDev -19.6%
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.

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Photo of bum732
3.55/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of DevilDogBeer
3.72/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of berley31
3.65/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4/5  rDev +18.7%
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!

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Photo of sholland119
3.41/5  rDev +1.2%
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.


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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.68/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.15/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of Drew966
3.06/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.42/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Gritty McDuff's Vacationland Summer Ale from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 77 out of 100 with 178 ratings