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Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company

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Gritty McDuff's Brewing CompanyGritty McDuff's Brewing Company
2,025 Ratings
Gritty McDuff's Brewing CompanyGritty McDuff's Brewing Company

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

396 Fore St
Portland, Maine, 04101-4026
United States

(207) 772-BREW | map

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Ratings: 148 |  Reviews: 74
Reviews by woodychandler:
Photo of woodychandler
4.8/5  rDev +26.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Ah, Gritty’s! Cue the WABAC machine. Destination: Portland, Maine, summer 1990. As we materialize on the deck of the USS Normandy (CG-60), moored in the Bath Iron Works (BIW) shipyard, Portland division, our hero and his shipmate, Hoos Warner, have decided to become Mug Club members for the duration of their stay while the ship is in Post-Sailaway Availability (PSA) from mid-April until early October.

During one of his early visits to Gritty’s, Woody is introduced to the resident cook, Jen, and her boyfriend, Trashman. The rest of the summer is then history, spent flitting between Gritty’s and Amigo’s (down Gritty’s back steps and across the cobblestone alley). Gene, the owner of Amigo’s was a nut case and Woody fell in love with one of his servers, (La) Deb Glanville, whose brother will kill Woody if he ever reads this. Over at Amigo’s, Woody was turned on to The Church of the Subgenius by Rev. Bob Core a.k.a. Banjo Bob and he became one of The Regulars, not to be confused with the much-despised Tourists. Woody often closed Amigo’s and then assisted with clean-up, just to avoid going back to the ship.

Days when liberty began early saw our hero on a beeline shot to Gritty’s, where he would have a mug of Pale Ale and sit for hours on end, thinking about nothing. A truly memorable occasion was when a particularly comely (and well-endowed) blonde was working the bar and one of the fellow hard-case afternoon drinkers decided that the soap opera on the television needed to be switched to something more preferable, like a test pattern. This led to a bit of serendipity as, unbeknownst to anyone at the bar, the remote was MIA. This situation meant that the server had to get a stool, stand on it, and reach waaaay up, creating a marvelous silhouette in the afternoon sun streaming through the Fore Street window. All those in attendance were riveted, mouths agape. Soon, the channel had to be changed every fifteen minutes, or so. Sexist? Yep. Chauvinistic? Aye. Piggish? Uh huh. Appealing? Without a doubt. Was she tipped handsomely throughout and at the end of her shift? You bet your sweet bippy. To this day, your humble narrator remains unsure of whether she really did not catch on, since she gave no indication that she had, or whether she played to an enthusiastic crowd of onlookers. It is a memory that, when I eventually have Alzheimer’s and the rest of my mind has fallen into the abyss, will remain with great clarity.

Back to the present. The bus from the train station dropped me off just a stone’s throw away, making it even easier for me to stop in. I entered through the basement and promptly lost my bearings, to go along with my marbles, which have been MIA for some time. Once I recovered, I passed the small downstairs bar and the brewhouse, both to my left, and ascended the steps to the bar. It seemed a bit more extensive than I remembered, with a semi-circular shape that extended into the next room, utilizing four brick archways for access and serving purposes. The place was rife with exposed brick, ducting, wood beams, an original fire door, and best of all, a copper-topped bar. Oh my! The Mug Club mugs abound on hooks above the back bar. There was a copper sign at the left of the back bar announcing house-brewed beers. Finally, there was great mural on the back wall, involving angels in the brewing process. Hell, yeah! Er, well, you get the idea. The washrooms were in the back left restaurant area. It was at that point that I realized how much I missed the place and began to choke up with nostalgia.

The beers that day included: Original Pub; Black Fly; Best Bitter; Sebago Light; Best Brown; and my pick – the Fly Bite, a blend of Black Fly stout and cider. Yum yum.

 3,753 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of jfcaa193
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 2.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.5

Photo of littlestevie14
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Fitzy01
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Photo of NHPest
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of DM39
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of Davepoolesque
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.25

Hole in the wall. Super dark. Dark wood and low lighting. The beers tasted old. Super divey. Went her while we waiting for dinner.

135 characters

Photo of bootdown21
1.5/5  rDev -60.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 2 | food: 1

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of smanson56
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Grogsky
4.44/5  rDev +17.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

If you've got just a few minutes to try a few samples and experience some craft beer in Portland, ME, I highly recommend checking this place out. Upstairs is great, but if downstairs is open, definitely head down!

 213 characters

Photo of NYR-Zuuuuc
3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of FedJack
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of tmac
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.5

Photo of JAEvans
4.86/5  rDev +28.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of ScorpioFemme
4.68/5  rDev +23.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

We Want Gritty's!!

Southern Pennsylvania needs Gritty's to find a distributor in York County who will bring your incredible Scottish, Christmas, and Halloween ales to our area so the locals can taste splendor in a glass! I am forced to drive to Philadelphia (90 minutes each way!) to get my Gritty's Fall & Winter Ale fix but hope that I won't have to one of these days. If you haven't been fortunate enough to enjoy one of their seasonal ales (for lover's of Scottish & ESB's), you are missing out on their yummy versions of those styles. I miss Maine terribly and Gritty's almost as much!

 591 characters

Photo of chicagoish
3.04/5  rDev -19.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.75 | service: 2.25 | selection: 3

Photo of HopsnMalts_NJ
3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.25

Photo of LeRose
3.49/5  rDev -7.9%
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 -21.1%
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 +14.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of LXIXME
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of mitch3114
4.19/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of Sludgeman
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

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Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company in Portland, ME
Brewery rating: 3.48 out of 5 with 2,025 ratings
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