First stop: Gritty McDuff’s Brew Pub
Beers: Black Fly Stout, Best Brown Ale, & Gritty’s Halloween Ale
Starving after the long ride from Vermont and happily checked into our accommodations at the Portland Regency it was time to descend onto the city & let our Maine Brewery experience begin. There where still a couple of hours left before the Maine Brewers Festival opened and sitting right down the street from the Regency was Gritty McDuff’s a brew pub I hadn’t yet been to but have been drinking from one of their pint glasses for years now (a present from one of my Dad’s trips to Portsmouth NH). I was excited to try some of their beers, after all I had come to Maine for that very purpose but at this point I much more excited for some pub fare. Gritty’s was packed (excited future brewfesters) but we managed to find a seat at the bar, and quickly had our first two beers in front of us. Jaclyn had a Black Fly Stout and I ordered a Best Brown Ale (and yes our food order was placed as well).I remember the stout being really smooth and brown had just the right level of tart (some people say crisp, I think it’s tart) to make it delicious. I’ve been drinking a lot more browns lately, I think this is has to do with the lack of sours available, brown to me is like a distant cousin, doesn’t pack the same kind of punch but is still more readily available for consumption. Jaclyn and I shared a club sandwich and fries for all those that our curious. Originally ordered to soak up some of the alcohol that was to be drank, but I have to say this sandwich was particularly tasty and if I would’ve had more time in Portland I would’ve traveled back to Gritty’s just to have another one or ordered something else off their menu knowing just how great the sandwich was. But alas our time in Portland was short and we had to keep on moving. Before we bid Gritty’s adieu I ordered the beer that I’ve been dying to try since my dad first gave me the pint glass, Gritty’s Halloween Ale. It was a delicious beer but not quite what I had my heart set on, it was called Halloween Ale and for some reason that makes me think pumpkin. Okay that reason is because I love Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead Ale and I want all seasonal fall beers to taste the same. It was a good beer though and I still love the logo, but now the quest to score some Pumpkinhead was on, but first the Maine Brewers Festival!