Gritty's Portland. [Photo: Facebook]
Gritty McDuff's, Maine's original post-prohibition brewpub, is celebrating 25 years in the Old Port this weekend. Since its start in 1988, it has added Freeport and Auburn locations. On his Bangor Daily News blog, Bollard editor Chris Busby offers a nice tribute to the Fore Street pub, which he may have nearly burned down a few years back with an improperly extinguished cigarette butt (click on over for that story): "Portland's cultural ascendance began three decades ago, when the Old Port transformed from a dangerous to a desirable place, and Gritty's, located at the corner of Fore and Exchange streets, was at the heart of that renaissance."
Tom Atwell also writes about Gritty's 25th in his What Ales You column in the Press Herald. The anniversary party, which starts Friday at 4 p.m., will feature a collaboration beer called Bachelor Bitter, brewed with Portland, Oregon's Deschutes Brewing Company. "It is hoppier than other Gritty beers," Atwell says, which should please the neo beer nerds who hold Portland's established English-style breweries in low regard (the new ale does still use Ringwood yeast, disdained by hipster hop lovers).
While Gritty's may not be the hippest spot in town any more, it did pave the way for Portland to become a food, drink and lifestyle destination. Writes Busby: "For untold thousands of newcomers, myself included, Gritty's was the first place they raised a pint, and its very existence was proof that Portland was different — more innovative, more enlightened, cooler — than every other city its size."
Gritty's remains an accessible (and usually crowded) meeting place, with solid, affordable pub food and a wide selection of its own reasonably priced craft beers that still come in a real pint glass, not a trendy 12-ounce Mason jar billed as such.
· Gritty's Celebrates 25 Years — Despite Yours Truly [BDN]
· What Ales You: Two Portlands Converge for Gritty's 25th Birthday [PPH]
· All Coverage of Gritty McDuff's [~EMAINE~]