In accordance with my last article for the Hop Press on “going local,” I spent a little more time than usual in front of the beer cooler picking out my selection. I saw a brand new beer from Gritty McDuff’s in a bomber bottle – featuring the logo of the local basketball team, the Red Claws. After doing a little digging I found out that Gritty’s had paired with the local sports venue to produce this beer to be served at Red Claws games. That’s the kind of local partnerships that I’m talking about – getting involved in other venues and really becoming an integral part of a community.

Here’s a local news story on the collaboration: NECN – Red Claws Ale a Slam Dunk

I poured it out and was happy to see it was a nice bright red/orange. The aroma was light but malty, with kind of a molasses undertone. The head was there but quickly faded, and I wondered what it would be like to have this in a plastic cup at a game. (I’ll have to go at some point, though I’m a bit more interested in watching the Pirates play instead…)

grittyredclaws_logoThe taste is that of a sturdy red ale, with some nice malt character. I like that this is a lot more tasty than some of the lighter beers that one can usually get at a sporting event, but isn’t too heavy if you wanted to drink several of them. It is smooth and drinkable, with no bitterness in it.


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I’d say that this is a smart move for both Gritty’s and the Red Claws alike – because pairing beer and sports is usually a fruitful venture. Its the type of craft beer that i wish I could get at every sporting event. The price is right, too – for a 22 oz. bottle, the beer is under $4.00 – which is just about the right price for tailgaiting. I wouldn’t be surprised if this ends up at a few Superbowl parties, either. So keep your eyes peeled for the Red Claws both on the court and off. Cheers!