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Pizza Port, Solana

Official Web Page 
135 N. Highway 101, Solana Beach, CA 92075,  USA
Tel: (619) 481-7332
Opened: 1987 (brewing since 1992)
Date Visited: August 2001

Pizza Port started out in Solana Beach in 1987. Beer brewing was merely a hobby for the owner at the time, but eventually became integrated into the restaurant in 1992. A second location was added in Carlsbad (571 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008, 760-720-7007) in 1997, which brews a few ales of its own. This facility was expanded to an adjacent building, which allows for a wider brewing range, bottling and distribution. The wide range of beers, some constants, some seasonals, and some one-offs, have won many awards and recognition over the years.

The place is family friendly (it's a pizza joint after all) with video machines and a surfer style casual atmosphere. The brews are exceptionally good, with nine on offer as well as guest ales mostly from other San Diego brewers.

Smokey the Rye Beer certainly turned out to be a beer of firm and confident character. In my notebook I scribbled, “a full bodied, thick unfiltered ale that seemed unwilling to compromise or make any apologies.” The looks alone would scare off many with its thick, dense, cloudy deep chestnut colored body. The aroma was faint, slightly herbal, but the flavor certainly wasn’t. This is a sweet tasting ale, a little fruity with some yeast in the middle, and a lightly hopped herbal finish that resembled coriander.

Other Beers Samples

The Old Moby Old Ale was almost as thick as the Rye Beer and equally enjoyable. It did have a slight sour creaminess in the back of the palate. Overhead Abbey Ale seemed a little on the lighter side for a Belgian ale, or maybe that perception was influenced by the previous two brews I’d tried. California Honey Ale is expectedly sweet but not overly dominant on the palate. Port’s Porter is dispensed with nitrogen making for a smooth creamy feel, while providing some alcohol kick. The flavor is noticeably chocolaty and malty with a well-balanced hop bitterness. Swami’s IPA is the brewer’s original ale and as they phrase it “big and bitter”. It certainly has some hop bite and a strong alcohol presence, making this a true US IPA-lovers beer.

In addition to the beers they also boast handcrafted ice cream.

Last Updated: 09/02/2001

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