This week’s tasting is from Pizza Port, a pizza brewpub in the San Diego area. We sampled their three canned offerings: Pronto S.I.P.A., a sessionable American IPA, Swami’s IPA, an American IPA, and Chronic Ale, an American Amber Ale.
The unusually named Pizza Port traces its origins back to 1987, when Gina & Vince Marsaglia purchased a pizza place in Solana Beach, California. Vince used their surplus space to experiment with making beer, releasing their first “official” beers in 1992. Expanding to five locations in the San Diego area since then, Pizza Pub has become a staple of the fantastic San Diego beer scene.
Read on for our Pizza Port tasting notes, and don’t forget to add your own tasting notes in the comments if you've tried these beers!
This low-alcohol American IPA was a very clear yellow that was hard to pin down. Some of the most commonly thrown mentioned yellow-based adjectives included “hay”, “daylight”, “butter”, “daisy”, and “sandy”. Aroma-wise, Pronto S.I.P.A. was full of citrus hop scents that were dominated by grapefruit, along with notes of pear and pineapple. Bitter citrus flavors were most prevalent, along with pine. The Pronto S.I.P.A. was crisp with a slightly thin mouthfeel.
Our near unanimous favorite of the Pizza Port beers, the Swami IPA is a great example of a West Coast IPA. Very clear with a golden straw color that was alternatively described as butterscotch, manila envelope, and apple juice, this beer exhibited a fluffy head with nice lacing. We eventually settled on Tang as the best descriptor for the orange bubblegum-esque aroma. THe scent also called to mind grapefruit, pine, and lemons. Swami's IPA had a nice full mouthfeel and the hops gave the beer a pleasantly bitter pine and cedar flavor that had a slight sweetness to it.
The final beer of the day was the Chronic Ale. The deep copper and caramel color reminded us of Lipton tea or red clay, and the tart aroma had an apple cider funk to it that also called to mind dark breadcrust and pear. On the tongue the ale was malty with raisin flavors. We also caught mild bourbon and fig notes.