Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pizza Port San Clemente

By Mike Sober

In the early planning stages of yet another round of Brewery fact finding missions to San Diego the reoccurring theme in my head was that I needed to start my journey with a stop at the Pizza Port site in San Clemente. I’d been to the original Port site in Solano Beach on a couple of occasions but had yet to step my taste-buds into the San Clemente or Carlsbad locations. The three Pizza Port sites, as well as Port and Lost Abbey Brewing are under the guidance of brewing legend Tomme Arthur, who is has been director of brewing Operations since 2005; although he has been brewing at Pizza Port since 1997. We arrived in front of the 2-story white beach town building just prior to three in the afternoon and found a place to sit amongst the tall stools and benches that make up the outdoor drinking areas that are placed on either side of the entrance to the pizza parlor proper. Being rather early in the day there were only four other patrons in the place. Two at the inside bar and two in the same outside area where we sat.

I strolled up to the bar, checked the beer menu and ordered two El Camino IPA’s. Both patrons at the bar called out “Good Choice”. And indeed they were correct. The El Camino was a Golden amber to light copper color, a solid West Coast style IPA with a nice floral nose, big backbone and a lingering malt aftertaste. While my wife,Terri, was fetching our vegetarian Pizza with Sausage I made my way back to the bar and ordered a round of the Doheney Double IPA. Now this is what I’m talking about. Nice big beer with a huge sustained crown, light amber color and hopelessly balanced Hop character.

Naturally on our way out I ordered a growler which I’d like to say made it home with me to Roseville…... but that would be a lie.

In addition to the two fine IPA’s they also offered a nice assortment of their other beers.

  • Sticky Stout
  • Shark Bite Red
  • Pig Dog Pale Ale
  • Amigo Mexican style Lager (I continue to be amazed how this became a so called style)
  • Way Heavy Scotch
  • Badonk-A-Dunkel
Guest taps included
  • Bear Republic “Hop Rod Rye”
  • Russian River “Pliny the Elder
  • Hop Town DUIPA (Terri reported an odd barrel aged aroma in her sample)
  • Hop Town IPA
  • Avery “Reverend”
  • Alaska Brewing “Summer Ale”
  • Rubicon Brewing Amber
  • Firestone Double Barrel
  • Ale Smith “Nautical Nut Brown”
  • Paulaner Salvator Dopplebock
  • Hofbrau Original Munich Lager
A rather impressive list of beers that under different circumstances would have had me looking for a room to spend the night. However, the new Stone Brewing facility is just an hour away from San Clemente and was beckoning me considerably. Upon leaving the facility I noticed a sign on the side of the structure that said “Additional parking on the roof”. I’m not sure exactly what I think of that idea, but I’d damn sure I’m glad I parked my butt on one of Pizza Port’s bar stools for the afternoon.