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Special Pale Ale (SPA) - Pizza Port Solana Beach

Not Rated.
Special Pale Ale (SPA)Special Pale Ale (SPA)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

43 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 43
Reviews: 32
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 6.75%
Wants: 11
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pizza Port Solana Beach visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-07-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 43 | Reviews: 32 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zekeman17
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

zekeman17, Aug 26, 2014
Photo of muskiesman
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

muskiesman, Jun 21, 2014
Photo of wethorseblanket
4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ the source. A pale ale dry hopped with 100% Amarillo.

A: Pours a clear tangerine with a half-inch thick white head which leaves spotty lace.

N: Lightly floral, citrus, some catty notes. Fairly low aromatics.

T: Piney and spicy orange citrus, herbal with some dankness, catty, and floral.

M: Moderate body and medium carbonation. Dry and bitter finish.

O: A solid pale with a weak aroma, but flavorful.

wethorseblanket, Sep 02, 2013
Photo of tbone1384
4/5  rDev -3.6%

tbone1384, Sep 01, 2013
Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4/5  rDev -3.6%

CheapBeerBuzz, Aug 31, 2013
Photo of CDCNAM
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

CDCNAM, Aug 07, 2013
Photo of illidurit
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

illidurit, Jun 25, 2013
Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -3.6%

drewone, May 28, 2013
Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%

t0rin0, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 9/2/2012 at Pour Farm Tavern in New Bedford, MA, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a short dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains fruity citrus, some hops and light caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out with a nice burst of hops bitterness. Then some citrus and caramel sweetness comes in. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a nice beer to pound down for a long time.

TheManiacalOne, Sep 16, 2012
Photo of ryanpj
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

ryanpj, Aug 14, 2012
Photo of strongaf
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

strongaf, Aug 02, 2012
Photo of twelveinches
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

twelveinches, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of tempest
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Ortino's Northside and served in a pint glass for $5. Whew, if I weren't on a mission to try new beers tonight, I could stick with this for hours. At first I had a little trouble discerning it from Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. But as it warm, a deeper character and complexity came forward. Under the bright, piney and citrusy hops is a more earthy and herbal finish that reminds me of rhubarb. There's a light biscuit note from the malts, but the beer is largely hop-focused with the barley occasionally blending in for interesting candied fruit flavors. Find this beer if you like hops and pale ales.

tempest, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of TommyW
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Redbones in Someville, MA.

A- Golden body with a sticky, white head.

S- Lots of grapefruit from hops and other fruity aromas mixed in.

T- Really fresh grapefruit taste over the pale malt body; more herbal/pine hops come in towards the finish and leave a lingering bitterness.

M- Medium body with a good carbonation.

D- Highly drinkable pale ale; perfect by itself or with some good bbq.

TommyW, Jul 15, 2010
Photo of SShelly
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at the goat.

Pale yellow, with a nice frothy head.

Light fruit and hops in the nose, nothing overpowering but very pleasant.

mild hops and lightly bitter, cask is pouring a touch cold, letting it warm up brings out more bright hops, and bitterness.

Satisfyingly refreshing, somewhere in bewtween a pale ale and an ipa, pretty darn tasty altogether.

SShelly, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of augustgarage
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse - June 14th, 2010 - served in a nonic.

Clear golden liquid with a touch of amber, capped by a solid finger of dense foam. Light sandy lacing uniformly rings the glass.

Passion fruit, sugar-cane, grapefruit, and a hint of tropical fruit in the nose. Aromatics are bursting with fruit-forward hops. Lovely.

Fresh citrusy hops on the palate undergirded by pale malt. Mid-palate, the hops turn herbal and earthy - in the finish, they transform into a vaguely peppery minty accent to a lingering malt note. A fantastic session beer - one of the better APAs I've sampled.

Light-bodied but with a good foundation (I almost used the wine-tasting term, "structure" - but that doesn't really apply here).

Lighter than an IPA but stronger than many APAs - this is chock full of flavor and well worth seeking out.

augustgarage, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of DefenCorps
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank this at the Lost Abbey barrel tasting last night, one of the few beers that I went back for multiple pours of.

Clear orange with a dense white head with great retention and lacing. A pretty beautiful beer, this is. The nose is quite outstanding. Plenty of delicate floral and citrus hops, a very pure orange character. In many ways, it reminds me of Parking Violation, a very pure expression of citrus hops. Pine and grapefruit are reserved, and the malt character is low. The palate opens with a firm hop character with a lot of flavor and low bitterness. Mostly citrus in character, bursting with ripe oranges. The finish is long and dry, with a mild bitterness. Malt character is pretty non-existent, this is all flavor hops. Thoroughly drinkable, I wish I'd gotten a growler of this.

DefenCorps, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a orange with good carbonation, even after it had set for a day, it billowed out with a sizeable white head. Nose is very sweet, big hops, citrus, grapefruit but not as much as it was fresh from the tap. Taste is sweet with floral, grapefruit and pine, caramel malt. I thought the hop bitterness picked up in the growler.

barleywinefiend, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of hopdog
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle acquired in trade with DarkElf (thanks!).

Poured a medium to dark, cloudy amber color with a larger sized off white head. Aromas of pine with grapefruit. Tastes of pine, citrus, and grapefruit. Nice and hoppy with a nice bitter kick at the end. Some malts lurking in the background.

Notes from 5/6/05

hopdog, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of Matthew
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. stubby bottle. Pours a darker orangish type color with a nice huge frothy head that pokes out of the top of your glass.
Nice big juicy hop notes, mostly citrusy, but more exactly orange. Nice sweet malty characters big in the nose as well.
Big juicy hops up front, citrusy, faintly piny, sweet, nice malt character to bring a nice balance.
Good carbonation, great head retention and lacing. A great pale ale to be sipped on a hot day, especially for the beer drinker who really likes their hops defined, an all around good beer from pizza port.

Matthew, Oct 20, 2006
Photo of Imstillthegman
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Boolshot for this bottle.

Pours a golden-orange color with a massive, Belgian like, off-white head. Huge freakin' head for a pale ale. Lots of chunky, sticky lacing. Bunch of floaties. Steady streams of bubbles throughout the glass.

Aroma reminds me of caramel apples, with some citric hops as well. Very interesting smell.

The taste balanced really well between the malts and hops. Caramel and citrus hops with a bit of a yeasty, earthy funk to it. Definately different APA.

Mouthfeel is good with lots of carbonation. Very crisp and clean. Makes me want some pizza. I could easily finish a six-pack of these.

Imstillthegman, Oct 04, 2006
Photo of cheers2beers
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recieved this in a trade with Bolshoot!

Served a 6oz serving into a snifter (not proper but its all I had)

Apperance: Pours a very deep amber and orange hue. I was not expecting this considering this is a pale ale. The pale white head stacked up roughly a quarter inch high. Nice beading and a fine colar.

Smell: Wow! This isn't an IPA? I'm getting lots of piney hops. Slightly sweet caramel malts are present. Some fruits such as grapefruit and a touch of cirtus lime. Alcohol even shines through just a touch as it warms.

Taste: This IS special in that the only thing thats keeping this from being an IPA is the abv being a touch low. Lots of bitter hops and grapefruit notes as well as a nice malty undertone. The hoppyness of this pale creates a nice bitter film on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Not medium and not light but somewhere in between. Very light on the swallow and finishes slick.

Drinkability: This is really a ramped up pale and teeters on sessionability. Not bad at all and very satisfying (although im gonna have another beer). I think this would be stupendous on draft with some pizza or fish and chips.

Cheers2Beers

cheers2beers, Sep 21, 2006
Photo of beerinator
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle; thanks to lou91.

Appearance: Cloudy amber copper beer with a large rocky head and great retention. This one poured a bit headier than I was expecting.

Aroma: I got hit by a hoppy whiff during the pour. The original scents made me think this one was going to be a big hop monster, but after a second and third smell, I started to notice some caramel breadyness. The hops are primarily citrus, but there are grassy hop aromas too.

Taste: The malt overpowered the hops here (but that isn't necessarily a bad thing for a pale). The mouthfeel is nice, the finish is pleasant. This is quite a drinkable beer. The bitterness isn't as strong as I expected from the aroma.

Notes: I may have stored this beer for too long. I kept it in the fridge, but I have had it there for about 2 months. I think it would have been a bit better if it were fresh. Regardless, I enjoyed it and will try it again if I get the chance.

beerinator, Aug 04, 2006
Photo of SethB2
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a dirty orange color, very cloudy, with no head to speak of.

S - Hoppy up front, but also a plenty of roasted grain. Burnt honey sweetness comes through as well.

T - Rating within it's style, I don't see how the taste can be any better. Hoppy with a very strong malt profile. Approaching IPA categorization, but not quite there. Strong and very flavorful. Well done.

M - Takes a major ding here for not having much carbonation. It has a medium body, but the lack of bubbles make this seem borderline watery.

D - Good. I'd love to be able to find this in Northern California.

Thanks to westsidethreat for the chance to try this.

SethB2, Jul 22, 2006
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Special Pale Ale (SPA) from Pizza Port Solana Beach
91 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.