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Special Pale Ale (SPA) - Pizza Port Solana Beach

Special Pale Ale (SPA)Special Pale Ale (SPA)

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

41 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 41
Reviews: 32
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 6.73%


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: 41 | Reviews: 32 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of wethorseblanket
wethorseblanket

California

4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-02-2013 02:41:28 | More by wethorseblanket
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-16-2012 00:23:51 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-22-2010 18:40:23 | More by tempest
Photo of TommyW
TommyW

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-15-2010 19:18:48 | More by TommyW
Photo of SShelly
SShelly

Oregon

4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Serving type: cask

06-24-2010 04:22:35 | More by SShelly
Photo of augustgarage
augustgarage

California

4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-16-2010 03:03:25 | More by augustgarage
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

4.45/5  rDev +7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-08-2009 20:01:10 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Serving type: growler

10-27-2009 14:42:07 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of hopdog
hopdog

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
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

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2008 16:15:17 | More by hopdog
Photo of Matthew
Matthew

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle
@ Pizza Port Carlsbad, 571 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlsbad

10-19-2006 23:28:09 | More by Matthew
Photo of Imstillthegman
Imstillthegman

Delaware

4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle
@ Pizza Port Carlsbad, 571 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlsbad

10-04-2006 20:55:02 | More by Imstillthegman
Photo of cheers2beers
cheers2beers

Texas

4/5  rDev -3.8%
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

Serving type: bottle
@ Pizza Port Carlsbad, 571 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlsbad

09-21-2006 22:49:03 | More by cheers2beers
Photo of beerinator
beerinator

Illinois

3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle
@ Pizza Port Carlsbad, 571 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlsbad

08-04-2006 21:11:23 | More by beerinator
Photo of SethB2
SethB2

California

4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle
@ Pizza Port Carlsbad, 571 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlsbad

07-22-2006 01:26:45 | More by SethB2
Photo of Westsidethreat
Westsidethreat

California

4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a light hazed, semi golden-orange color. Very minimal off white head flared for a moment then receeded quickly. Only small wisps remain.

S: Lightly malty with a lot of grapefruit, kind bud and a touch of strawberry.

T: Starts off with a nice toasted sweetness. Moves slowly to malty watermelon flavor. Finishes with grapefruit that lingers for quite a while.

M: Medium bodied, carbonation neither helps nor hinders the beer.

D: Yep, this is a quaffer. Very nice indeed.

Serving type: bottle
@ Pizza Port Carlsbad, 571 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlsbad

06-28-2006 05:07:45 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured aclear light copper with a thinner wispy white head,nice fresh aromas quite floral and citrusy mainly grapefruit with notes of apricot and pineapple as well there seemed to be a toasted note underneath as well.Pretty well balanced the hops winning out by a small margin, citrusy and fresh grapefruit rind and over ripe pinapple dominate with an underlying lightly carmale sweet malt base.Refreshing and seems lighter that its alc% quite flavorful and goes down easy,recomended for sure.

Serving type: bottle
@ Pizza Port Carlsbad, 571 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlsbad

06-23-2006 02:29:24 | More by oberon
Photo of nflmvp
nflmvp

Wisconsin

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Boolshot for this sample...wish I had more than one.

Poured a rusty orange with a HUGE head that took forever to dissipate.

Citrusy nose that was very enticing, especially to a guy who is admittedly NOT a hop head.

Taste was also VERY citrusy and a little sweet I was VERY pleased at the taste of this....again, for a guy who is NOT very into hops.

Drinkability was very good and again, I wish I had another. This one is going down to quickly and I'll be looking for a second when it's gone.

Serving type: bottle
@ Pizza Port Carlsbad, 571 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlsbad

06-16-2006 12:46:05 | More by nflmvp
Photo of kmpitz2
kmpitz2

Tennessee

4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz stubby. Pours a solid golden color with a finger and half of head that falls fairly quickly after a solid pour, leaving a half finger over top. Clarity is good, with the lightest haze in there, and a very vigorous carbonation keeps streaming from the bottom of the glass. Nose is sweet orange and grapefruit mixed together, sweet and tart, there is a mild caramel base underneath, but the citrus notes are king in this one. I like it a lot, as its sweet but still a little sassy with the grapefruit tinge, and hint of bitterness on the end. Flavor is right with the nose. After taking a sip, I get a hit of hop bitterness that moves towards a the sweet citrusy hop flavor with just a touch of caramel underlying the hop. It finishes very clean, with a moderate bitter and very nice grapefruit and orange citrus as it lingers on my tongue. I like the contrast between the sweet and mildly tart citrus character from the hop, the light caramel malt and the clean bitter. This is a tasty beer. Feel is right at moderate with a moderate carbonation made of small bubbles. I enjoy the nice, small bubbles, as it breaks up the moderate body without taking it away completely. This beer is not lasting long in my glass. I think the aftertaste is as good as the flavor when sipping it. The flavor just seems to last, without fading. Excellent APA.

Serving type: bottle
@ Pizza Port Carlsbad, 571 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlsbad

04-21-2006 23:18:30 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of warriorsoul
warriorsoul

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks for this hand delivery from orbitalr0x.
A hazy copper color with a full finger of white head...sticks around for a little while and leaves some fairly thick lacing as it recedes back into the brew.
Huge fruity hops in the nose with sweet carmelized malt backing it up.
The taste is quite nice...perfectly balanced malt to hop ratio with a somewhat earthy yeast in the finish.
Bitterness lingers on the pallet as the hops hang on for dear life...begging me to call it an IPA, but after having some of Pizza Port's hoppy treats, I know better.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and the carbonation is right for the style.
Easy drinking here...perfect for any occasion.

Serving type: bottle
@ Pizza Port Carlsbad, 571 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlsbad

03-07-2006 00:51:30 | More by warriorsoul
Photo of lou91
lou91

California

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright orange/red and can you say Floaties? – tons of suspended yeast which I tend to like but be forewarned. Smell and taste are all about caramel – malty with a great hop bitterness. This is one to have with some apple slices to mimic the caramel apple tastes. Very nice and unique.

Serving type: bottle
@ Pizza Port Carlsbad, 571 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlsbad

01-26-2006 05:40:04 | More by lou91
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazed orange-amber. Small beige head leaves moderate amounts of lace. Aroma is just as it should be. Dominated by hop qualities with a backdrop of caramel malts. The hops impart a citrusy, piney, pungent-like aroma. Very nice. This one is very nice on the buds. Hops are noticeable, but not over-bearing. They add touches of resin, grapefruit, cannabis and pine sap to the overall equation. Malts provide a sturdy enough foundation with caramel/toffee malt tones the primary ones. A nice little bitterness lingers with the fresh hoppiness on the palate long after the sip. Finish is a little dry and also grassy. Body checks in around medium. Alcohol is not very evident. This one's good. Could be a go-to kind of brew for me if it were available.

Senior Shit is a pretty cool guy. He actually brought this back for me from his trip to San Diego. Thanks dude.

Serving type: bottle
@ Pizza Port Carlsbad, 571 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlsbad

12-21-2005 03:55:18 | More by Bighuge
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stubby silk screened bottle with a cool surfer image. Brewed and bottled in Carlsbad. Pours from the bottle a nice deep amber orange with a half inch of creamy, bubbly off white head on top accentuated by strings of lace. Aromas are an upfront blast of heady grapefruity, tropical, citric hops with some rich pine sap. Fresh, whole green leafy hops come to mind as the resinous aromas reach my nose. A sweet caramelly background is present but the beautiful, bountiful hops steal the show. Very enjoyable to simply sit and smell.

First sip brings upfront melding of vibrant citrusy, piney hops. There's a sweet caramel, slightly bready malty background that attempts to hold it's own against the hoppy onslaught. Awesome interplay between the grapefruity hops and the pine notes really make this one enjoyable for me. Finishes with a big smack of vine ripe bitter hops that linger on after each sip. A damn tasty brew...very Special indeed. Way more of an IPA than an APA....and a outstanding IPA at that.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with light compact carbonation that gives the brew a creamy feeling. Very easy to drink I would not mind a session of these at all. I wish I had easier access to this brew as it'd be a staple in my fridge. Chalk up another win for the brewers at Pizza Port Carlsbad...I will have to savor my last 2 bottles.

Serving type: bottle
@ Pizza Port Carlsbad, 571 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlsbad

11-09-2005 02:35:56 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of amatuerbeerguy
amatuerbeerguy

Oklahoma

4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out nice copper color, same as on tap. Although the head was huge out of the bottle. Left some lacing in glass. Citrus aroma, with some orange some grapefruit. Taste most excellent Lemon, grapefruit, some orange appears at the end. With hop and citrus bitterness lasting thoughout the experience. Some malt and caramel protrude in the end, for a fantastic finish. Medium body, smooth and creamy. Overall an excellent example of a nicely brewed APA, hats off to the Pizza Port brewers. I had the chance to visit all three, last week. Highly recommend if in southern California. Cheers

Serving type: bottle
@ Pizza Port Carlsbad, 571 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlsbad

10-25-2005 00:29:47 | More by amatuerbeerguy
Photo of BrewMaster
BrewMaster

California

3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer on the cask on Friday 9/2/05 at Pizza Port Carlsbad.

Appearance: Creamy cascading off white head exactly as one would expect from a hand pumped beer. Once the cascading settles the beer is a clear copper color with a stiff fluffy head. The beer is still (no carbonation) and the head lasts forever.

Smell: Spicy hop nose with some floral and pine qualities. Very fragrant.

Taste: Citrusy hop flavor displaying a slight bitterenss. The malt is slightly toasty and bready with a mild, soft fruit flavor. The beer has a hoppy finish with a pine kick at the end. Still the flavor seems subdued or weak.. What's there is good but there's not much to taste.

Mouthfeel: Creamy medium bodied cask feel with no carbonation and a smooth watery end. This beer may rely on the carbonation to really get the flavor and feel out of it. The cask mouthfeel is good but I don't think it helps with the flavor.

Drinkability: This is a good pale ale, but nothing earth shaking. The cask conditioning helps the presentation and feel, but I think it may diminish the flavor or at least the reception of the flavor in my mouth. Without the cask conditioning I suspect this beer would just taste like an average pale ale, if that.

Serving type: cask
@ Pizza Port Carlsbad, 571 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlsbad

09-13-2005 18:43:38 | More by BrewMaster
Photo of oggg
oggg

California

4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Multiple tastings

This orange hued pale ale has been such a success they've started bottling it. Citrus aroma leans towards orangey, not grapefruity. They say it's made with Amarillo. Brief fizz, nice hop bite, then JUICY citrus hop flavor. Just gorgeous. Then a tremendous warming wave of grainy malt surges in. Quite lovely. Finish is lightly dry. Medium bodied.

Overall: An intensely drinkable, JUICY, pale ale.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Pizza Port Carlsbad, 571 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlsbad

09-08-2005 06:17:00 | More by oggg
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Special Pale Ale (SPA) from Pizza Port Solana Beach
91 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.