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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 t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%

t0rin0, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of beerguy101
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An extra hopped Pale Ale. Medium pale brown color. Aroma is malty and hoppy. A medium bodied pale ale. Malts are nutty and slightly sweet. Hops are very prominent and grapefruity. Well balanced. Nice flavor. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

beerguy101, Sep 15, 2003
Photo of CDCNAM
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

CDCNAM, Aug 07, 2013
Photo of zekeman17
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

zekeman17, Aug 26, 2014
Photo of illidurit
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

illidurit, Jun 25, 2013
Photo of BrewMaster
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

BrewMaster, Sep 13, 2005
Photo of Gusler
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draught @ Real Ale Fest & Pizza Port
The beers sets in the glass a slightly hazy golden amber color with a generous head and a nice bit of lace, white in color, semi-creamy in texture. Nose is hop floral sweet and crisp, start is also sweet with a nice malt profile, top is moderate. Finish was moderate in carbonation with the hops upfront and plentiful, dry long lasting aftertaste, had it at the fest and the Carlsbad Pizza Port, to good to pass up at either place.

Gusler, Jun 15, 2004
Photo of rowew
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz silk screened bottle, no freshness info.

Appearance: Hazy red-orange color with a thick head that is very solid.

Smell: Aroma is fruity and hoppy, with a nice sweet malt backbone.

Taste: Medium bodied, with lots of malt sweetness, and some good hops in the finish. Hops leave a nice bitter finish. Hops in the finish are nice and piney.

Overall impression: Nice pale ale - definitely stands out from the regular APA offerings. Now available in six packs from Pizza Port - $7.99 at the time of purchase.

rowew, Apr 22, 2005
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 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 drewone
4/5  rDev -3.6%

drewone, May 28, 2013
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 TheLongBeachBum
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: A 12 ounce stubby, the same as those used for the Frank D-IPA. A simple brass colored crown cap sits atop a white screen printed brown glass bottle, which has a home-made presentation about. The reverse printing simply has the Governments usual nanny state warning crap, but the obverse printed label is much more interesting. The front has the words ‘Port Brewing’, with a picture of a Surfer Dude taking the waves. Labeled as “Special Pale Ale”. Strength is listed as 5.8%. No Best Before Date but as this one is a new release I know it is at least fresh.

Appearance: Amber-orange body that is slightly turbid when poured. A lovely off-white almost vanilla colored head quickly rises in my tall Pilsener Urquell flute when poured. The head settles slowly, leaving some lacing and a thick deep rocky mass that holds well. Above average carbonation.

Nose: !!!Wow!!! Quite the impact from this one! Juicy hops and a lovely malt backbone fill the aromas. Fruity in the front end with a sweet malt feel and fresh hops in the back end.

Taste: Starts with a fruity hop entrance. Middle has sweetish malts but these are nicely balanced by the hop-bitterness. Some dry bitterness in the middle proceeds to finish with some citrus orange in the back end which in turn leaves a piney hop oil bitterness lingering in the mouth. Tasty stuff.

Mouthfeel: The smooth feel created by drinking through the ever present creamy head and the above average carbonation, both give a medium to full bodied feel.

Drinkability: Damn lovely this one. A fine Special Pale Ale that benefits from a neatly compacted typical West Coast hop juice finish.

Overall: I first tried this on draft at the 2004 Pizza Port Real Ale Festival, where it impressed me. If my ailing memory is anything to go by, the bottle version is just as good. Worth seeking out and maybe picking up a few 6-Packs of this one!

TheLongBeachBum, May 09, 2005
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 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 warriorsoul
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

warriorsoul, Mar 07, 2006
Photo of lou91
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

lou91, Jan 26, 2006
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 oberon
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

oberon, Jun 23, 2006
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 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 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 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 strongaf
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

strongaf, Aug 02, 2012
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Special Pale Ale (SPA) from Pizza Port Solana Beach
91 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.