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Midnight Expression - Pizza Port Solana Beach

Not Rated.
Midnight ExpressionMidnight Expression

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

370 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 370
Reviews: 244
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 17
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pizza Port Solana Beach visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Stoneman78 on 03-16-2008

Formerly called Moonlit Sessions Lager.

also called Midnight Expression
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 370 | Reviews: 244 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jjh19
3.03/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: My bottle of of Midnight Sessions had a moderate, tan head. Very dark color and opaque. Tiny bubbles throughout.

Smell: I got mostly coffee smells, but not a very strong aroma.

Taste: I found this beer to be surprisingly sharp in the taste. A couple touches too bitter for my tastebuds, for a dark lager. Maybe the balance was off for my bottle?

Mouthfeel: The carbonation was decent leading to an okay mouthfeel. I thought this lager was a little thin and watery.

Drinkability: Not good, not bad. This was fine, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

Photo of corby112
4.55/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on draft at Monk's.

Pours a deep dark mahogany amber/chestnut brown color that is completely opaque with only the slightest of dark c
golden mahogany edges when held to a light source. Frothy two finger dark tan head with excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves chunks of soapy lacing behind.

Deep dark roasted malt aroma with hints of bitter dark chocolate, smoke, charcoal, toffee, nut and subtle hops. I know this is a schwarzbier but I was shocked how smokey and authentic this smells. Of course there is a slight American twist with the slight citrus and earthy hops but this beer is roasted and smokey with hints of burnt toast and BBQ.

Chewy full body with a nice lactic creamy feel along with a beautiful smoked malt character that isn't overpowering at all. Deep roasted flavor with hints of nut, toffee, chocolate, caramel and burnt toast. Slightly bitter hops provide the perfect compliment to the smokey roasted notes. There is also a subtle dark fruit presence, especially dark cherry thatnprovides a nice sweetnessto the deep roasted notes. This beer is perfectly balanced and extremely quaffable. This is a nice introduction to smoked lagers. No too overpowering with a lot of comlexity balancing it out but ruach/smoked beers fans will love this beer. Highly recommended!

Photo of Arbitrator
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Jupiter in Berkeley.

I think I've heard that this beer is made from the second runnings of another beer. That came to mind as I was trying this. My guess is Serpent's Stout.

A: Pours a dark brown body, nearly black in the glass, but it reveals substantial ruby translucence around the edges. Half finger of light beige head; poor retention, only some initial lace and no more.

S: Chocolate, roast, toasted malt, coffee, nuts.

T: Initially a sweet melange of chocolate and toasted malt. It gets drier as the taste progresses, bringing in roast, nuts, and coffee bitterness. I find it surprisingly flavorful for the lack of sugars. Very solid.

M: A dry finish, with a slightly roasty aftertaste. Thin in viscosity, as I'd expect, but it has a lot of flavor.

D: I'd definitely have this again. On tap only, though.

Photo of Gobzilla
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured an opaque black that had a finger tan head with great sticky lacing on the glass.

S: nice chocolate roastiness up front with hints of coffee, toffee and booze.

T: has coffee chocolate flsvors thst hit first and ends with mild hop bitterness.

M: medium body with nice bubbly carbonation that's silk on the palate and ends with a slight bitterness.

D: Really enjoyed this beer. Bought this beer cause I forgot if I had tried it before, most likely I did but I just have a bad memory.

Photo of Seanibus
3/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is interesting, but it is very far from refreshing.

Pours deep black with a slight head. Aroma is sweet, malty, and roasted, more like a porter. The flavor is malty, woody, surprising robust, with cherry and chocolate. This is much more like a porter. Mouthfeel is rich and milky.

Photo of champ103
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black color. Some ruby highlights around the edges. A beige head forms, but recedes in a second. Light lace.
S: Lightly toasted malt. Mostly sweet caramel and some lingering spicy hops.
T: Follows the nose. Toasted malt and sweet caramel malt. A light hop flavor lingers.
M/D: A medium body with good carbonation. Creamy and smooth. Easy to drink. This is not hard to put back a few in a sitting.

Not bad at all. Nothing that jumps out though. Subtle and enjoyable. Worth a try if you see it.

Photo of rfgetz
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown with a khaki head leaving little lacing. Smell is of dark roasted malts, coffee beans, nuts, toffee. Taste is of bitter dark roasted malts and coffee, backed by a toffee sweet and nut flavor... borders on stout in its profile. Light bodied, almost watery and a slight bitter aftertaste. A nice brew... nothing spectacular but does a bolder version of the style well.

Photo of Offa
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent schwartzbier, characterful and well-rounded.

Black, it has a medium dark tan head soon shrinking to a foamy top and leaving a little weak lace.

Aroma is very pleasant, toasted brown bread, caramelised sweet coffee, hints of fig and bark.

Taste is very nice, dry toast, dark caramel hint, some coffee, light sweetness with light singed-leaf- roasty-coffee bitterness. Initially it tends slightly to the sweet side before quickly becoming dry with a flavourful dry,roasty finish and dryish aftertaste leaning slightly to peppery bitter side with dark chocolate.

Photo of jzeilinger
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black color with a thin caramel colored head.

Smells of roasted malt chocolate and mild caramel, definitely more sweetness than anything.

Taste is chocolate roasted malt predominantly with a little bit of hops, not much more.

Mouthfeel is thin, light bodied, finishes dry, and is a little watery.

Drinkability is very good. I would love this beer on a very hot day, not one I would normally seek out, though.

For a Schwarzbier, it's not to style, but that's what makes Port Brewing Co. so good, they brew some really unique stuff.

Photo of MisterClean
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to loki for puchasing this at Perry's.

A - Pours black with 2 fingers of mocha head. Dissipates slow and leaves some nice lacing. Carbonation is moderate.

S - Medium coffee, chocolate, some vanillaish esters, and smokiness.

T - Same as smell, but some notes of slight alcohol and phenols. Kind of strange for a 5%er.

M - Full-bodied, well-balanced, malt dominated and dry. Feel is a little astringent from the depth of dark malts used.

D - Aside from the phenols and the astringency, this was a good beer. The complexity is there, but it appears the mash was too hot.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very thoughtful extra in a trade with Stawn.. Thanks a ton Chris!! Shared this with the brother. Mine into my Delirium goblet..

Nice 2 finger dark tan head.. great lacing.. the brew is the expected black.... not getting any highlites..

Nose is almost all dark malts.... coffee... some background caramel or some type of sweetness right at the very end... no char or burnt notes.

Coffee notes lead the charge on the palate... reminds me alot of a dry stout.. really not alot of difference I guess, but there is some Citric hoppiness that really helps add a nice dimension.. Wow... working through this, I am really thinking... this has waaay more flavor than most Schwarzbiers, but I like it.. the burps come up with American C hops... eeewwww .... I said it, get over it. The char builds with temperature.... still, the body and carbonation are making this very drinkable..

I think that this is separated from the dry stouts is there isn't too much of the black malt "sour tang" that shows in the stouts... instead, it is muddied by the citric hops.

Pretty damn good beer.... out of character for the style for sure... but still pretty nice.

Thanks again Chris... I hope you like brews in your box as much as I'm enjoying mine.

all 4's

Photo of homebrewhawk
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to MASPuros for this one. 22oz. bomber served in a SA Perfect Pint glass. Poured a deep brown/black with a finger of tan head. Bottle conditioned. Chocolate malt with some noble hops in the aroma. Medium bodied. Lots of chocolate malt in the flavor. Porterish flavor profile. Roasty and malty with a long lingering chocolate malt finish. Different take on a schwarzbier.

Photo of WOTO97
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a pretty interesting SChwarzbier. I was definitely expecting something a little lighter on the palate, but Midnight Sessions was relatively dense with some pretty vivacious malt character. Pours a dark char color with a cream head; nominal lacing. Lots of roasted malt character for the style with some pretty nice smoke notes as well. Just a hint of hop bitterness that balances the malt notes nicely. A bit less crispness than I was expecting, but the nose was still pretty pleasant. The body is pretty dense for the style with a nice smoke and roast quality to the malt. Although the hop qualities were not as pronounced to me as some other posts, enough bitterness was present to balance out the malt. All-in-all a really nice pour and light enough to make me want another once the first disappeared. I really like this one, but knock it a few points for being off style in my opinion.

Photo of Dijeriduster
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark and opaque with ample head that doesn't last too long, though plenty of lacing

S - Dark and roasty with just a hint of lager yeast coming thru in the end. Very unique bitterness

T - Again dark and roasty with malty sour notes coming thru from high extraction. Amazing as this is second runnings from Serpent Stout

M - Fuller then a regular lager for sure with thinish wispy after taste.

O - Nice session beer, a little harsh on the roasty taste but very drinkable. Another amazing beer from Port Brewing

Photo of DoubleJ
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounces of San Diego brewed beer. And it's a dark lager, not a hopbomb. Bottled on 1/7/10, on to the beer:

Black with a little glow of runy red towards the bottom of the glass. The head has a semi-creamy look to it, is thick, and shows off very good retention. Aroma is spot on for the style. Milk sweet, roasted malts, a little coffee bean, lactose. A milk lager? We shall see.

Mmm, tasty. Midnight Sessions is certainly appetizing. I love how the flavors are balanced, and how prononuced the flavors are despite being just 5% ABV. I need to think here...well, you get a generous dose of roasted malt mixed with sweet creamer. Then baker's chocolate. Even a bite of clean hops makes appearances. Initially, the carbonation is very bubbly in the mouth, but a little extra time gives the bubbles a chance to be a little less intense. Still on the carbonated side though.

It's difficult to find a good American-made schwarzbier on the shelf. Midnight Sessions is made for sessions not just for midnight, but for any time of day. Damn tasty stuff; now it's my new favorite of the Port Brewing line.

Photo of cbutova
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a two finger off white head. Good retention and a light coat of lacing. Smells and taste of roast malts, some earthy and citrus peel hops, some smoke and a bit of yeast. Mouthfeel is moderate with nice low carbonation. Leaves a coat of roasty hops. Low bitterness. Certainly a nice laid back roasty lager at a good price. Could session this one for sure.

Photo of hooliganlife
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at Jake Melnicks Corner Tap. Served in a room temp mug

pour was deep cola. light creamy cocoa head and nice retention. great lacing.

light roasted malts, a touch of sweetness, and like coffee.

a nice bold and flavorful lager. hints of smoke, roasted malts, light coffee, maybe some chocolate here and there, dark fruits. light bitterness through out with a great citrus mix of tangerine and grapefruit at the finish.

light body but fairly full. light to moderate carbonation.

this was super easy to drink, nice low ABV, great flavor with nothing really dominating. i drank this rather quickly.

Photo of froghop
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a black with a small khaki head, and some lacing.

smell is of roasted malt, some coffee, a little smoke, and cocoa.

taste is bold, roasted malt, cocoa, some coffee, and hops in back, ends a little bitter.

overall a good schwarzbier that is more bitter than most.

Photo of nelnutter
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 22oz. bomber into Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A: Poured a pitch-black with huge foamy/sponge-like head that stuck around for a while. Left patches of lace here and there.

S: Roasty, coffee, chocolate...and there was a smokiness that was making me think of beef jerky; yum. Now I want some beef jerky.

T: Roasty and smoky, bitter chocolate, and coffee dominate, and there's just enough hops to smooth things out at the end. Leaves a long bitter finish (not hoppy though). Very very nice.

M: Medium-bodied for the most part. Ample, but on the lighter-side of carbonation. Goes down easy.

D: Thoroughly enjoyed this. Definitely would have it again and could easily make this a go-to beer when I'm in the mood for something roasty like this.

Photo of mithrascruor
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a nice shiny solid black color. Tan head quickly turns to a film.

Smell: Deep roasted malt flavor, coffee, and a hint of chocolate and cream.

Taste: Nice roasted flavor with hints of coffee. Bitterness at the finish and in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth feel.

Drinkability: Pretty easy to drink; the bitterness is a bit more than I'd expect, but not distracting.

Nice to have a good dark lager brewed locally!

Photo of WarsteinerIceman
3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Beer pours a dark dark brown, almost black. It has a mocha colored head that is persistent. As dark as it is, it's not as viscous as one would expect.

S - Smell is crisp, of smoke and nuts and is slightly sweet.

T - Tastes... good with first sip. Smokey, but not heavy like a stout or porter. Finishes with a little bitterness and woodiness, but not hoppy.

M - Very smooth at first, with a little bite at the end. Middling carbonation, just enough to keep things pleasant.

D - Drinkable, but not something I'd turn to for a Schwarzbier. It's light enough that I'd be able to enjoy a few should the mood for multiple smooth, smokey beers strike me.

Photo of Bricelyn
2.31/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Poured out of Large 24 oz bottle, pitch black looks like motor oil that hasn't ever been changed Made about a half inch of nice brown head.

Smell is smokey and like baking chocolate.

Taste is much the same but with a watery hop at the end smoke lingers after on the back of the tongue.

Mouth feel watery and light carbination

I Was told to give it a try and I did... not to impressed.

Photo of Gehrig
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lush onyx body with one and one-half fingers of light mocha froth. Good duration and dense lacing adorn the Duvel tulip; great-looking beer. Roasted black coffee with dark chocolate malt dominate the smell. The coffee is especially strong, and that is a really good thing.

Coffee leads the flavors, with chocolate close in tow. Some hop bite provides a nice finish. It's not a deeply complex beer, but the style isn't typically complex, either. What Midnight Sessions offers, if does so in abundance and with gusto. This is delicious, with very good, smoky flavor, consistent aroma, and steady throughout. What it brings in the first sip is what one finds in the end--a good, robust Schwarzbier. It could step in for a smoke porter without too much difficulty.

Good texture, malty with nice effervescence. Really nice! It is one hell of a session beer, really fine, accessible, and delicious. This surprised me. Port makes very good stuff, but Schwarzbier isn't my favorite style. Sprecher Black Bavarian stands out to me as one of the very best Schwarzbiers I've had. This is very close to Sprecher's excellent offering, a really splendid dark, smoky lager.

I could enjoy a couple of these bomber bottles every night, at Midnight, earlier, or later. Terrific.

Photo of jminsc76
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into a long Paulaner tulip glass, and the head erupted like a volcano right out of the glass upon an aggressive pour. The head is a purplish/grayish haze atop a darker body. Great visuals.

Aromas of roasted, malts, a little smoke, some melon, and other fruitiness in the nose. Mellows as it warms.

The flavors are roasty, smoke-y, with some walnuts on the palate. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel is light and fluffy, probably due to the higher carbonation.

Overall, an excellent Schwarzbier, that exceeds expectations and demands returned helpings. Especially for a 5% beer.

Photo of billab914
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this in a shipment from Southbay. Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Sam Adams pint glass. Pours black with a ruby tint to it where the light strikes the sides of the glass. Poured with a big fluffy two finger white head. Good head retention and moderate lacing.

Aroma is big and roasty, a lot more roasty then I expected from other Schwartzbier's I have had. There is also a grainy more lager-ish aroma that comes through that helps it keep with style.

The taste is just as roasty as the nose suggests, the coffee and bitter chocolate are the dominant flavor on the palate. As I said before it's definitely more roasty then I expected but it tastes very good. I would probably say if someone likes stouts and porters they would like this beer.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, it has a lot of the things I love about a stout or porter but lighter more drinkable while still being full flavored.

Overall this was a very well made beer, I can't say how to "style" it was being so dominant in the coffee and chocolate flavors but it doesn't really matter to me as long as it is good. This actually reminds me a lot of some Duck Rabbit beers, maybe the porter.

Midnight Expression from Pizza Port Solana Beach
87 out of 100 based on 370 ratings.