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Midnight Expression - Pizza Port Solana Beach

Not Rated.
Midnight ExpressionMidnight Expression

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

356 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 356
Reviews: 244
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.54%
Wants: 18
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:
Formerly called Moonlit Sessions Lager.

also called Midnight Expression

(Beer added by: Stoneman78 on 03-16-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 356 | Reviews: 244 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2010 05:19:38 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of cbutova
cbutova

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2010 05:36:23 | More by cbutova
Photo of hooliganlife
hooliganlife

Missouri

3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-14-2010 22:03:43 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of froghop
froghop

Washington

3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2010 00:30:09 | More by froghop
Photo of nelnutter
nelnutter

Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2010 23:47:57 | More by nelnutter
Photo of mithrascruor
mithrascruor

California

4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2010 23:31:41 | More by mithrascruor
Photo of WarsteinerIceman
WarsteinerIceman

California

3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2010 04:07:41 | More by WarsteinerIceman
Photo of Bricelyn
Bricelyn

Idaho

2.2/5  rDev -43.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2010 02:06:37 | More by Bricelyn
Photo of Gehrig
Gehrig

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2010 02:38:10 | More by Gehrig
Photo of jminsc76
jminsc76

Texas

4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2010 01:52:21 | More by jminsc76
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2010 22:09:29 | More by billab914
Photo of WeisGuy
WeisGuy

New York

2.78/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

a - pours a deep brown a few shades from black, two-finger tan head with great retention and lacing

s - milk chocolate and roasty malt dominate the nose, not much hop presence

t - weak, thin milk chocolate with light roastiness, hints of cola, no hops to speak of, some nuttiness on the finish with a lingering roasted malt flavor, disappears pretty quickly on the finish, no alcohol noticeable

m - somewhat on the thin and undercarbonated side, not overly dry or sweet on the finish - pretty well-balanced in that regard, no alcohol warming

d - sure, it's easy-drinking and easy on the palate, but the taste/most important component is lacking

Pretty weak effort by Port here, in my opinion -- I like most of their offerings, but this just seems like a bit of an afterthought beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2010 04:18:17 | More by WeisGuy
Photo of jsh420
jsh420

Illinois

3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottled 1/7/10 (nice to see they are dating the bottles now!)

pours dark dark brown almost black with a 2+ finger tan head that left spotted lacing

smells of smokey roasted malts and some chocolate

taste much like the smell smokey roasted malts with some chocolate some nuts and a little dark fruit - but what i picked up on the most was that the flavors seemed watered down

mouthfeel is light with good carbonation that gives it the best of both worlds crisp and creamy

drinkability is ok - this is a session beer like the name says - i am just not a big fan of this style

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2010 03:18:42 | More by jsh420
Photo of DavoleBomb
DavoleBomb

Ohio

3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a flute.

3.5 A: Very much overcarbonated, but didn't explode out of the bottle. First pour gave me 1/8 glass beer and 7/8 head. Anyway, black color. Several fingers of frothy soda-like light brown head that retains well, but doesn't lace well at all.

3.5 S: Roasted barley up front. Light dark fruitiness, but this is very soft. There really isn't much going on here.

3.0 T: Again there isn't a whole lot going on. Light roastiness and a subtle fruitiness. Not bad, but there are plenty of other Schwarzies out there that offer more.

3.5 M: Light body. Overcarbonated. Very smooth though.

3.5 D: Like I said before, this is okay, but not my schwartzbier of choice.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2010 20:38:04 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of Rayek
Rayek

Colorado

3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a stange.

A: Midnight black, just as the name says. A dense and foamy tan head has strong beginnings. It slowly settles to a thin sheet of foam. Leaves just a little lace.

S: Sort of a stout light theme in the nose initially. Mineral rich molasses and a burnt wood aromas are out front. There's a grassiness in the background that brings the beer more in line with Schwarzbier style.

T: Starts out with a baking chocolate theme that's quickly joined by a burnt bitterness. A lemongrass flavor comes on late. Things get a touch acidic in the finish as the burnt bitterness returns to linger.

M: The body has nice density, but way too much tingly carbonation. Thankfully, the carbonation calms down fairly quickly. The beer's weakest area.

D: An enjoyable beer overall. It's sort of a Stout/Schwarzbier hybrid in presentation and certainly a nice change of pace on a late night.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2009 05:57:06 | More by Rayek
Photo of bulletrain76
bulletrain76

California

4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle. Black with a thick tan head. Roasted malt, burnt and caramelized sugars and light acidity in the aroma. The flavor is smooth and has plenty of dark chocolate in a light and drinkable package. Lightly burnt roasty finish with light hops. This is quite flavorful for 5% but drinks very easily with only a light lingering bitterness in the finish fatiguing the palate.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2009 05:45:12 | More by bulletrain76
Photo of PhxHorn
PhxHorn

Arizona

4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours opaque dark dark brown with two inches of tan head. The aroma is huge, chocolate, charred malt. Taste is mellow as you'd expect from the style--chocolate, coffee, charred malt. The charred flavor tends to stand out. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth despite the huge head. Very drinkable, highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2009 05:31:54 | More by PhxHorn
Photo of mikecharley
mikecharley

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in a trade from a hell of a guy.
Served in my Portsmouth pint. The color reminds me of cocacola. Just like coke. Really no head or lacing to speak of. just a light cola ring around the edges
Nose of roasted nuttiness. The nuttiness is nice, with the slight dark roasted barley in the background.
The taste is of the nose. Some roastiness, with a very slight bitterness that is detracting for the style. There are slight hops, but minimal. Decent Black Lager, but not great.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2009 16:44:17 | More by mikecharley
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black, as one would expect from the name, with a thin mocha colored head.

S: Chocolate, nuts, a bit of coffee, and the roasted malt.

T: Very roasted/toasted flavor, a bit of coffee bitterness, and a mild sweetness at some points.

M: Kind of light in body, but a lot more punch than a typical lager.

D: Good drinkability, as you would expect from a lager.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2009 21:28:45 | More by womencantsail
Photo of tai4ji2x
tai4ji2x

Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, i believe it was still labeled "moon lit sessions". no date. tasted in mid-may 2009. poured into shaped pint glass.

midnight black (no pun intended). only the slightest hint of reddish brown under direct light. 1-finger brown head, fades to creamy, wispy thin layer and ring. very good lacing.

aroma: malty and roasty, almost stout-like. malt approaches savory, w touch of vanilla. coffee tones throughout and into the finish. hint of earthy hops.

taste: malty and roast again, but it seems the lagering keeps this clean and refreshing, despite the richness of flavor. coffee, touch of acidity, leafy hops, with moderate to almost bold bitterness that is still crisp, complementing the refreshment.

medium body, smooth, with some coffee-like acidity and astringency in the finish. very crisp carbonation accentuates this, but is also creamy.

not a traditional schwarzbier, that's for sure. but i don't think they claim it to be one. hard to categorize anyway.

NOTE: this is before i started hearing that the recent batches of older viscosity, BA santa's little helper, etc are still coming out flat. i was willing to give port/LA another chance (thus why i still went and bought this bomber), and knowing that this is from the second runnings of serpent stout, i was considering trying that too. but now i'm unsure if i want to keep supporting them. they need to get their act together.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2009 05:57:07 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of deapokid
deapokid

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a pilsener glass from the bottle.

Beer is a number 2 pencil black with a very thin, bubbly brown head that settles within seconds.

Aroma prominently features malt, nuts and milk chocolate. Although it's not a strong scent, it's enough to provoke interest and a nice hint of anise and licorice can be detected with a few extra sniffs.

Taste is very "toasty," like what I imagine a coffee schwarzbier would taste like. The ending is sweet and crisp with a hint of espresso bitterness, boasting a few imperial stout characteristics (i.e. eggy dessert finish).

Although it has a bit more kick than the usual black lager, it is still a really nice choice for a summer night and its texture is thin without being underdeveloped.

This texture and a mild ABV make it really easy to consume and this night surfing inspired German lager is world-class and definitely worth the search.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2009 03:56:30 | More by deapokid
Photo of illidurit
illidurit

California

3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber from Ledgers. Nice super dark brown color with auburn highlights. Decent cap of tan foam but it's a little fizzy. Roasted malt aroma, grains, sweetened coffee, brownie mix. Flavor is not as good, one-dimensionally roasty and a little ashy at the end. Some extremely dark chocolate creeps into the aftertaste as well. Body is too thin for sure. Not bad, the aroma alone makes it better than several German schwarzbiers I've had.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2009 06:43:36 | More by illidurit
Photo of Bung
Bung

Michigan

4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz. Very nice dark brown pour, beige head. Frothy head lasting quite a while and really sticking to the glass. Aroma is very roasty, surprising amount of coffee. Also a good amount of chocolate and some roast malt. Flavors are quite strong for such a low abv brew. Dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt and coffee, char. A little ashy at first, but it smoothes out as it warms. Creamy mouthfeel, this also improves with temp. Finishes like a fine stout, lots of roast and coffee. Drinkability through the roof. Would love to have this for my daily drinker. Could definetely argue this was not exactly to style, but at the end of the day, I can't help but rate it for what it is, a real good beer.
Side note, more brewers need to focus on a quality Schwarz, it is the session beer for the dark beer folks.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2009 02:25:02 | More by Bung
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I like the style, and buying the bomber at Gordon's in Watham, I was a bottle past my 12-packer for the plane. Hence an enjoyable and informative sharing with Jeff at Jaspar's in Nashua. Roasty aroma, black body with permanent off-white little head, with a great drinkability, and this is 10 minutes in the fridge on a warm day. Balanced with a tad of fruitiness, and complexity in the roasted black malt.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2009 12:01:26 | More by Sammy
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle for a very reasonable price. I bought mine at Ledgers in Berkeley. Pours a slightly murky very dark brown with a thin pancake head that sticks around for a while. Very roasty aroma, almost coffee-like. This surprised me, not your average dark lager. The taste is also quite roasty, and there is a fairly earthy/hoppy presence as well. Add in some light bubblegum flavors, some more coffee notes, and a light chewy graininess and you have a pretty interesting beer. There is a bit of a fade on the finish. Grainy and medium-bodied in the mouth, I altogether found this to be a pleasant surprise.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2009 02:09:50 | More by Georgiabeer
Midnight Expression from Pizza Port Solana Beach
87 out of 100 based on 356 ratings.