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Midnight Expression - Pizza Port Solana Beach

Not Rated.
Midnight ExpressionMidnight Expression

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

359 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 359
Reviews: 244
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.08%
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: 359 | Reviews: 244 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ppoitras
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Westboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a minimal uneven head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. What head there is slowly recedes to the sides of the surface, with average to good lacing. Aroma is dark malts, coffee, and an underlying fruitiness. Taste follows the nose, with slightly acrid coffee lingering after the swallow. Mouthfeel and drinkability both pretty good. Overall, not quite what I was expecting from Port, but not bad at all.

ppoitras, Jun 13, 2008
Photo of prototypic
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%

Appearance: It pours a very dark brown color, bordering on black. There's a little light through around the edges. The nicest part of the look is the mocha colored head that stands about two fingers tall. Very unexpected and enticing. It receded pretty quickly and left light lacing. But, damn it was nice.

Smell: The is dominated by mostly roasted malts. There's a bit of coffee and maybe even chocolate malt in there, but they're clearly secondary players compared to the roasted malts. It also features a nice smoked aroma that livens it up and adds some complexity. Ultimately, it's a little too light in this department to warrant a higher rating. But, it's a nice smelling beer nonetheless.

Taste: The flavor profile is very nice and straight forward. It's primarily roasted malts that feature a very good smoked flavor. There are some ancillary elements of coffee and chocolate malt that play their complementary roles nicely. But, at the end of the day, it's roasted malts and smoke. It actually sounds a little too simple, but this a nice tasting beer. Mild manner, easy drinking.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied and smooth. Carbonation is very well done and it goes down easy. I don't know what the abv is, but it's primed for consumption beyond a single bomber. Mine's disappearing quickly.

Port did a really nice job with this one. I'm really impressed. I was expecting a good beer, but this is actually quite a bit better than I was expecting. I'm really not sure how the flavor could be improved. Perhaps it could be a little more complex, but that could potentially weaken what's a pretty good damn beer as it is. Check it out for yourself. Good stuff.

prototypic, Jun 09, 2008
Photo of aerozeppl
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%

Thanks to bwyker and kendo for the bottles.

A: Mostly black with brown around the edge. Minimal white head with some spotty lacing.

S: Hints of coffee and roast.

T: Sweet up front with some chocolate hidden in there. Good taste.

M: Super dry/ med body with good carbonation.

D: Tons of flavor for a low abv beer. Excellent session beer/

aerozeppl, Jun 08, 2008
Photo of Kendo
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%

A: From a bomber. Body is black at first blush, but when held to the light is dark brown with crimson around the edges. Small tan head over top, but no lacing.

S: Smoky peat and roasted malt, with a hint of coffee.

T: Smoked malt and peat come to mind. Also roasted malt and roasted coffee beans, with a hint of chocolate as it warms. Finishes with a dry, earthy finish that lingers on the palate as a dry sort of bitterness.

M: Light in heft, nicely carbonated.

D: Very good.

Notes: A nice shift from the usual hoppy beers I regularly consume. My first Port Brewing beer, but hopefully not my last. Definitely a good session beer.

Kendo, Jun 03, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Appearance: Pours a black, opaque body capped by a frothy, bubbly, khaki-colored head.

Smell: Aroma of dark malts, roasted licorice root, dark caramel, and fruit. Waft of pipe smoke, too!

Taste: Dark, roasty maltiness with a very restrained sweetness. Tastes of licorice and caramel. Splash of mineral water. Roasty bitterness. Slight tart fruitiness underneath all the heavily burnt malts. Smooth, smokey finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carboantion.

Drinkability: Geez Louise, this thing's more roasty than some stouts, yet it still retains a pleasingly crisp body. Good stuff!

ChainGangGuy, Jun 02, 2008
Photo of brewcrew76
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%

Thanks to mikesgroove for this one.

A - Black with ruby highlights and a thin tan head.

S - Strong roasted malt with a lingering bitterness and a touch of coffee and chocolate.

T - Big roasted malt with maybe just a touch of espresso followed by a touch of chocolate and a dry, grassy hop bitterness that lingers.

M - Light but not watery with a nice dry finish.

D - A tasty sessionable schwarzbier. I wish more breweries would make this style.

brewcrew76, Jun 01, 2008
Photo of Lupe
4.53/5  rDev +16.8%

Pours very dark, almost black, with a smallish tan head that has decent retention and leaves some lacing.

Mellow roasted aroma with chocolate, light smoke, and burnt popcorn. Clean and intoxicating - I love this aroma.

Wonderfully soft malt flavors. Roasted character that is mellow and not sweet with a hint of smoke. Some bittersweet chocolate, cocoa powder, and light roast coffee. Some toasted grain and the perfect amount of sweetness. Similar to a porter, but clean with no fruitness. Finishes dry with a light lingering roastiness. Paired well with a burger straight from the grill.

Medium in body, smooth, crisp, and refreshing. Maybe has just a touch too much carbonation. This is like my perfect session beer - roasty, clean, and not heavy. I could drink this 24/7.

Big thanks to Himerman for hooking me up with this tasty treat as part of the BIF Race '08.

Lupe, May 27, 2008
Photo of lackenhauser
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%

Very dark and opaque in color. Some decent head going on. Mellow aroma-some roasted and chocolate highlights. Soft malty flavor. Just great chocolate tinge to it. Mellow roasted flavors. Nice graininess. Very full and malty body. A great, great beer at 5%, so the label states. The whole package makes for a great schwarzbier. The great flavors and full body almost make me think of it as a porter. Would do this again and again and again.

lackenhauser, May 26, 2008
Photo of largadeer
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%

Appearance: Opaque black with a tan-colored head.

Smell: Smoke and chocolate primarily with an odd undertone of semi-burnt popcorn, and I don't mean that in a negative way.

Taste: Light-bodied and clean. Malty but not especially sweet; flavors of bittersweet chocolate and dark roasted coffee are at the forefront. The finish is roasty and bitter but cleans up nicely without much fuss. Unsurprisingly this tastes a lot like Serpent's Stout, just a whole lot lighter (it's just as delicious though).

Drinkability: Highly quaffable stuff!

Notes: Great stuff, highly recommended.

largadeer, May 23, 2008
Photo of Bitterbill
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%

I bought this bottle from South Bay Drugs & Liquor. Thanks Joey!

Ahh, a Schwarzbier..I haven't too many of them...

It pours a very dark brown, almost black, actually. A nice 1 finger head of tannish foam and some nice lacing. Nice looking brew. The foam shrinks to just a ring around the glass a few minutes into the session.

Taking a few whiffs, I get a very bitter chocolate smell matched by a very roasted malt nose, and it's nice.

The taste..well...it's damn tasty! A lot of roasted malt and chocolate up front and then some coffee notes sneak in and in the background, I taste just a touch of citrus. Yummy. Now I'm getting some smokiness that I didn't expect. Dang. 5%abv, eh? Plenty of flavour here. ;^)

It has a light body , which I expected, the carbonation is fairly brisk, also expected, and it finishes with a bitter bite from the roasted and dark chocolate malt. A very nice and quite bitter brew.

Bitterbill, May 16, 2008
Photo of mcallister
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%

Opened this lager up without reading about it prior. Wasn't expecting a black lager. But I'm glad it is!! Looks great nearly black in color with red surroundings and a small mocha head that leaves foamy moppy lace.

Full of coffee and dark chocolate aromas with bready earthy malts. A zip of lager yeast freshens the ole factor. Mollasses and caramel as well. Very nice.

Man this a big beer for 5% alcochol. Just loads of coffee grinds and dark bitter chocolate flavors. A hint of caramel, comes through with a bit of a piney hop on the finish. Bready in the middle with a mollasses touch. Very dry and creamy in the mouth. A good beer but not neccesarily one I would session. Very complex Schwarzbier.

mcallister, May 16, 2008
Photo of bosco7
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%

Deep dark black with tan creamy head.

Roasted aromas dominate the nose. Bread pudding, chocolate, and some vanilla as well.

Starts almost as dry as it finishes. Roasty coffee and chocolate flavors upfront. Maybe some smoke in there too. Some really mild cherry in the middle.

Very nice mouthfeel rich yet highly attenuated and dry. This is probably my favorite aspect of the beer.

Overall an interesting beer that is extremely sessionable (though the sticker price here in PA might be a bit much for most to have a true session with). Recommended.

bosco7, May 14, 2008
Photo of jamie2dope
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%

This is a style that I don't get to visit often, so It was nice to see a brewery like Port brewing one. Pours a cool black color, with very minimal heading, mostly just a small white lacing around the rim of the glass. Aroma has a very big presence of cola, smoke, and roast. Taste is roasted, with bits of mocha and chocolate coming through here and there. Body is medium, with some very nice carbonation in there to keep the feel lively. At first, the drinking of this beer seemed like a bit of a chore, but after one glass, I kept going back for more. by the time I was done with the bomber, I was craving more. This is an extremely drinkable dark beer. I knew Port wouldn't let me down with this one. Grab one or two if ya see it around. Cheers

jamie2dope, May 11, 2008
Photo of IBUnit63
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%

From bomber to Cab glass...

Pours like Italian roast coffee - deep, dark brown color with hint of licorice. 1 1/2-finger, rye bread-colored head dissipates steadily, leaving good Florentine cookie lacing and typical espresso foam.

Deep-roasted malt character blends with chicory-like grassy hops, a roasted peanut tone and perhaps some pecans...maybe cornbread (?)...Very nice aroma; some grill smoke emerges with warmth.

There's a great deal of roasted malt in the aroma that translates to a very strong charcoal taste sensation. The profile of this as a lager doesn't necessarily support the heavy char up front to achieve proper balance all the way through to the finish. Back of palate finds a little metallic aftertaste, somewhat typcial for a lager, but mostly a fair amount of slate and a slight, austere alcohol burn. With further warmth, balance emerges to display the quality expected of an exceptional example of this style.

Mouthfeel has warm comfort in front but a moderately bitter German tinge in finish typical for lager. Warmth provides more depth in feel than previously experienced earlier in sampling.

A well-made effort of an entirely underrated style shows considerably more complexity than a traditionally light-bodied lager. Its smoky nature lends itself to savoring only 1 or 2, but an enjoyable 1 or 2.

IBUnit63, May 07, 2008
Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Served in my Oberon weizen glass. Poured an opaque black with ruby red highlights around the edges. One inch tan colored head eventually settled into a thin consistent skim of foam. Scents of chocolate and roasted malt. Some thin lacing with decent consistency present during the session. Nose consistent with flavors, as well as the presence of coffee and some lingering hops bitterness at the finish. Not quite medium-bodied, with a lively mouthfeel and a mild carbonation burn. Consistency is somewhat similar to a stout, but light enough to be sessionable. I've been drinking quite a few schwarzbiers lately, and this one is quite good; however, not the best I've had. A little to much lingering bitterness makes this less of a go to for me relative to the style.

Jwale73, May 06, 2008
Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.68/5  rDev +20.6%

Port Brewing Moonlit Sessions Lager
22oz. brown bomber

First of all, by the name and style of lager, I originally thought it would be like Full Sail Session...when I poured into my snifter and saw a dark brew, I was delighted.

A: poured into a snifter. the beer pours an impenetrable black/dark mahogany. No head at all on top, besides a haze of tan swirls. Lack of a head is the reason for the low score.

S: almost smells like a stout. Rich roasted dark malts are the lead, which I pulled coffee, toffee, some figs and raisins as well. A mild hint of chocolate, but very faint.

T: Wow...I now have a total understanding as to why Tomme is the fucking man. This is by far the most amazing schwarzbier I have ever tasted, and probably ever will. Deep and intense roasted dark malts, almost make this taste like a stout or a porter. Chocolate and coffee tones are the major flavors. This is a very sweet/malty version of this style. Some light hints of dark fruits like fig and cherry.

M: carbonation was a little light, but it enhanced the malts in my opinion. The most full bodied schwarzbier ever!

D: at 5% and the amazing flavor, this beer is a great "session" brew. extremely drinkable.

paulthebeerguru, May 05, 2008
Photo of bennetj17
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%

Nice black color with a thin tan head. The carbonation doesn't appear too active. Roasty, mostly unsweetened nose of coffee malt and ash.

Full roasted malt flavor, with alot of sharp bitterness that lingers well. Again here it is not sweet with maybe just a hint of chocolate in the background. It seems to be more intensely toasty/bitter than other Schwarzbiers I've tried. Clean, but lots of flavor for 5% ABV.

Mouthfeel is light to medium, with moderate carbonation. It's not heavy so it goes down pretty well.

I like this beer, and while I could drink several pints in a sitting, it might be wise to change it up as the flavor gets a bit one dimensional after while. Overall: Recommended...

bennetj17, May 04, 2008
Photo of rxdrewthejew
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%

Picket this one up at Beverage Warehouse...the last bottle in the store. Good timing I guess.

A: Really dark, looks almost like a porter. Not much head but pitch black.

S: Fresh crips lager malt scent, but quite a bit of toastiness to the scent as well. Bit of coffee, again, smells like a basic porter.

T: Rich roasted malt and coffee, with just a touch of hops give this a light but well rounded flavor. The finish is quite toasty.

MF: Much lighter than it looks, borders on watery but don't think I would go that far.

D: Pretty good, light alcohol and light feel make this sessionable, for sure. Flavor is pretty basic but solid. Don't have anything to compare this to, the closest I can get is a basic porter, and this is probably as good as any of those I've had. Doubt I would rush out to get this again (not that I'd be able to find it anyway), but a decent brew.

rxdrewthejew, Apr 29, 2008
Photo of Boilermaker88
3.88/5  rDev 0%

Purchased this 22oz bomber at the Glendora BevMo for $3.50 and poured it into an imperial pint glass.
Has a inky black color befitting the style and a modest 3/4in tan head that quickly settled down to a thin skim and left no lace.
Nose was somewhat subdued with aromas of roasted grains, coffee and hints of dark fruit.
Taste was sweet; the initial flavor was that of dates or prunes quickly followed up by the edgier bite of espresso and burnt grains. Finished nicely with a smoooth hops bite on the back of the tongue.
Feel started off medium-bodied and a bit chewy but ended a tad thin.
Overall, a nice take on the style. At 5.0%ABV, it's definitely got the makings of a good session beer.

Boilermaker88, Apr 26, 2008
Photo of mikesgroove
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%

Purchased this one from Joey, as I am always excited for new port offerings, and the fact that this one is designed to be sessionable, well that would just be the icing on the cake. The bottle looked great, and I grabbed this one out of the fridge yesterday as I finished up mowing the lawn.

Appearance - Solid look from the very beginning, with a thick, black, and nearly opaque liquid presented in front of me. This was looking big for a session lager already. A nice two-inch high head of tan lace formed on the top and hung around for a good few minutes before finally settling down and leaving a nice chocolate colored crown across the top throughout the session. Very nice side glass presentation as well, really showing off nicely here.

Smell - The aroma was a beauty as well. Rich roasted malts and a smoky sort of peat like smell coming through off of this one right way. Very rich with a touch of bitterness-hidden way in the back, I had a feeling this was going to be good now. Very nice earthy and grassy touches throughout as well, with a touch of molasses maybe as it warms up.

Taste - The flavor was huge for a lager, I was shocked by how thick this one tasted. If you have had the Serpents, you can tell right away that the two are related, as the malt flavor is very similar, especially in the front. Rich chocolate like flavor almost coming through in the beginning and then turning over to a more roasted and smoke like flavor. Lots of different earthy tones here were coming together rather nicely. A touch of caramel or molasses like sweetness in the middle and some of the bittering effects in it towards the end. The finish was quick and clean with a nice smoke flavor in the finish, albeit lighter then what you would typically think of a smoked flavor being.

Mouthfeel - A nice rich medium to light bodied lager, the flavor is definitely much bigger then the feel is. Very nice carbonation never really letting it feel dull in anyway, instead it has a nice full feeling, but at the same time very sessionable.

Drinkability - Speaking of sessionable, wow, for something with such a big palate it was very drinkable and light even at times. No ABV concerns here. Very nicely done and the perfect thing to sit around at night and drink.

Overall, I thought this one was outstanding. One of the lighter of the brews for LA and it still works very well. I could easily see myself drinking this on more then one occasion and I ma glad I bought a few more to enjoy. A quality ale here for sure that I would have to recommend you to pick up.

mikesgroove, Apr 23, 2008
Photo of Floydster
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%

22 ounce bottle purchased at Cooke's in El Segundo for four dollars, bottle said the ABV was 5%, split with my dad last night, poured into my Firestone pint glass

A-Almost black but very dark brown, thin 1/4 inch creamy light tan head that did not stick around long, not much retention or lacing

S-Roasted grains and barley, coffee, burned sugar, some chocolate, half and half, some hoppiness, little spice, and faint maple syrup

T-Taste did not change much when the temperature changed and was consistently good and refreshing, first taste is the roasted malt and slight espresso, then some chewiness in the middle but rather thin and light, some dryness in the finish with a few hops and dark cocoa mixed in, nicely balanced and did not lack flavor like many schwarzbiers tend to do, nice new beer overall

M-Roasty and dry mouthfeel, not as much carbonation as I was expecting, thin body, taste lingered for a minute or two

D-Do not let the darkness fool you because this one is light on the stomach, alcohol percentage is low, smooth, easy to drink, would make a nice session beer like the title infers

Glad to see Port took a break from making all the strong beers and thought about some light stuff for once, not that anything they have ever done has been bad, will be drinking this again, good beer at a great price, recommended

Floydster, Apr 16, 2008
Photo of ncvbc
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%

Pours pretty much pitch black. Nice tan head rises up and falls to a ring. Not much lacing, not much expected. Smell is big and roasted, big grainy scent as well. Some hugely roasted coffee scents...and like the guy below me said, burnt popcorn! It's not offensive but it's there. A little sweetness underneath. Taste is excellent and better than expected. Not so roasty as I thought it would be. In fact, a pleasant hop presence is underneath the malt. At first it's roasted coffee flavors...descending to a great chocolate flavor, almost milk chocolate. Then a slight bitter/roasty finish. Considering the Stout-like flavors this one has a light mouthfeel, again as it should. Light, moderate carbonation, easy down. I would probably enjoy a couple bombers...hot summer day, cool winter's eve...whatever the occasion. This is a beer that fits in several scenarios and I wouldn't mind it in any of them. Yummy...I'd like more.

Thanks to seaoflament for another great trade...time to get to a couple from the first! :-)

ncvbc, Apr 15, 2008
Photo of BeerTruth
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%

Got this bottle from Joey.

22 oz. bomber poured into a nonic.

Pours a full black with a creamy one finger tan head that quickly dies down to a thin layer of bubbles. Stickiness is very minimal, but some is there. Smell is of roasted grains, smoked barley, and some burnt popcorn. There are weak chocolate and caramel malt aromas in the nose as well. Taste is bitter coffee grinds and charred grains. Bitter earthy hops and scorched marshmallows on the tongue as well. Such a flavorful lager, perfect for this time of year. Somewhat dry and smokey in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light and soft with a steady carbonation. What a perfect session beer. Lots of flavor which leaves the taste buds begging for more. I wish I had more lower abv. beers like this in my fridge.

BeerTruth, Apr 15, 2008
Photo of Dukeofearl
3.88/5  rDev 0%

A pricy $4.99 at La Bodega in Riverside, CA. in April, 2008 for a 22 ounce bomber. I've read of $3.50-$3.99 elsewhere, so this price hurts (but it's cheaper than driving to OC!).

Pours a solid black black, thin to no head, and no trace of carbonation. A micro head came with a vigorous pour, but it quickly passed to nothingness.

Aroma is actually thin too- not much there. Some roastiness, a bit of coffee, and that's about it.

However, it tastes pretty good. The coffee is the dominant flavor, toasted roasted grains almost get to the point of smoky. A moderate hop ending make for a nice swallow.

Mouthfeel and drinkability of this one are the strongest points. They call this one a session beer, and that's a great name for it.

Dukeofearl, Apr 13, 2008
Photo of Overlord
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%

I spotted this at Hi-Times in Costa Mesa, California. I'm always on the lookout for new Pizza Port and Lost Abbey offerings. Cost about 3.50.

I didn't realize this was a schwarzbier, and was expecting a lighter lager. I was quite surprised when it poured a dark brown with a big tan head.

The smell is roasted malt, coffee, and a hint of chocolate. This is a lager? The taste is bold with roasted malt, more coffee, and maybe a bit of residual malt and chocolate sweetness. It's major flavor component is definitely bitter. Somewhat surprising in every respect. If I had this blindfolded, I would have thought I was drinking a light-bodied porter.

Interesting brew.

Overlord, Apr 13, 2008
Midnight Expression from Pizza Port Solana Beach
87 out of 100 based on 359 ratings.