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Hot Rocks Lager - Pizza Port Solana Beach

Not Rated.
Hot Rocks LagerHot Rocks Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

342 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 342
Reviews: 180
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 10.4%
Wants: 18
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pizza Port Solana Beach visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Euro Dark Lager |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Kegatron on 03-17-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 342 | Reviews: 180 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of corby112
5/5  rDev +33.3%

corby112, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of VncentLIFE
4.75/5  rDev +26.7%

VncentLIFE, Sep 06, 2012
Photo of Jemonster
4.6/5  rDev +22.7%

A: This beer "(malt beverage?)" is my first dark lager. Honestly, I didn't even know that this style existed until now. Compared to other offerings, this is a lager in name only. According to the bottle, the wort is boiled by dropping hot granite into it. It has a dark chocolate brown body with a creamy coffee colored head. Opaque.

S: Faint and simple, even when warmer. Straightforward roasted malt smell. I could try to make up a bunch of other stuff, but that would be pushing it here.

T: Very good. Smooth malt flavor, balanced hop bitterness that is more forward that typical lagers. Some coffee notes and moderate acidic tang. Basic and tasty. Less is more.

M: Refreshing and crisp. Thin bodied but fits the flavor very well. Quenching. Perfect mouthfeel for what is presented here.

O: I've gotta get this again. This beer impressed me with its quirky character and refreshing flavor and body. I'll see if my lighter beer drinking friends might like this.

Jemonster, Nov 05, 2012
Photo of sammyg832
4.5/5  rDev +20%

sammyg832, Jun 27, 2014
Photo of fox227
4.5/5  rDev +20%

fox227, May 09, 2012
Photo of ineva
4.5/5  rDev +20%

ineva, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +20%

afsdan, May 27, 2014
Photo of kornkid8600
4.5/5  rDev +20%

kornkid8600, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of DaveAnderson
4.46/5  rDev +18.9%

One of the best lagers I have ever tasted, I only sought this after seeing it being made on the Beer Geeks TV show. Great on tap at the brewery, where I was told I would not be able to find it in bottle shops. Heh - that may have been true in SD, but in LA, I tracked a couple down. Still tasty as hell.

DaveAnderson, May 27, 2014
Photo of sessycuban
4.45/5  rDev +18.7%

A - The beers pours a dark brown. Half a finger of head, great lacing.

S - The beer smells of bananas, roasted malts, and caramel. Very pleasant.

T - Malty goodness! Caramel malt, cloves, and bananas.

M - Incredibly balanced. A bit undercarbonated but not really a problem for this beer.

D - If it was a bit cheaper, this would definitely be a go-to beer.

Good work on this beer! With all the problems the Lost Abbey has been having lately, it's good to see that quality control issues aside, they still put together fantastic recipes. No significant problems with this beer. I'd love to see this become a regular beer in the Port lineup as opposed to a one-off.

sessycuban, Apr 21, 2009
Photo of DogFood11
4.43/5  rDev +18.1%

Poured into a pint glass it is easily managed to a nice off white head. Reddish rusty clean body.

It smells fantastic. Lots of sweet malts and some fruity background. Hard to believe this comes in at 6.5% abv. I can't pick up on any alcohol at all. The "Hot" part of the name can cast an impression of Hot Alcohol or Spicy but this has none of those features. Its rather gentle and smooth with just enough spice to balance it out.

The ever creative port brewing nails it again. A generally subtle style with a slight spin and it makes this brew exciting. Hunt this one down!

DogFood11, Jul 06, 2010
Photo of ppoitras
4.4/5  rDev +17.3%

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

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" tan head over the clear reddish brown brew. Head recedes gradually to a slight layer of froth, with average lacing. Aroma is deeply of rich malt, reminiscent of a black lager, but dialed back a bit. Taste mirrors the nose, maybe the second runnings of a schwartzbier. Chewy sweetness upfront, peeks of crisp hoppiness to close. Mouthfeel is good, and drinkability is nice and easy. One I would definitely look for again.

ppoitras, Jun 29, 2009
Photo of pkalix
4.38/5  rDev +16.8%

this was a great brew. actually, it still is... on the 2nd half of the bottle now....
very dark brown with some red in it- kind of like how your hair reddens in the summer.... beautiful foamy head, volume according to the vigor with which it is poured. super nice holding on to the side of the glass as it's tilted. i like that property....
smell is interesting. light, grain-y, nothing special, and smells like a very UN-extraordinary brew of which i was expecting to be disappointed.
taste, however, is very good. not spectacular, but very good. sweet and malty, with traditional bitterness, reminds me of a european commercial style, but with some substance. again, surpassed the expectations formed during the sniff...
it is an interesting note about dropping the glowing 'hot rocks' into the boil, but i wonder how much that contributes overall to the flavor. this is just a great 'standard' beer with some great properties. i like the way it laces on the sides. i like the semi-chocolate-y taste. i like the 6.5 % abv. it's not a super awesome brew, but a great standard which is very easy to drink and with a respectable abv.

pkalix, May 19, 2013
Photo of jwhancher
4.35/5  rDev +16%

Bought a 22 oz bottle out in Denver while out for GABF. Bottled on date states 3/14/2011. Poured into my Prima Pils pilsner glass.

A: Was expecting a lighter colored lager, but got a clear amber colored beer with mountainous head that seems to linger around forever. Great carbonation throughout.

S: Upon first pour I get some cocoa notes, but they fade away & give way to some floral hops, caramelized malts, then some rather clean smelling malt character.

T: Taste the caramelized flavors of the malts. Reminds me of cocoa, a dab of chocolate, some caramel, maybe some raisin and dark fruit (cherry, plum). Very clean tasting with no off flavors.

M: Seems light to medium in feel. A tad sweet in finishing and about par in sweet to bitterness. The ever lingering head gives it a nice foamy quality to it.

O: A very nice beer. I dig that this was a collaboration with some brewery I've never heard of. Even still, I like the experiment in using dark granite rocks to help heat the wort and give some nice off-kilter flavors. Think the process produced some nicely done caramelized, almost decoction-like qualities. Really glad to have tried this.

jwhancher, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of scottoale
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%

Had on tap at Port Brewing in San Marcos, picked up some bottles as well. It pours a dark rootbeer brown with a small foamy ivory head. Carbonation is very evident on tap as well as from the bottle, even so, the head disappears quickly none the less.

The smell is sweet and full of caramel and malty goodness. As it warms notes of molasses, spicy hops and even some alcohol come into play.

The taste is where this beer starts to shine. A sweet raiseny caramel with a touch of molasses and vanilla, followed by spicy earthy hops down to a brisk balanced finish. As it warms the alcohol also adds to the finish with it's warmth. Very nice full flavor and a medium full body and smooth mouthfeel.

Very drinkable with a low-moderate ABV and it's really good flavor. Very refreshing when drinking it on the cold side. A must try for the style.

On a side note_- I remember a brew by AleSmith and Tomme Arthur and another Port brewer (Bagby or Nickels I think) that used this same method for brewing using with the hot rocks. Can't quite remember the name of that brew except the word stone or stoned was in it.

scottoale, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of potownbill
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%

I liked this beer!
Appearance: Cloudy brown with a 1"head. Left decent lacing in the glass
Smell: Dark, dried fruit, molassas, sweet malt
Taste: Molassas, hint of hops, Some alcohol
Mouthfeel: Right amont of carbonation, smooth.
Drinkability: Warming, nice for a Northeast December night.
Liked this beer a lot. Improved as it warmed. The last few sips were the best. Need to get back to Philly and get another bottle.

potownbill, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of Beerenauslese
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%

Body is very dark brown, a bit transparent at the edge. Poured into a Lost Abbey stemmed glass, it produces a half inch tan head with light sticky lacing.

This smells of roasted malt, charred malt, brown sugar. There is a faint hop aroma.

Tastes of roasted and charred bready malt, like a mix of light toasted bread and some burnt bread. Still, has a lager maltiness and while light in body, it is really rich in flavor. There is also some brown sugar along with notes of both milk and dark chocolate and some vanilla. Hops are there, but subdued.

Body is light to medium, certainly not much viscosity, though seems to have more body because of the dark and sweet elements--and while it is lightly carbonated, it is enough to provide a refreshingly fizzy mouthfeel.

Overall, a very tasty dark lager with a nice bright and dark flavor on draft and very drinkable. Which is why I bought a growler after tasting it on draft.

Beerenauslese, Mar 21, 2012
Photo of PirateUlf73
4.28/5  rDev +14.1%

22 oz bomber. Poured into a big 'ol mug.

A: Pours a cloudy, brownish-black color with a light-tan head.

S: Fantastic aromas of roasted and toasted barley, caramel and even some earthy hop notes. Perhaps just a whiff of coffee as well.

T: Big malt sweetness up front. Very reminiscent of a dopplebock. Smooth caramel, rich roast and a pleasant toastiness seamlessly meld to create a sweet taste all its own. Some hop bitterness is noticeable, but merely serves to balance some of the sweetness.

M: Rich and slick medium body with adequate carbonation. Finishes clean and sweet, with a bit of that sulfur-esque, lager "bite" that I love so much.

D: Probably not the best choice for a session beer, but the flavors expanded and held my interest throughout.

This is the first beer I've had that took the "stein bier" concept quite literally, and I like it a lot. Smooth like a lager should be, yet nice and sweet in its own right. I would love to see more brewers take a crack at this style. Definite thumbs up from me!

PirateUlf73, Apr 21, 2009
Photo of ADZA
4.28/5  rDev +14.1%

Pours a thick murky brown hue with dark copper highlights and leaves a bubble laden two finger head that settles to an outer rim,the smell is steam,caramel,fruity hops and toffee fondue,the mouthfeel is spot on for a lager its light bodied but the difference setting it apart from other lagers is this light body has abit of backbone which carries the tastes nicely of sticky caramel,burnt toffee,raspberries,poached fruit and finishes pretty much like a milky bitter white coffee that you have been waiting for ages to cool down and is ready for sculling and overall im a big fan of this brew as you dont see the hot rock method used too much these days and compared to one of our local australian micro breweries that brews a brew using the similar style this one is far superior and my only complaint is that i probably will not see this again for a while and am looking forwards to seeing it again one day cheers.

ADZA, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of tfidler
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

tfidler, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of StonyB
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

StonyB, Jun 17, 2013
Photo of leprechaunandfatman
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

leprechaunandfatman, May 10, 2013
Photo of Rothobinide
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Rothobinide, Jul 25, 2014
Photo of jemarent
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

jemarent, Aug 12, 2014
Photo of Latarnik
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Latarnik, May 23, 2014
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Hot Rocks Lager from Pizza Port Solana Beach
85 out of 100 based on 342 ratings.