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Hot Rocks Lager | Pizza Port Solana Beach

very good
182 Reviews
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Hot Rocks LagerHot Rocks Lager

Brewed by:
Pizza Port Solana Beach
California, United States | website

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Kegatron on 03-17-2009

User Reviews
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Reviews: 182 | Ratings: 362
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice dark lager. When I got the initial hits of malt and caramel, I was worried that it was going to be too much. But it ended up being quite balanced and even. Thorough flavor profile. Even delivery. Not overly complex, but it works. I can dig it.

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Photo of JRed
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep brown-almost black in body with khaki head that stays around. Smells of hazelnut, almost light coffee, and vague pine. Tastes of hazelnut, roasted coffee, slight prune, vague chocolate, and some grassiness. Cola-like in mouthfeel and medium bodied. Sticky on the palate but worth trying.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge billowing light beige head sounds like Coca Cola. Body is dark brown with ruby highlights. Spotty lace drops.

Aroma of caramel and earthy hops.

Taste begins with sweet caramel. Hint of burnt sugar, like crime brûlée. Some coffee. Earthy hops.

Smooth well rounded mouthfeel.

Not something I'd buy regularly, but a tasty one off.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.32/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark brown with good carbonation, nice big brown cap with a nice amount oflacing

S: Grainy with some chocolate and roasted malt

T: A noticable light roast and cocoa on the palate with some grains, grass and light floral notes

M: Medium bodied, well carbonated

O: Not to bad

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 4/6/12.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a 1 inch foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace of lace form randomly around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, slight caramel, and some mineral aromas. Taste is of roasted and toasted malt and some burnt caramel and slight mineral flavors. There is a medium roasty and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but I prefer the way it smells over the way it tastes.

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Photo of Drinkerofales
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark, opaque brown, with golden highlights on the edges. A huge light mocha head leaves plenty of thick lace.

Smells of toasted malts, caramel, and a hint of smoke.

Tastes of chocolate, a tiny bit of char, fruity grilled pears, with a yeasty tang on the finish.

Medium bodied and smooth, good drinkability. A light carbonation sting hits the tongue, which kind of detracts, but not horribly so.

What a strange beer, I really liked the flavor. Other aspects not so much, but flavor is the king.


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Photo of Gavage
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a one inch head that falls to a thick surface foam.

Smell: some malt sweetness is all you can detect.

Taste: malt, dark fruit sweetness, some earthiness, and a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp to start, a bit smoother towards the finish.

Overall: an easy to drink dark lager but the flavor profile is a bit mild.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Why would you brew a beer with granite? What is the granite supposed to do? Anyways, we have here a dark lager, here to test out my newly acquired Eisenbahn Dunbkel glass (YAY!). On to the beer:

Pleasing dark lager look; a ruby brown colored beer with reddish hues, a thick head over two inches, and modest glops of lace. That's a good smell; pleasant raisin and dark malt goodness. I even get the granite, which actually is on the complimentary side.

Nothing to complain about the taste. There is enough malt sweetness, caramel, and unsweetened chocolate to make this tasty, and there's that interesting granite note which balanced out the beer and adds a bitter edge to it. The minerality is especially strong in the aftertaste. It's medium bodied and rather smooth with the carbonation, though it does feel lighter than its listed 6.5% ABV.

A refreshing twist to the dark lager style. At the very least it's a good malt option for those who are bured from hops.

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Photo of Maximusmaximus
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I don't understand the packaging here. This beer is made by putting red-hot chunks of granite into the wort. This is how some old-school Germans boiled their wort and it lends the beer a hearty, rich, cooked-sugar complexity that is entirely unique. If the earth were a beer, this is what it would taste like. This deep winter, Euro dark lager, "stein" beer screams of its German ancestry. So why put it in a bottle with little Hawaiian guys dancing around a fire on the label? Beats me. Hand me another.

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Photo of jtierney89
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy deep brown color with amber highlights. Creamy off white head. Nose is earthy with toasted malt. Breadth Malta and very faint notes of dark fruit.

Surprisingly chocolaty. But you can definitely taste the granite. A really unique taste. Flavors blend together well. Toasted Malta, touch of caramel, chocolate and a mineral like quality. The granite really adds a unique quality to this dark lager. Somehow makes it taste cleaner and crisper. A strange beer for sure but overall its pretty good. A little boring and a little too malt heavy at times though.

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Photo of beergoot
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very clear, reddish-brown color with a very thick, tan head.

Primarily a malt aroma: lightly roasted grains with a hint of spice. Lightly burnt toast...

Light mouthfeel with soft carbonation on the tongue. Lightly burnt toast flavor. A bit of alcohol warmth shines through and melds with a gentle bitterness at the finish. Finishes cleanly.

A good dark lager. Decently balanced for flavor. Smooth and easy drinking.

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Photo of Lockedin
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. from Southwest Liquor & Deli

Random spotting in my local store, it was hot, my kid was freakin' out in the other aisle so I grabbed this.

A: Oh, it's a Euro (VERY) Dark Lager. Nearly obsidian black with mahogany hints at the edges when held to light. 1.5 fingers of tight bubbled head recedes to a 1mm cap that remains throughout the session. Nice lacing and a ring to commemorate every sip.

S: Somewhat faint aroma overall. What I get is bitter burnt cocoa, and a definite cola scent. Slight, malts appear as the beer warms.

T: More of the nose, Burnt chocolate and roasted coffee leave, charcoal leads to a more bitter chocolate and cola makes it's way into the finish. Much like a mellowed English Porter IMHO.
I like English Porters...

M: On the medium side of light, fairly active carbonation. A bit drying on the swallow, and very nice.

O: I really wasn't sure what effect the "hot rocks" (using hot rocks to achieve the boil) method they used would have. Maybe that's where the roasty flavors come from. Or, as the label hints, it was just fun to do - either way, while it's nothing Earth shatteringly different, I really enjoyed this beer and will be putting it in the regular rotation.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, semi-transparent cola brown with a very thick but not too persistent light tan head. The sample I got fizzed like nobody’s business, so you may want to have a towel handy. Malty aroma has a firm fruity note and just a hint of miso. Flavor has a malty core plus fruity and woody notes and just a touch of caramel. There also seems to be a dusty or dirty tone, perhaps from the rocks used to heat the wort. Smooth texture has good body and a fair amount of fizz.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark black with a hint of red and a finger of frothy khaki colored head. The head fades down very slowly leaving behind some nice lace.

S - The aroma is a mix of roasted chocolate and caramel malts with a touch of burnt malt and some dark fruit with some earthy hops and bit of lager yeast.

T - Starts off with a mix of roasted chocolate and caramel malts with some earthy hops and light bitterness. Through the middle some more burnt malt and lager yeast flavor comes through. The finish is a mix of roasted chocolate malt, lager yeast, and earthy hops.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a roasted, dry, and lightly sweet finish.

D - Very drinkable. Feels smooth with a nice roasted dryness that balanced the hop and other flavors nicely.

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Photo of illidurit
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into a pint glass. Dark copper color with a tan head. Aroma is full of caramel and dark fruits, specifically the dank odor of prunes and the sweetness of figs. Flavor is very similar, pungent dark fruits and a light toffee finish. This is a full-flavored lager that can hold my attention, but unfortunately the sweet + prune combo is a little much to deal with over the course of 22 ounces.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.92/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is my second time trying to upload this review, so it'll be more brief than most of my reviews as I'm pissed off at the website for screwing up. Bottle into stemware. Cost was $4.29 USD.

A: One finger of decent thickness, okay retention, and no real cream. Caramel-black colour; murky and nontransparent.

Sm: Light chocolate, some vanilla bean, and dominant dark malts. A mild strength aroma.

T: Vanilla, chocolate, cream, and awkward cola notes are present on the climax - where the majority of the flavour is located, throwing off the structural balance. Dark malts comprise the foundation and body. The cola feels awkward. It's imbalanced but still generally enjoyable.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Too sharp from overcarbonation. Too thick for the lack of complex flavours.

Dr: Drinkable but merely average for the style. I wouldn't have it again. A relative disappointment from this brewery. The cola notes throw the whole beer off substantially.


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Photo of whatthehull
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A - nice almost blood red, semi translucent, three finger nice tan head and nice sticky lacing a the way down

S - very deep dark fruits, dried fruits, brown sugar, apple blossoms, roasted malts, nice hops, very sweet almost Belgian yeast, sweet malts and lots of wood and earth notes. May be some spices?

T - nice sweet and roasted malts, nice floral and earthy hops, nice bready yeast, molasses, brown sugar and very earthy

M - full bodied for a lager, low acidity, nice balance, medium complexity and long sweet finish

D - very refreshing, very crisp, tons of flavored and none over the top. A nice craft brew to start out on. Nothing bold but certainly not flat. Very enjoyable

Final thought - this is a very, very nicely crafted lager! $5 a pop, 6% and just all around awesome

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Photo of BeerDawgs
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A dark brown, with 2 fingers of head that sticks with the beer on the way down and nice sticky lace all over the glass

S - Brown malts and bread. Molasses, and maybe a touch of spices.

T - Tastes like a light porter or brown ale. A touch of hoppiness.

M - Light bodied, with fairly high carbonation.

O - Wow, not what I was expecting in a "lager". Lager's are not my favorite style, so I am pleasantly surprised. Well done...

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Photo of Florida9
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a very dark brown (wasn't expecting that!) and immediately forms an enormous tan colored head that pours over the side of the glass. Eventually settles down enough that I can finish filling the glass. Leaves lots of patchy lacing on the way down.

S: Aroma is predominantly brown bread, with some molasses, dark caramel and spice.

T: More of the same. Loads of sweet caramel malts, raisin, and dark fruits. Molasses and brown sugar with a little toffee and a surprising hit of vanilla cola on the finish.

M: Medium in body, but the sweetness and flavor profile make this feel like a much bigger beer than it really is. Mild bitterness.

O: Got to admit. I was expecting something a little lighter when I purchased this bottle and not that this is a bad beer, but the plan was to pair this with Japanese food and this just didn't work with it. Now I understand that isn't the beers fault, but it is what it is. Otherwise, a decent brew with lots of malty characteristics and a fair drinkability.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance of the Hot Rocks Lager is great.. The beer poured a ddep rich amber that was nearly opaque. A huge froathy off-white head formed and is lacing down on the glass. The aroma carried caramel malt and slight spice. The taste starts with a sweet malt then becomes dry on the pallet. The mouthfeel is good medium body....big carbonation...which I think affects the taste slightly. Overall this is a good beer.

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Photo of jwhancher
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of MrKennedy
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber via Beermasons and poured into a 7oz glass.

Has a pretty big head of beige foam on top of an amber-copper colour.

Smell is quite nice, no hint of any staleness from the long journey. Instead a little bit of roasted malt, a touch of smoke, but these are all built around a big caramel base.

Taste is caramel with a touch of roasted malt and minimal smoke bite at the end.

Even with plenty of caramel sweetness, it isn't cloying and i think that last little bit of bite from the smoke works wonders in helping the drinkability of this.

More complex than you think and expect. A very nice lager.

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Photo of Bung
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. Dark brownish red pour, pretty large rocky off white head. Retained ok.

Aroma, Some malt, caramel, bread and light fruitcake.

Some spicey pumpernickel like flavors at first. Toasted malt, light anise. Finishes with some slight bitterness, anise, piney hops.

Fairly dry, heavy side of light. Lively carbonation. Drinks easy. I just realy don't think I would visit it again, even with the higher scores, but that's how I feel about the style in general.

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Photo of bierfreundlich
4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a sort of dark brown with purple tints and a large three-finger, tan head that sticks around. It is a pleasant beer to look at.

S - The smell is a little elusive for me. I poured it into a pint glass rather than my normal tulip tasting glass. So that is probably the cause. But I am getting smells of malt and a bit of nuttiness.

T - The taste is similar to a fine dark chocolate bar. Lots of dark malt character but little roasty flavor. Just a light hop bitterness, but not upfront.

M - The mouthfeel is creamy and frothy and very reasonable.

O - Probably the best lager I've had from the west coast. I am an ale sort of person but definitely not opposed to lagers. I just normally drink ales. In a very good way, this beer reminds me of a delicious brown ale.

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Hot Rocks Lager from Pizza Port Solana Beach
85 out of 100 based on 182 ratings.