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Hot Rocks Lager - Pizza Port Solana Beach

Not Rated.
Hot Rocks LagerHot Rocks Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

182 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 182
Hads: 362
Avg: 3.77
pDev: 15.12%
Wants: 23
Gots: 13 | FT: 1
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:
Beer added by: Kegatron on 03-17-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 182 | Hads: 362
Photo of BigCheese
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber

A: Very Dark brown nearly black color, rather small head, left some lacing.

S: Chocolate, Toast, Malty, richness.

T: MMM. Very similar to taste, profile very similar to a porter. Finishes cleaner and crisper than a porter or stout though. Great flavor extraction from malts.

M: Very light in body considering the depth of flavor. Not too carbonated. Could drink a lot of pints of this.

O: Really impressed with this beer. For the ABV and lager style it has the depth of flavor of a stronger porter or stout.This would be an excellent christmas/cold weather beer. You should try this,

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Photo of spicelab
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber with thanks to Beermasons.

Deep bronze with a huge heaving saffron head that continues to rise for a few seconds after pouring. Modest spotty lace and nice final retention.

Cut herbs, flowers and bready yeast initially, followed by an armada of nutty, sweet and spicy aromas. Nutmeg, almond, baked caramel, brandy snap, cola. Very clean and refined.

Flavours are richer and not so refined. Treacle, nutmeg, cassia bark, muscatels and a distinct but difficult to define clean earthy quality that I'm assuming comes from the rocks.

Medium, slightly chewy mouthfeel with a mild carbonation presence, which is surprising. Bit of mouthwash freshness on the finish.

Great stuff. Bright and ballsy malt profile with plenty of added intrigue from the hot rocks.

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Photo of ADZA
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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

Bottle into a Dead Guy pint. Instantly more interesting than the other stone/stein beer I've ever had if judged purely on looks. A murky dark brown, reddish when held up to light. Less than a finger of head that left a perfect ring of lace on the glass pretty much all the way down.

Chocolate and caramel on the nose. Not giving much away up front, but very nice.

Caramel and toasty bread at first, some sweet dark stone fruit. But a good whack of burnt toast, maybe even charcoal shortly after. The two sides integrate very nicely in the middle. Not much hop flavor, but a nice lingering bitterness. I dig it.

Light-to-medium mouthfeel. More medium. Carbonation is light and dies off toward the end.

A treat. A lager with a lot of flavor, but still very sesionable. Could drink a ton of this.

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

Served on-tap in a clear Shaker pint at Local Option (Chicago, IL). Review written from notes.

A: Very dark brown with short ½-finger cap of beige small bubbled head which leaves a few spare lace trails down the glass.

S: Woody malty aromas with a hint of smokiness and herbal hopping.

T: This was not what I was expecting for a schwarzbier but in a good way. The intense maltiness was very sweet with a lot of dark fruitiness which matched well with the earthy, lightly smoky flavors. Hops play a supporting role with some herbal earthiness added to the mix. This drank more like a brown ale than a black lager – a very sumptuous brown ale at that.

M: The mouthfeel is very creamy and lush with a wonderful smoothness and very solid medium body. The carbonation is pretty low overall.

O: A really enjoyable brew with a very ale-like presence and big malty flavor that surpasses any schwarzbier I’ve had before. Great job Port.

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Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brownish-red. Light foamy tan head. Good ring. Almost murky body with no glow. Don't let the dimness turn you off, it sort looks like a kellerbier.

Smell: Charcoal. Granite. Chocolate. I'm actually very surprised I expected more of a maibock look. I smell hints of dark fruit and plum. Mild tartness.

Taste: Malt, caramel. cherry. licorice. You cm taste the rock and charcoal. It's sweet with a caramel malt backbone. Hop presence is light-medium. There's a basic bitterness from magnum hops.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium. Balance is on the malty side. The hops provide a good snap to the beer. drinkable.

Overall: Looks good, smells good, taste good, feels good. But nothing spectacular. Very affordable at 3.99 a bomber.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at golden state.

Pours a murky brown color with an off white head of about half a finger. Retention is decent.

Light caramelized malt and toast.

Tastes of caramelized malt, a touch nutty, some chocolate, toasted bread. Slightly spicey hop presence.

Mouthfeel is creamy with high carbonation, a somewhat acidic bite, and slightly spicey hop presence drying it out very quickly.

A great lager. Seriously a must try for those who appreciate lagers.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into DFH shaped pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark mahogany red with a billowing light brown head that almost overflowed the glass. After a moment the head collapsed into a rocky film leaving flecks of lacing down the glass.
S: I get strong notes of anise, roasted malt, and a bit of sweet fruit and mint.
T: Roasted flavors of burnt malt, anise, caramel, nuts, pepper, whole grain bread, and a hint of bitter herbal hops. It’s spicier than a brown ale, with more notes of smoke and licorice.
M: Ample carbonation froths up on my palate creating a sharp mouthfeel. The body is medium-light.
O: For a beer that looks like I just poured a Coke, once a lot of the carbonation burned off this beer was pretty drinkable. Interesting flavors, but I wasn’t blow away.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very dark brown beer with a moderate head of tan foam. Very nice aroma... strongly toasted malt, a hint of smoke. Malt is the key here. Flavor is good, but the malt seems more ordinary in the taste than the aroma led me to expect. Lightly roasted caramel, not that much different than a normal schwarz, though more roasted, is the dominant flavor. Hop bitterness is moderately low. There is just a hint, in the back, of smokey phenols.

Huh, I'm surprised BA doesn't have a style category for steinbier. Though, I think, this i only the second example I've tried of the style, the first being a ceramic bottle with a grolsch-type lid, from Germany, that was very flat and not very good. This one is alright.

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Photo of beerman21
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep burnt Magonhey color, with a massive fluffy almost creamy off white slight cinnamon hue color head. Its massive maybe 3 1/2 fingers so pour this beer gently. No need for a aggressive pour.

S- Sweet bready malts, picking up some dark fruits as well, for sure malty. Absent aroma of hops, has kind of a sour funk but in a good way, subtle on the sourness note though.

T/M/O- Really nice sweet bready malt flavor, melded nicely with hints of raisins and plum. Sourness is not there at all, I'd be concerned of sour flavor of this beer being bad, but really was only present in the aroma. Mouthful was slightly chewy; flavor lingered nicely and dissipated just in time to want to take another sip. Has a slight warming effect ABV at 6.5, just low enough I believe to be sessionable, but on the low end. Usually I find any lager to be very filling, but this one wasn’t to bad. This isn’t your typical strait forward lager either, it definiently has character. I'd recommend it for sure, although I'd probably go for there IPA that’s just my style preference.

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Photo of KrautAficionado
2.66/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark nearly opaque brown, a bit reddish on the edges with decent offqhite head that dies to a decent film, laces ok enough. Aromas are a bit of a sweet maltiness, a touch of brown sugar and light caramel candies. Bit of toast and nuts, coupled with faint vanilla sweetness and chocolate, more on the softer side than bitter. Initial is decent bodied, toasty and smoothed out with a nice creaminess. Vanilla, chocolate, caramel, and a good nuttiness round out the base flavors, moving to a light brown sugar, touch of roast and decent bitterness on the backend. The roast and bitterness stay on the palate well, as this beer should be a bit lighter than expected, but still packs pretty good flavor for just a dunkel. The sweetness isn’t cloying, as roast and toast with pretty good hoppiness come in to balance. I liked this beer for what it was, and only qualm may have been that the bitterness and roast on the finish, although enjoyable, could have been smoothed out a bit for a more sessionable experience.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: deep dark brown with some light brown highlights, nice velvety head with good retention

S: delicate notes of caramel and bread, mild aroma, no hop bitterness

T: slightly roasted grains up front with richer bready grains comin in later. Becomes very rich with a slightly nutty flavor, somewhat dry on the finish.

Mf: light refreshing body, low carbonation, smooth body

O: interesting lager with a nice array of malty flavors, it is rich while still being light bodied at the same time

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy deep amber color with a light tan head. In the aroma, small fruit, charcoal, and some small smoke. In the taste, small sweet fruit, dry rocks, and a hint of smoke. A small bite and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a dry hint of smoke. Almost like a rauch, and quite "grill" like.

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Photo of jminsc76
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Into a Firestone pint glass, pours a big, BIG pinkish head, very thick (like a milkshake) atop a ruby red body. Murky yet somewhat vibrant.

Mild aromas that include caramel malts and biscuit, with some of that smoky roast and toast others have alluded to in their reviews. Just wish it hit a little stronger.

Flavors of charcoal…

Ok, maybe not charcoal. More blackened toasty malts dovetailing with a medium-level spiciness. Some of that crisp lager hops and caramel sweetness near the finish, the latter reminding me somewhat of a cherry-flavored Jolly Rancher.

Mouthfeel is light despite the appearance to the contrary. That body appears really thick and ebullient.

Overall, I dig Hot Rocks for its combination of toasty, sweet, and smokey. Reminds me of a Kostritzer with a tinge of Rauchbier. I can’t say it’s smooth – it’s not – but it is flavorful and pairing well with the seasoned hamburger and noodles in gravy I’m eating with it. Due to its more abrasive effect on the palate, one per sitting is all I need.

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

Pours a lovely dark brown with a voluminous khaki coloured head. Terrific lacing and wonderful head retention.

Caramelised malts and a bit of a toasted coconut nuance hiding deep down. Slightly mineraly, presumably because of the hot rocks used in the brewing process.

Lovely toasted flavours of dark malts, but not too sweet. Much less hoppy than I was anticipating being that this if from Port Brewing.

Very smooth and easy to drink; very well crafted lager. At $4,99 / 22oz, I will certainly seek this out in the future.

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

A- Pours a dark brown with maple syrupy highlights. Produces a huge three-fingers of fluffy, gorgeous khaki head.

S- Not a whole lot going on, basic toasted malts, some caramel sweetness and bit of smoke. Hops are just barely detectable.

T- Lots of roasted malts and sweet dark fruits, some sugary sweetness also (maybe caramel or molasses). Hops are citric and help keep things pretty balanced. Some smoky, roasted malts and hop bitterness in the finish.

M- Light to medium bodied, great carbonation, finishes is crisp and clean. Very drinkable.

O- Another solid beer from Port Brewing, very flavorful for such a clean, drinkable beer.

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Photo of airheadmtrcycle
3.66/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What a boon it is for us Georgians to have Port Brewing beers available to us. The selection is not nearly complete, but it's keeping me busy trying what they do offer. I've yet to have a bad one.

Hot Rocks Lager is the latest on my list. It pours a deep dark, perhaps red, perhaps brown color with a big foamy head that leaves sticky lacing all the way down my Sierra Nevada becker.

The aroma and taste are a little biscuit-y with dark fruits and yeast. Perhaps some licorice on the finish, as well.

The mouth feel is light to medium. I'm quite sure this bottle will be a piece of cake to finish.

I'm not sure if they really used hot rocks to boil the wart or if that adds anything to the beer anyway, but I'm enjoying it.

Hot rocks lager is a decent lager and another great choice from what I'm realizing must be a fantastic brewery.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle picked up at the local whole foods. drank from my samuel adams perfect pint glass.

A- a hearty pour yields an opaque chestnut colored body under a solid finger of khaki colored head. the head is long lasting and leaves behind small rings of lacing.

S- the first thing i can pick out of the nose are toasted bread like malts and some lightly roasted malt. after that i get a light level of smokiness and a hint of toffee sweetness. its lightly fruity as well.

T- the taste starts out with some mild caramel and toffee mixed with lightly roasted malts. decently sweet, but not overpowering. a little bit of smokiness and light fruits sneak in towards the middle. earthy hops finish this one off.

M- the body is on the fuller side of light. the carbonation is spot on. crisp and clean.

O- an interesting beer that reminds me very much of a schwartzbeer. ill probably try this again if it is a yearly release.

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

22oz Bomber. Bottled 3/14/11

Pours a deep but clear reddish brown with a big two finger meringue head that sticks around. Has an irish coffee appearance to it. Thick lacing.

Sweet malty lager aroma. Not very strong at first. Some swirling stirs up a more coffee and caramel smell. Citrusy hops poke through as well. Some bread and yeast character too.

Taste comes on stronger than the smell. A rich smokey dark malt hits you at first. Dark fruits. Caramelized sweetness, along with a spicy hop bite moves into the middle of the flavor. Finish and aftertaste return to a subtle dark fruit flavor. Really nice flavor overall.

Mouthfeel is light with a good amount of carbonation. Doesn't get too sticky, quite drinkable.

I tried this a couple of months ago, but it was a year old bottle. I like this one better, feels more balanced.

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

Bottled 3/14/11. Pours a dark brown color with a large cream-tan colored head that goes down rather slowly. Scent is extremely malty with hints of chocolate and roasted nuts. Hints of vanilla as well. Taste is initially very malty with some roasted chocolate flavors. There is a bit of burnt nuttiness, along with bread and dark fruits. I find this beer to be very tasty. Mouthfeel is pretty full-bodied and well-carbonated. Leaves a bubbling sensation in the mouth and has a very smooth, crisp finish. Drinkability is high. Overall, this is a fantastic dark lager that I would definitely purchase again.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

492nd review on BA
Draft to taster
@Lost Abbey

App- This was almost a dark brown beer and had a small thin head to it being a taster. No real noticable cling as well.

Smell- Even at the end of the day when I was pretty smashed this stood out as rocks, earthy, a bit damp.

Taste- This was more leaning towards a bit malty but a supressed sweetness. Had a thin flavor profile of some yeast as well could be wrong but what I remember. Pretty tasty.

Mouth- This was a medium bodied beer with a matched carbonation level.

Drink- I thought this was pretty good. I like the Dark Lager aspect to it with some malts, sweetness and a little yeast in the profile. Probably wont have again but still pretty good.

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Photo of kingcrowing
2.86/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap poured into a pint glass.

Pours a very dark black with a small brown head. Nose is very light but malty and a tinge of coffee but not much...

Taste is fairly bitter and sharp. There's a lot of coffee and almost tart flavors from the toasty roasty flavors. Unique but good!

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Photo of ehammond1
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Dark brown pour with ruby edges. Thin tan cap. Decent lacing down the glass.

Roasted malts and a very earthy character in the nose.

The flavor is similar to the aroma as there's tons of roasted malt and earthy characters, along with a licorice and bitter accent; this beer reminds me a lot of a winter time porter.

Medium to thick mouthfeel.

A heavy and thick lager, more reminiscent of a porter than anything else. Earthy and roasty, lots of flavor, and perfect with food.

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Photo of dannydetox
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a couple of pints of this brew at the Weiland's late night happy hour while waiting for Eddie & the Hot Rods to play down the street. Deep reddish brown-black beer with moderate carbonation. Smelled roasty and a touch sweet. The beer started with caramel malt and toffee qualities that were backed up with a pleasing spine of hops on the finish. I thought it would be syrupy, but I was pleasantly surprised with the balance of malt and hops.

Good enough for a second pint, especially at $3!

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep curranty black-red, which lets through just enough light to make the colour shine through, but with a solid haze. Minimal head after a while, although it froths in a beige bubbling at the start. Thin body, but probably to be expected from a lager. Not bad, but not that exciting.

Nose is crisp and grainy, but with a slight estery banana character, and a whiff of lagery sulphur. Almost a minerally note, but that might be psychosomatic from the name of the brew. Again, not bad, but not that great.

Taste is crisp but dark, with a pleasant grainy finish. Smooth for the most part, but the feel is still rather thin. Lacking complexity, but it's pleasant and drinkable for what it is.

Drinkable. That's its best attribute. It's not a particularly captivating beer, although I like the concept of the way it was brewed. Perhaps they could have produced a more interesting result, however.

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