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Pizza Port Solana Beach

Not Rated.
Pizza Port Solana BeachPizza Port Solana Beach
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

110 Ratings
Ratings: 110
Reviews: 87
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 7.36%
Active Beers: 328
Beer Ratings: 5,074
Beer Avg: 3.86
Taps: 26
Bottles: 0
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

135 North Highway 101
Solana Beach, California, 92075
United States
phone: (858) 481-7332

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
(Master Beer Listing) The original location opened in March 1987 by Gina and Vince Marsaglia. Not affiliated with The Lost Abbey / Port Brewing.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
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Ratings: 110 | Reviews: 87 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%

This was the fifth Stop of the day on fellow BA EyeChartBrews Bachelor Tour cum San Diego Pub Crawl by Bus.

I always seem to do things backwards way round it seems, so it was no surprise to visit the original Pizza Port in Solana Beach, long after I had already done the other ones at Carlsbad and San Clemente. As such, the set up was of little surprise to me. Just as with the other Pizza Port locations, the set-up revolves around some pretty serious kick-ass Pizza (where you order and wait until they call your name) and an excellent selection of high quality home made beers. The range of home-brewed beers is well thought out and they are all of high quality. A good smattering of 10+ Pizza Port beers, a handful of Guest beers and a brace of Handpumps for Cask Ale complete the dispensing line-up. The usual styles are all here, Pale Ale, Red, Golden, Honey beer, Porter, Brown and of course the obligatory India Pale Ale. Additional seasonal brews and odd-ball styles come and go, and some bottled offerings are also on sale, such as Hop15, SPF45 and the Cuvée de Tommé (Cuvée spelled correctly note, unlike the website where the accent is on the wrong e!!). Enough of this nit-picking, well maybe not. I’ll get the downsides out of the way first. The place has a rather tatty feel, both inside and out. It’s not even a nice well-worn feel, just, well, completely worn-out. The place could benefit with a spring clean and a little tidy up I think. That said, you only come here for the Beer & Food, and these two items are both certainly first class here.

I visited late on a Saturday evening, part of a 12 strong mixed crowd of BeerAdvocates, Ratebeerians and Homebrewers. The place was crowded, as expected, and there were no Tables available in the smallish seating area. This was no big deal, as we were only here for the beer after having visited the Carlsbad location earlier and stocked up on Pizza there. Neither is there any real bar area, nor even a place where you can drink standing up. So we elected to sit outside. I opted for a Pitcher of one of the Guest Beers, the 11% Alpine Pure Hoppiness (hey no messing around when I buy the beer!). The outside of the Solana Beach location has an array of picnic benches which are close to the roadside and with a great view of the Train Station opposite. However, if you sit to the left of the entrance, you will be in front of a large gauze window which lends a much better and more inviting view of the very lovely young women making the Pizzas in the Kitchen, nice! No table service here, it’s a go and order and collect it yourself affair, but the service once at the Pizza counter and/or Bar was friendly & quick.

Whilst the beers here are without a doubt some of the best brewed in Southern California, and the Pizza some of the very best that I have ever eaten, I found this location to be a little small and cramped to be comfortable if I am honest.

If you are in the area though, this is a Premier Beer and Pizza location and is well worth a visit. But be warned that finding parking outside, or even a table once inside, could make this is a difficult visit during busy times, especially for small groups. Such is the price of high quality and it's well deserved fame.

Last Visit: 6th March 2004

TheLongBeachBum, Mar 08, 2004
Photo of oggg
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%

This place reminds me of Applewood's Pizza in Menlo Park, CA. Wood motif. Picnic tables for eating close to your neighbors. 2 TVs and 1 big screen TV for watching San Diego Chargers games. A whole line of arcade games in the back. There's a counter to order pizza, then a counter for ordering beer, then the tiny little brewery setup. I went on a Thurs night, a Sat night, and a Sunday lunch. Both nights were crowded. Surfer decor, with surfboards and memorabilia. There are a handful of outdoor picnic tables. Order your pizza and wait for them to call your name. Get some beer while you wait. Pizza Port has a TON of specials depending on the day. These include $2 pints, $6 pitchers, etc. Go to their website and click on Calender, or call them up. When I was there a week ago, they were selling SPF 15 Saison and Cuvee de Tommee (red and silver).

Lotsa taps, lotsa beers. See the website for in depth descriptions and recipes. Their Cowabunga Cream Stout won third at GABF. All nicely done. Emphasis on IPAs, as seems to be the rule in San Diego. They usually have one or two cask-conditioned ales. The other cool thing is they have guest beers from several differnet breweries.

The pizza is actually pretty darn good. Apparently they make their own ice cream and make some stout/porter ice cream floats though I have not tried them.

All in all, this is a great, fun, low-key inexpensive place to get great beer. A nice alternative to the more expensive and formal brewpub/restaurants.

oggg, Dec 28, 2003
Photo of drewbage
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%

The funky old original Solana Beach Pizza Port.

This is the home of Tomme Arthur, 2003 GABF Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year. When you realise the brews that Tomme makes and then see his brewery you'll be amazed.

Tiny place just a few blocks off the surf, the Solana Beach location goes deep and hard core into the Surfer theme. Figures since there are so many of them here.

No bar to speak of and everyone just hangs out at their little picnic tables. (Although there is a railing to overlook the brewery sunken into the hillside)

Food is good pizza and salad fare, but it's really the beer you're here for.

Tomme's location focuses on the strange Belgian type beer. Sure you've got Swami's and Hop 15 here, but expect to see the Cuvee de Tomme here along with other Saisons and nifty stuff.

Good place to go and catch a few quality pints.

drewbage, Dec 12, 2003
Photo of Gusler
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%

Quite a California themed place, "Surfer Motif", small and cozy, with one damn fine lineup of their magnificent brews, I was totally impressed. I had the "Swami's IPA", a real true California IPA, hopped to the max. Taps I believe numbered 10, bottle selection I did not really check out, but I understand it to be excellent. Of course most of the taps were their own brews, and trust me that is not a problem, of the 10 or so I tried over the weekend, all were excellent, especially if you’re into hops. Food as we had Pizza, was excellent, a real diet buster I'm afraid. The view was excellent, a quite pretty area. Great beer, Great Food, Great View, equals a must visit when your in the area.

Gusler, Dec 08, 2003
Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%

A smaller Pizza Port than Carlsbad or San Clemente yet the format is the same. Order the pizza, they'll call you when its ready. All of the great tap beers are here and the seating is strictly picnic tables as elsewhere. There are several tables out front on the sidewalk, parking can be a little challenging, but you can catch the train across the street. Surfboards line the ceiling and that's appropriate as the surf is just a hop, skip, and a jump away.

Didn't try the pizza here, but I'm sure it's as good as the other outlets. Must try spot when you're in San Diego and southern Orange counties.

AtLagerHeads, Nov 03, 2003
Photo of Fabric8r
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%

Read about this place on this site, so put it on my list to visit while on vacation in the San Diego area. We stopped in here at the end of our day at the beach at La Jolla. Really glad we did. We were hungy, and their pizza was perfect. Thirsty, and their beer was perfect. Very noisy though, crammed with people, so we had to work to enjoy the place.

The surfing theme was fun, and I kept wishing these folks would open up an outfit like this in our ski town. (would have to use a ski theme of course) The beer selection and quality was just as I had hoped, although the kid serving the beer only knew what the names were, nothing else, so we had to use our best guess on selecting a beer brewed on site. Our choices were good ones as we really enjoyed the beer.

Fabric8r, Sep 11, 2003
Photo of Rumrunner
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%

I am a big fan of Pizza Port.

The Solana Beach Pizza Port is located across the street from the train station. Hint no driving necessary for certain trips during the year.

This is the smallest of the three Pizza Ports. The atmosphere is very southern California surfer. It is rustic with a little beatnick thrown in for good measure. Surf boards hang from the walls and the t.v.'s show surfer videos if there is not an important sports event on. There is no bar to sit and drink at. Wooden picnic style benches and tables inside and outside.

The food is very tasty and unique. How can pizza be unique you ask? Try it with the beer battered crust. The beer buddies are very tasty as well and go extremely well with beer. The pizza menu is very extensive and they also have a selection of salads and other items. The owners have done a comendable job of making their food original compared to other businesses that cook pizza and serve family style bar food.

The beers. What more can be said? The reviews speak for themselves. The Solana Beach Pizza Port has its own brewer. Carlsbad and San Clemente share the same brewer. Therefore each establishment has different beers even for the same styles. Here if you love IPA's try the Swamis. The pale ale is good and my girlfriend really enjoyed their brown. Some of the offerings rotate or are seasonal. Cowabunga Cream Stout is one of them. You also might luck out and find your favorite on cask. Swamis was on cask last week when I visited. Lucky me. Unfortunately from time to time even the regular beers are not available. Never fear though. They have plenty of brews from other craft brewers. Stone, Alesmith and many others. They also usually have a barley wine and a selection of wines.

The service is always good. The customers order food at one counter and drinks at another. They page your name when the food is ready. Easy enough.

If you are in the area, love beer and want some good food give this place a try. A great spot to have a few with friends or bring the family. It is a very mellow friendly establishment.

Rumrunner, Aug 20, 2003
Photo of Bighuge
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%

As I neared the brewpub that Monday, beautiful wafts of fresh brewing aroma hit me smack in the face. And this was from about a block away. As I entered the pub, I realized that a batch had just been brewed. There was a big dumpster-type garbage container in the pub filled with spent grains that were still steaming. What a sight to behold.

The pub itself was a laid back "surfer" style place. Tables outside. Big picnic tables inside. A wall of video games. But no bar in the traditional sense to speak of. And no waitresses either. You had to go to the counter to order pizza and to order your beer. (A minor inconvenience for the quality "grub and grog" as they advertise.) The centerpiece of the pub was the sunken brewing area open for all to observe. There was a couple brew tanks and I think 3 fermenters there. It was sunk about 4-6 feet and there was a bit of a bar around that area. And the walls surrounding the brewing area were covered with some nice artwork depicting some of their brews. (All of their serving tanks were in an area below the video games.)

On to the beer. I am no belgian beer expert, but I had two belgian beers there that were just superb. ( I would love to hear what a true belgian beer connoisseur thinks of the belgian beer that Tomme brews. )

Here are the beers I tried and a rough rating (1-100):

1Smokey the Rye - A traditional German Style weizenbock made with a bavarian yeast, wheat malt, rye malt and smoked bamberg malt. 7.5% a/v. 97POINTS

2. SPF 8 Saison (Belgian style Farm ale brewed with rosemary) - 96 POINTS

3. Mother of All Ales (Belgian style quadruppel) 94 POINTS

4. Pale Ale (cask) - just a sample - 92 POINTS

5. IPA - 89 POINTS

6. Pale Ale (not cask) - 89 POINTS

7. Sharkbite Red - 88 POINTS

8. Seaside Stout - 85 POINTS

9. Ale Nino (Double Brown Ale using Belgian malt and English hops) - only a sample - 85 POINTS

10. Restoration Ale (Special Bitter) - only a sample - 85 POINTS

(They also had two lighter beers that I didn't even try.)

I've never been at a brewpub that has been so consistently excellent in every brew they delivered with excellent pizza as well.

Bighuge, Jul 01, 2003
Photo of ottobon100
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%

If you like IPAs this is the place. Swami's IPA was excellent! I was in San Diego visiting last week (April 6-12, '03) and went here twice. I love IPAs and it is hard to find one better. As a matter of fact I can't think of one. Hoppy is the word for this one. It was so good I'm sorry to say I didn't try others. Besides I had to drive back to downtown San Diego! Loved their artichoke pizza too. I was here several years ago and it hasn't changed a bit. This is a locals place with picnic benches to eat on inside and out but I bumped into a few folks from out of the state. Normally surfing movies showing.

ottobon100, Apr 13, 2003
Photo of mzwolinski
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%

This place has *character*. My fiancee and I arrived on a Tuesday night, to find the wooden bench-style tables crowded with beer-lovers, surfer videos playing on the big-screen TVs, and the Pixies playing on the jukebox. Surprisingly crowded for a weekday-night, but it had a very nice, laid-back atmosphere.

The pizza was quite good -- the crust was the highlight, a perfect blend of doughiness and crispines.

Beer selection was terrific. They had a few selections from Stone, a large number of their own beers -- II sampled a very decent Belgian farmhouse ale. They even had something from Dogfish Head, which both surprised and impressed me.

The bartender at the time didn't know much about the beer selcetion. Couldn't tell me what *kind* of Belgian beer I was ordering, or what style of beer Dogfish Head's selection was. But if you know what you're looking for, you can find some real treasures here! Calendar showed lots of special events at this place; I'll likely be returning often.

mzwolinski, Mar 24, 2003
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Pizza Port Solana Beach in Solana Beach, CA
94 out of 100 based on 110 ratings.