Pizza Port Carlsbad
Ratings: 183 | Reviews: 133 | Display Reviews Only:
4.78/5 rDev +9.6%
My detailed notes say that I was here on F, 17 July 2009 as part of my visit with my cousin and his wife in support of The Beer Pest column in the current (June/July 2010) issue of Ale Street News. Who am I to disagree?
A day at the beach, courtesy of The Coaster, a local privately-owned light rail system that dropped me off a scant few blocks away. Pizza Port (Carlsbad) sat on the corner of Carlsbad Village Drive and Roosevelt Street. The entry, overhung with a striped canopy, was in the center, with the brewhouse in the left-facing window.
The wood bar, fronted by Captain's chairs, began just to the left of the doorway and continued snaking its way around to the far left side of the building. A cooler with ice cream and sorbets (!) sat in the centerline, followed by a short, wooden dividing wall which separated the bar area from the restaurant area and with its own series of Captain's chair seating. Continuing on the left side, beyond the brewhouse and behind the bar, was the entrance to the cooler, followed by the first bank of taps, a glass door to access chilled glassware, another set of taps and another glass door. A pair of stainless steel boards were mounted above the glass doors and second set of taps and detailed "Beers Brewed Here" on the left side and "Guest Beers" on the right side. The far left wall housed the pizza (and salad) kitchen.
Over on the restaurant side, picnic tables were the norm. The theme on this side was surfing - boards in the overhead, murals along the counter, portraits on the walls. Also in the restaurant area, against the right wall, were a series of video games.
Beers: Fourteen (14) house - Port Van Porter; Palapa Pale Ale; Great American Brown; Wipeout IPA; Carlsbad Cream Ale; Carlsbad Chronic; California Honey; None the Weisser; Revelations; Night Rider Imperial Stout; Borough Market Bitter; State Beach Blonde; Poor Man's [D]IPA; and Party Pants Pilsner.
Cask: Parabola Pale Ale
Guests: Twenty-eight (28) plus a guest cask.
Service: I am always reluctant to mention my server's physical qualities, but I was struck by my heavily tattooed slip of a woman and this coming from a short-statured guy with thirteen tattoos of his own. Hers were much more traditional than mine and included her back, chest and knuckles. Zounds! Very friendly, personable, helpful and attentive - all good qualities in a server.
Shopping: Work shirt, growler, and stickers. Perfect!
06-21-2010 20:33:53 | More by woodychandler
4.38/5 rDev +0.5%
Another 10 minutes up the coast from Solona Beach, this PP is large, airy, casual and in general another great SD area stop for fine local brews and tasty pizza and salad. This Pizza Port also has a nice outdoor eating area, shady, and roomy with more picnic tables. The brew selections were outstanding, with Port brewing rotating house beer and guest brews from Alesmith, Stone and a host of the other SD local breweries. The beach is only a few blocks away, so a visit to this spot fits in great with a day (and a nap) @ the beach. Highly recommended for a meal, a pint, a session or whatever, just make sure to go and enjoy...
08-08-2006 14:16:10 | More by Billolick
4.36/5 rDev 0%
This is much better than San Clemente. Like the SC location, there is little parking around at night, so don't be surprised if you park your car a block away. But don't let the parking situation get to yuor head, as you will be greatly rewarded.
It's not just a place for beer lovers, but also a place for kids too. There are long benches and tables for families to gather, several video gaming machines, a long bar section running on the left side of the place, and an easy to spot order spot for both the food and beer. The place was nearly packed before 6pm, but that didn't stop me coming in for a quick drink.
Roughly a dozen Pizza Port beers brewed at the Carlsbad location, and another 20 or so guest taps. There's a great mix of styles, ranging from the lighter Twery to the more alcoholic Stickly Stout and even a brew with sour cherries. I received my Twerp in a tulip, which tasted very good and was presented well. But generally, expect your beer to be served in the usual shaker. Pitchers are also available as well.
It may had been a short visit, but it was totally worth it. And for sure, the Carlsbad location warrants future visits.
01-31-2012 01:23:30 | More by DoubleJ
4.03/5 rDev -7.6%
The pub is very easy to find. Exit I-5 at Carlsbad Village Drive & it is about 1/2 mile on your left as you head towards the beach.
As you enter, it is a one floor building that has heavy Surfer Dude orientated décor. Surf boards hang everywhere from the ceiling; all colors, shapes & sizes. Old photographs of beaudacious wave-riders continue the theme. The one room appears to amplify noise. Loud talk, the calling of names for Pizza collections & general banter, can give the bar a boisterous feel when first entered. This gives the place a rather happening feeling.
Tables separated by small booth like barriers run down the right hand side, these seat 4 people - just. To your immediate right is a small wooden floored raised area that has some bench like Tables & Chairs. The centre has a collection of long bench like tables, giving it somewhat of a beer hall feel.
At the back of the building is the in-house Pizza kitchen. Dominated by a double Pizza Oven, one of those that has slow but continually moving belts though a long Oven. You place your order to the left hand side, & later when your number/name is called, you collect it to the right hand side. They come in 3 sizes & a myriad of combinations. The Pizzas are top notch quality & reasonably priced. Close by the Pizza pick-up point is a door that leads to an outside area that has seating & makes a very nice outside, albeit fenced, drinking area.
The Brewery is on the left hand side, & leads to the most important part, the Bar. This is located in the back left hand corner. You have to go here to get served. I actually prefer this to waited service, so I enjoyed this aspect. Service was quick & courteous as well. You can take your beverage of choice and sit down at one of the many Tables, or stay at the Bar if you wish. Choice is excellent. I never counted the beers on offer, but there were at least 2 banks of 6 Taps. Colorful hand-made signs are stuck above the bar like large fridge magnets these detail the current tapped offerings. The beers were awesome, especially the IPAs. The quality of the house beers was exceptionally high & it would not be folly, or false praise, to say that some of these beers are world class.
The Pizza Port holds Beer Festivals occasionally; these are exceptionally well organized & executed. I have done both the Belgium Beer & Real Ale Festivals this year. I will definitely be there for there next one; a Winter Beer Festival in December I believe.
06-01-2003 18:13:41 | More by TheLongBeachBum
4.3/5 rDev -1.4%
This is the top ranked of the chain, even according to staff, in terms of beer. It is twice the size of Solana and also in a swanky area. It is a family oriented place, very well-managed, everybody knows their job and smiles. I would think they are paid above average. There were a lot more taps than in Solena including guest taps, I believe I was told 39. Both Pliny the Elder and the Younger, whereas only (!) the Elder at Solena. To get here took some planning as you had to figure the Coaster schedule and I had to make a cabbie deal, if you can find one, to get back the 15 minutes to Solena. People were not as knowledgable about beer, either the patrons who were friendly enough and from everywhere, or the staff, and the bar being so much bigger was less conducive to chatter.
02-09-2007 17:55:08 | More by Sammy
4.3/5 rDev -1.4%
Pizza Port Carlsbad is located right off the I-5 in Carlsbad. Street parking seems to be the best option, since there is only a small private lot behind the building.
The interior has lots of wood, and hanging surfboards and tap handles are the main motif. Picnic benches dominate most of the space, with the bar located along the left side. Interesting sticker collection behind the bar (mostly bands) along with a tap list and some merchandise.
The beer list is pretty impressive. There are around 8 Pizza Port beers and 12 guest taps from the likes of Russian River, Green Flash and others. There is a sampler available of just about everything.
Service was good on a busy weekday evening (I imagine they all are). The bartender was helpful with descriptions and samples.
We did not try any food on this visit.
Overall I have been nothing but impressed with the 2 Pizza Port locations and would highly recommend one or all of them as places to stop on a trip to San Diego.
07-09-2008 21:36:01 | More by Dogbrick
4.03/5 rDev -7.6%
There's no doubt this is a solid place, though I'm not sure I quite understand the "lovefest" many reviewers seem to have with it.
Pizza Port Carlsbad is undeniably popular, even at 8:45 on a cold Thursday night the place was pretty much packed. The place has sort of an upscale warehouse feel, with high ceilings and lots of long tables and wooden benches. There is a very laid back, informal vibe here, which I think is fine, but hardly anything to get excited about. The quality of the beers, of course, was top notch (though I'm still tempted to ding them for being out of Hop Suey). The quad was pretty good, and the russian imperial stout and glass of Sierra Nevada weizenbock were excellent. Service was fine for what it was I suppose, though I'm not sure how or why anyone would rate it higher then average (maybe if you're sitting at the bar?). You stand in line to order your pizza, wings, calazones, whatever, and then you stand in an even longer line to order your beer. When your name is called, you go up to pick up your pizza. Beer selection was pretty good, though here I will ding them for running out of the Hop Suey. Otherwise, this place has a great selection of house beers and guest beers, and at least they did have the Green Flash DIPA on tap if you absolutely had to drink DIPA. On second thought, the half point I took away for running out of Hop Suey, I guess I'll give it back for having the impressive SN weizenbock as a guest beer. Doubt we'll be seeing that limited release beer any time soon on the East Coast, if we see it at all!
Food. My brother and I got the Monterey pizza and it was excellent. Granted, I've become spoiled for good pizza since moving to Baltimore (maybe there are good places in Baltimore, but I haven't found them yet), but this was very good. Certainly the best pizza I've had since I left Portland in 2007.
All in all, this is a good place. I guess my expectations were maybe unreasonably high, but no matter. This is a fine place that I would stop by any time I'm in the area.
12-19-2008 06:11:54 | More by John_M
4.23/5 rDev -3%
Well, yeah, maybe visiting on a Sunday during a Chargers game was not the best idea. But our remarkably low key visit to the (significantly smaller) Ocean Beach location an hour before did not prepare us for the madness that was Carlsbad.
Boy is this place big. Miles of picnic tables, a huge bar, lines 10 deep to get a beer or order a pizza. Loud too. We finally got two seats at the end of the bar where the couple of Raiders fans in the place were congregated watching the one TV that showed their team.
It was worth the wait though as the tap list was stellar. Lots of Pizza Port brews, great guest taps. Pizza was pretty good, and prepared rather quickly.
On the whole, this place had the vibe of a Chuck E. Cheese crossed with a sports bar. Just as many kids, lots of noisy football fans,albeit with far superior food and beer. If I had raised my kids near here, this place would have been my regular stop. At this point, I don't think I'd be going often.
02-29-2012 18:15:13 | More by sholland119
5/5 rDev +14.7%
Perhaps the best beer experience I have ever had. No joke! Strolled in here on a Monday at lunch time with my wife, sat at the bar, ordered up two pizzas and life was good.
Atmosphere was cool,m laid back, chill and relaxing. Servers were all cool. Dan at the bar was just AWESOME!
Quality..its Port so Yeah it was really good.
Service. Dan was on top of it and really knew his beer stuff to. Not only was smart on beer but the local scene and he was just a bad ass. We really liked him and thanked him alot. He convinced the bottle shop to open 5 hours ealry so that we can go visit. Now thats cool.
Selection was top notch. They had Double Doroado, Ten Fidy, Top Sail, Victory At Sea, Frankenwine, Kaiser and much much more!
Pizza wa awesome and the Portzel was really good too.
Value was reasonable. This is a must! Best beer bar/brewpub I have ever visited south of Seattle!
05-26-2009 03:44:54 | More by barleywinefiend
4.65/5 rDev +6.7%
Pizza Port Carlsbad is as good as it gets for craft beer and the food supports it nicely. The beer lineup is outstanding. With about 18 of their own and 10 guests, they have a lot to choose from. We went with a Wipe Out IPA and a couple Poor Man's IPAs. The Por Man's IPA, a double IPA, was absolutely outstanding.
The atmosphere is a close second to the beer. With the surf shop atmosphere, pizza parlor offerings and a varied social buzz, it's perfect. We hit it on a Friday night and while it was quite busy, it was worth waiting in both the food and beer lines.
The food was solid and really backed up the beer. The pretzels were cheap ($1.50) and provided a nice starter. The pizzas were solid; especially the BBQ Chicken.
Pizza Port has it all.
08-15-2009 05:17:05 | More by GJ40
Pizza Port Carlsbad in Carlsbad, CA
96 out of 100 based on 183 ratings.