Pizza Port San Clemente
Ratings: 81 | Reviews: 57 | Display Reviews Only:
4.35/5 rDev +3.3%
A) ‘cause I was in no shape the other night in Carlsbad.
B) ‘cause Ben took the shuttle to the work conference and left me the rental.
C) ‘cause I could.
D) All of the above…
Drove down the coast and saw the ocean Pacific. San Clemente, San Clemente, San Clemente, okay, I must admit; the ‘more parking on the roof’ sign kind of threw me (thought it might be one of them ‘tourist deterrents’), but I circled around to the road above, and rooftop parking, it’s true. Came down from atop to the 2nd floor bar & seating, and then ran the wrap around staircase, its trim lined with guest tap handles, down below to the ground floor (I’m ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille).
Red tile floorings, log rafter ceilings with exposed ductwork & a dangling grist case, and white walls all around, mirrored up on the end. Picnic tables in rows along the far wall, a food ordering counter to the rear, and a small “L” shaped bar to the left; dark wood topped with a stainless steel trim, light wood base and piping foot rail. It’s a 2 tiered deal with 3 seats atop on the short end looking on a row of 24 nondescript tap handles (and a handpump on the far end), and another 5 seats on the step down long end. Mash tun & brew kettle behind the bar (like) right there. They’re brewing as we speak, oh, sweet sweet wort a-wafting. 4 X 8 horizontal board on the end listing tap selections; house & guest, and 6 wines listed on a slat board. Surf prints & surfboards adorn, a flatscreen cornered, drop lamp lighting, and shirt & shwag cases to both sides of the front doors. 4 bar counter tables on a slight balcony out front through the panel window doors pasted with brewery stickers not their own, off the bar, and a similar space outside on the other side of the doors with a pair of picnic tables.
Parked at the bar and got into it. 12 house beers, sampled them for those who couldn’t. O.B. Foam Ball (English Pale Ale), served on nitro, a good EPA; Ripper (English Pale Ale), a bit hoppier than the Foam Ball, also quite good; Trestles (Golden Ale), a decent Kolsch as those go; T Street Wheat (Hefe), good cloviness, banana, too; Chronic (Amber Ale), I don’t know, I swear I get some coconut back there; Pier Rat Porter, chocolatey, roasty, very good; Shark Bite Red, a bold malty presence, works for me; 5th Sympathy Saison, spicy notes, pleasant; Pseudo IPA, grainy & grassy, but does not suck; Feeding Frenzy (American Strong Ale), big, sweet hoppy thing; Order in the Port (Imperial Stout), 9.5%, licorice, bitter chocolate, win; Dusk till Dawn (Imperial Coffee Porter), a big goddamn coffee beer. Pier Rat Porter, Shark Bite Red, & Order in the Port American Stout were the best of ‘em.
+10 guest taps, mostly craft from coast to coast (Russian River IPA, Alesmith Nautical Nut Brown, Sierra Nevada Juniper Black Ale, Karl Strauss 23rd Anniversary Old Ale, Mad River Jamaica Red Ale, Great Divide Hercules Double IPA, Victory Hop Devil, Allagash Big Little Beer), with a single import (Mort Subite Kriek) and cider (Fox Barrel Cider) in the mix. And the notforementioned cask Firestone Double Barrel Ale (ESB).
And a light bite, perhaps, it being the hour for such behaviors, and what with it being an essential part of the whole ‘food & drink’ combo, and all. Inside voice screams “No, Ben, there will be no goddamn chicken Caesar salad!” I will have the teriyaki wings (tasty, but I would have liked ‘em a bit more done).
Wandered back upstairs to see the show. A sign reading “If you saw it in a commercial, we don’t have it. Welcome to a brewpub” sits over the upstairs bar, something of an “L” seating 6 or so currently. Flat screen above a center tap row, boards listing the tap selections to both sides, and flats in the corners. A ½ dozen boothings along the far wall, and a dozen picnic tables in rows or solo. Vintage surf prints, great blown up black & whites, and flats in the corners. Phil’s Golf Game 2000andfucking12 over here, a ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ pinball machine over there, and a gaming corner around the bend with configs I’ve never seen. Reboots, bootlegs, don’t know, not asking; and can’t be called upon to tell. Front corner holds a fireplace kind of thing. And on the other side of the bar, a front balcony bar counter space overlooks N. El Camino Real and ocean points (I can see why people go west and don’t come back).
Jasminetender served at Port Carlsbad Real Ale, too (She would have been a hard one to forget), pleasant, cordial, knows her game. Good tunes, although I don’t know what to make of Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ Come on Eileen played reeeeal fast (‘Save Ferris’ from what, exactly?) Not a bad crowd of early afternooners getting their Port on. Easy Breezy Monday afternoon down the coast some.
09-05-2012 13:36:29 | More by slander
3.93/5 rDev -6.7%
Wifey was willing, so we made this our third PP stop in our first 2 days in San Diego. It is about 20-30 mins further north from the Carlsbad location. Same idea as the other two, all three actually have the same food menu, the biggest problem I had at this location was the sure decrease in the beer selections available compared to the other two. The had some BA worthy brew, but not nearly the excitement of the other two's offerings. So this place is still worth a visit, its just not the true Beer Hunting destination as the other more southern locations.
08-08-2006 14:44:11 | More by Billolick
4.13/5 rDev -1.9%
On the outside, it looks like some fancy pizza parlor, but on the inside it's punk and surfer vibe fits well since the brewpub sits less than a mile from the beach. Short wooden tables and benches make up much of the dining room inside, or you can sit at the bar which sits left of the enterance. You can even enjoy your beer on the patio that sits adjacent to the street.
I had very high expectations for the beer, but unfortunately they fell short of the reality. They offer 20+ taps, half are house brews offered at the low price of $4.25, and the other half are guest taps such as Prima Pils and The Czar, generously priced at $4.75. My cask-conditioned stout was a little overhopped, and my friend's Irish Red wasn't very distinguishable from the commercial brands. Nonetheless, the cheap beers and my interest in trying the pizza warrants a future visit from me.
Update 5/19/10: Meat lovers pizza is a yummy one, and the other beers I've tried from here have been better than my first visit. It's still relatively inexpensive, and $14.75 pitchers only sweeten the deal when with friends.
04-05-2008 17:29:17 | More by DoubleJ
4/5 rDev -5%
There we were: I had some beers for xlperro & he had some for me. So where to meet to swap these fine beverages?? Hmm, well the Pizza Port at San Clemente just happens to be about 1/2 way between us both & proved to be a great venue for a Sunday Afternoon stop for a few Pints.
Restrained from the outside, only the round Pizza Port decal breaks the monotony of the white painted frontage of what looks like a Spanish Bodega. The ground floor entrance has outside seating either side of the centrally located front entrance set back from the front & shielded by the upper floor from the Sun.
Inside there is a bar to your extreme left behind which lies the Stainless Steel Brewery. Immediately in front of you, behind a curved wooden staircase is the Pizza kitchen. As myself & xlperro perused the beer list on the ground floor bar, we were politely informed that the serving bar was upstairs. So we transgressed the curved wooden stepped stair-care & found ourselves facing out to sea but looking at the upper bar. The taps are behind the bar area, and the list of offerings is to the left of the bar. A rather nice young lady helped us with a few tasters at times as we pretended to struggle with the choice of beers. In the end for our first beers, I tried an El Camino India Pale Ale; Big Dog picked the Six Pence Scotch Ale. Upstairs at the back there is an area full of Arcade games & a row of picnic tables, whilst against the wall are some more private booths if you fancy some smooching.
Then like a Bolt out of the Blue who should turn up but fellow BA AtLagerHeads, a really nice surprise indeed. So we managed to pinch some of his Pizza & chat over a few more beers including the Poche Pale Ale, the PP Porter & the Golden. The Porter was the first round that myself, xlperro & AtLagerHeads shared, it was served on Nitro and it certainly took the edge off the spicy Pizza I had just devoured.
The Pizza is ordered just as it is elsewhere at Pizza Ports, you place your order, go get a beer, sit down, then they will call your name so you can collect it when it is ready. The Pizza selection is pretty good and you can customize your Pizza if you want.
Dont think that the Pizza Ports are chain-like and are all the same, far from it. They are all worthy of a visit, all brew their own beer and are well worth a few hours of your time.
Cheers to xlperro & AtLagerHeads for a great Sunday afternoon!!!
11-03-2003 02:21:36 | More by TheLongBeachBum
4.33/5 rDev +2.9%
My third Pizza Port, and while nothing will ever touch Solana Beach in my heart of hearts, this is still a cool joint. Located in San Clemente on El Camino Real, there is rooftop parking available.
The brewpub is multi level with patios on both floors. The brewing equipment is viewable from both levels, and both floors have bars. The downstairs bar is longer, and that is where you order the pizza too. Same communal vibe as the other locations with long picnic benches.
San Clemente's beer line up is extensive. Nearly 15 Pizza Port brews available (although a couple were "guest" brews from other locations) plus an array of guest taps from brewers like Karl Strauss, Triple Rock and New English. Pizza Port's beers are all well executed and run the gamut of styles from Cream Ale to IIPA and Imperial Stout and everything in between. Not a bad one in the bunch, and we tried 'em all.
Service was very good on our lunch visit. The place was not busy anyway but our bartender was very friendly and accommodating with our long line of sample glasses.
Pizza Port's pizza is awesome, 'nuff said.
Overall I consider any Pizza Port worth visiting, even if it means a long drive. One of my favorite spots in CA.
10-05-2010 03:41:51 | More by Dogbrick
4.38/5 rDev +4%
This was a really cool place for dinner. There's a brew kettle (maybe 2?) right behind the bar which was steaming out the smell of fresh malty wort the entire time I was there. The beers on tap were pretty good, 3/4 were brewed on site and they also had some other good craft beers on tap (including Stone Russian Imperial Stout).
The pizza was incredible, and went really well with Dawn Patrol (Pizza Port's version of English Mild Ale). After that I tried some Shark Bite (American red ale) and Pier Rat (porter), everything tasted good. You can't go wrong at this place.
05-18-2006 02:56:25 | More by TurdFurgison
4.03/5 rDev -4.3%
I expected a much bigger store, but this one was just fine. Two stories with video games on the second floor balcony for the kiddies. Spanish villa architecture fits nicely into the area; the seating is casual and accomodates large groups. Difficult parking area and adjoining retail stores guard their few precious spots for their own customers.
Good selection of tap beers and, of course, the pizza is beer oriented. I love the laid back atmosphere of places like this. Why can't pizza and beer be calorie-free. Oh yeah. Right. They're both food.
11-02-2003 06:52:44 | More by AtLagerHeads
4.29/5 rDev +1.9%
I stopped in at PP San Clemente driving back up to LA to check out a different PP location. It's a pretty crowded spot inside with 2 floors that each have a bar. I headed upstairs since there was less of a line and I was only getting beer. They had approximately 15 of their own beers on tap with a few guest beers as well. All the beers I tried were served at a good temperature. Service was very good even though it got a bit busy going up to the bar again. Definitely a different vibe than the Carlsbad location, but I would definitely stop in again in the future.
03-12-2013 16:45:33 | More by UCLABrewN84
4.58/5 rDev +8.8%
This place was a great stop this summer
16 guest beers and 8 of their own including Pliny the Elder and some beer I have never heard of with 14% alcohol
For 20 dollars including tip on beverages, had a hard to find pint from Sierra Nevada Brewing, 8 three ounce tasters, my girlfriend's soda, and took home a 750ml of their Swami's India Pale Ale, that was a great deal in my book
Pizza was really good, got a medium pepporoni for only 12 bucks, a wheat pretzel for a dollar, and a pulled pork sandwich for a dollar on Monday night
Had a trappist beer on tap which is a rarity to see, Koenings for only 5 bucks ber 12 ounce pour
Their beer was good and the standout being Sharkbite Red while the worst was Amigo Lager
Super cool female bartender and generous workers
Fast service and cannot wait to get back to this place
09-05-2007 18:18:08 | More by Floydster
4.46/5 rDev +5.9%
One of my favorite haunts. Located on historic El Camino Real, less than 1 mile I'd say from the public beach, beautiful location. Cool building, parking can be a bitch, but go around back and park on the 'roof,' and hope there aren't too many big SUVs in the parking lot because the spaces are narrow and backing out can take a few tries.
Inside, total laid back surfer skateboard pizza brewery vibe. Not a 'locals only' vibe, service has always been excellent here. Pizza is damn good too. Selection, shit, I've had some 3Floyd's here before, crazy. Bummed when they didn't have Psuedo IPA like last time, but whateva. Tiny little patio area in front of the brewing equipment, fun. Never really hung out upstairs, just come down everytime.
They take good care of you, they make the best ipas, their pizza is kickass, their prices are damn reasonable for kind of a high end Socal beach spot. Very nice, I likes more than Carlsbad.
06-03-2011 17:11:11 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Pizza Port San Clemente in San Clemente, CA
93 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.