Chronic Ale | Pizza Port Solana Beach

29 Reviews
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Chronic AleChronic Ale

Brewed by:
Pizza Port Solana Beach
California, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.95%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by acurtis on 10-27-2013

For Trade:
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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 255
Photo of Mitzvahman72
4.53/5  rDev +32.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

With a nice golden color, it has a nicely mellow dark cereal taste that fits the overall refreshing enjoyment of the beer. There isn’t any stark bitterness in this beer, which is ideal for the beer style, right down to the mellow mouthfeel. This is a MASSIVE improvement from the very bitter beer that it once was and makes for a great competitor to Karl Strauss’ Red Trolley Ale. The only big flaw to this beer is that it’s missing the “Carlsbad” part of the Chronic Ale name. :(

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Photo of BeerAfterRide
4.5/5  rDev +32%

Really great beer. Loved the taste and aroma! Awesome beer for the beach or the course (where I found it). Excited to try the others from this great pizza joint!

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Photo of breadwinner
4.23/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I understand this beer perhaps used to be different, hoppier, more, well, weed-focused. I won't deny it's not aptly named. The beer I had was no marijuana paean, but it was, oddly, a really tasty riff on an English ale, loads of fruity esters and a toffee-like malt base, little nips of hops thrown in for balance, light nuttiness. I dunno. I found it really tasty, but I also like a good English ale. I don't begrudge anyone who may remember this beer differently and not prefer its current form, but I quite liked it.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.02/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 79 is hardly fair for this amber ale. As an amber, it pours a perfectly clear amber color with a foamy, persistent, and sticky just off white head. It smells of caramel covered fruitiness blended with rich damp soil and grassy hops. Taste follows: sweet and malty grain, roasty and toasty goodness, herbal hops. Feel is a little over carbonated, but still pretty smooth and slick. Balanced with sweetness barely pulling the lead. Over, this is a damn good amber and I'm surprised to see it's overall score. All well, to each their own. Cheers!

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a finger and a half of head on a clear dark straw body.
The aroma is caramel and grains, wet hay.
The taste is caramel and malty with a mild bitterness.
The texture is thicker.
I enjoyed the malty body and flavor.

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Photo of billshmeinke
3.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Pint sized can poured into a Mason Jar.

Look: Medium amber hue with hints of gold around the edges. Head doesn't stick around for long, but a decent splotchy head sticks around without leaving much lace behind.

Smell: Cereal sweet maltiness with a touch of strawberry like esters. A vague minerality, and a hint of grassy hops.

Taste: Honey nut cheerios give way to a some slightly fruity esters, washed away by a smack of grassy hop bitterness and a slight touch of resin.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and a touch oily, very faint warming alcohol, carbonation is on the low side.

Overall: This is a very pleasing and inoffensive beer. The flavors are balanced, the mouthfeel is pleasing. It's the kind of beer you'd like to sit down and have a beer with. Don't expect to blown away, but don't be surprised if you want to drink a couple more.

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Photo of safaricook
3.72/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured this from the can into my glass. It is really a surprisingly typical English tasting offering from the hoppy coast of America. Very nice drinker. Not sublime but I can see moments when this will be just fine.

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Photo of SensorySupernova
3.71/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Red/amber with a low white head.

Smell: Faint malt and yeast.

Taste: Caramel and malt up front, a bit sweet, some yeast, faint bitterness towards the end is very low.

Mouthfeel: Moderately thick and carbonated.

Overall: Pretty straight-forward amber. Enjoyable, but nothing to get me to excited.

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Photo of ELS
3.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Received a can of this beer as an extra in a trade. Was not expecting much after looking at other reviews on BA. I was pleasantly surprised how drinkable this beer is. The taste is easy on hops with just enough malt to please the palette. The beer is pretty smooth for an amber ale with just the right carbonation to allow you to enjoy gulping down like a good summer brew. I realized that a beer doesn't have to have big bold flavors to be very satisfying.

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Photo of mactrail
3.61/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Surprisingly sweet and malty for such a moderate-alcohol brew. Handsome coppery amber color with a decent head and plenty of lacing in the Saxo narrow tulip.

This has the classic Amber Ale profile, just a little lighter-- bitterish caramel taste with some herbal hop flavors. Pleasantly sudsy mouthfeel. Some fruity notes. Apple and a splash of iced tea with lemon. Some browned grain and bread flavors.

This is a more than adequate quaff with all the beery elements. Refreshing and less alcohol. I think icy cold is the right temperature for this. From the 16 oz can purchased at Sunset Beer Company in Los Angeles.

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Photo of rawfish
3.56/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours clear amber from the tall boy can, forms a nice finger high head of stark white. The retention of this is pretty average as is the spotty lacing.

Graham cracker pie crust, bready malts with a touch of cereal grains and caramel sweetness. Light, and breezy hops of pine and yellow citrus. Notes of mineral and metallic bring this down somewhat.

Bready malts with cereal grains and a mineral bite when cold. Caramel sweetness is pretty benign and balancing. Herbaceous hops turn bright and citrusy near the finish. Low bitterness and not much natural cleansing.

Adequate carbonation and a strange body that is watery and nearly too thin over the palate yet sits heavily after the drink. Lacks drying except for some earthy bitterness and a tingle of minerals.

Honestly as a session beer this is not bad, sits a bit flat in the stomach but packs enough balanced amber flavor with some hop zip. Six pack of tall boys was cheap at under $10, a good buy.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.54/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Chronic Ale – brewed by Bressi Ranch

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad – Standard shaker pint

A: Pure amber body with some light orange hues and overall a fairly decent amount of clearness to it. My pour was capped by a half finger of fluffy off white foam suds that held for a few minutes leaving behind a few dots and patches of lace in its wake.

S: Smells of malty biscuit with a light toffee sweetness. I get some mild hop spice coming through but this is mostly toasty malts here. Nice and very familiar to me.

T: Malt biscuit and toasted toffee with a slight nuttiness there. Not terribly sweet by any means. There is a mild hop bitterness with some waves of pine and spice coming through. Dash of citrus even. Alcohol is completely masked in this lower ABV version. Nice and well balanced with a pronounced bready malt showcased.

M: Moderate to lower body with a nice creamy texture. Fair amount of drying on the finish with a very clean feel overall.

D: This is a very well balanced Amber and fairly sessionable. The Chronic recipe has been adjusted a few times over the years from when it was originally brewed with hemp but most of the base character is here in this version. Nice but really not much to it. I prefer the bolder Chronic with a bit bigger ABV to this one here.

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Photo of Zorro
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper colored ale with a small tannish colored head.

Smells sweet and of cedar and pine board. Scents of pine and toffee candy.

Starts out malty with a toffee and caramel taste. Toasted grain and slightly woody, not the slightest bit harsh. Not complex but a full flavored mild ale you could drink a lot of.

Mouthfeel is full.

Overall a very pleasing mild ale.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

This one showed up in a sort of FFT CANTrade ™ from a trader in Virginia who had received this and a couple of other Pizza Port CANs in a trade of his own and knew that I would up my ante in return for receiving them. Indeed.

From the CAN: “The Chronicale CANned Beer is Now Here! Pizza Port Brewing Co. is now producing their delicious beverages in easy to carry, [CAN]sume & recycle [CAN]s. Enjoy!”; “PIZZA PORT was established in 1987 in Solana Beach, CA. We started out by making pizzas and brewing beer as a hobby. We really wanted to share some of the incredible brews that we crafted for fun with our customers so we installed a 7 barrel brewing system and served our first handcrafted beer brewed on the premises in 1992. We have since celebrated opening Port Carlsbad in 1997, Port San Clemente in 2003, Port Ocean Beach in 2010 and now FINALLY [CAN]ning in Bressi Ranch in 2013! We are a little different in that we actually BREW at every location because WE LOVE BEER SO MUCH! This also allows us to offer a variety of styles and a unique beer selection at each place. It is our pleasure to bring this mellow amber ale to you in a [CAN] after so many requests over the years! Cheers[.]”

I heard a loud Crack! and looked in to see a brimful CAN, so I celebrated with an inverted Glug that had to be aborted when an overflow became imminent. I briefly had two-plus fingers of fizzy, tawny head, but it quickly fell to wisps. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a fruity, malty sweetness to it, kind of like cherry soda pop. Mouthfeel was thin, but very fizzy in terms of its carbonation. I really was reminded of soda pop. In fact, it tasted much like a soda fountain Cherry Coke like I got at Smithgall’s Pharmacy when I was just a wee lad. Whee! It was tasty, but much sweeter than I like. Finish was likewise sweet and still like a Cherry Coke. It was not really my bag, but it was not horrible and at only 4.9%, it a) is a session CANdidate and b) paves the way for my next beer.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours a caramel tan on the glass.
The aroma has hints of a caramel sweetness with some faint candied orange and cherry characters. The flavor comes off with a caramel-candied orange note, followed by a somewhat metallic finish. Bought this on the strength of Pizza Port’s reputation, despite being an amber ale. Next time I'll know better.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Newhall Refinery in Newhall, CA.

Pours a clear honey orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, metallic, and nut aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, biscuit, and nut flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty, but has an odd metallic quality in the aroma and a bit too flat of a mouthfeel in my opinion.

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Photo of Furlinator
3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap at 4th & Mill on 05/05/16.

Classic rust color. Not much aroma to speak of. Rather bland flavor. Mild malt up front with subtle hop finish. Nothing to write home about.

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Photo of rob99er
3.39/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

I find myself liking this style less and less. Ambers were the style that got me into craft beer. I did enjoy this beer while I was walking around Sea World. I'll drink again.

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Photo of ThePaleRider
3.32/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A - Very dark orange that didn't pour very much head.

S - Lots of sweet malts. Butterscotch, caramel, toffee, and butterscotch!

T - Lots of candy malts, with a bitter finish. Very odd, desert like flavor for an amber ale. Reminds me more of an english ale with the lack of hop character.

M - Very smooth, viscous body. Not a lot of carbonation.

O - Not bad but not something I'm looking to buy again.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a light orange color with a white head and a bit of lacing. The smell is grainy, earthy, and very lightly hoppy. The taste has standard malts for a typical amber ale, a bit grainy, and solidly bitter. Hop flavor is light and leafty and not strong like one would expect in a Chronic ale, not sure if its age or recipe, the date is within a the past few months so its not super old it was purchased at a local store. Its just average beer with a solid body and bitterness. Mild citrus taste, but pretty sugary and malty though bitter. As a session beer, it would be good. For a hoppy amber, its middle of the road.

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Photo of Rivcabeerlover
3.29/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

From a 16 oz can. Yellow to brown color. A bit too malty and sweet for me but a good amber ale if you like those. Decent carbonation. Slight hop presence. Not a favorite.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.05/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

16oz can poured into a pint, canned 5/6/15

A- pours a murky Amber color with a small white fizzy head that quickly disappears completely, leaving nothing behind

S- slightly sweet malt, a trace of citrus hop, that's about it

T- Slightly sweet malty base, a hint of grassy and citrus hop, grainy finish. Very bland overall

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel and finish

O- non offensive and easy drinking, but this one was pretty standard with nothing noteworthy

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Photo of HalfFull
3.03/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chronic, my first in a can though not my first by any means. Let's hope it survived the transition to Bressi Ranch better than the Swami did. 16 oz. can into a tulip for good measure, the Chronic pours a deep copper to amber in color, clear, and with a light cap of foam. Retention and carbonation is light.

Aroma of caramel and hops through the foam which doesn't linger unfortunately. After settling it's just a light muddled and a bit watery caramel body to this beer. I don't recall Chronic precisely at the Carlsbad location, but this surely isn't it. It is surely toned down a notch or two. Why? Still it offers a clean and enticing aroma, though the taste and feel leave a bit to be desired.

If you change a beer notably, change its name. It's called integrity and it's a bit too rare.

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Photo of jakecattleco
2.93/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Can dated 08/13/15 at TK Pizza in a shaker pint. WTF, how PP considers this an amber is beyond me. Perhaps this is the first session amber on the market. Very thin in appearance and mouthfeel. Little aroma and only a mildly pleasing taste. Never again, unless it's the only option from BMC.

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Photo of travolta
2.9/5  rDev -15%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: No retention, no lacing, light and clear with a nice blood orange color.

Nose: Copper, malt, toffee, with a tiny pepper hotness at the end which is nice.

Taste: Malt biscuit, nutty, and pine.

Notes: I was not over the moon about this one.

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Chronic Ale from Pizza Port Solana Beach
3.41 out of 5 based on 255 ratings.
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