Midnight Expression | Pizza Port Solana Beach

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Midnight ExpressionMidnight Expression
Very Good
373 Ratings
Midnight ExpressionMidnight Expression

Brewed by:
Pizza Port Solana Beach
California, United States

Style: German Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly called Moonlit Sessions Lager.

also called Midnight Expression

Added by Stoneman78 on 03-16-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 373 |  Reviews: 245
Reviews by Dijeriduster:
Photo of Dijeriduster
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark and opaque with ample head that doesn't last too long, though plenty of lacing

S - Dark and roasty with just a hint of lager yeast coming thru in the end. Very unique bitterness

T - Again dark and roasty with malty sour notes coming thru from high extraction. Amazing as this is second runnings from Serpent Stout

M - Fuller then a regular lager for sure with thinish wispy after taste.

O - Nice session beer, a little harsh on the roasty taste but very drinkable. Another amazing beer from Port Brewing

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - This is an oily-looking dark brown in color with a decent head.

Smell - The roasted malts are light but dominant with a subtle brown sugary compliment and a mild, baker's-style of cocoa powder.

Taste - The malts come out beautifully at the taste. The raw sugar is a bit bigger on the tongue than it is at the nose but still very small. Port Brewing managed to avoid that nasty tin-flavored aftertaste that seems to permeate just about every American effort of the style.

Mouthfeel - This lager is short of medium-bodied with little carbonation (which is my preference for the style) and very bitter.

Drinkability - I really enjoyed this bier but it is definitely on the bitter end of the style spectrum and may be too choppy for those looking for a more traditionally-balanced brew.

Update - I had this one again almost a year later and it is still a very good drinker. I got more from the nose than I noted in my original review but otherwise the flavors and smells are right on.

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Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at New World Tavern--Plymouth--served into a pint glass

Appearance: black in color, 1/4 inch head, opaque, moderate carbonation

Smell: roasted malt and light chocolate

Taste: roasted malt start with dark chocolate, smokiness and a touch of milk chocolate to combine with the roast at the end

Mouthfeel: super light bodied, moderate carbonation, sweet and dry

Overall: For an American Schwarzbier this is very good. I love the combination of the lightness of its body and the smokiness. The smokiness is prominent but does not come close to rauch levels. This is a solid beer that I will get again.

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Photo of magictrokini
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. Black pour with a cascading tan head. Rich aroma of coffee, cocoa, cream, and roasted malt. Taste of the same, plus cereal, caramel, and a nutty smokiness. Bittersweet offering with the hops and caramel/chocolate flavors balancing each other out. Never disappointed. Dwarfs other Schwarzbiers.

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Photo of wattoclone
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of ehammond1
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Lost Abbey
San Marcos, CA

Dark black, nearly midnight, pour with a big, stiff brown head. Lots of lacing down the glass. Looks like a thick, creamy stout. Quite impressive!

Dark and roasted malt character in the nose with a touch of coffee and chocolate. If I didn't know better, I'd swear this was an American stout, and certainly not a lager. A lot of complexity and a welcoming, roasty, chocolatey nose for sure.

A delicious, varied, and interesting flavor: this tastes like a great stout. Chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, no alcohol presence--terrific!

Medium bodied, easy to drink. A ton of flavor for a 5% ABV beer!

A world of flavor in such a low ABV package. Really an incredible treat. A delicious black lager.

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Photo of doremite
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of ryser2k
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of glid02
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this via trade with route66pubs - thanks!

Pours one shade away from black with dark brown highlights and a two-finger dark tan head. The head on this is interesting as it locks up after the pour and dissipates very slowly. Once it recedes into a thin layer on top it leaves decent lacing.

Smells of roasted malts and lots of them. In the background are unsweetened chocolate and charred herbal hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Roasted malts up front are joined by a faint citrus kick and earthiness from the hops. Near the end of the sip semi-sweet chocolate flavors join in before a dry and bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got heavy carbonation and a nice thickness.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing the bottle and could sip on this for a while.

Overall this was much roastier than other schwarzbiers I've had (though I haven't had many). Still, it was balanced by the hops and chocolate flavors. Worth a shot.

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Photo of pwoods
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to numbeercruncher for this nice extra.

22oz. brown bomber, poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours pitch black, no visibility. Maybe a finger worth of laffe foam colored head with a bit of retention. Some decent lacing.

S: Some debittered roast malts. Light notes of black coffee and grounds. A bit of sweetness to balance out a charred character.

T/M: Good hop character, grassy and earthy with a bit of citrus. Just a light coffee grounds and slightly charred character. It has a bit of a porter like sweetness to it but only really to balance the hops and light coffee/char. Body is medium to medium light with decent carbonation.

D: Pretty easily drinkable and low ABV. Pretty damn flavorful for a 5% brew.

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Photo of JMS1512
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of MrVonzipper
3.46/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black in the glass with light showing a little brown at the bottom of the glass. Pour carefully, big head. Dense, foamy tan head with good retention and decent lacing.

Very simple nose. Not alot going on. Dark malt and a little smoke.

Flavor is pretty much the same. No depth. Bitter malt, cacao and smoke on the back end.

Medium bodied and high carbonation.

Overall it's a good beer but I was a little disappointed. I just had higher hopes. Was looking for more depth in flavor and there was virtually none. Its seems like a homebrewers first attempt at the style.

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Photo of AlexChillton
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to tayner for this extra

Moonlit sessions is an extremely heavy schwarz. Pours a very deep black with some ruby brown highlights and a good fluffy tan head. Nose is mostly some roasted malts and good porter like burnt flavor. Taste follows. Huge roasted malts with lagery (thick lager) graininess. Gets a bit smoother as it warms. Carbonation is ample. a nice creaminess in there in the middle. Reaching towards a baltic porter type of robustness. Mouthfeel is nice, but is a bit heavy for the style. Drinkability is dampered by the thickness of this one. Overall very heavy and big for the style, but a very good brew. One I would surely return to if it were readily available. Big thanks to tayner for the chance to try this one and all the other fabulous beers she has sent me.

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Photo of Sammy
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I like the style, and buying the bomber at Gordon's in Watham, I was a bottle past my 12-packer for the plane. Hence an enjoyable and informative sharing with Jeff at Jaspar's in Nashua. Roasty aroma, black body with permanent off-white little head, with a great drinkability, and this is 10 minutes in the fridge on a warm day. Balanced with a tad of fruitiness, and complexity in the roasted black malt.

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Photo of whatname
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of socon67
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared during my first hosted tasting

A - Black pour with a mocha colored foam.

S - Malty smell that has a slight bitter note from its hoppy component.

T - I just love the style in general, and this might be one of the best. A hearty malt flavor that goes to an bitter bite at the end. This is perfect for those folks who love black IPA's.

M - Awesome balance and transition of malty to hoppy flavor. Very easy drinking and goes great with many types of food.

O - I give it a boost for an uncommon style just done well. May the Schwarz be with you!

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Photo of DJButters
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of WoodBrew
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Port Brewing Black Lager that I picked up is called Midnight Sessions....name must have changed over time. The appeance is great dark....opaque...nice tan head which seems to be lacing. The smell include roast with hint of espresso and hops. The taste is common of most black lagers, light/medium body, with good roasty tones with touchs of coffee, caramel, and hops that help to clean the pallet. The Mouthfeel is very good as well very easy to drink with not overbearing ABV. I am guessing they changed the name because it is a great sesson lager. Overall a very good beer.

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Photo of prototypic
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It pours a very dark brown color, bordering on black. There's a little light through around the edges. The nicest part of the look is the mocha colored head that stands about two fingers tall. Very unexpected and enticing. It receded pretty quickly and left light lacing. But, damn it was nice.

Smell: The is dominated by mostly roasted malts. There's a bit of coffee and maybe even chocolate malt in there, but they're clearly secondary players compared to the roasted malts. It also features a nice smoked aroma that livens it up and adds some complexity. Ultimately, it's a little too light in this department to warrant a higher rating. But, it's a nice smelling beer nonetheless.

Taste: The flavor profile is very nice and straight forward. It's primarily roasted malts that feature a very good smoked flavor. There are some ancillary elements of coffee and chocolate malt that play their complementary roles nicely. But, at the end of the day, it's roasted malts and smoke. It actually sounds a little too simple, but this a nice tasting beer. Mild manner, easy drinking.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied and smooth. Carbonation is very well done and it goes down easy. I don't know what the abv is, but it's primed for consumption beyond a single bomber. Mine's disappearing quickly.

Port did a really nice job with this one. I'm really impressed. I was expecting a good beer, but this is actually quite a bit better than I was expecting. I'm really not sure how the flavor could be improved. Perhaps it could be a little more complex, but that could potentially weaken what's a pretty good damn beer as it is. Check it out for yourself. Good stuff.

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Photo of MrKennedy
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from Beermasons and poured into a 7oz glass.

Not quite jet black appearance, but plenty dark. Just a hint of ruby when examined against the light. Pours with a two finger head of mocha-tan foam that takes a while to settle as film.

Fantastic! Starts off with coffee and a bit of smoke and then plenty of dark chocolate emerges and is joined by more milk chocolate later on. The smell doesn't die with the foam and is very enticing!

First flavour is milk chocolate at the front and then some coffee and dark chocolate follow. Beautiful mix of all three flavours.

Maybe a touch overcarbonated, it is a little prickly early and then smooths right out. Nice coating of the mouth and a wholesome feel at the back end. Very smooth finish.

Very impressed by this, cannot think of a better dark lager that i've come across. Easy to drink, complex, full of flavour and aroma.

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Photo of hooliganlife
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at Jake Melnicks Corner Tap. Served in a room temp mug

pour was deep cola. light creamy cocoa head and nice retention. great lacing.

light roasted malts, a touch of sweetness, and like coffee.

a nice bold and flavorful lager. hints of smoke, roasted malts, light coffee, maybe some chocolate here and there, dark fruits. light bitterness through out with a great citrus mix of tangerine and grapefruit at the finish.

light body but fairly full. light to moderate carbonation.

this was super easy to drink, nice low ABV, great flavor with nothing really dominating. i drank this rather quickly.

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Photo of kristenrae8
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pilsener- pours charcoal black with two fingers of bubbly tan/mocha head, good retention, minimal lacing. Visibly effervescent.

Lots in the nose- roasty malts, a little coffee, some cocoa nibs, and an earthy yeast. Appealing.

Great flavor- still a good amount of roastiness balanced by some dark malt sweetness, good amount of the coffee, a little noble hop bitterness towards the end.

Mouthfeel is excellent- medium light body (on the lighter side for such a dark beer) with moderate to full carbonation. Very drinkable brew but maybe not quite as full of a body as I would've liked. Get it if you like this style.

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Photo of russpowell
4.52/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got this one from EchoCharlieEcho, cheers!

Pours a chestnut tinged mahogany with 4 fingers of mocha colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Dark Fruit, brown bread, rye & a touch of licorice when warm

T: Charred grain, a little coffee, brown bread & rye up front along with faint dark cherry. More charred grain & coffee as this warms along with rye bread, dryness & slight grainyness & licorice. Finishes dry, with charred grain & coffee, plus rye crispness

MF: Medium bodied & firm carbonation, smooths out once warm

Drinks so easy, a great example of the style, a tad too much coffee, but still wish I could pick this up on a regular basis

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Midnight Expression from Pizza Port Solana Beach
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 373 ratings