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: 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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 373 |  Reviews: 245
Photo of TheRealDBCooper
5/5  rDev +28.9%

Photo of JustinQ
5/5  rDev +28.9%

Photo of OMsweetOM
4.75/5  rDev +22.4%

Photo of jbertsch
4.68/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appears black with a big, rocky tan head. Nice lacing.

Its primary aroma is of roasted pumpernickel bread and grains. There are also faint notes of chocolate and coffee.

On the palate, roasted dark grain is at the forefront. Very representative of a black lager/schwarzbier. Malts are prominent but not super powerful. Hops are not that present, as expected. Taste is short and a faint bitterness lingers just enough to make you want another sip fast.

Well carbonated aids a great mouthfeel. And the drinkability on this puppy is sky high.

This brews taste is confident and solid, yet delicate and restrained. A great schwarzbier that definitely respects the style's heritage. I'd buy it again for sure.

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Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.64/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Port Brewing Moonlit Sessions Lager
22oz. brown bomber

First of all, by the name and style of lager, I originally thought it would be like Full Sail Session...when I poured into my snifter and saw a dark brew, I was delighted.

A: poured into a snifter. the beer pours an impenetrable black/dark mahogany. No head at all on top, besides a haze of tan swirls. Lack of a head is the reason for the low score.

S: almost smells like a stout. Rich roasted dark malts are the lead, which I pulled coffee, toffee, some figs and raisins as well. A mild hint of chocolate, but very faint.

T: Wow...I now have a total understanding as to why Tomme is the fucking man. This is by far the most amazing schwarzbier I have ever tasted, and probably ever will. Deep and intense roasted dark malts, almost make this taste like a stout or a porter. Chocolate and coffee tones are the major flavors. This is a very sweet/malty version of this style. Some light hints of dark fruits like fig and cherry.

M: carbonation was a little light, but it enhanced the malts in my opinion. The most full bodied schwarzbier ever!

D: at 5% and the amazing flavor, this beer is a great "session" brew. extremely drinkable.

 1,196 characters

Photo of Buffetfan
4.64/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of corby112
4.55/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on draft at Monk's.

Pours a deep dark mahogany amber/chestnut brown color that is completely opaque with only the slightest of dark c
golden mahogany edges when held to a light source. Frothy two finger dark tan head with excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves chunks of soapy lacing behind.

Deep dark roasted malt aroma with hints of bitter dark chocolate, smoke, charcoal, toffee, nut and subtle hops. I know this is a schwarzbier but I was shocked how smokey and authentic this smells. Of course there is a slight American twist with the slight citrus and earthy hops but this beer is roasted and smokey with hints of burnt toast and BBQ.

Chewy full body with a nice lactic creamy feel along with a beautiful smoked malt character that isn't overpowering at all. Deep roasted flavor with hints of nut, toffee, chocolate, caramel and burnt toast. Slightly bitter hops provide the perfect compliment to the smokey roasted notes. There is also a subtle dark fruit presence, especially dark cherry thatnprovides a nice sweetnessto the deep roasted notes. This beer is perfectly balanced and extremely quaffable. This is a nice introduction to smoked lagers. No too overpowering with a lot of comlexity balancing it out but ruach/smoked beers fans will love this beer. Highly recommended!

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

Pours very dark, almost black, with a smallish tan head that has decent retention and leaves some lacing.

Mellow roasted aroma with chocolate, light smoke, and burnt popcorn. Clean and intoxicating - I love this aroma.

Wonderfully soft malt flavors. Roasted character that is mellow and not sweet with a hint of smoke. Some bittersweet chocolate, cocoa powder, and light roast coffee. Some toasted grain and the perfect amount of sweetness. Similar to a porter, but clean with no fruitness. Finishes dry with a light lingering roastiness. Paired well with a burger straight from the grill.

Medium in body, smooth, crisp, and refreshing. Maybe has just a touch too much carbonation. This is like my perfect session beer - roasty, clean, and not heavy. I could drink this 24/7.

Big thanks to Himerman for hooking me up with this tasty treat as part of the BIF Race '08.

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Photo of wattoclone
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of JMS1512
4.5/5  rDev +16%

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.

 579 characters

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

Fresh growler from HopCity.

A - Pours a dark chocolate brown with a nice large fluffy chocolate tan head. Leaves some good lace behind.

S - Sweet chocolate and coffee, a personal favorite pairing of mine. behind this there are some notes of vanilla and some roasted malts. Very good!

T - Tastes of coffee and chocolate held together by a nice caramel roasted malt. As the beer progresses a bit of dryness comes through, showcasing nut and some slightly bitter flavors.

M - Medium body which is rich with a nice creamy sensation for being a relatively thin beer. This beer shines in this category in a growler versus the bottled version, where the carbonation from a bottle is high and here.... perfect!

O - I cannot say enough good things about this beer. The drinkability for these flavors is quite high, which I find relatively rare. On tap it is as good as I could image, fulling realizing the potential I thought possible when I had my first bottle around one year ago. I will state a bit of bias in that this is a personal favorite combination of tastes and such, but regardless this beer should be sought out by anyone looking for a complex dunkel.

 1,160 characters

Photo of Elfastball7
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of Nightrain87
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of hpthebull
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of jrpapajcik
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a stout like obsidian color with a foamy beige head that sticks well but doesn't leave much lace; it doesn't look like a stout, it's just as dark as a stout

Smell: Incredibly roasty, with plenty of black bread character

Taste: Opens with that black bread character that was noted in the aroma, with a crisp lager finish; the black bread lingers and there is a hint of chocolate and coffee in the finish, as well

Mouthfeel: Medium body with crisp, moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Who would have thought a shwarzbier would be this much fun to drink? Port Brewing has put a unique touch on this brew using the second runnings from their Serpent's Stout

Thanks, BrewBakerE, for the opportunity and to mdaschaf, for the chance to re-visit

 759 characters

Photo of billshmeinke
4.46/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic. Slow pour yeilds two-three fingers worth of frothy beige head the hangs around forever. Superb retention and huge chunks of lacing left behind on the glass. Beer looks pitch black with only the slightest hues of rudy brown at the outermost edges. A fantastic looking brew.

Smells of light cocoa, dark roast, and hints of coffee. A touch of earthy hoppiness is buried in there as well.

Chocolate, a great subtle (not overpowering) roast characteristic, light notes of dark fruits, subtle earthy hops, then light notes of espresso. Earthy and fruity finish.

Mouthfeel is superb, cream smooth, light, and refreshing. Spot on.

My favorite dark lager that I have tried. Supremely session-able, and refreshing. I'm kinda bummed I never gave this a try before, because I think it's gonna be a new staple in my regular line up.

 845 characters

Photo of gfreed
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the finest porters I've had! Oh... it's a black lager? Well, then, it's still one of the finest porters I've had. Blacker than black and visibly thick as it generates a fat, dense, dark brown head when poured into the glass. Extreme roasted aromas are evident at a distance of three feet, and a balanced dose of roasted malt along with a hoppy bite as it goes down. Dense body but still quite drinkable, especially with the 5% ABV. As black lagers go, this one isn't-- at least, not compared with the others I've had. Stack this one up against Berkshire's Drayman's porter or even a good bottle from the UK. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, i believe it was still labeled "moon lit sessions". no date. tasted in mid-may 2009. poured into shaped pint glass.

midnight black (no pun intended). only the slightest hint of reddish brown under direct light. 1-finger brown head, fades to creamy, wispy thin layer and ring. very good lacing.

aroma: malty and roasty, almost stout-like. malt approaches savory, w touch of vanilla. coffee tones throughout and into the finish. hint of earthy hops.

taste: malty and roast again, but it seems the lagering keeps this clean and refreshing, despite the richness of flavor. coffee, touch of acidity, leafy hops, with moderate to almost bold bitterness that is still crisp, complementing the refreshment.

medium body, smooth, with some coffee-like acidity and astringency in the finish. very crisp carbonation accentuates this, but is also creamy.

not a traditional schwarzbier, that's for sure. but i don't think they claim it to be one. hard to categorize anyway.

NOTE: this is before i started hearing that the recent batches of older viscosity, BA santa's little helper, etc are still coming out flat. i was willing to give port/LA another chance (thus why i still went and bought this bomber), and knowing that this is from the second runnings of serpent stout, i was considering trying that too. but now i'm unsure if i want to keep supporting them. they need to get their act together.

 1,405 characters

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Sam Adams Lager glass.

Pours straight up black, thin light brown head that settles into a cap fairly quickly. Beautiful lacing left after every sip.

Nose is robust - espresso, roasty, and chocolate take the fore, with a smattering of dark fruits (cherries) coming through clearly underneath. Very rich - I'm sold.

Taste has nice light coffee and dark chocolate notes up front, roasty, drying out a bit towards the finish with a lightly acidic hop bitterness. Finish is long, dry, hops are a bit leafy, roasty, lingering dark chocolate. Just short of burnt on the tail end. Full flavored, and delicious.

Mouthfeel is dry, light carbonation and a medium-full body. Surprisingly full actually. Verging on creamy, but just a bit more crispness to the carbonation than that.

Drinkability is stellar, as expected. Light but full, somewhere between a slow sipper and a session beer. This beer is whatever you want it to be. Love it.

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Photo of Offa
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent schwartzbier, characterful and well-rounded.

Black, it has a medium dark tan head soon shrinking to a foamy top and leaving a little weak lace.

Aroma is very pleasant, toasted brown bread, caramelised sweet coffee, hints of fig and bark.

Taste is very nice, dry toast, dark caramel hint, some coffee, light sweetness with light singed-leaf- roasty-coffee bitterness. Initially it tends slightly to the sweet side before quickly becoming dry with a flavourful dry,roasty finish and dryish aftertaste leaning slightly to peppery bitter side with dark chocolate.

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