Midnight Expression | Pizza Port Solana Beach

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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

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Reviews: 245 | Ratings: 373
Photo of Bricelyn
2.31/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Poured out of Large 24 oz bottle, pitch black looks like motor oil that hasn't ever been changed Made about a half inch of nice brown head.

Smell is smokey and like baking chocolate.

Taste is much the same but with a watery hop at the end smoke lingers after on the back of the tongue.

Mouth feel watery and light carbination

I Was told to give it a try and I did... not to impressed.

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Photo of justintcoons
2.79/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

Opaque black with 2 fingers of brown head. Good head retention and decent lacing.

Caramel and hints of charcoal. Cocoa and a touch of dark fruit.

Pretty much follows the nose. Caramel, cocoa and charcoal. Some smoke and a faint touch of raisin. Some bitterness on the end.

Medium bodied and smooth with a slight crispness.

It is what it is. Easy drinking and a little on the boring side.

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Photo of WeisGuy
2.81/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

a - pours a deep brown a few shades from black, two-finger tan head with great retention and lacing

s - milk chocolate and roasty malt dominate the nose, not much hop presence

t - weak, thin milk chocolate with light roastiness, hints of cola, no hops to speak of, some nuttiness on the finish with a lingering roasted malt flavor, disappears pretty quickly on the finish, no alcohol noticeable

m - somewhat on the thin and undercarbonated side, not overly dry or sweet on the finish - pretty well-balanced in that regard, no alcohol warming

d - sure, it's easy-drinking and easy on the palate, but the taste/most important component is lacking

Pretty weak effort by Port here, in my opinion -- I like most of their offerings, but this just seems like a bit of an afterthought beer.

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Photo of Halcyondays
2.89/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours black, with a thin tan head with fair retention and no palpable lacing.

S: Strong roasted malts, a bit of creamy coffee.

T: Strong char bitterness upfront, with a bit of lactic acidity as the beer warms. Hops are quite light, with a bit of a spicy bite. Could definitely use some more sweetness.

M: Full-bodied, nice carbonation, oily, but has a clear lightness about it overall.

D: Kind of a disappointment from Port, at the end was not really enjoying this one, a fair effort.

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Photo of mdfb79
2.98/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From 02/20/12 notes. Picked this up the day before in Middletown, NJ for $7.99. 22 oz. bottle into a tulip. Bottled on 12/20/12, so 2 months prior.

a - Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with one inch of light tan head and light carbonation evident. Looks pretty good.

s - Smells of roasted malts, a bit smokey, chocolate, coffee, some nuts, and some light vanilla or cream. Pretty good, nothing dominates or is too strong here.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, light coffee, and light chocolate or cocoa. Taste isn't bad at all, but is very weak and very bland. A major step down from the nose.

m - Light body and low carbonation. Body is smooth and easy to drink, but a bit watery which brings it down a bit.

o - Overall an okay beer, but not Port's best offering. Bosy is a bit thin and the taste is a bit bland. Wouldn't seek it out again.

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Photo of Seanibus
3/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is interesting, but it is very far from refreshing.

Pours deep black with a slight head. Aroma is sweet, malty, and roasted, more like a porter. The flavor is malty, woody, surprising robust, with cherry and chocolate. This is much more like a porter. Mouthfeel is rich and milky.

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Photo of jjh19
3.03/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: My bottle of of Midnight Sessions had a moderate, tan head. Very dark color and opaque. Tiny bubbles throughout.

Smell: I got mostly coffee smells, but not a very strong aroma.

Taste: I found this beer to be surprisingly sharp in the taste. A couple touches too bitter for my tastebuds, for a dark lager. Maybe the balance was off for my bottle?

Mouthfeel: The carbonation was decent leading to an okay mouthfeel. I thought this lager was a little thin and watery.

Drinkability: Not good, not bad. This was fine, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

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Photo of DocJitsu
3.05/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an opaque black. No head at all. Mouthfeel is wet with slight carbonation. It could've been a bit creamier. Aroma is pretty disappointing. Smoky like a burnt piece of toast. Pretty weak flavor of dark roast malt. Some underlying notes of plasticky cream. I'll never make this mistake again.

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Photo of beachbum1975
3.06/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this one as a recent freebie from a GREAT CA trader, numbeercruncher - this guy is amazingly generous!

Interesting blue label of a surfer surfing at night. Ok, you sparked my attention - oh and it's a lager?!

To my suprise, this beer poured a deep, dark brown, almost black with a faint tan head that disappeared immediately after the pour.

After a good whiff, I gathered hints of coffee grounds and heavily roasted malts. It may have just been my olfactory acting up on me, but I may have smell alittle barnyard vinegar funk in there as well. I hope this beer isn't spoiled?

Taste is much like the nose. Light to medium body and flavor with coffee up front, some smoke and that re-occuring vingar funk. Low carbonation on the mouthfeel.

This bottle may be old, as there is no freshness date, so I am going to grade this one lightly, for fear of it simply being past it's prime. Unique, but I won't be running out for more after this one.

Thanks again, numbeercruncher!

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.09/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer is very dark amber, almost black in color and pours with a two finger tan head with large bubbles in it. The head dissipates rather quickly leaving little retention but does exhibit some lacing on the glass.

S: Very little smell to this beer at all but what I could detect was a slight aroma of dark malts, the smell intensifies slightly as the beer warms but I find it lacking.

T: Dark roasty malts are the highlight in the taste but not a strong/intense flavor. Very little bitterness in this beer.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Not a great example of the style and nothing special about this beer in particular though it is quite sessionable.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.15/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

02/09/09- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance- Black in color. A full two fingered head on the pour. Slower to dissolve. Does not, however, leave any significant lacing behind.

Smell- A bit of a sweet caramel-bready nose. Also a burnt malt base detected.

Taste- Seriously burnt and medium smoked malt in flavor. Some hops milling around. Minorly sweet in flavor.

Mouthfeel- Well carbonated, not creamy as many of this style I have had. Doesn't have that nice smooth milky texture.

Drinkability- Not really my cup of tea. A bit to roasted and smoky for my tastes for a schwartzbier.

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The color was a very dark brown, with a little tan foam and some lace on the side of the glass.
The smell of roasted malts, yeasty bread and a hint of herbs had a pleasant and soft aroma. The taste was different than the aroma. The taste had a bitter flavor of roasted malt (maybe over roasted, which gave it a smoky flavor). Also, a hint of an herbal nature. For me, not a Lager I would buy again. My first disappointment from Port Brewing!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.28/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of coffee, dark roasted malts, lager yeast, some chocolate and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty and a little smoky as you would expect, with flavors of black coffee and dark chocolate, with a strong and hearty background of lager yeast. There's a mild hops presence that brings some balance but overall, the flavors don't seem to mess as well as they should. The after-taste is bready and bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is sticky and dry.

D: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this beer has all of the characteristics to make it a sessionable dark lager, but I think that there are more flavorful beers in that category.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.28/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an EKU 28 snifter in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Paired with garlic bread. Expectations are above average given the brewery, though I don't particularly care for the style.

Acquired at Wades Wine in Westlake Village, California. Cost was $4.29 USD plus tax.

A: Pours a two finger head of fair cream, nice thickness, and good retention. Colour is a solid black. It's generally appealing.

Sm: Dry schwarzbier malts: nuts and maybe vague chocolate. Dark malts. Caramel. A mild strength aroma.

T: Dark malts, with notes of nuts and vague chocolate. The promise of the aroma is fulfilled, though it wasn't that grand to begin with. Some caramel. Enjoyable. Decently balanced. All around, the build isn't great but it's pretty good. No layering is present, nor is any discernable complexity. This is a simple black lager.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit creamy. Not too thick nor too thin. Suits the flavours generally.

Dr: Drinkable but largely unremarkable. I'd have it again on an 'every once 'n' then', but it's not great. Fans of the style will enjoy it, but it's far from unique or special. Don't go out of your way to track this one down, lads.


 1,254 characters

Photo of jtierney89
3.3/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown color with a fluffy coffee colored head. Cocoa and bitter coffee on the nose with some earthy hops. Pungent nose. Cocoa nibs and bitter black chocolate bitterness up front complimented by a layer of coffee flavor. Medium in body with thin carbonation. Deep roasted malt flavor comes through. A complex brew at 5% with quite a few layers of flavors and big flavor at that. Thins out slightly on the finish but otherwise good beer.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.3/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a flute.

3.5 A: Very much overcarbonated, but didn't explode out of the bottle. First pour gave me 1/8 glass beer and 7/8 head. Anyway, black color. Several fingers of frothy soda-like light brown head that retains well, but doesn't lace well at all.

3.5 S: Roasted barley up front. Light dark fruitiness, but this is very soft. There really isn't much going on here.

3.0 T: Again there isn't a whole lot going on. Light roastiness and a subtle fruitiness. Not bad, but there are plenty of other Schwarzies out there that offer more.

3.5 M: Light body. Overcarbonated. Very smooth though.

3.5 D: Like I said before, this is okay, but not my schwartzbier of choice.

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Photo of Crosling
3.3/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, nearly black with ruby edges. Quickly diminishing foam. Smells like a Schwarzbier should with notes dried chocolate, cocoa and dried coffee grounds. Flavor is well balanced, with schwarzbier dryness and notes of dried chocolate and fruit. Let's not get carried away here. It's a well made beer. I think Kidd Lager is better.

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Photo of Philousa
3.32/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark black with a khaki, creamy head, fitting the style nicely. Coffee, light roast, cream soda, wheat bread crust, and bitter chocolate round out the aroma. Flavor starts with sweet chocolate, a hint of lactic sugars, turns quickly to bitter, burnt toast, and dark, slightly chalky chocolate. If there are hops in this, they are well hidden. I'm guessing earthy English hops, since I don't get any nectar you find in noble hops. Feel is creamy with a slight chalk to even it out. Finish is slightly dry. Loving all the diversity of flavors in this sessionable lager.

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Photo of cbros
3.33/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a trade with dyan. Pours a jet black with small lace that disipates rather quickly. Smell of burnt malt and something that has been oroasted too much. That flavor combination transfers over to the beers' flavor as well.

This is the first time I have had this type beer and I am curious if this is a fair representative of that style. Would like to try other beers from Port Brewing and I would also like to try another Schwarzbier as well.

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Photo of WarsteinerIceman
3.33/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Beer pours a dark dark brown, almost black. It has a mocha colored head that is persistent. As dark as it is, it's not as viscous as one would expect.

S - Smell is crisp, of smoke and nuts and is slightly sweet.

T - Tastes... good with first sip. Smokey, but not heavy like a stout or porter. Finishes with a little bitterness and woodiness, but not hoppy.

M - Very smooth at first, with a little bite at the end. Middling carbonation, just enough to keep things pleasant.

D - Drinkable, but not something I'd turn to for a Schwarzbier. It's light enough that I'd be able to enjoy a few should the mood for multiple smooth, smokey beers strike me.

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Photo of froghop
3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a black with a small khaki head, and some lacing.

smell is of roasted malt, some coffee, a little smoke, and cocoa.

taste is bold, roasted malt, cocoa, some coffee, and hops in back, ends a little bitter.

overall a good schwarzbier that is more bitter than most.

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Photo of JBogan
3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Hey! Who slipped a Founder's Breakfast Stout into this "Lager" bottle? This looks, smells, tastes, feels and drinks just like a FBS. About the only difference I could detect is that coffee isn't quite as dominant in this beer as it is in FBS, and this has a slightly lighter body. Otherwise, I swear it's the same beer.

Pours a very dark brown, almost black with a thick tan head which leaves lots of sticky lacing.

Smells like an old empty mug of coffee left out overnight next to a wrapper from a chocolate bar.

Tastes mainly of coffee, some chocolate. That's it folks. Nothing complex going on here.

Mouthfeel was thick for a "Lager".

This a somewhat drinkable brew, especially if you're looking for something in between a lager and a stout. Normally, I'm not. But for those who like this sort of thing, it will probably make you happy.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.4/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Having a Port Brewing session this evening. This seemed to fit both the "Port Brewing" and the "session" bill.

Pours a lovely dark schwarz, with a slight hint of brown at the edges. Head forms quickly when pours, but then dissipates almost as rapidly, leaving just a floating film of light beige. Lacing is a little hit and miss, some suds on one side, and a little of nothing on the other. Not bad.

Lots of roasted malt on the nose, toasted and slightly charred, with a slight astringency. Brown bread comes through as well, which oddly lightens the palate, and there's a whiff of something a little sweeter as well, perhaps a lilt of ripe banana - very faint though. Overall, it's mostly roasted and black, with just a few hints around the edges of something else.

Taste is dark, and a little empty around the edges. The bread notes come through more prominently here, leaving a damp emptiness through the centre of the palate, and a lingering odd burnt sweetness that continues through to the end. Mouthfeel is crisp, but with an oddly numbing effect.

Nope, this feels like something of a miss to me. It has some pleasant characters, but some slightly unpleasant ones as well. Not Port's best offering, that's for sure.

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Photo of mactrail
3.45/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A dark and light bodied beer. Attractive head and lacing galore. A lot of the scorched malt taste. Feathery light, though, and makes an interesting contrast with the marshmallowy mouthfeel and the big dark roast taste. Well carbonated, almost creamy on the tongue. A lot of sour burnt flavors. Barely a hit of malty sweetness. Fainbt hint of caramel and roasted barley in the nose.

22 oz bottle from Windmill Farms market. Quite drinkable, but definitely on the blackened side of the flavor profile.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
3.46/5  rDev -11.3%
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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Midnight Expression from Pizza Port Solana Beach
3.9 out of 5 based on 373 ratings.
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