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 BeerLover99
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: black body, trace khaki head, ok lacing

S: mild roasted malt, nutty, caramel

T: hint of chocolate, nutty/caramel malt, light coffee
roasted/mild bitter finish

M: light/med body, smooth mouth

O: Nice beer, enjoy the style + brewery.
Would recommend, might get again.


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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
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 JerzDevl2000
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber of this from Gary's in Wayne a week or two ago. I had never had any of Port's offerings before and when I first saw this, I thought it was a Black Lager. While this wasn't anything outstanding, this was a nicely crafted beer that was both enjoyable and easy to down, without being too heavy in the alcohol department.

The pour to this was dark, practically flat, and with a light brown head that faded relatively quickly. It was not too hard to enjoy this, as there was a strong burnt overtone to this with some chocolate, toffee, and a bit of Scotch Ale in the taste. No bourbon or caramel to be found here and the flavors and body of this led me to believe that this would make for a great dessert beer, like a Stout. This wasn't anywhere near as full as something of that style since the bitterness really wasn't there.

If this was offered in 12 oz. bottles, I would have had a few of them, given how low the alcoholic content was. Most people wouldn't think of this as a session beer but if a Stout or Porter is too heavy for you, this would easily suffice instead. This was a textbook example of a style that isn't widely available but is certainly worth a try nevertheless.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a brownish color but appeared jet black in the glass. Dirty white cap, good head and lacing on this as well

S: Nice roastiness, some light cocoa and packed with nice floral hops and a hint of citrus

T: An immediate roasted malt, with some cocoa, perhaps some coffee blended with floral hops and some orange peel. Finish is pretty crisp, clean, light bittering

M: Well carbonated, pleasant, good light body but the presence seemed bigger

O: Wow. An amazingly easy to drink beer. I could reach for this all day.

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Photo of socon67
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
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 Nerudamann
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look – jet black in color, with about three fingers’ worth of light tan-colored foam that dissipates somewhat slowly.

Smell – malty and roasted quality. Very sweet smelling like an oatmeal stout.

Taste – much like the smell, it has a malty quality right off the bat, but once in the middle of the tasting, the bitterness of the hops takes hold. In general it tastes more like a stout, but with a slightly less roasted quality than you’d expect.

Mouthfeel – pretty well-balanced, but definitely leans more toward the creamier side.

Overall – not a bad brew. It’s not quite what you’d expect at first, but it’s good-tasting and decently interesting.

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Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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 flagmantho
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: extremely dark brown hue, nearly black. Head poured three thick fingers of frothy dark-tan foam. Head is nicely, if inconveniently, tenacious.

Smell: rich, roasty and chocolatey aroma is smooth and enticing, although there is a big hit of vegetal hop aroma which doesn't work well for me.

Taste: nice chocolate and coffee flavors here, with a definite charred-grain bitterness present. The vegetal character in the aroma isn't nearly as present in the flavor, thankfully. This is a very porter- or stout- tasting schwarzbier; I rather like it.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a big, fluffy effervescence that is quite interesting and refreshing. I like it.

Overall: a good schwarzbier. I don't see a lot of American craft schwarzbiers around, so it is good to find one. I'd definitely have this again.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a draft into a pint glass at KnB Wine Cellars on March 21, 2012 in San Diego. Color was black. Had about two fingers of head. Brown coffee lacing on the top that turned into a slowly fading circle with blank black spots in the middle. Light film on the sides, but still there.

Smell was coffee heavy. Real dark chocolate malts. Expected, but decent nonetheless.

Tasted similar to the nose. Coffee and real dark chocolate malts. Kind of like the kind I hated when I was a kid. Very smooth though.

Full body. Lively (above average) carbonation. Smooth, creamy texture. Smooth rules the day here.

I really liked this beer. Just a smooth and consistent easy drinking beer.

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Photo of mscudder
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

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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 beerthulhu
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark heresy chocolate pour is dense black in the glass but offers little in the way of head and lace.

S: Earthy dark roasted malt, burnt wood, dark cocoa with a nice level of delivery.

T: Dark and bitter, earthy roasted woodiness and coffee with some burnt chocolate. Lingering coffee is roasty, fresh, and rich, yet smooth and silky. Finishes off with some roasted barley.

M: was quiet carbonation wise, oily roast feel.

O: Overall a black lager with a smooth easy yet respectable roastiness that is quite relaxing.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark black color with just a hint of brown and a finger of frothy and almost creamy chocolate colored head. The head fades down very slowly leaving behind some nice lace.

S - The aroma is a mix of roasted chocolate and a touch of coffee. There is a bit of sweetness with just a touch of smoke.

T - Starts off with a mix of roasted chocolate malts with a touch of smoke and some burnt flavor. There is just a bit of sweetness as well. Through the middle, some coffee flavor comes through alongside a bit more smoke. The finish is a mix of chocolate, bitter coffee, smoke, and a bit of cream sweetness.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a roasted and lightly smoky feeling.

D - Very drinkable. Nice balance of coffee and chocolate flavors with some complexity added with the smoke flavor.

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Photo of smcolw
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the few cases where I prefer the bottled version over the on-tap one.

Near black color, but bright light shines through the edges. Beige head leaves a curtain of streaky lace.

The predominate smell is burnt white toast. First impression of the taste is affected by the thin body. The flavor matches the smell with lots of burnt bread notes. The aftertaste is dry and short. Overall, it reminds me of a strong, dark Euro lager.

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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 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.


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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 RonfromJersey
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

WonderfuLly black body, with a red laser line at the bottom edge. Big fluffy dark tan head. Good lacing immediately evident.

Inviting aroma of coffee and chocolate, not overpowering, but enjoyable.

Taste is a nifty coffee and cocoa mix with a bright hop signature joining in quickly. Mocha mix lingers a long while.

Chewy medium mouthfeel is right for the style, substantive but not quite stoutish.

Not equal to my favorite schwartz, Black Bavarian, but tasty and a surprise in the IPA and Imperial Stout dominated Port line-up.

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Photo of PeterIngemi
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz btl into my duvel tulip

A- black with a 3 finger creamy looking milk chocolate head, heads recedes slowly to a film that stays throughout the beer, nice lacing, a good looking brew

S- chocolate, roasted malts, hint of coffee, light citrus hops soon further inspection, all along with a bit of smoke.

T- coffee, hints of chocolate, light smoke, nice roasty character, very flavorful and well balanced. Can't seem to taste the light hop aroma, perhaps slightly on the end, very nice.

M- light/medium body with a good amount of carbonation, you can hear all the tight little carbonation bubbles going crazy if you agitate the beer and then listen, creamy with a dry finish,
Excellent mouth feel. Although I think it could improve slightly if there was just a tad less carbonation.

O- for a beer weighing in at 5 % alcohol, this brew has a very nice body and is packed with flavor, one I look forward to drinking every year, mighty delicious. A great session beer!!

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Photo of CBlack85
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Xcalibur077 for this one

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a balloon glass.

The beer pours black with few ruby and brown highlights when held up to the light. An aggressive pour yields two to three fingers worth of dark tan head that slowly recedes into a thin cap, leaving behind a fair amount of lacing.

The nose is comprised mainly of cocoa, coffee, roasted malts, and a mild smokiness. There is also an earthy quality. There is also a mild hoppy aroma that is not initially noticable, but starts to come through if you are looking for it.

The flavor leans more toward the roasted grains and coffee, and to a lesser degree a bittersweet chocolate. There is not much going on in terms of sweetness. The hop presence is light and barely noticable. Medium bodied and moderately carbonated, the beer finishes fairly dry. Very easy to drink.

Overall, this is a very nice beer. Not the most traditional example of the style, but quite enjoyable none the less.

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Photo of keanex
3.71/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Samuel Smith's English pint glass from a 22 ounce bottle bottled on 12-20-2011.

A: Deep, almost opaque, garnet with light only visible through the edges. There's a dense 1.5 finger tan rocky head.

S: Very simple with a great roasty smell to it. Very simple, but great smelling.

T: Like the smell this is very one dimensional with the roasted malts coming through strong. It's a bit watery up front, but the roasty body comes in quick and stays to the finish.

M: Medium to full bodied with light carbonation.

O: I really enjoy this beer, it's simple and very easy to drink. I'm glad Port Brewing finally came to New Jersey so I can enjoy brews like this.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.37/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 12/20/11.

Pours an opaque black with a 2 inch foamy dark khaki head that settles to a small cap. A latticework of lace forms on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt and roasty coffee and cocoa bean aromas. Taste is of dark roasted malt, roasted coffee beans, and some cocoa powder. A nice roasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a higher level of carbonation with a very crisp and bubbly mouthfeel. Slightly too much carbonation in my opinion. Overall, this is a great schwarzbier and quite a surprise really. I wasn't expecting this beer to be so good. Very tasty and very drinkable and it only packs a 5% ABV.

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Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark amber (near jet black) in color and poured with a two finger high tan head that quickly died down but never completely faded away.
S: There are light aromas of dark malts in the nose; the smell becomes warmer as the beer warms up.
T: Similar to the smell, flavors of dark malts are present in the taste along with notes of roasted malts and hints of chocolate in the finish. No bitterness is detectable.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and is also quite sessionable. It is a good representation of the style.

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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 diablo14
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Like most of the Aussies who have tried this beer, it was obtained through Beermasons. And while I just cancelled by membership with them because I wasn't overly impressed with the majority of beers they have sent me, this wasn't one of them.

Not sure this beer is a schwarzbier in the true sense, it's a little too dark and impenetrable in color and a little too rich in flavor for the style. To me it came off more like a porter or a light stout. That's not to say I didn't like this brew, I did and very much so. I'm just a bit on the pedantic side when it comes to classification of style by a brewery.

This beer has a very nice smell and flavor - chocolate, coffee, hints of almond and caramel. Deliciously smooth to drink, it leans towards being full bodied without being oily or viscous - very silky. Again though, perhaps too silky to be a schwarzbier. I also found the hops just a tad on the subdued side at the end, where I would have liked the bitterness to linger a little longer than it did.

Overall though, a very pleasant and enjoyable beer, one I would most certainly drink again without prompting.

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Midnight Expression from Pizza Port Solana Beach
3.9 out of 5 based on 373 ratings.
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