Swami's IPA | Pizza Port Solana Beach

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Swami's IPASwami's IPA

Brewed by:
Pizza Port Solana Beach
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Also known as Zombie Swami's IPA

Added by xlperro on 08-22-2002

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Reviews: 194 | Ratings: 1,180
Photo of spazaru
2.1/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I love Pizza Port, and most of their house beers are really good to excellent, but I just don't get this one or it's sister, Wipeout IPA. It's hoppy, alright, but that's about all. I typically dig IPA, but this is one of the rare beers I didn't even finish. I would advise you to wait until they have their Frank Double IPA on tap, which is excellent. This is probably the second worst IPA in San Diego County (next to Karl Strauss).

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Photo of kojevergas
3/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-draught @ Toronado San Francisco. $5 per pint.

Varied hop profile. Lacks impressive depth of flavour, and the hop profile isn't dazzling, but it's well balanced by an apt pale malt sweetness and the coating mouthfeel suits it nicely.

Smooth, wet, and medium-bodied. Refreshing, but it'd be better softer. Well-carbonated.

Drinkable but ultimately forgettable. I wouldn't get it again with all the superior IPAs available widely in the Californian market, but it's tasty.

C (3.00) / AVERAGE

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Photo of oggg
3.08/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12/19/03 from cask to pitcher to pint glass at PIzzaPort Solana Beach

Light brown, with a nice foamy head
Smell of hops is there but not especially strong, should have more character, I think. This is pretty darn bitter. Without a whole lot of citrus or woodsy hop notes. A tiny bit of malt to provide a little backbone and to keep the bitter hops from lingering too long on the palate.

Summary: average bitter IPA.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.1/5  rDev -24.2%

Pour is clear golden in color with a bubbly white head. Nose is mostly caramel malt sweetness with resiny and citrusy hop profile. Flavor has sweet malts, lots of doughy bread, moderate orange citrus, light bitterness, some resinous hop through the finish. Light carb, syrupy feel, fuller body.

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Photo of koutkid41
3.28/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Golden and pale, slight haze. Huge foamy and frothy head that lingers for a long time.

S: Minor citrus, almost like bitter orange peel. Slight pine, black licorice and caramel sweetness.

T: Black licorice seems to be most prevalent with some pine. Balance beer, crisp and easy to drink.

M: Medium body and chewy, crisp and has a nice dryness of it

O: Not bad, easy to drink. I get alot of black licorice and thats not really my thing, but has nice pine to back it up.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.35/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A longstanding favorite from Pizza Port Solana Beach great to see this in a can. Or not. Pours a clear golden with a touch of haze. Offers a thin head and a nice aroma but this aint Swami's as I recall it.

Seriously? Wow, where did the Swami go? This beer has been San Diegoaziezed. The Can says they have been brewing this for 20 years, This is not Swami's. Aroma is more tropical than piney of old and adds a bit of garlic vs. caramel. Finish is moderate yet without the coarseness of the past either. A slight bitterness lingers but is a bit nondescript.

Honestly the original beer had some caramel malt and a healthy dose of hops yet was balanced and always enjoyable. This beer is a Societe knockoff. Sure times they are a changin. If you significantly change a recipe, then change the name. This is a decent IPA but I paid $13 for a six pack of Swami's and I got something quite different than expected. This may well be the first time Pizza Port(vs. Port Brewing) has let me down. I hope it's the last.

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Photo of mactrail
3.37/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Quite hazy golden amber poured in the Brewery Vivant tulip. Foam appearance in nice with lots of suds along the glass. Aroma of fruity pineapple hops is nice.

Some malty substance but the hops are quite aggressive. A touch of mango flavor with a little sweetness is one pleasant note. Serious grapefruit peel taste. Sharp and dry. Aftertaste is on the bitter side of average for an IPA. Definitely the southern California (and Colorado) bite.

Overall this is kind of thick in the mouthfeel and overly bitter. From the 16 oz can purchased at Bine & Vine on Adams Ave.

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Photo of
3.37/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On cask at O'Briens.

A dirty orange/yellow fluid, capped by a modest, off-white head. Visually, not terribly appealing.

Aroma was fairly mild. Citrus - lemon characteristics. Yeast and bread dough as a back drop.

This was a nicely balanced (in this hophead's opinion) beer. Not as hoppy as you would typically expect from a west coast offering. Citrus and pine danced around, with bread dough/cracker like taste as the backbone. Some fruit flavors lent sweetness to the taste.

Medium in body. Almost zero carbonation (cask offering). Dry.

Overall, an OK IPA. Far from the best the west coast has to offer.

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Photo of Mikus
3.42/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good date on the can. The major notes of this brew (in both aroma and flavor) were tropical and bright, however, a slightly off vegetal hop note came through in the palate that muddled and interfered with the enjoyability of the experience. not sure if this is a new SD thing, but noticed it in a couple of brews out there... keep it West Coast, West Coast! Noticed that this was a long-time brew from PP, so maybe not a new hop variety or style tweak? Either way, I tend to be a little bit sensitive to off flavors when tropical or 'dank/eathy' hop varieties are involved... so take my review with a grain of salt (as you should with everyone!).

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.43/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

16 oz. can poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Pale orange body. Big white head. Lots of surface foam and a chunky collar.

Smell - Dank and grapefruity. Toasty malt. Some caramel.

Taste - Grapefruit. Very little sweetness. Bitter immediately. Grassy hop finish. Some toasty malt.

Mouthfeel - Very bitter. Seems overcarbonated. Medium body.

Overall - Everyone else loved this but me. Just thought it was good.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.45/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

tallboy, mostly clear sunny yellow color, inch of white head. its a fine ipa and all, no off flavors in the least, nothing missing, but its just generic in every conceivable way. a nice west coast style nose, hop resins and bitterness collide, piney for sure, but i have smelled this smell a million times, and already know the pale malts on the front end will be basic two row with nothing distinct, and that the hoppy finish will be unnecessarily bitter and long, to the point of trying too hard to be robust, and falling into that C+ category that seems to accumulate so many india pale ales, especially california ones. well carbonated and a little too squarely medium bodied. nothing special, although its not poorly made, it just doesn't distance itself from the enormous crowd of so/so india pales. passable, but utterly forgettable.

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Photo of SomethingClever
3.46/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16 oz can poured into my beer can glass...seems slightly pointless doesn't it

A: crisp honey gold color nice fluffy head the beer laces the glass like mad

S: very earthy hops a little fruit beer

T: muddled hops not sure whether it wants to be fruity earthy or what

M: medium feel nothing to much nothing too little

O: This beer is average I don't know what they were trying to do here but the taste is not balanced and the hops are muddled. This is a pass for me

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Photo of Floydster
3.46/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 ounce corked and caged bottle purchased from Pizza Port San Clemente a couple months ago for 4 dollars

Poured into my Russian River pint glass after splitting with a friend with a golden orange color and a massive one inch soapy white head

Smell was full of oranges and malt followed by some piney hops

Surprisingly sweet for an India Pale Ale, not as hoppy as it smelled, a lot of citrus, and sweetness

Easy to drink and could probably go through a couple bottles

I believe this is the first Solana Beach bottle their infamous brews, so it was exciting to drink it

Recommended, especially for the low price, but their High Tide Fresh Hop IPA and Hop 15 are still way better

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.47/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A light vibrant copper, light haze but clean. Super low carbonation, no real head to speak of.

S: Very light. A bit of citrus...grapefruit and lemon peel.

T: Immediate woody bitterness. Piney hops with a sappy finish. Moments of grapefruit rind, lemon essence. Finishes bitter and nondimensional.

M: Medium body, low carbonation.

D: Boring IPA with out a lot of complexity.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Pizza Port, Carlsbad.

Maybe the Raul man was a lil too pumped on this one before he tried it; because it's just aite. Yeah, just aite. Minimal hops, the bitterness is there... Don't get Raul wrong, even when Behati Prinsloo is in a onesie she is still bangin' (but it's a onesie). And this is a decent, but basic West Coast IPA.


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Photo of Thumper92
3.52/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

L- looks like a regular beer, golden amber. Nice foamy head with some lacing that lasts

T- smooth taste but you can still taste the nice bitter hops at the end evening out the taste lingering on your palate

S- smells good like a little grapefruit and wheat

Overall- this is my personal favorite IPA, although I am a 23 yr. old who just started experimenting with and loving the artistic craft of beer, IPAs and Stouts, but if you are in San Diego (North County) it is worth going to Pizza Port for the awesome food and great original craft brew (I live right down the street from the Solana Beach location which is the original Pizza Port) so I am lucky to get fresh brew.

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Photo of jackorain
3.56/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this at the Pizza Port in Solano Beach on 7/22/2008. I am entering this from notes taken at that time.

The liquid is light amber with a copper hue with an ever so slight haze. The head stayed around for what seemed like forever. When it finally did fall, it left what could only be described as "gorgeous" lacing.

The aroma is what I would describe as two-dimensional, green hops and caramel malt. The caramel malt smells like when you make caramel yourself at home on the stove, The green hops are brash and put an assault the olfactory senses.

The taste buds are immediately greeted with a huge smack of of bitter green hops. Herbal hops come in next. The middle brings caramel and biscuit malts that are quickly beaten back by the hops. The bitterness is brash, harsh, firm and long lasting.

The body is light to medium and the carbonation is even and appropriate.

Don't get me wrong, I am a hophead to the fullest and love big hoppy beers but this one is just a little to harsh, brash, and low on complexity for me. I could have one and maybe a second if it was the only IPA, but then I would have to move on.

Thanks for Reading

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Photo of ehammond1
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On Tap

Pizza Port
Solana Beach, CA

Clear amber, nearly copper, with a small light khaki colored head that leaves irregular lines of lace down the glass. Pretty.

Mild citrus aroma along with bread and a bit of caramel. This isn't nearly as hop-forward, tropical, and pungent as I'm used to getting from Pizza Port's on tap IPAs.

The flavor is simple, with mild pine and citrus flavors, along with moderate to high bitterness, even for the style. This is simple, drinkable, though somewhat plain and uninteresting. Interestingly, this IPA seems to be a bit old, though it's brewed here so that shouldn't be the case.

Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation.

Decent IPA, though Pizza Port makes far better examples of the style.

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Photo of theteleman
3.59/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Goden/yellow in appearance. BIg white head that retains its lacing nicely. Smell is excellent. Pine, hops, fruit, very nice smell. Mouthfeel, not too thin, not too thick,very pleasant.Taste, getting some grapefruit in here along with the prevalent hop flavors, kinda reminds of Lagunitas Little Sumpin Sumpin. Citrusy and hoppy, pretty refreshing. I actually got this beer for free cause my local store's atm was down, the guy felt so bad he offered me this brew. So thanks to Distellers Outlet in Poway CA for this beer!

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Photo of DrJay
3.59/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear amber with a fine, light beige cap. Great head retention with tons of lacing. Lots of hop aroma, citrus and grapefruit, but it ended up being sort of plain. Strong bitterness and light on malt flavour. Plenty of citrus and grapefruit, some pith, and a hint of hop spice. Medium to light bodied, dry, with smooth carbonation. A good IPA with lots of hops, well crafted, but a bit one dimensional.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.6/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL Caged and Corked bottle purchased at Solana Beach. Pours a deeply-hued gold, with a soapy white rim. Aroma comes forth with flowery guava and pineapple. Fragrant and tropically fruity. Flavor moves with more of a pine sap rime, resiny with some bright yeast. Apparently, Cascade. A bittering domination with not as much hop flavor as I seek. Dry and airy. Malt body a little loose. However, drinkable and enjoyable. A classic West Coast IPA.

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Photo of Skrumpy
3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Golden color, foamy, white head that recedes quickly, moderate lacing. Mostly clear with a slight haze. Aroma is light floral, citrus, and malt. The flavor is citrus, grass, malt and yeast. Crisp, medium body, juicy mouthfeel, but a bit yeasty in the aftertaste. Not a bad beer overall.

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Photo of Sammy
3.64/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Solena Beach. A real winner IPA. I didn't get aroma here, maybe it was my still frozen nose coming in that day from the East Coast. Taste was yeasty and there was a lot of lace. Decent mouthfeel and drying bitterness. Brought a bottle home.

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Photo of santomark
3.67/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a very unfiltered, yellow, orange juice, almost unfiltered Belgian wheat type looking beer. Soapy 2 finger head, very foamy when poured slowly. When I poured it normal, I get a lot of head.

S - In a tulip glass, you get more of the malt backbone, those bitter hops, wet, some sweetness. From the can, you will smell everything the hops have to offer, mango, peach, berries, pineapple, very floral and a WIPA smelling brew.

T - Flatlined to that of it's aromatic counterpart. This had nothing of the nose in the taste. Very malty, slight fruity from the hops, ends on a malty pine finish.

M - Very light in body, crisp and dry.

O - By today's standards, this IPA is very primitive and one dimensional. The nose is fantastic, the taste however, is a malt bomb. You can defiantly tell this brew was made with a recipe 20 years ago. However, with that being said, by past standards, I can definatley see how this beer set the blueprints of inspiration for other IPA's to come. All in all, this beer is not my favorite. It's a not quite an IPA and not quite a DIPA. This is right in the middle. It has a great nose, average taste, and for the ABV, I will pass next time. Thank you Pizza Port for your contributions to the Craft Community, this just was not for me.

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at Pizza Port, Solana Beach.

Pours a nice amber-bronze color. Creamy white head with good retention; typical for an IPA. Light pine aroma. Light-bodied with pine and hop flavors. A bit of a tangyness to the flavor. Easy to drink with the typical smooth cask feel. Nice and worth trying at Pizza Port.

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Swami's IPA from Pizza Port Solana Beach
4.09 out of 5 based on 1,180 ratings.
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