SPA (Summer Pale Ale)
Port Brewing

SPA (Summer Pale Ale)SPA (Summer Pale Ale)
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American Pale Ale (APA)
Ranked #716
Ranked #17,255
3.87 | pDev: 7.75%
Port Brewing
California, United States
Very Good
SPA (Summer Pale Ale)SPA (Summer Pale Ale)
Notes: Laid back and hop forward, Port Brewing has been producing world-class beers since 2006.

Life's better at the water's edge. Be it a beach, a lake, or a sweltering day by the pool. Each of these situations is improved by friends, conversations, and a crisp pale ale. Our SPA is brewed with a juicy and boisterous blend ot hops including Chinook, Amarillo, and Cascade. SPA begins with a bouquet of citrus and peach aromas, then leads to refreshing orange and grapetruit-like dryness, with just a kiss of sweetness on the finish.
Reviews: 36 | Ratings: 173 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of drtth
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The chill hazed but otherwise clear golden amber-colored beer pours out into a Duvel glass with a 1 1/2” white head that recedes slowly but visibly as it leaves behind a thick web lacing that includes some rings as well. Eventually the foam becomes a cap and then a ring and thin island of foam on the surface and some of the rings persist to the end of the beer. Sipping creates some closely scattered legs and small patches of lacing.

The aromas include some piney, citric hops with some peach, grapefruit and a bit of orange or tangerine showing against a light malt background that also seems to include some spiciness.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose with the grapefruit, orange, some resin, a bit of spice, some peach and a light caramel sweetness that is way in the background and does not conceal the zesty, spicy, resinous bitterness.

The mouthfeel is medium-bodied and slightly creamy with the smooth finely bubbled carbonation. The finish is long and bitter dry ending on the back of the palate.

Overall a nice expression of both the Amarillo and a couple of the classic C hops that focuses on the hops against a light malt backbone. Drinkable, enjoyable, and would be happy to have again.

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Photo of JRed
3.27/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Hazy golden body with white bubbly on top. Pine, lemon, plastic, and grass in the nose. Tastes of citrus, lemon, light mango, rind, pine, light spearmint, bitterness swoops in to finish. Light bodied with medium carbonation.

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Photo of mactrail
3.34/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden yellow with a persistent ring of foam in the tall goblet. Plain malt taste with a resiny edge. I wouldn't call it very aromatic. Watery body. Dry finish.

A plain and grainy sort of ale. The aftertaste dissolves into a lengthy bitter affair. Then you want another sip and it starts all over. From the 16 oz can purchased at Barons Market.

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Photo of monkist
4.46/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Port Brewing is one of my favorite breweries, remarkably SoCal. This PA follows its name, it's perfect for the summer, perhaps a bit more than any other pale ales due to its light body, its citrusiness, grapefruitiness and it's hop freshness both in the aroma and in the taste. Needless to say that - just like every other Port brewed beer - the quality is flawless and masterful.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Type: 16-oz. can
Glass: Clear 16.5-oz. Belgian ale tulip
From: Trader Joe’s in La Mesa, Calif.
Price: $2.00
Purchased: June 15, 2018
Consumed: June 16, 2018
Reviewed as: American Pale Ale
Misc.: Freshest by Oct. 5, 2018

Couldn’t believe I hadn’t had this one before. Had seen in stores or so I thought. Anyway, at one point Port was my favorite brewery (I separate Port and The Lost Abbey for my sake). Can description read, “Life’s better at the water’s edge. Be it a beach, a lake, or a sweltering day by the pool. Each of these situations is improved by friends, conversations, and a crisp pale ale. Our SPA is brewed with a juicy and boisterous blend of hops including Chinook, Amarillo, and Cascade. SPA begins with a bouquet of citrus and peach aromas, then leads to a refreshing orange and grapefruit-like dryness, with just a kiss of sweetness on the finish.”

Poured a pale semi-clear color with three fingers of rocky white head. Lots of bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass at a fast speed, reminding me of a shaken up snow globe. Excellent foamy lacing. Perfect foamy retention. (Sight - 4.75)

No hiding the West Coast in this beer. Got Chinook, woody pine, resin, green leaf, pine sap, almost burnt maple syrup like, herbal, grapefruit peel, papaya, tangerine and black pepper. From the can got more pronounced hops, Chinook for sure, and also was getting the Cascade (not the Amarillo yet). Pepper, pine and sweet caramel also from the can. (Smell - 4.00)

Taste followed the nose for sure, still a straight up West Coast piney bomb. Got Chinook, woody pine, resin, black pepper, Cascade, red grapefruit rind, bitter green leaf, chewed aspirin, herbal, papaya, tangerine and toasted caramel. (Taste - 4.00)

Medium body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Long, bitter finish. (Feel - 4.25)

Wow. Surprised at how much I liked this. Nice to have an old school West Coast beer instead of the new age hazy style beers. (Overall - 4.00)

4.07 | 91 | A-

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Photo of Ronl12
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16 oz can into IPA glass. Freshest by date of 10/1/18.
Clear golden yellow look. Light fruit lemon nose with little bready malt note. Taste follows nose with little lemon fruit and hop bite at end. Fairly light feel. Pretty nice summer pale ale. May buy again.

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Photo of spamspam
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am a big Port Brewing Mongo (double ipa) aficionado. On a lark I gave the Port Brewing Summer Pale Ale a try. Big surprise. I find most pale ales disappointing. Flat, bleh,and meh. This beer has punch. Look and aroma: hey guys, its summer. I drank this out of the can. Taste: Yeah! Big, lemony hops go that straight to a wonderfully lingering bitter aftertaste. What is your problem guys with the bitter? Its a pale ale. This bitter is great. Feel: Low carbination straight to a lovely lingering clean clean bitter aftertaste. Now that I experience it, low carbination makes sense for a summer session beer. Enjoyable. Overall: It is a session beer but: there is something there; it real; it is an experience to imbibe it.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.11/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

16 oz. can poured into a pint glass. Pour is a clear golden in color and sports a half inch of nearly white foam. Light in color with no caramel notes.

Aroma of slightly dank hops on the nose along with some bready malt notes. Aroma is pleasant but thin and a bit searching, bit less elusive after some agitation. Taste follows and is a bit thin up front yet with more biscuity notes on the finish, accompanied with a hint of lemon.

Mouthfeel is a bit chalky and mealy at times. Hop factors with a lack of support from some balancing malts. So so.

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Photo of JamFuel
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

FRom the can into a Spiegelau IPA glass.

Pours an unclear orange, with thick billowing foam.

Smell is piney, with plenty of citrus and resin.

Taste is floral and piney, with a hefty bitterness backing up. Sort of West Coast IPA Lite.

Mouthfeel is medium, well carbonated.

Overall, a great summer pale ale, drinkable and flavorful.

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Photo of Vetbidder
3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice almost see through light golden look with a white head from tap. Mostly malt scent from this brew with a slight citrus hop edge. Mostly malt flavored with a citrus and pine notes. Some bitterness from this beer with a thinner and less carbonated mouthfeel. Its "pretty good" but if your not fond of bitterness, this beer has a bitter finish that builds.

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Photo of thatche2
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16oz can into a tulip glass. Appearance is orange brown in color and fairly opaque with two finger thick white head. Smell is bitter hops, grapefruit pitch, saltine crackers, and a hint of caramel (classic West Coast). Taste follows the nose with good bitterness that is not over the top. Although nothing overly stands out, the balance and flavor profile are very good. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation(very drinkable). it is juicier up front and bitter on the finish. Although I wouldn't seek out this IPA, this is a great beer to drink on a hot day.

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Photo of IronLover
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Light golden orange in color. Started with a light chill haze that cleared a bit as this warmed. Poured with a thick, soapy, off-white foam with excellent retention. Medium malty aroma with bready notes. Medium over-ripe orange hop aroma with citrus notes. Medium bodied with medium high carbonation. Light, pleasant warmth and a light creaminess through the middle. Medium malt backbone from start to finish. Light citrus and orange aromas up front that turn herbal and spicy into the middle. Medium high bitterness through the middle that lingers through the finish. Finished dryly with a strong bitter aftertaste. Aromas were well balanced, but hop bitterness was a bit heavy for the style. Lingering hop bitterness hurt the drinkability a bit.

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Photo of BrewsOverHoes
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

16 ounce can poured into snifter. Freshest by date: 7/16/17
About a month from its "expiration".

Orange-copper pretty clear, fluffy head with a decent pour. Smells of pine, citrus, pale malts. Tastes of pine, maybe a touch of citrus maybe grapefruit rinds, pale malt again, there's that pine again. Right bitter, not much in the way of citrus as I expected. Dry bitter finish, decent carbonation. Mediocre pale for me -- it's not offensive by any means. Would reach for SN over this. But worth a drink!

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Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

16 fl oz CAN acquired at a beer store in Colorado. Regrettably brief impressions below:

APPEARANCE: Clear copper colour of above average vibrance. Head is off-white but a bit wispy, lacking a robust consistency.

AROMA: Pleasant floral and citrusy hops. Pale malts. Seems balanced.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Dry and coarse, preventing it from feeling refreshing. Slightly overcarbonated.

Taste matches the aroma, but the balance is pretty rough around the edges, bringing too much bitterness on the climax/in the late second act. Amarillo and Cascade are not well showcased; I don't get much hop resin or bright citrus/clean floral flavours.

OVERALL: Drinkable but unremarkable - especially coming from Port/Lost Abbey. Far from on par with their best work, but competent for what it is. I had planned to revisit this via another can and go into further depth, but I expected it to be far better.


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Photo of Reef
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Monk's Café, Philadelphia.
Dark golden orange with a healthy cream head. Spotty lacing.
Pine, citrus aromas, a little tropical note.
Piney, orange, cracker, hoppy.
So smooth, despite the strong hopping. Dry finish.
Great package, very enjoyable.

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Photo of Brolo75
4.34/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16 ounce can poured into a tulip

A: Pours a golden orange color with a bright white creamy head, slightly hazy, lots of lacing.

A: Piney grapefruit citrus peel, touch of tropical notes, light bready, cracker malts, smells really good.

T: Up front, hit of pine and citrus peel, moderate amount of bitterness with a touch of guava and mango peel, finish has pine and citrus notes lingering in the aftertaste, very.

M: Light bodied with a smooth, creamy semidry finish.

O: Really enjoyed this one and if it's around enough, will consume plenty during the summer, it's very tasty and easy to drink, great brew for hot southern CA days.

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Photo of Todd
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Drops out of the pounder (16oz) can bright, clear and golden in color with a massive foamy head. Aroma is soft and clean with notes of fresh pale malts and fruity and floral hops. First sip wakes the palate with very crisp and carbonated bite and an assertive, grassy bitterness, plenty of peppery notes, citrus zest, pith and a dry, aspirin-like edge that folds into crackery malts. There's also some soft grapefruit and pine that pull through with a bit of a lemon drop (mostly lemony, and faintly sweet) candy-like finish. Linger is resiny and bready.

SPA is an extremely crushable West Coast Pale Ale, but it also has layers of delicious hoppiness for those who feel the need to ponder over it. Like me, in this review, but the next one I'll be crushing from the can.

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Photo of gandres
4.19/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle poured to wine glass. From Costco Carlsbad
Appearance: light amber orange liquid, medium tan foam, hazy cloudy lacing
Aroma: fragrant-grains and hops
Taste: medium to very bitter
Palate: lively carbonation with long finish, some tartness
Overall: very good pale ale, ok to repeat look for
Drank: 8/9/2016 9:30 PM

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Photo of anon
3.44/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

22oz bomber with lots of sediment and floaties, poured into an IPA glass. Bright, glowing orange colour, dissipates to a thin layer, nice lace left behind. Smells of fresh cut grass, pine resin, tree bark, straw, caramel, pineapple and honey.

Grapefruit, pineapple, orange and citrus zest dominate the taste front, along with grass, dank hops, pine resin, lemon candy. Light to medium body; dry, bitter finish.

Straightforward pale ale with nice aromas and flavours, which is what was intended. Wouldn't mind having again.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

6/13...modestly bright orange with a light white foam lid. Summary citrus malt nose. Sharp pine bitter to open, lemon rind flavors. Heavy bitter close. Light citrus bite followed by a firm bitter close. Tasty. Another win for PB.

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Photo of MikRo_Brew_Marcro_View
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. bottle poured into vintage schooner.

A: Hazy copper with decent head with good lacing.
S: Minimal aroma but what is there is enjoyable.
T: Nice clean citrus with a good amount of hops.
M: Leans towards the high side on the carbonation scale and is medium-light in body. both of which suit this summer ale perfectly.
O: I really like this beer. There are enough hops to call this a summer/session IPA. I think it's underrated for its style.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber with a Nonic style taster glass
Notes taken on 06/23/2015

A: Lightly brassy - caramel amber body with a well-conditioned clarity showing off some coarse bubbly action. A thick lather of khaki foam works up out of the glass and holds true for a few lengthy moments. Finally comes to rest at a sudsy crown leaving lots of sticky globs of lace left behind.

S: The beer is not very aromatic at all but what is present is a nice clean floral and peach like profile. There is some light orange peel and malt breadiness to this as well. Overall very soft in the nose which is a little disappointing. Was hoping this one would be teaming with dry hops.

T: Light and crisp with some juicy orange rind and grapefruit zest flavors. Further develops into some mild floral notes and peachy stone fruit esters with a light herbal dusting on the finish. The base is very light and blending in a little bready cracker. Nearly null of any malt sweetness however with a modest little bitter bite to it that dries out the finish. Not incredibly resinous at all here but still a nice easy drinking session.

M: Super light and dry with a crisp, clean finish. Moderate peppering bitterness and a dryness to the finish with some minimal resinous linger.

D: A real easy session with not all that much to dwell on here. Simple and straight forward with some classic Citrus fruit flavors. Would have liked a bit more hop aroma and flavor to this overall.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Clear orange body with a frothy white head. Nice lacing and retention. Aromas of fresh hops, pine, grapefruit, a bit dank. Flavor is crisp and hoppy, biscuit, lightly bitter. Refreshing and very easy drinking.

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Photo of smcolw
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Modest bar-poured head but it leaves a few streaks for lace. The color dirty gold to amber and is crystal clear.

Lots of grapefruit, fresh hop aroma. Pale malty base. Balanced but hoppy.

The flavor starts with moderately toasted white bread. As long as you don't swallow, this flavor lingers. The hop is biting bitter black pepper. Creates a long chewy aftertaste. Solid body and carbonation. It fits the IPA profile in every way.

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Photo of Omnium
3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bomber > SA Sensory Pils

A- Very cloudy orange tinted gold with three fingers of dense soapy white head, very thick lacing
S - Pine, some citrus, some grassy dankness, crackery biscuit malt, floral notes
T - Taste is kinda muddied, but its not bad, citrus mix, grapefruit, orange, some tangerine, definitely a little peppery spice, some tropical hints, crackery malt base.
M - Kinda thin, easily drinkable though.
O - For what it is, its good, its a decent summer ale, but its a far cry from some really good pale ales out there.

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SPA (Summer Pale Ale) from Port Brewing
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 173 ratings