Shark Bite Red Ale | Port Brewing

very good
185 Ratings
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Shark Bite Red AleShark Bite Red Ale

Brewed by:
Port Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beerluvr on 01-18-2003

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Reviews: 125 | Ratings: 185
Photo of breadwinner
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tremendous. Hopped to high hell red, bursting with resin and grapefruit, this is unapologetically West Coast. But it ain't just a hop show, as lurking beneath is a malt profile tinged with dry chocolate, an almost peat-like greenness, and pleasing biscuit overtones. Mostly, though, you'll be focused on the hop oil coating your teeth, unrelentingly and delightfully bitter. There's a point to the bitterness, by the way. People think something so big and brash can't have a purpose, that it's sloppy and simplistic. But, in the same way that certain Southeast Asian cuisines incorporate mouth-melting levels of spiciness into their dishes, which can actually serve to highlight other flavors, so here the hops may appear dominant but in fact complement the robust malt character. This is beautiful stuff, and I can only hope that, while nouveau hopsters kill each other for the next juice bomb, stuff like this never goes away.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.79/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Canned on date of 01/11/17

Appearance - Pours clear and ruby brown in color with a khaki, one-finger width head. Fair retention, resulting in a thin, broken layer of suds. Not much for lace save one broken line running near the top of the glass.

Smell - Toasty notes with some floral hop qualities. Lesser hints of citrus, toffee and faint chocolate.

Taste - Malts upfront, with toastiness and a fair amount of powdered chocolate. Hops come in mid-taste, bring notes of floral and herbal quality in addition to a bit of citrus. The finish is bittersweet before some waxy bitterness kicks in and lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with low to moderate carbonation. Slick, slightly creamy texture with an easy drinking finish.

Overall - A solid, quaffable red. Simple, but tasty. For a recipe supposedly drawn up in 1992, I'd venture to guess this as a brew a bit ahead of its time.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Pizza Port, Carlsbad, CA.
Chestnut with tan film. 3.75
Light lemon - not much malt. 3.5
Slight sticky caramel, blood orange, kronik and pine sap, and a speck of cherry. 4
Speck of chocolate and lime rind linger.
Medium, sticky, chew. 4

Big hoppy amber. But not Lucky 13 - no juice, not enough crystal brightness, some pretty scratchy IBUs. Not quite one thing or another. 3.75

*moved from wrong listing.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.32/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Red amber with lots of clarity and a full inch of off white head. Substantial hopping and toasted red malt aromas.

Drops waves of c hops, red malt flavors with that peat and wood aftertaste to it. Pretty bitter stuff.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Pizza Port in Carlsbad, CA.

Pours a clear copper with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thick rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with a caramel flavor on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but I think this one smells much better than it tastes.

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Photo of rarbring
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A clouded dark red-brown brew, a yellow tan head, good lacing, good curtains.

Smelling malty, porridge with honey, toffee, dried apricots, bitter oranges.

Toast, porridge, honey, bitter orange peel.

Medium carbonation, soft, thick and sticky, good body. Light dry finish.

Nice, very malty - but still a balancing hop character.

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Photo of corby112
3.49/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Pizza Port Ocean Beach.

Pours a deep, dark golden amber color with a one finger yellowish-beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring.  The pint is left coated with chunks of soapy lacing.

Slightly earthy, sweet malt aroma.  Not as hoppy as I had hoped for with lots of caramel, toffee, chocolate and dark fruit, especially cherry.  Smells like lightly hopped chocolate covered cherries.

Surprisingly bitter and hop forward with a blast of dry, bitter pine needle flavor that lingers over the sweet malts into a bone dry finish.  Lots of resinous, oily pine needle character dominating the flavor.  Could use some sweeter hop notes for balance.  Underneath there is a pretty strong malt presence but it doesn't affect the hops at all. As it warms the sweet malts become more prominent with lots of chocolate, caramel, toffee, rye and dark cherries. Could use a bit more balance but it's still pretty complex and flavorful.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear type of red amber with a 1" head, good hopping, substantial malt toasted aroma.

Still enough hop taste, cascade, chinook, nice chalky red malt flavor. Kind of a woody aftertaste to it, very high ibus for a red ale. I think I prefer this to the double sharkbite, that one is too boozy, too bitter. While this one isn't faint either, it seems to be a more enjoyable pint than the double.

Can't believe the price on these though, Pizza Port's growler prices are getting a little much.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


On tap at Pizza Port Ocean Beach in a tulip.

A: Copperish red with a dense beige cap.

S: Aromatic floral notes blend with caramel and pine resin. I get a lot of grapefruit rind and orange pith. There's a little onion and some bread.

T: Big caramel notes meet a pronounced pine resin hop profile with accompanying notes of grapefruit rind. Bitterness is dry and at a moderate level. Bitterness waxes in the bready caramel finish and there's a touch of astringency.

M: Medium body with upper moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is very, very dry.

Overall: A very hoppy red ale. The bitterness is actually a little palate wearying after a while. Still, a pretty good beer from Pizza Port Ocean Beach.

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at Pizza Port-OB. Pours a deep amber with a small white head and decent lacing.

Smells strongly of caramel malts with very little hop presence in the aroma.

Tastes of caramel similar to the smell, but a stronger hop presence in the taste. Bitter earthy hops up front rounding into caramel notes finishing with a good lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel is med-hi with a bit of stickiness to it.

I'm slowly realizing hoppy reds are my favorite. Port Brewing has another winner.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Amber beer with copper highlights and a bit of a beige head that left a little bit of lacing.

S - Caramel malts with some earth notes and just a little bit of citrus fruits.

T - Sweet caramel and toasted malts, mild citrus presence. It's about what I would expect, the hops are evident, but I prefer hoppier reds than this. Still not bad though.

M - Medium bodied with fairly active, medium carbonation.

O - Good for what it is. Not going to pick it out of a crowd, but if you went home with it there wouldn't be many complaints.

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Photo of soze47
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. This was one 4.5 oz. taster of a flight of four I sampled at PP San Clemente.

This one is a little on the brown side for a red. It is slightly cloudy, but still clear after a while. Nose is very earthy and malty. Not caramelly like some ambers or reds. More roasted and slightly nutty. The taste is also very malt forward with the hops playing less of a forward player. The hops almost lend an earthy, fleshy, mushroom dankness.

Grassiness comes out more toward the end. Nice, drinkable beer if you like the flavors and a balanced American Red Ale.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one poured a nice crystal clear copper colored amber with a nice thick two inch head of white foam that capped off the top and gave it a nice appearence until it started to fade and left behind virtually nothing with no hint of side glass lace. Nice carbonation was visible throughout the session however.

The smell was very light, which to be honest kinda dissapointed me. What I could pick up was very grainy and boring with big notes of cereal grain very apparent as well as a musty kinda of bread smell. Some light grassy hops were present -The flavor followed the aroma almost exactly with a big time musky bready like flavor that just was too strong to really get anything else to come out from behind it. There was a slight hoppiness in the finish, but again I stress light as it was really not a factor in the overall flavor.Very light bodied ale, actually lighter then I thought it would be which was suprising, but still not terrible just neded a little bit more to put it over the top.

 1,003 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Pizza Port San Clemente

A: The pour is a dark amber color with a finger of off-white head.

S: Sweet caramel malts for the most part with a nice floral and slightly earthy hop character. Plenty of toasted malt and bread aroma with just a hint of citrus.

T: The flavor is also sweet with most of that coming in the form of caramel and toffee. A nice toasted flavor and a slight fruitiness to it. Mild citrus and good floral hop flavors.

M: Medium in body with a moderate carbonation.

D: Nothing too noteworthy about this, but it's a good enough red ale..

 567 characters

Photo of strangefate
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Hulmeville Inn - 7/9

Pours a dark clear amber brown with a little bit of frothiness and little lacing. The scent is malty with a slight hint of citrus. Taste is similar - toasted malt with a hop bite and a tinge of caramel. Although this is medium-bodied, it also has a somewhat syrupy quality to it. Average carbonation. Decently drinkable, but not as good as other Port offerings I've had.

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Photo of bulletrain76
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of Ryan (Should have gone with the Giants), from KNB next to SDSU. A clear, dark copper ale with a beige head that leaves some lacing. The initial aroma is grapefruit hops, but warmth reveals some nice brown sugar and caramel that round out a quite nice aroma. The flavor is some malt, leading into more dominant and bitter hops. Medium body with small carbonation. Finishes bitter, dry, and lasting; just a little watery. It's a nice, quite sessionable beer, but a little more malt beefiness to balance out the hops would make it excellent.

 562 characters

Photo of mynie
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a DARK dark red. Curdled blood. You tore your foot open on a nail in the floor and the drips stained the wood below the carpet, you change the carpet two years later and it's like jesus what the heck happened here.

Smells like thick green hops and little else. None of the earthen crystal malt you get that balance out a regular red. This is imperial, I realize, and I guess that just means "intense hops." There's a thick caramel syrupiness to it, too.

Tastes the same as it smells. Nice, very big hop profile. Green, west coasty, big grapefruit and citrus. Malt balance is thick toffee syrup, none of the earthiness you'd expect from even a really big red. But still tasty and good.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.09/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad on 3/19/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear amber with a thin beige colored head. Retention is fizzy looking but solid, with a great flareup when swirled that leaves foamy clinging lace back. The aroma is straight up West Coast American Amber, just bristling with the floral, spicy, and piney character of Amarillo and Cascade hops. A solid undercurrent of bready caramel and juicy smelling citrus nicely evens out a lot of the hop activity in the nose, imparting a deep tangy smell.

Well they don't call this Shark Bite for nothing! A big resinous and spicy hop bite chomps you right out of the gate, which is quickly followed by a silky and tangy backbone of toasted malts, caramel, and ripe tropical fruits. Very nice balance to this, giving you the full effects of the hops but not too much to override the profile. The mouthfeel is medium bodied (so it has a good bit of presence to it) but it's so creamy and smooth feeling in the mouth, it's easy to think that it's much more lighter bodied than it is. Nice!

An extremely solid American Amber Ale with a big West Coast pop to it, this is a certifiable Pizza Port classic. I can't make a visit out to the San Diego area without getting at least one pint (or six) of this at one of the locations.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draught at the Solana Beach location. The beer pours a clear brownish amber color with a medium thin beige head that dissipates steadily. Thin rings of lacing with some spots. Toasted malt, hops and mild spice in the nose. Medium-bodied and smooth with moderate hops, herbs and spice and grainy malt flavors. The finish is hoppy and spicy with a lingering bitterness. Pretty solid flagship beer overall.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.36/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear auburn with a bubbly off-white head that dissipates with good lacing. Malt, grass, wood, and some hops in the nose. Kind of bitter taste with a mix of malt and wood. Some nuttiness and hops towards the back. This is one of the weaker "Sharks" in the series.

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Photo of Brewsmith
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery. Hoppy pine aroma and a little malty sweetness coming through. Amber red with a small off-white head. Some carmely malt character while still being firmly bitter. A fairly dry finish. Clean, not over the top, but still assertive. A good drinking amber.

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Photo of Slynger
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

New arrival to the Chicagoland area, and I'm very excited.

Pours a murky bloodied amber color with a nice lid of creamy light tan, with sticky lace to boot.

Excellent aroma but, and the flavor packs a slightly muted punch of the same, but finishes with a left hook of a solidly bitter bite. Lots of malty red malt and caramel malt sweetness with a hint of toffee, and loads of fresh citrus. Bitter rind comes in solid with the hook in the finish.

Really solid brew, and doesn't hurt the wallet too bad either. Glad to have Port in the area.

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Photo of hopdog
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle acquired in trade with jimbowood (thanks!).

Poured a deep reddish / copper color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of caramel, citrus, and some spices. Tastes of caramel, nuts, and citrus. Has a nice graprefruit bitter finish.

Notes from 12/2/06

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Photo of sleazo
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a beer I used to drink a lot of back when I lived by the Solana Beach location. Now I get to try the bottled version.

A_Pours a ruddy chestnut with a small and quickly diminishing head. The hiss was not so great on this, so maybe some CO2 leaked out.

S_A medium strength sweet caramel and honey malt combines with a slight earthy hop bitterness to smell pleasant enough.

T_A strong dose of piney and medicinal hops greet the palate upon the first sip. This is followed closely by a sweet caramel malt that is slightly smokey. The finish is a nice combination of the aforementioned tastes. There is also a bit of chocolate and mild spice present as well.

M_The liquid is of a medium thickness with a mild yet present carbonation to cut through the whole thing.

D_A very drinkable beer that is sort of a mishmash of styles. To me it is an amalgamation of red ale, Scotch ale and IPA. While it isn't much to look at, it goes doewn very easily and is quite tasty.

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Photo of mentor
3.49/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle provided as a reward for my GABF volunteering efforts...this was a bottle left over after completion of the competition. Pours a four finger light tan head over a brilliant reddened light brown liquid. Smelled hoppy during the pour. To the nose, piney, soured grapefruit pith. That's about it. No malt and no esters.

Tastes wet malt sweet with decent hop bitter, strong hop oils, and some hop flavor. Malt has midl chocolate with a dash of light caramel. Quite sweet and dextrinous thick. Hop bitter is fairly clean of grassiness and part of the bitter component is the drying oils that are heavy in the mouth. Hop flavor is piney and pithy, without any distinct citrus flavors. Finish is woody dry from the hop flavor and drying oil bitterness.

Waaaay too hoppy for the style, but beer I loved drinking. Good stuff here.

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Shark Bite Red Ale from Port Brewing
3.8 out of 5 based on 185 ratings.
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