Pizza Port Carlsbad

Pizza Port CarlsbadPizza Port Carlsbad

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

571 Carlsbad Village Dr.
Carlsbad, California, 92008
United States

(760) 720-7007 | map

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Added by xlperro

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Reviews: 143 | Ratings: 238
Photo of warmstorage
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Pizza Port's Carlsbad location is my favorite of the three: it has the best, longest bar, and consistently the most strong ale styles on tap, as well as consistently the best guest tap list (yesterday it included SNBC Bigfoot, Alpine Brewing Co. Pure Hoppiness, and about six others.) In fact, PP Carlsbad is among my three favorite brewpubs in southern California!

After fifty or more visits, I was finally moved to review Pizza Port by yesterday's magical experience with the Frank's Double IPA, an (approx.) 9% delight: it's a perfect Double IPA, packed full of huge floral and citrus-y hoppiness and taste, without overwhelming on any point. Don't get me wrong, it's hoppy as hell, but perfectly done. At $4.50 for a pint (!) it's as good a buy as any beer, anywhere. It's technically a seasonal, but is on more often than not, and I saw it listed on the brewery door, so it'll be around for a while yet.

BEER: Yesterday in addition to the Frank's, we also had the Switch Stance Strong Ale, another 8%+, in the American Strong Ale style: it's also fantastic, slightly more subdued than the Double IPA, but sharing heavy hop and sweet, strong alcohol flavors. (Think SNBC Bigfoot, which, notably, is a guest tap ($4 for a full pint!), but slightly less sweet and sharp).

Other strong house ales on tap yesterday, and normally, include a russian imperial stout, and a barleywine: both are excellent, though the imperial stout is perhaps the only strong ale they make that I can think of better bottled examples of the style (Rasputin, e.g., is slightly more balanced and has less of a sickly sweet aftertaste.) But both are fantastic.

Other styles: PP Carlsbad is definitely a place to bring a designated driver, but for those less inclined to high alcohol content, other regular house brews include Wipeout IPA, an excellent west coast IPA style full of spicy, floral hoppiness; Carlsbad Chronic, a solid amber that isn't my favorite but has a loyal following (probably due in part to the fact that they used to brew it with hemp seeds); Sharkbite Red, again not my favorite style but a solid beer, and their biggest seller, probably because it's all they bottle; and California Honey Ale, which is too light in body (thin blonde style) to be very interesting to me, but is easy to drink. They also often have other light styles which I've sampled in the past, and while all have ben good for their style, I have never bothered to order a pint, with all the stronger choices available.

FOOD: The pizza at PP Carlsbad is as good as the other locations: it's not as good as super-premium, gourmet pizza, but is worlds better and more interesting than, say, Domino's. The (free) beer-grain crust is definitely worth asking for. Cheap, filling eats are also available to protect your stomach from the alcohol: $2.75 Beer Buddies, baked pieces of seasoned dough with dipping sauce; and the $1 Portzel, a fancy, bready hot pretzel that isn't amazing, but provides cheap, good grub, so you can save your money for the outstanding beer. The salads are boring and come out with plastic packs of dressing.

ATMOSPHERE is, to be fair, somewhat lacking: it's basically a barn-style pizza parlor where Little League teams are (often) at home, though it's nice for families where the adults don't want to forego great beer. Several bigscreens TV's often play surfing highlight reels and sometimes sports, usually on Mute, which is good since the place is almost always loud and crowded. The system of ordering then having to find a seat can be tough, though seating at the bar is a great way to go for one or two people, usually available, and the only way to run a tab. A additional half dozen or so tables are available on a back deck. The upshot of the self-seating is that you can sit for as long as you like with feeling pressured, the flipside of this is that seating can be hard to find, and you might need to ask another party to share the long (mostly 8 top+) tables. Parking is easy in a back lot, and on the street next to the building. Bottom line: sit at the bar!

The food service is indifferent, usually harried, disaffected teens who think they are working at any old pizza parlor, though the bartenders are usually great, friendly, and on the ball.

Best of all, through, we get 10 airline miles for every dollar we spend, once each month! Another good reason to sit at the bar: it's only one credit card receipt per month that counts, so I want to be able to keep a visit all on a single tab.

Overall, the quality, selection, and depth of the tap list is fantastic, and PP Carlsbad is very highly recommended: we stop by most times we're nearby, and often drive a half hour or more from San Diego to go there!

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Photo of oggg
4.72/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This place is much larger than the Solana Beach place. Same great pizza. Same system of buying your pizza and then finding a place to sit on your own. Just keep an eye and ear out for your pizza. After ordering, we went out to the beer festival next door and when my gf went back to get the pizza, apparently some thief had come by and claimed to be the bf picking up the pizza. The Pizzaport guy was good about it, and made up a quick pizza for us.

This place felt like it was even more packed. Nice high ceiling makes it less stuffy than Solana Beach. Locals seemed a bit friendlier.

They've got parking lot next door that they use for the beer festivals. And I guess they store a lot of bottled beer there too for distribution or whatever.

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Photo of rayzorwit
4.2/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 3

This is some serious brew.

Pizza Port has a few locations...if you are new to San Diego or are just visiting, make sure you come this Pizza Port location and not the Solana Beach location. It is alot easier to find seating at the Carlsbad location.

The food is typical of a pizza joint. Don't come here expecting gourmet cuisine to pair up with your cabernet or shiraz.

With that said, let's get to the point. This brewery, in my opinion, is the most consistently kickarse brewery with pub in San Diego county. I've never left this place unsatisfied. They change up the rotation, so you'll never get bored as a regular. It's a safe spot to take non-beer drinkers, as they have non-beer selections. The brewers knock out some very interesting brews. If you like to experiment with crazy brews, this is the place. The brewers get mighty crafty and will definitely hit your palate with some wonderful flavors. Definitely get the sampler platter if you're only coming once or twice. I highly recommend trying out as many of their brews as you can tolerate.

I take all of my out-of-town beer buddies here and this place consistently knocks out beer that has them talking about having to come back to this place the next time they're in town. The ambience is geared for casual folk. There are surfboards hanging everywhere, old school surf pics, skate and surf vids on their video screens.

To sum it up, this is a definitely "must visit" place. Pizza Port is very serious about its brew. Check out its Web site for a calendar, as they always have some fun beer event going on, most notable being their Strong Ale Fest.

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Much larger than their Solana beach location, though the atmosphere lacks some of the "surfer-cool" that I like about the other one. But still, if you're here for the food, the beer (or, more to the point, a seat!) then this is a great place. The beer selection ranges over a number of their own ecclectic brews, some great local beers, and some good non-local stuff as well -- I've seen Dogfish head in here a couple times. The pizza is great, and their little "beer buddy" appetizers are mighty tasty as well. If you go at an off-time, I'd pick the Solana beach location over this, both for the vibe and the quality of beer available. But you won't be disappointed if this is the only one you can hit.

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Photo of KingSlender
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Pizza Port Carlsbad is one heck of a great brewery. This place has the best quality and selection of hand crafted beers that I've ever seen. My favorites are the WipeOut IPA, Palapa Pale, and Franks Double IPA. In fact, Franks might be the best beer that I've ever had. They don't brew it year round, so get your hands on it while you can. They legally can't put it into growers, too, so make sure you have some extra time to kick back and enjoy a Franks at the Port. The pizza is great and each time I visit I try different toppings, all of which are top notch. They make homemade Portzels which are awesome and the beer buddies (garlic bread) is a great appetizer while sipping on some good brew. I can't wait to get back to Pizza Port and see what brews they have in store for us next!

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I visited Pizza Port Carlsbad during the weekend of their Strong Ale Festival, which was an excellent festival held outdoors adjacent to the brewpub. I also stopped in the following day for a few pints.

The pub is moderately large with picnic type tables for seating and a bar to the left as you enter. The ceilings are high, with ceiling fans and surf boards suspended from the ceiling. The storefront on the street has glass windows to let in plenty of light, and the stainless steel brewing tanks are visible at the front of the pub. The bar itself is long and made of wood and has one almost right angle turn to make it roughly L-shaped. The bar stools are wooden with backs and swivel. There are some TVs above the bar.

The beers offered are listed on a board, and each one had an ABV listed, a nice touch. There were about 15 of their beers on tap during my visit, plus about 9 guest taps. A very nice tap selection. I did see that pitchers were offered, but I did not see any bottled beers being served. Their beers range from very good to excellent.

The service was great. Very friendly and very beer-knowledgeable. I found the atmosphere to be laid back and very comfortable. I did sample some pizza, which was very tasty. Overall a very cool brewpub with some very good beer!

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Photo of ChappyCubsFan
4.78/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Without a doubt, this is my favorite brewpub in all of Southern California. I have not been to the Pizza Port in Solana Beach (I can't believe I haven't) because some say the Solana Beach brewpub is even better than Carlsbad. That's hard to believe. Every beer I've tried here I rate from good to excellent. They even have some high quality guest beers on tap, such as Ballast Point IPA and HopTown IPA. The pizza is very good, fairly inexpensive and they serve it in large portions. Surfboards on the ceiling give you a real California beach city ambiance. Keep your eyes open because you sometimes see celebrities here. Recently I saw Tony Hawk enjoying a pizza with his family, and a few years ago I saw Rick Pitino, basketball coach for University of Louisville, enjoying a takeout. Pizza Port is also home to the annual San Diego Strong Ale Festival in December. This place is a must if you are in the San Diego area.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.2/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

As with the other Pizza Port locations, this is a fun place for pizza and beer. This location is much larger than the others, especially the one at Solana Beach and there is much better parking as well. The inside spcae is dominated by the high ceilings and the overall sense of openness. The nice combination of wallboard and wood finishing is comfortable and wears well.

Of course this is about the consumables and both the pizza and its accompanying liquid are superb. The beer is good in all the various styles and match up beautifully with the great variety of pizzas. Service is friendly and helpful and the surrounding area quite scenic and accomodating.

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Photo of drewbage
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Sampled many times over the course of the years.

Pizza Port Carlsbad is the bigger cleaner, more mainstream cousin to funky Pizza Port Solana Beach.

The space is bigger both to the consumer and to the brewers. (They even have a neighboring bottle filling facility with bright tanks.)

Same kind of chow as the Solana Beach port, but here there's a real bar for those who'd like to sit at a bar and not at a picnic table.

The house beers here tend to be more straightforward American micro type beers, but there are some very very good ones like the Frank Double IPA and the Broken Keg Eisbock.

All in all a treat and the home to the Pizza Port fests. Stop by here if you want a little more room than than the older cozy cousin down the way.

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Photo of Gusler
4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

As this was the "Host Site" for the Strong Ale Fest, I had the opportunity to sample a bunch of their brews, all exceptional. Won't get into them here, so just read my reviews, but the food as with the Solano Beach Pizza Port a real diet buster, excellent price, quality, just plain "Wowed" me. Nice atmosphere, fairly spacious, a great tap set with mostly their magnificent creations. Service was as quick as could be expected and quality top notch. Once again 10 to 12 taps with the bottle selection as I did not check them out quite good as I was clued in by a few regulars. Once again a must try if your anywhere near Carlsbad.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Pizza Port, Carlsbad has a couple things I really like: good beer and good pizza. I'd been here a couple times in the past but before my BA epiphany. I enjoyed it then and love it now.
The surfer/Cali beachside bar atmosphere doesn't jump-start me (hey, I'm from Indiana and saw "Jaws" as a kid). The bar is on the left side with picnic bench seating on the right two-thirds. A small row of video games are in the back right corner and a large-screen projection TV dominates the front right corner by the picture window.
The beer selection is excellent and the quality is superb. I had Ballast Point's Yellowtail Pale Ale and the Pizza Port Oatmeal Porter. I also sampled the Palapa Pale Ale and Wipeout IPA, both of which were on cask, the Sharkbite Red and the Carlsbad Chronic. All were quite tasty. They also had a number of others house beers and other craft brews on tap, including their Red Square Russina Imperial Stout.
The staff at the bar were very friendly and helpful, offering free samples of the various beers prior to my making a final decision on the brew of choice.
The food was pretty good; unique pizzas, California-style variations on otherwise usual pizza. I had a combination veggie and Canadian bacon, onion, green pepper, and pineapple pizza. The beer buddies are great snack food and they offer a line of salads as well.
This place is a super brewpub. I could have camped out there in order to try more of the brews offered. I can't wait for December's Strong Ale Festival.

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Photo of Rumrunner
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The most surferish of the three Pizza Ports. I have been to all three and I have been to this one more often than the others and it feels the most like a southern California surfer hang out.

I really enjoy all the Pizza Ports and the beers at all three are exceptional.

This place is one big open area. The bar is on the left with a decent amount of stools. The rest is picnic tables and benches. Many surf boards hang from the walls and ceiling. Just like the other two PP's they play surfer videos on the tv's unless there is some major sporting event happening. There are a few video games on one wall. There is also a decent sized outdoor seating area. There are tv's outside as well. A space next to the outdoor seating is usually where the Real and Strong Ale Fests are held.

The food is the same as the other two Pizza Ports. I find the pizza unique good and very California. The beer buddies are good and try the beer battered pizza crust. They also have salads and a few other items.

The beers are exceptional. This place has the Frank's IPA. Sometimes on cask. The Wipeout IPA is great too. I tried their Dopplebock and was very pleased. Great beers for the beer lover. Also a selection of other beers from craft breweries. They do have wine for the non beer drinker.

The service is line up and order food and then head to the beer line or drink line if you are under twenty one. The staff is friendly and very helpful. The bartender this week was very knowledgable about their beers. I like it when an establishment has informed their employees about their product. It is frustrating when they are just a tap puller and have no knowledge of the product.

A great family establishment and a great place to hang with your buddies. Enjoy.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

The pub is very easy to find. Exit I-5 at Carlsbad Village Drive & it is about 1/2 mile on your left as you head towards the beach.

As you enter, it is a one floor building that has heavy “Surfer Dude” orientated décor. Surf boards hang everywhere from the ceiling; all colors, shapes & sizes. Old photographs of beaudacious wave-riders continue the theme. The one room appears to amplify noise. Loud talk, the calling of names for Pizza collections & general banter, can give the bar a boisterous feel when first entered. This gives the place a rather happening feeling.

Tables separated by small booth like barriers run down the right hand side, these seat 4 people - just. To your immediate right is a small wooden floored raised area that has some bench like Tables & Chairs. The centre has a collection of long bench like tables, giving it somewhat of a beer hall feel.

At the back of the building is the in-house Pizza kitchen. Dominated by a double Pizza Oven, one of those that has slow but continually moving belts though a long Oven. You place your order to the left hand side, & later when your number/name is called, you collect it to the right hand side. They come in 3 sizes & a myriad of combinations. The Pizza’s are top notch quality & reasonably priced. Close by the Pizza pick-up point is a door that leads to an outside area that has seating & makes a very nice outside, albeit fenced, drinking area.

The Brewery is on the left hand side, & leads to the most important part, the Bar. This is located in the back left hand corner. You have to go here to get served. I actually prefer this to waited service, so I enjoyed this aspect. Service was quick & courteous as well. You can take your beverage of choice and sit down at one of the many Tables, or stay at the Bar if you wish. Choice is excellent. I never counted the beers on offer, but there were at least 2 banks of 6 Taps. Colorful hand-made signs are stuck above the bar like large fridge magnets – these detail the current tapped offerings. The beers were awesome, especially the IPA’s. The quality of the house beers was exceptionally high & it would not be folly, or false praise, to say that some of these beers are world class.

The Pizza Port holds Beer Festivals occasionally; these are exceptionally well organized & executed. I have done both the Belgium Beer & Real Ale Festivals this year. I will definitely be there for there next one; a Winter Beer Festival in December I believe.

*Highly Recommended*

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Pizza Port Carlsbad in Carlsbad, CA
3.89 out of 5 based on 6,365 ratings.
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