Friday, November 7, 2008

Pizza Port in San Clemente + A Bruery Stop On The Way Home

My friend Pete and I went to Pizza Port in San Clemente, which is about an hour drive from our house, and met my buddy Steve "Milton" Timmins there and his girlfriend. We shared a few good rounds of beer. To be honest I was disappointed by their selection. For the Pizza Port side they had on their Carlsbad Chronic Amber Ale, a golden ale, wheat beer, oatmeal stout, scotch ale, barley wine, and an English Pale on cask. I started off with the Ripper English Pale on cask. It was ok, nothing to write home about.

I was sorely disappointed when I didn't see any of Pizza Port's IPA's listed on the wall. I was really looking forward to a nice dose of hops in the morning. However, on their white board list of beers they had "El Camino" listed, which I know is one of their main IPAs, so I asked the bartender and he told me they had ran out. Then 5 minutes later he comes back and says they just put another one on. Score!!! I ordered a pint of the El Camino IPA and it was awesome. I got a growler to go for the Kal vs. USC game tomorrow.

I finished off with their T-Street Wheat since I was driving. A good wheat beer. I love the banana part of wheat beers, and this had plenty of that.

On the way home Pete and I stopped by the brewery where we tried their new release Humulus Gold from both the tap and cask. Tap was much more pungent, but cask had a much bigger orangy smell to it. It was advertised as having Simcoe + Amarillo hops which is one of my favorite combinations (think Alpine Duet IPA).

Patrick (owner of The Bruery) was also nice enough to share a bottle of Pizza Port Killer Dana Double IPA which I have heard people talk about. I guess he got the bottle at the GABF. I would probably have not been able to try this beer for many years if it wasn't for him so I thank him greatly for that opportunity. Killer Dana (named somewhat in part for the city of Dana Point which neighbors San Clemente, that I spent many months of my childhood in) is a double IPA, about 9% ABV. It's a different take than the prototypical DIPA Pliny the Elder for sure, but it's still tasty. It's pretty sweet with a resiny bitterness in the taste. I wish it had a more pungent hop aroma, but it smells pretty sweet. Either way I really enjoyed the taste, so thanks again Patrick!

I knew The Bruery wouldn't be doing growler fills of the cask Humulus Gold, but little did I know it would be on tap as well, and they were filling growlers of it from there, but I hadn't brought my growler so I missed out on that for now.

Good day so far, now I gotta go eat dinner with my family and my soon-to-be-brother-in-law's family at Downtown Disney.


J.Rhode said...

Steve, does it seem to you like Port doesn't finish many of their IPAs totally dry? I am thinking specifically of draft and bottle versions of Hop 15, 2nd Anniv., draft Dana (Haven't had El Camino or Hop Suey in a year or so, so I can't remember)? The exception for me would be Poor Man's, probably my favorite all time Port IPA. Would be interesting to compare the styles by brewer. Are we talking about at least three different brewers here?

Steve said...

J.R- Good question, to start off I think the El Camino IPA I had yesterday was done very well, it was dry, not too thick or sweet or anywhere near that, so the bitterness and hop flavor came out really sharp and aggressive.

I haven't had a Hop 15 in over a year and I haven't had the 2nd Anniv since May when it was released. I've always thought the Hop 15 had a little too much sweetness in it for me. I really loved the 2nd Anniv on draft at Port. It was really lively in all aspects, and for a huge DIPA like that I thought it had a great dryness to it. The bottle I won't even judge by b/c mine was undercarbonated and didn't come close to matching the draft servings I had.

Poor Man's was pretty good. When I was drinking it this summer I didn't even know it was a DIPA, and it felt as light as a regular IPA might be... which I love (hate syrupy thick IPA's).

But I do think Port Brewing has 4 different breweries, one at each Pizza Port location, then 1 at the main Port Brewing/Lost Abbey facility, so they probably all have slightly different takes on whatever style they are brewing.

Overall, Port Brewing is amazing though :)