November 27, 2008

San Diego Day II

On this day I was finally able to check out the famed Pizza Port. Pizza Port is a pizza and beer place that is basically the same company as the great Lost Abbey Brewing. Where Lost Abbey operates as a Belgian inspired brewery with tasting room, Pizza Port is the classic pizza and beer joint, except with incredible beers. There are three Pizza Port locations, in Solana Beach, Oceanside and San Clemente (Orange County).

I made a stop at the Solana Beach one since it was easily the closest of the bunch. Unfortunately it also happens to be the smallest, so there was no bar, but rather a walk-up order counter and their famous first-come picnic table seating. Not feeling supremely hungry I ordered some beer buddies (see their menu) and a Lil' Wednesday "Extra Pale" Belgian pale ale. I've got a thing for Belgian style beers, and this thing lived up to the general style. It was exciting, light and refreshing but with that weird flavor created with Belgian yeast, a creamy texture, slightly cloudy, just hit the spot.

After that I ordered what I think was called Black Spider, a black west coast pale ale, on cask. Usually I'm conservative when ordering new beers and I had wanted to try several other of Port's options, but the risk paid off, another delicious offering with a huge frothy head thanks to the cask kicking just as my pour went through.

Pizza Port has exactly the right concept of family friendly vibe with various video games and pizza on the menu, to go with that beachy feel. There were several surfers taking a break inside while I was there. Its a few blocks from the beach in one of my favorite beach areas in San Diego, Solana Beach, not far from the Amtrak station there and a street designated purely for artsy type shops. The pizza + beer thing reminded me of the Russian River Brewpub in Santa Rosa. Its all very relaxed and unlike most pizza joints paired with great beer.

I guess at the other two locations there's an actual bar to sit down to, and multiple levels. Next time. On the way out they had memorabilia, glassware and a few bottles of their own creations as well as those of Lost Abbey for sale.

After that I started getting a little beer heartburn, which seems to happen after I've been drinking strong for a few days. Its painful and slows me down so the rest of this day's trip was colored by that.

After leaving Pizza Port, I ventured down to the AleSmith brewery hoping their tasting room might be open. No go, however, as they're only open on Friday and Saturday.

From there I almost decided on a return trip to Ballast Point since I had so much fun, but instead went to Stone Brewing Company's World Bistro and Beer Gardens. I've been here a million times before but its always a great stop with all it has to offer. Unfortunately the heartburn was still flaring up so I grabbed a single beer before departing. It was an Echt Kriekenbier, another Belgian offering. I should have enjoyed this more, as its one of my favorite beer styles, a Flemish sour cherry ale and quite tasty when one is not in pain, heh. The rest of Stone's draft and bottle menu was great as usual, so a return trip would definitely be in the works.

However, that was it for Day II of the beer adventures.

Follow along with yet another custom Baltimore Beer Guy beer map.

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