One mile from Delmar Raceway & Fairgrounds, the beautiful beach town of Solana Beach housed busy PIZZA PORT. A dive-y local hangout with “create your own” pizzas, hot wings, and Caesar salads, its cafeteria-style seating, fantastic jukebox, multiple televisions, arcade space, and aluminum brew tanks offered a magnificent assortment.
In fact, Pizza Port (with other locations in Carlsbad, Ocean Beach and San Clemente) was so crowded upon first April ’07 nighttime visitation, I sent wife and kids to eat tasty burgers at nearby pool joint, Tidewater Tavern, while I had shot glass samples of brewer Greg Peters’ fine offerings. Though Belgian-styled award winners such as Dubbel Overhead Abbey Ale, Auggie’s Grand Cru, and Mother Of All Beers Belgian Strong were unavailable, nine of the ten tapped brews I tried were on-the-money.
Upon lunchtime revisit, re-sampled sweet honeyed tea-spiced, apple-fig-soured, black coffee-lulled Shark Attack Imperial Red, raisin-ripe molasses-sapped floral-citric earthen-hopped Shark Bite Red (and the comparable California Honey), mossy fig-date-teased red-orange-fruited Rock Reed Rye Ale, and fresh-watered floral-hopped cereal-grained caramel-chocolate-malted Dawn Patrol Dark English Brown.
Stylistically similar, but profoundly distinct, were piney-hopped, orange rind-embittered, peach-apple-brightened Yigas Revenge IPA, bitterly aggressive, grapefruit-orange rind-centered, honey-snipped, gin-soaked Swami’s IPA, and the sweeter cherry-apricot-apple-cored, grapefruit rind-embittered, resinous pine-tarred, malt-sinewy The Hop 15.
Mild yet creamy Seaside Stout re-created Guinness with its lactic chocolate-y nut froth, sharp hop char, and burnt sierra-cedar backdrop, adding poignant black cherry sourness for great measure.
Horrific Das Boot Helles Lager had nasty lemon-bruised diacetyl plasticity only cheapskate malt liquor rowdies and hellent bikers could stand.
Over the railroad tracks a few blocks away, Minute Shop Liquors had newly-discovered Deschutes Inversion, Firehouse American Pale, Port Old Viscosity, and New Belgium 2 Below (reviewed in Beer Index).