Article by: Eric Blumenfeld,
Beerspoke Tours CEO
Ok, slightly hyperbolic subject, but whatever. Staying in and around San Diego from the last post...so, you've got Port Brewing Company. And you've got Pizza Port Brewing Company. Two really well respected breweries in the same area with almost the same name. So, are they the same???
And the answer...is....no, but kinda, but really, still no. Pizza Port, which was founded in 1987 by Vince and Gina Marsaglia in Solana Beach, has 5 killer locations, mostly in the brewpub space, but with some fairly regional distribution (they only distribute out west -- though they have recently moved a bit out of California, to still-localish states like Nevada and Arizona). Pizza Port also has pizza in its name for a reason. Their brewpubs make kickass pizza to go with their kickass beer.
Port Brewing Company is, in fact, a fully separate entity. However, the name isn't just a happy coincidence -- it was founded by the very same Pizza Port Marsaglia brother/sister duo, along with Pizza Port's old brewmaster, Tomme Arthur, with sights on more unique brews reaching a wider drinking audience. Indeed, they do distribute all across the continental US, under both the Port label (for West Coast-style beers) and Lost Abbey label (for, as they put it, Belgian-inspired and premium beers).
One important travel note -- though Pizza Port has 5 locations, and all are delightful, if you're out on the west coast, please do yourself a favor and head to the Carlsbad brewpub. Carlsbad itself is a gorgeous laid-back beach town, with some very walkable streets lined with shops, restaurants and bars -- so worth the visit if you like that kind of thing (and who doesn't?). But Pizza Port's Carlsbad location is straight up magic. You walk into a very large, naturally well-lit space, ringed by huge windows, with the brewing equipment out in the open near the main entrance. Immediately a feeling of full-chill takes over. A surf vibe complete with boards, old-time surfer pics and nice long communal tables permeates the place and you feel like you're still outdoors in the warm SoCal beach breeze. And if that is what you seek, simply head out back to their bi-level outdoor space. They've got lots of their own on tap, but also feature a number of guests -- always a welcome sight. And hey, you're in a pizza restaurant...so spend a few hours there with all the food, beer and good company you can ask for.
And if you've got time after, head next door to their bottle shop, housing over 700 craft brews.