Pics and Recap of San Diego/Pizza Port Strong Ale VIP Session
TheFullPint.com returned to Carsbad, CA to enjoy and cover the 12th Annual Pizza Port Strong Ale Festival. Unlike last year, we decided to attend the VIP Session, which cost $40 and allowed for us to try beers the rest of the sessions probably would not have access to. I rolled with TheFullPint’s Jon and Mike, and like last year, started the day off at Pizza Port an hour before kick-off.
At the back of Pizza Port, we were stunned by seeing the Green Flash-mobile. It was definitely a Chevy truck from the 40’s (feel free to comment, you beer loving car nut). Once we got in, we found out we were too early to indulge in the ever delicious “Fest Pizza.” To kill time, we ate a couple “Portzels” and drank a few nice draft offerings. Mike and I had Blind Pig by Russian River, while Jon had a Pizza Port Night Rider Imperial Stout. After an hour passed, we got into a relatively short line and proceeded to enter.
The first thing I wanted to try was Avery’s Bad Sally. To my surprise, there weren’t really any lines longer than two people to get a taster. No clamor, no bumping in to people. We were able to reserve an area of table near the Pizza Port bottle shop, and began to sample. After enjoying Bad Sally, a barrel aged version of Avery Salvation, I noticed this wasn’t your average beer festival, and certainly not like our visit to last years Pizza Port Strong Ale Festival. We were amongst the most serious of beer lovers. The other attendees, like us, were parked at a table, taking tasting notes, and discussing all the intricacies of each strong, flavorful beer.
As the first hour or two passed by, TheFullPint.com had some wonderful beers under our belt including, but not limited to Bear Republic Old Scouters Barley Wine, Dogfish Head Midas Touch, Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, Green Flash Palate Wrecker on Cask, Lost Abbey Veritas 002, Pizza Port Brandy Barrel Aged Way Heavy, Russian River Consecration, The Bruery Consecration, Three Floyds Dark Lord, Ballast Point Sea Monster Stout, Firestone Walker Saucerful of Secrets, and more. This impressive lineup was shared between the three of us, and while we didn’t each have a 4 oz. taster of each, we were definitely sharing across the board.
Once the serious beer tasting made way for a bit of tipsiness, mingling started happening. We met some nice people who share our love of good beer, and even got to meet one of the brewers from Goose Island. As an inebriated fellow, I want to say his name was Dave, but either way, a really cool cat. The rest of the evening is a little fuzzy, but for sure, tons of fun. A big should out to Tom Nickel, Tomme Arthur, Jeff Bagby, and the entire Port Brewing family for making this a fantastic event.