Thursday, June 26, 2008

From Pizza Port to the port of Necromanteion

Arriving in Oakland after a quick weekend visit to San Diego, we were met by a bit of a surprise upon stepping out of the airport. With something in the range of 1,000 wildfires currently burning around Northern California, the midsummer light had taken on a yellowish hue, diffuse to the point that it now has an autumnal character, the air tinted with an aroma redolent of a morning's smoldering campfire. Heading into the secluded, windless nooks of the Ross Valley, the effect was intensified into a throat-scratching, permanent dusk, creating a bit of collective tension between the knowledge that the fires were miles away and the twitchy animal instinct for flight.

Why introduce a summary of our most recent visit to Solana Beach's little slice of craft beer heaven thusly, with such unrelated pissing and moaning? To be blunt, there'd be no greater pleasure than to sit down and extol the glory and virtue that Pizza Port can provide, but a deeply unsettling cranky factor has made it impossible to share with care. Now, four days after we've returned, the smoke not only continues to linger, but is intensifying; the headache it's caused has settled into a dull drone, accompanied charmingly by a nasty case of cotton mouth and the inability to take a good, deep breath, along with necessitating a cabin-fever inducing house arrest. Put together, it's not terribly conducive to good writing. But I can't put this post forever. Ergo, we'll just forgo the usual attempts at insight and humor, and hope that the images can provide enough interesting detail on their own:

I'd be remiss, however, if I didn't at least assert to you, the potential SoCal-bound, touring beer enthusiast, the importance of making a visit to Pizza Port in Solana Beach a high priority. Between the house brews, Lost Abbey labels, and the short but stunning guest draught list (La Folie on tap, anyone?) it's a can't-miss destination. When you're done there, swing by the Whole Foods in La Jolla to stock up on bottles of all the Port and Lost Abbey creations you forgot to get at the brewery (like the bottle of Devotion that I'm saving for the day my taste buds return).

Do I even need to bother mentioning the pizza's pretty good, too? And seriously, Junk in the Trunk Dunkel?

(For a little extra interest, check out the details about the stout mentioned in prolific brewer/blogger Tomme Arthur's recent post about the San Diego county fair.)

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