You no longer have to pack up your growlers and plan a road trip to San Diego to get a taste of Pizza Port Brewing Co beers. The popular chain of San Diego brewpubs is now canning its beer, and the first offerings are headed to Los Angeles this month.
The brewpub and pizza restaurants are sister breweries to the influential Port / Lost Abbey brewery in San Diego, but the Pizza Port locations -- there are now five ranging from south Orange County to Ocean Beach -- each feature their own signature brews that have won the chain nearly 90 Great American Beer Festival medals since 2000.
The first Pizza Port beers to see the inside of 16-ounce cans are ChronicAle -- a hoppy amber ale from the Carlsbad Pizza Port -- and two brews from the Solana Beach location: Swami's IPA and Ponto SIPA, an easy-drinking "Session IPA".
All the styles are now brewed at the new Pizza Port headquarters and production brewery in Bressi Ranch. Distribution of the cans and kegs is being handled by Stone Distribution, so the Pizza Port beers should be easy to find in bars, bottle shops and grocery stores.
As for the connection with the beer geek-favorite Port Brewing Company/Lost Abbey, the story starts in 1997 when Tomme Arthur, then the head brewer at Pizza Port Solana Beach, brewed the first Belgian-style ale under the Pizza Port name. Dubbel Overhead led to a wave of other Belgian-inspired brews, and in 2006 the owners of Pizza Port partnered with Arthur to form Lost Abbey. The new brewery moved into the space that originally housed Stone Brewing, and the rest is San Diego beer history.