Port Brewing & The Lost Abbey – San Marcos, CA
Tours Offered: Yes
Food Service: Foodtrucks
Kids & Pets: Kid and dog friendly
A Brief History
Looking to expand production, the co-owners of Pizza Port, Vince and Gina Marsaglia, founded Port Brewing Company, LLC in 2006. Their third partner in this new venture was world renowned brewmaster Tomme Arthur, also the former head brewer at Pizza Port.
When Stone moved across Highway 78 into their massive Escondido campus, Port Brewing Company took over their old facility. Under the Port LLC, there are two distinct brands: The Lost Abbey and Port Brewing. They recently unveiled a third platform – The Hop Concept. Why do they need that many brands? Let’s try to explain…
“Belgian-inspired and premium beers” are released under The Lost Abbey label, with fancy wooden corks in 375 or 750 mL sizes. American style beers, and West-coast IPAs are Port Brewing creations, distributed in traditional 22oz bombers. The Hop Concept releases a quarterly flavor-centric IPA, dubbed the “Hop Freshener Series”, which has been spot-on thus far.
More Pictures from Port Brewing and Lost Abbey
Our Visit to Port Brewing Company
Since her move from Pliny country last summer, mom’s favorite San Diego brewery has become Port Brewing. We figured a free round of tasters would make an ideal birthday gift, so we hit up Port Brewing Company / The Lost Abbey last weekend.
This was the first dual brewery we had ever visited, unless you want to count Green Flash / Alpine Beer Company. Actually, Port was a triple venue, although The Hop Concept was not that well represented, aside from some merchandise.
When you arrive, Port Brewing Company looks like any other business park based San Diego brewery, until you are greeted by their giant fermenter. Each side of the tank displayed their respective brand logos — Port on the front, Lost Abbey on the back.
The inside of their facility was quite “warehousey”, which can be looked at from one of two perspectives. Port kept it old school, or maybe they could upgrade the decorum a bit. Perhaps their way of addressing that very issue was by opening their shiny new “The Confessional” tasting room in Cardiff.
Regardless, there was plenty of room to enjoy your beer, which is the whole point of being there, right? Belly up to their zig-zagging monster of a bar, stand by a barrel, or large renaissance-style tables. There might not have been chairs, but chess and domino sets were provided for entertainment.
In the back corner, fermenters were so close you could almost touch them over their decorative guardrail. Across from the tanks was the barrel room, which looked like it was pretty much filled to capacity.
Above its entryway was The Lost Abbey’s large celtic cross logo, with the Latin phrase “In Illa Brettanomyces, Nos Fides” inscribed underneath. When roughly translated it means “In the Wild Yeast We Believe”, a fitting tribute to the ales aging several feet away.
Above the left side of the bar, decorative Lost Abbey themed artwork covered the entire wall. It was also available for purchase, near a large bookshelf filled with Lost Abbey ales, and glassware representing each of their three brands.
Whether in the mood for a fresh draft of something Port, or a seasonal bottle of Lost Abbey, this place had an overwhelming selection of beer. There was too much chalk written on those boards to choose from!
After several rounds of tasters, we grabbed a gift pint glass, a bomber of SPA (Summer Pale Ale), and it was time to hit the road. We were glad to have finally made it into Port Brewing Company, and must come back another time to delve into the Lost Abbey side of the menu.
Beer on Tap
Since we visited the brewery for mom’s birthday, we reviewed selections from her favorite of the two brands – Port Brewing:
- Port Pils: 3.5/5
Our first beer of the day, and this Pilsner did a great job starting things off. Crystal clear, vibrant in color, with a light, crisp, and refreshing body. This just won bronze at SDIBF.
- Mongo IPA: 4.5/5
For some reason, we had never tried this one before, and it was probably the best beer of the day. It’s not classified as a Red IPA, but you would never know. Malty, mildly bitter with a hit of spice and grapefruit in the finish.
- Wipeout IPA: 3/5
This single IPA was gentle on the palate, but its 7.5% ABV can wipe you out if you’re not careful. Well balanced and easily drinkable, with just enough body and grapefruit rind bitterness to keep you from treating it like a session ale.
- Shark Attack Double Red Ale: 4/5
One of the finest Imperial Red Ales money can buy. Loads of malt made for a hefty ale, with smooth caramel up front, and a surprisingly subtle bitter finish. Another strong one!