Summer of 69

Brewery and Country of Origin: Pizza Port (Port Brewing Company) of 155 Mata Way, Suite 104, San Marcos, CA 92069, USA

Date Reviewed: 7-11-13

For us, there was something to be said about the music we all grew up with. Favorite bands, favorite songs, and those annoying sad excuses for music that constantly played on the radio. Unfortunately, those are the songs that you usually remember. Now if you're one of our older readers, you probably have a different list of pop groups or songs that you can remember from years past. But for us, the pinnacle of annoying tunes came in the late 1990s to the early 2000s. Backstreet Boys, Nickleback, Hanson, S Club 7, Will Smith... these aren't acts that will be earning any titles of recognition from music fans like us any time soon. But honestly, it was bands like these which garnered airtime. And this was time when mp3 players had memory for only 15 songs, CDs were still skipping, "internet radio" was impossible thanks to dial up connections, and cell phones were just that: phones. FM radio was essentially the only effective way to have your music heard by the masses (besides, no one was going to buy a CD unless they heard it on the radio first). So as it turned out, the bands with the best record labels received the most plays over the air. But that wasn't a good thing. Far from it, actually. To understand, look at many of today's music "talent". Why does everyone from some heinous Disney Channel show get their own massive record label contract? Because it's Disney, which sells on all of the feel good pop loving fecal matter that families love spending tons of money on. Can't blame them for effective marketing, but let's all be real. This isn't music. It's garbage... unless you're a 14 year old girl who has a strange obsession with feminine guys who are considerably older than them. Either way, whether you like it or not, these and many other songs are the ones you remember (though fortunately today you have much more choice as to how you listen to music). And it's this connection between music and memories that seems to come so naturally. When you think of a summer many many years ago, it may be hard to come up with what you did exactly, but the music? That's automatic. It's that sensory imprint that helps you come up with an environment for your memory. Summer of 2000? Well, the election was in full swing, it was pretty hot, all of the kids were hyped up on Go-Gurt, and oh yeah... sadly "Oops, I Did It Again" was on every blanking radio station every three seconds. Awful. But see? Memories like these come from repetition, immersion. And the idea of a brand's summer ale is meant to serve the same purpose. People remember the beer they drank during a summer... if it was the only beer of the summer. But even when variety meant a few horrid offerings from only macrobreweries, it was hard to remember what you had some summer long ago (though that could partly be because they're all the same crap anyway). Either way, Summer ales are meant to be high quality, easy going beers that you can enjoy all summer long, without getting completely dehydrated or full before you even get a buzz on. These are lighter, crisp, and delicately hopped beers with only light malts and a fair to high amount of carbonation. And what brewers want is that once you discover their summer ale, you're going to stick with it. You're going to have it all summer long. And it'll be there, engrained in your head with the rest of the summer's memories... just like that slightly racist Taco Bell Chihuahua.
Date Sampled: 6-28-13 At: Common Ground, 85 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134, USA
Beer Style: American Pale Ale
Alcohol by Volume: 5.20%
Serving Type: Keg, 20 oz Pint Glass
Rating: 3.12


Pizza Port's hot time beer pours choppy with a medium high amount of carbonation action, giving this beer a three quarters inch tall, medium density foam head with a fairly creamy texture, a moderate retention, and a slightly off white color. This beer has an amber golden color and a slightly hazy appearance attributable to a small amount of extremely fine particle sediment. This beer gives off a pretty bright shine, and shows off full lacing.


This summer ale has a moderately strong aroma characterized with citrusy Cascade hops and a fairly prominent grassy secondary aroma, which is derived from this beer's piney Chinook hops. There is no sweetness or roasted malts detectable in the smell, and no alcoholic tinge is present. This beer has a fairly bitter aroma overall, highlighting delicate floral hops.


This is a medium light bodied brew with a high amount of carbonation, a low viscosity, and a below average weight. This beer finishes with a great deal of dryness as well as a good amount of crispness at the closing. This is a pretty refreshing beer which is easy to drink, light on the palate, and great for the hot summer months, despite this beer's lack of a cooling effect.


As indicated by the aroma, this beer is full of diverse hoppy flavor, mixing in a mostly citrusy fruity primary with some floral and somewhat piney secondary notes. This beer's flavor also contains some very light spicy notes which do little to balance this beer's overall bitter profile. There are some grassy notes involved as well as a lingering mostly bitter and dry finish and aftertaste.

Our Take

Brewed without crystal malt, this beer, according to Port Brewing's website, was meant to "focus solely on the expressive nature of the hops". There are four kinds of hops used in the brew, including Chinook, Simcoe, Cascade, and Amarillo. This is a summer seasonal brew limited to only keg servings, meaning you won't find it in a bottle anywhere. Somehow we found a bar in Boston which served this on tap, and it's been quite hot and humid as of late, so a "Summer Pale Ale" seemed to be appropriate enough. This is a light, easy to drink brew which has no overpowering flavors, no strong character, and a good, crisp feel. Unforunately, this was probably too generic for us to actually highlight, but overall, this is a good go to summer beer when you're not in the mood for something overly complex or exotic. This makes for a great backyard bbq casual drinking beer which will not only satisfy your needs for a light summer ale, but also hopefully be remembered for being the beer you drank, when you actually made memories with your family and friends this summer.