Good pizza. Great beer. And even better people. It’s as simple as that for Pizza Port Brewing Company.
Actually, that’s been the mantra since Gina and Vince Marsaglia opened up in Solana Beach back in 1987. But there’s much more to the Pizza Port story, as I learned while visiting the Bressi Ranch location, which is now offering brewery tours.
I was lucky enough to experience BR’s maiden tour on Saturday, and thanks to tour guide Jill Davidson, Pizza Port sales and brand ambassador, I came away with 10 nuggets I had not heard before. So here’s 10 Things I Learned About Pizza Port:
1. The 30-barrel brewery at Bressi Ranch produces up to 14,000 barrels a year. Currently the brewery holds five 150-barrel fermentors and three 30-barrel fermentors, but there’s plenty of room for more. Over the next 3-5 years, the plan is to get to 50,000. That’s a lot of Swami’s.
2. The best-selling beer in the Pizza Port family is Chronic Amber Ale. “It’s very palatable,” Davidson said. “It goes with everyone’s taste buds. It goes with pizza. Very sessionable. Great beer. But our best seller in cans is Swami’s, hands down.”
3. Speaking of cans, the canning line cranks out 192,000 cans each month – about 775 barrels worth.
4. The tap lines that serve the upstairs bar at Bressi Ranch are 200 feet long. That’s because the lines for the downstairs and upstairs taps double draw off the same keg.
5. Bressi Ranch services the four other Pizza Port locations, so it always has about 50,000 pounds of roughly 50 different types of specialty malt on hand. It also usually carries 50 different hops. “We run this location like a commissary,” Davidson said. “This is the hub.”
6. Beer is one thing, but Pizza Port wouldn’t be Pizza Port without those scrumptious pies. Every week, Bressi Ranch makes about 9,000 pounds of pizza dough, which is then delivered to Ocean Beach, Carlsbad, Solana Beach and San Clemente.
7. Pizza Port is also in the ice cream business, producing up to 40 gallons every week. Top-selling flavors are Chocolate Oreo, Horchata, and Peanut Butter Banana.
8. Pizza Port doesn’t waste its spent grain. Each week, Schaner Farms in Valley Center picks about 40,000 pounds and uses it to feed its livestock. The amount of spent grain can easily double Schaner’s food supply.
9. Bressi Ranch runs 70 percent on solar energy. And those sturdy six-pack can holders are made up of about 96% recyclable material.
10. Pizza Port makes beer in honor of two house bands. Eukaryst Sinister Stout, an Imperial stout made with Mexican cocoa nibs, is named after Ocean Beach assistant brewer Gino Fontana’s metal band. The Burning of Rome, a West Coast style IPA, pays homage to OB/Bressi Ranch bartender Joe Aguilar’s band. “While both beers are fermenting, we play the albums of the respective bands above the tanks so that the music is literally infused into the beer,” Davidson said.