Two Great Brands, One Awesome Brewery: The Lost Abbey and Port Brewing

Two Great Brands, One Awesome Brewery: The Lost Abbey and Port Brewing
Port Brewing Company & The Lost Abbey
155 Mata Way #104
San Marcos, CA 92069
portbrewing.com / lostabbey.com

The Lost Abbey and Port Brewing are located in the former Stone Brewing Company brewery in Escondido, California. The company opened in May 2006 when Stone moved to their new location in Escondido.

Since moving in, The Lost Abbey and Port Brewing have added a 42-foot tasting bar and a huge barrel room. (Interestingly, a sign hangs above the entrance to the barrel room that reads “In Illa Brettanomyces Nos Fides” or “In the Wild Yeast We Believe.”)

The Lost Abbey and Port Brewing are both brands of Port Brewing Company, but target different markets. Port Brewing produces West Coast-style beers, while The Lost Abbey focuses on Belgian-inspired beers. The beers are produced at the same brewery by the same brewing staff.

Tower

To make things a bit more complicated, there’s also Pizza Port, but that is not owned by Port Brewing Company. Brother and sister Vince and Gina Marsaglia, two of the founders of Port Brewing Company, are the owners of Pizza Port.

The third Port Brewing Company founder, Tomme Arthur, is the former head brewer of Pizza Port, but they are completely different companies. Arthur is the current Director of Brewery Operations for The Lost Abbey and Port Brewing.

In 2007, Port Brewing was named GABF Small Brewery of the Year, and Tomme Arthur was named Small Brewer of the Year. Just six months later they won Champion Small Brewery and Small Brewer at the 2008 World Beer Cup competition.

Today Port Brewing continues to be a leader in the craft brewing industry. The Lost Abbey features one of the most remarkable barrel-aging in the industry. And they make some incredibly delicious beers!

Wall

The 42 tap system at the tasting room features regular and seasonal releases. The beers on tap during our visit included…

The Lost Abbey Drafts

  • Devotion – 6.5% ABV dry-hopped Blonde ale with a crisp hop finish
  • Avant Garde – 7% ABV French style “Biere de Garde” farmhouse ale
  • Red Barn – 6% ABV spiced Saison made with ginger, orange peel, black pepper, and grains of paradise.
  • Lost & Found – 8% ABV Abbey style Dubbel made with a sweet malt finish
  • Judgment Day – 10.5% ABV Abbey style Quad made with raisins and a chew malt finish
  • Road to Helles – 5.5% ABV light, chewy, and smooth traditional German lager
  • Gift of the Magi – Strong Biere de Garde with Brettanomyces
  • Merry Taj IPA – 8.5% ABV floral, citrus, tropical fruit aroma, crisp caramel sweet, and spicy bitter finish
  • 10 Commandments – 12% ABV Belgian Dark Strong Ale with raisins, orange peel, honey, and rosemary
  • Serpent’s Stout – 11% ABV Double Imperial Stout with notes of coffee, cocoa, vanilla, and bourbon.

Port Brewing Drafts

  • Wipeout IPA – 7% ABV West Coast classic featuring Amarillo and Centennial hops
  • Shark Attack – 9.5% ABV Double Red Ale; won a bronze medal at GABF
  • Mongo IPA – 8% ABV Double IPA brewed with Columbus, Cascade and Amarillo hops
  • Old Viscosity – 10.5% ABV black as night and sludgy like used motor oil
  • Board Meeting – 8.5% ABV Dark Brown Ale brewed with coffee and cocoa nibs
  • Port Pilz – 5.5% ABV traditional Czech style Pilsner with Saaz hops
  • Santa’s Little Helper – 10.5% ABV Imperial Stout with sweet roasted notes and hints of dark chocolate

Beers are served in small 4-ounce tasters for $1 and large 16-ounce tasters for $5. Growler fills of several beers can be purchased for $15 or $20. There are also several beers available to go in bottles.

The tasting room is open Monday and Tuesday 1 to 7 PM, Wednesday and Thursday 1 to 8 PM, Friday 1 to 9 PM, Saturday 11:30 AM to 8 PM, and Sunday noon to 6 PM. Tours are offered on Saturdays.

During our visit I was lucky enough to catch up with one of my American Brewer’s Guild instructors and The Lost Abbey Director of Quality and Production, Gwen Conley.

Steph-Gwen

Gwen has worked as a Biology Teacher, Environmental Chemist, Microbiologist, and Flavor Panel Leader at Ball Corporation in Broomfield, Colorado. She was also the Quality Assurance / Sensory Director at Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick, MD before moving to San Diego.

She has a Bachelor’s in Biology with a minor in Chemistry, is a veteran judge at the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival, and in addition to the American Brewer’s Guild, she is also an instructor for the UCSD Brewing Program.

Some exciting news from The Lost Abbey is the opening of The Confessional this year. The new tasting room is located at 2007 Elijo Avenue in the Seaside Marketplace. The tasting room offers beers from The Lost Abbey, Port Brewing, and The Hop Concept.

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