Music and craft beer are two of my foremost passions. One makes up the majority of my daily caloric intake, while listening to and playing the other sustains my non-dietary needs. So, when Yiga Miyashiro, head brewer at Pizza Port Ocean Beach (the reigning U.S. Small Brewpub of the Year) let me in on a party they were throwing last Thursday featuring live music and a beer brewed in honor of the band providing the night’s entertainment, the Burning of Rome, I made a beeline for the beach-adjacent brew haven.
The band, The Burning of Rome (back row), pose with their namesake India pale ale, Pizza Port Ocean Beach head brewer Yiga Miyashiro (front, left) and Pizza Port co-owner Gina Marsaglia.
As I approached Pizza Port, I heard four clicks followed by echoes of nearby guitars and percussion. I was surprised at the decibel level. It was way louder than I would have expected and I wondered just how loud it was going to be once I got inside. As I rounded the corner of Bacon Street and Santa Monica Avenue, I figured out why it was so loud. The band (who describe their sound as what would happen “if The Misfits and Danny Elfman had a lovechild”) was performing in the parking lot of the business directly across the street from Pizza Port to a packed patio of head-bobbing, beer-swilling listeners. In the interest of keeping neighbors happy and law enforcement out of the equation, the set was rather short, but that afforded me the ability to meet the band over a pitcher of the Burning of Rome IPA.
The band, Pizza Port staff and gobs of miscellaneous drinkers take over Mount Picnic Table inside the restaurant for a celebratory toast.
The brew was crafted by Miyashiro in honor of his favorite member of the band, Joe Aguilar. In addition to making moving melodies on his six-string, Aguilar also works at Pizza Port. A crisp, pointedly piney concoction with great tropical fruit notes, it’s definitely worth checking out, and so is the band. Their third album With Us (which Miyashiro played on a continuous loop atop the fermenter throughout the entire 30-day fermentation process) is set to debut this spring. The first single from that disc, “Ballad of an Onion Sprout” can be heard online at the band’s official website. Their next gig is slated for March 2 at the Ruby Room (1271 University Avenue) in Hillcrest.
The fermenter that housed the Burning of Rome IPA is adorned with signatures from each of its members.
Can’t wait that long for a rock ‘n’ roll infusion? Tide yourself over by drinking in their rather harmonious namesake IPA. Rumor has it, it'll be gone by the end of the three-day weekend, so get a move on! Pizza Port Ocean Beach is located at 1956 Bacon Street.