Sunday, April 13, 2014


If you listen to Nat the Beer Rover - and I do, because he's a longtime San Diego craft beer authority and the author of an excellent blog whom we once interviewed here - then you probably already know about SOCIETE BREWING. Hunting down and drinking their beers, which have been praised extensively on The Beer Rover, was priority #1 for me when the wife and I recently visited San Diego for a little time away. Nat told me they're not bottling anything just yet, but he did steer us to The Public House in La Jolla, CA, which just happened to have two of their beers on draft. Given that this was San Diego, the weather was, of course, perfect, and The Public House has a patio from which to enjoy such perfection - as well as a draft list that's utterly jaw-dropping. I did not stray and I did not tarry from my mission: Drink Societe. Here's what I tried:

SOCIETE BREWING - "The Madam": A sweet and hoppy Belgian pale ale, which you can see pictured here moments before it touched my throat. It has a bit of the yeastiness that marks a beer as, say, "Belgian" vs., say, "American", and it went down dry and perhaps more hopped-up than I was expecting. Given my outsized expectations for these guys, I suppose it's a mild disappointment that this didn't have me foaming at the mouth, but it really went down well with my salad n' frites. 7.5/10.

SOCIETE BREWING - "The Pugilist": Would you have been disappointed if the only other beer on the menu from a highly-anticipated brewer happened to be an Irish dry stout? OK, so then I'm not alone here. As it was, it was a simple, very drinkable stout, nice and smooth with a bit of roasted bite to it. But, at the end of the day, it was a simple Irish dry stout more suitable for Chargers Sundays at the sports bar than as a rare tonic for an ultra-selective beer aesthete/dork such as myself. 7/10.


Bret said...

What stands out most to me about Societe is that all of their beers taste extremely well done. I'm like the red-headed step-child in southern California because I have a natural dislike for IPAs, primarily due to their unabashed bitterness that has no balance at all. I get that some people desire that, but I'm not one of those people. When I first ventured into Societe and saw their IPA-heavy menu, I was super bummed, but when my first Apprentice introduced itself to my mouth I was very impressed with how good it was.

None of their beers that I've had are as unique as Nelson from Alpine or a Campfire from High Water, but they're all very, very solid.

Jay Hinman said...

Bret, thanks for that perspective. Yeah, in San Diego I've gotta imagine not loving IPAs is something close to blasphemy, but the city has spawned such an incredible beer culture - it was EVERYWHERE we went a couple of weeks ago - that you're certainly not starving for non-IPA selections.

Oh, and Alpine just started distributing here in San Francisco, which is making a lot of people very, very happy....

Steve said...

I love Societe's IPA's, not necessarily for the hops, but because they keep the base so light. I think we were told in some of them they ONLY use 2-Row with a 90 min boil. Anyway, my favorite, isn't exactly their IPA, but their pale ale called "The Publican." Woo wee, probably my favorite beer in SD.