Standing in the heart of Kearny Mesa, Societe Brewing Co. has quickly found itself at the top of most lists when describing essential breweries in the San Diego scene. Their purist approach is rooted in Old World brewing techniques, and lays the foundation for every beer they produce. With little more than hops, malt, water and yeast, the team at Societe is consistently putting out some of the highest quality ales and lagers around – and propelling the innovation of craftsmanship in beer forward.
Founders Travis Smith and Douglas Constantiner have shared similar values and aspirations for years, and this is directly responsible for the inception of Societe. Smith found his start shadowing the greats at Russian River Brewing Co., putting in the time to learn the nuances of the craft before moving down south to become the Lead Brewer at The Bruery. Constantiner began brewing his own beers in college, and has since gone on to work at breweries such as Pizza Port, Oggi’s, Green Flash Brewing Co., and ultimately The Bruery – where he and Smith met.
We asked both of them what local San Diego beers they’ve been drinking lately, and here’s what they had to say:
Douglas Constantiner – Co-Founder & Brewery Curator
To me, this is such a fantastic and versatile beer. It can be enjoyed year-round because, while it’s relatively light for an ale, it also has depth and complexity. Additionally, it’s a great showcase for Beglain hops and yeast that’s not impeded by dark malts.
Hoppy and low-ABV are two descriptors I look for when I drink beer, and those two traits combined are what make this beer so appealing to me. It’s hoppy and flavorful, and has enough body to keep it interesting while remaining light enough so I can enjoy multiple pints.
When I’m looking for something rich, dark and heavy, I reach for Stone’s IRS. The roasted-coffee and chocolate notes are what got me into beer and no beer out there showcases them better than this. Since it’s a seasonal release, do yourself a favor and grab a couple cases to last you over the course of the year. I recommend pairing this beer with the movie Braveheart.
Travis Smith – Co-Founder & Brewmaster
North Park Beer McNair’s Session Ale
This is a low-ABV Scottish ale, a style I typically avoid because so many are out-of-balance from a malt-perspective. Not only do I find it immensely enjoyable, it also gives me renewed hope for Scottish ales.
Benchmark Oatmeal Stout
A deliciously drinkable and “beer-flavored” stout that doesn’t become fatiguing on the palate and leaves you wanting more of it once you’ve emptied your glass.
Societe The Harlot
It doesn’t matter that this could be seen as me being partial. I could not have a list of my favorite San Diego beers without our Belgian-style extra ale. In terms of beer, it exemplifies versatility, drinkability and food-partnership while simultaneously displaying seemingly contradictory simplicity and complexity.
San Diego is thriving with fantastic local brews, and Societe is certainly at the forefront of this movement. If you haven’t yet, we absolutely recommend checking out their tasting room in Kearny Mesa.
Living in a city with such an amazing selection of craft beer has its perks, and finding new favorites is half the fun. Explore all of the amazing craft beer around you right here on CraftHounds.com – and order any of it for delivery to your door in minutes.
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