In a hop-obsessed city with more than 120 craft breweries, it takes a lot of je ne sais quoi to get noticed. Enter Doug Constantiner, Travis Smith, and Societe Brewing, one of the most beloved and respected breweries in San Diego, California. Opened in 2012, Societe welcomes visitors to a unique craft experience. The moment you enter, there’s a sense of stepping back in time, thanks in large part to carefully selected vintage and reclaimed decor and the tongue-in-cheek sobriquets of each brewed offering, which are divided into four distinct categories.
Out West beers include The Publican, The Roustabout, The Haberdasher, and The Bachelor, which focuses on one specific hop per production. From this category, The Pupil has garnered multiple awards over the years; The Coachman took the gold medal for Session IPA at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival.
Old World offerings provide playful tributes to the feminine with The Madam, “a dangerously deceptive” Belgian strong ale; The Debutante (christened at the brewery’s grand opening); and The Harlot, a flavor-packed yet easy-drinking Belgian ale that’s one of Societe’s most popular beers.
The Stygian group of stouts, paying homage to black and the river Styx, includes The Pugilist, which captured a silver medal at the 2014 World Beer Cup; The Bellowsman, a smoked stout; and The Volcanist, an American stout that won a bronze medal at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival.
The Feral group includes aged and wild beers, corked and caged in wine bottles, and primarily using wine barrels and strains of Brettanomyces to create truly unique expressions of what Smith calls “beer-flavored beer.” Releases include The Swindler, The Malingerer (a tart, gluten-free beer), and The Urchin. Via donation and sales, The Urchin single-handedly raised 24,000 pounds of food for the San Diego Food Bank.
Societe Brewing Company
8262 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92111