|Societe Brewing Company
8262 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. | San Diego, CA 92111
Societe Brewing Company, located in San Diego, California, was founded by brewers Travis Smith and Douglas Constantiner. The pair met while working at The Bruery in Placentia, California. After becoming friends and sharing many pints together, Smith and Constantiner decided to open a brewery of their own.
The name “Societe” is a nod to the idea that beer can unite everyone, despite class, race, sex, religion, or age. Their website reads, “Beer is democratic. Beer is culture. Beer is Societe!”
Societe opened its doors in 2012. The 16,000 square foot building includes a 3,000 square foot turn of the century tasting room. The decor includes large painted silhouettes, tall rectangular-shaped wooden tables with stools, and empty wine barrels.
A long counter along the brewery offers an unobstructed view of the 20 barrel brewhouse and barrel room. There is also additional seating outside with the view of the burgeoning hop vines.
Earlier in his career, Travis Smith worked under Vinnie Cilurzo at Russian River Brewing Company. As head brewer at Societe, he is producing beers which include West Coast ales, Belgian-inspired brews, dark Stygian beers (the literal meaning of Stygian is very dark), and wine-barrel aged sours.
The wood-framed chalkboard above the bar in the tasting room separates the beers on tap into three categories: Old World, Out West, and Stygian. A fourth category, Feral, will be added soon, featuring the barrel-aged sours.
During our visit, the tap list included…
- The Harlot – 6.0% ABV Belgian Extra
- The Gleaner – 7.1% ABV Saison with California Sagebrush
- The Debutante – 7.0% ABV Belgian Amber
- The Bachelorette with Czech Saaz – 5.4% ABV Single Hop Lager
- The Widow – 9.0% ABV Belgian Strong Dark
- The Pugilist – 4.8% ABV Dry Stout
- The Bellowsman – 6.0% ABV Smoked Stout
- The Butcher – 9.8% ABV Imperial Stout
- The Coachman – 4.5% ABV Really Small IPA
- The Publican – 5.5% ABV Small IPA
- The Bachelor with Galaxy – 6.5% ABV Single Hop Ale
- The Pupil – 7.5% ABV IPA
- The Apprentice – 7.5% ABV IPA
- The Scrapper – 7.7% ABV San Diego Dark Ale
The Pupil is definitely one of the more popular brews at Societe. The 7.5% ABV West Coast IPA is brewed with Centennial, Citra, and Nelson Sauvin hops offering tropical notes of guava and mango. The smooth, medium-bodied, dry IPA is rated 97 on beeradvocate.com and 99 on ratebeer.com.
Beers can be purchased in tasters for $1 (limit of 2 at a time) and full pours for $4 or $5, depending on ABV. Bottled soda is also available for $2. Both 1 liter and 2 liter growlers can be purchased and filled to go.
Societe is open Sunday to Wednesday noon to 9 PM and Thursday to Saturday noon to 10 PM.
Brewery tours are by appointment only at this time. There is a food truck on site almost every day.
While there are an overwhelming number of brewery choices when visiting San Diego, Societe Brewing Company offers a unique atmosphere with solid brews.