Name: Societe Brewing Company

Location: San Diego, CA


Type: Production brewery

Available in DC Market: No


What you need to know: Societe took the unprecedented step of reaching out to us in advance of this SAVOR profile. Mike Sardina, whose title at the brewery is “Ruler of the Underworld (Assistant Exec. Officer)” sent us an email with some information about the brewery.

“Our brewery was founded by two professional brewers: Travis Smith and Douglas Constantiner. Travis was Vinnie’s first brewery hire at Russian River Brewing Company, where he learned the art and science of brewing from his mentors, Vinnie and Brian Hunt (of Moonlight Brewing Company). After about 5 years at Russian River, Travis relocated to Southern California, where he took a job at The Bruery in Placientia, California. Meanwhile, Doug had been working as an accountant on Wall Street in New York, when he decided to move to San Diego to become a professional brewer. Once in San Diego, he worked at Green Flash and Pizza Port, until he landed an entry level brewer position at The Bruery. Travis and Doug immediately bonded over beer and brewing at The Bruery. The two of them decided that they wanted to own a brewery themselves, and Societe Brewing Company was born in 2011. Societe represents the communal aspects of beer—a CEO of a large corporation and a mechanic at a car dealership can be friends through the community of beer. Beer has persistently brought people together for centuries, ignoring class, race, creed, religion, sex, age and any other imaginable barriers to human connection. Beer is democratic. Beer is culture. Beer is Societe.”

Beer #1: The Harlot (Belgian Extra / 6% ABV)

In Their Own Words: Again, via email, “This is the beer that we opened Societe Brewing Company to brew. The Harlot is an extremely easy to drink crisp, light, and dry Belgian Extra ale. The beer features a pilsner-lager recipe as its base, but it is fermented using one of our house Belgian ale yeast strains. Floral Czech Saaz hops balance against the light but bready pilsner malt character. This beer was inspired by three of our favorite beers—Reality Czech Pils from Moonlight Brewing Company (Brian Hunt), Redemption from Russian River Brewing Company (Vinnie Cilurzo), and Taras Boulba from Brasserie de la Senne (Yvan De Baets)—and it is the beer we drink every day. Given its inspiration, we like to say that The Harlot is brewed in the tradition of a lost style of beer typical in the border region between Belgium and the Czech Republic.”

Food Pairing: Brussels Sprout Cup with Miso, Green Apple, and Cashew.

Our Thoughts: It sounds as if The Harlot isn’t just a beer, it’s a mission statement, a raison d’etre. That dry finish should keep you coming back for more. From Mike: “To us, the best thing to pair with The Harlot is another glass of The Harlot, but we are guessing that Chef Adam [Dulye, the SAVOR chef] nailed it with this awesome vegetarian dish. The earthiness of the Brussels sprout and the nuttiness of the cashew will resonate with the subtle malt characteristics found in our beer. The perceived sweetness in the aroma will highlight some of the green apple sugars, however, The Harlot is extremely dry in the finish with the perfect level of carbonation to cut through and wash the palate.”

Beer #2: The Apprentice (American IPA / 7.5% ABV)

In Their Own Words: “This is the second beer that we ever brewed at Societe Brewing Company. The Apprentice is dry, medium bodied, and an exceptionally hoppy American IPA with assertive bitterness. Straw pale yellow in color, this IPA is uniquely light for the style. We generously hop this beer, with a focus on late hop additions in the boil, as well as several dry-hop additions. Centennial, Amarillo, and Simcoe hops all lend to the intensely aromatic hop flavor and character of this beer. Strong pine and bitter citrus flavor come forward, whereas grapefruit citrus undertones accent the dry finish on this delicious IPA.”

Food Pairing: Beef Carpaccio on Walnut Toast.

Our Thoughts: You can’t legally brew in San Diego without an IPA. Come taste one of the best examples from the IPA capital of the world. As is the case with Ithaca’s Flower Power, also at SAVOR, the combination of Amarillo and Simcoe hops is a proven winner. Look for hints of bubblegum and tropical fruits in addition to the tasting notes mentioned above. The high alpha acids in this beer will play well with the silky fat from the carpaccio, and the walnuts in the toast will accentuate the malt and sweetness.

“Beef is an impactful protein when it comes to food,” writes Mike, “so this pairing makes sense as far as matching levels of intensity between the beer and the food. The bold bitterness and hop flavor of The Apprentice will stand up to the impactful flavor of the Beef Carpaccio. The hops will act as the citrus element to the dish, while the walnut toast will also serve to accentuate the hoppiness. The dry finish of the beer will again cut through and wash the palate, leaving you eager for another bite or another sip. This pairing should be a winner too.”

This profile is a part of the SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2014 SAVOR participants.